Genetic Variability in Humans and Deep Ones, Part 1

deepone_john_cebollero

Sketch of a Deep One by John Cebollero

As stated earlier, I recommend placing humans (Homo sapiens) and Deep Ones (Homo aquatium) in the same genus (Homo) since they can inter-breed. This is not unprecedented in the science of taxonomy.  For example, studies in 2010 suggest that humans and Neanderthals  (Homo neanderthalensis) may have inter-bred sometime between 80,000 and 50,000 years ago.  Based on some DNA analyses, Eurasian humans and Neanderthals may share between 1 to 4% of the same genes in their separate genomes.  If this Neanderthal / Eurasian human interbreeding hypothesis (published in Nature in 2012) is correct, then in a sense, “true” or “pure” humans may be those of direct African decent.

Comparison between Neanderthals and humans (from cdn_zmescience.com)

However, the Neanderthal / Eurasian human interbreeding hypothesis is by no means well established.  There are questions over potential contamination of samples and the alterative hypothesis that the genetic differences / similarities among non-African humans, African humans  and Neanderthals were already developed in Africa and thus no inter-breeding was involved.  However, the fact that human and Neanderthal  genomes are at least 99.5% identical and that they coexisted for thousands of years, indicates that inter-breeding may have been a possibility.

Modern reconstruction of a Neanderthal man from BBC news

Within the global human gene pool, the average genetic diversity among humans is about 0.1%, with differences among some portions of the genome (or specific genes) being as high as 1%.  When comparing humans to chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), older studies identified the genetic difference being only 2%, however, more recent studies have identified the genetic difference between these two species as being between 4 to 5%.  In contrast, the genetic difference between humans and the common bottle nosed dolphin (Tursiops truncates) is surprisingly smaller than previously thought, being less than 5%.  If the genetic difference between humans and chimps is similar to the difference between human and dolphins, then the simple appearance and habitat of an organism is not a good predictor of genetic relationships.  Given the fact that Deep Ones can breed with humans, the genetic difference between these two species must be low, being somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0%.

Innsmouth Folk from the talented artist Simon Dominic Brewer

Next time the discussion will focus more on the genetic diversity of the Deep Ones and their inter-breeding with humans.  Thank you – Fred.

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2 thoughts on “Genetic Variability in Humans and Deep Ones, Part 1

  1. On the topic of Neanderthals, HPL actually talked about them as being the basis for the legends of traditional fairies and elves in one of the essays near the end of Joshi’s Collected Works Vol. 3 (forget just which article, but one of the ones with “fairy” in the title).

    1. Yes, Lovecraft does briefly mention a theory of “Neanderthaloid sub-men which shambled over Europe about 300,000 B.C…” and how they may have been the origin of legends on the Little People. However, in the essay (titled “Some Backgrounds of Fairyland”) Lovecraft mentioned that the idea has less standing relative to other hypotheses. I will post an article about this, including discussions on Howard’s and Machen’s ideas of Little People, in the future. Thank you for the comment! Fred

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