Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
369:  The DNA Story of Polynesian Origins:  Dr. Simon Southerton

369: The DNA Story of Polynesian Origins: Dr. Simon Southerton


Geneticist Dr. Simon Southerton joins me to discuss the DNA Story of Polynesian Origins.

There have been numerous theories posited about the origins of Pasifika people. The Semitic Origin Theory; Thor Heyerdahl’s South American migration theory and the Mormon idea that Polynesians are descended from an ancient Israeilite prophet who fled Jerusalem with his family during the Babylonian captivity. However, advances in DNA science have put much of those theories to bed.

Australian plant geneticist, Dr. Simon Southerton explains the science of DNA and how this has been used to put all other Pasifika ancestry theories conclusively to bed.


  1. Gilbert Gallahar

    The best presentations always bring wonder and admiration, thank you. The fascination with the express notion of Polynesian migration is the WHY? The resources necessary to plan a 1,000km-7,000km trip is mind boggling. These people land on big Islands with all the resources, what are the resources in Tonga that made Tonga a desirable destination or even after seeing the resources of Fiji, New Caledonia, NZ etc, why wasn’t the reaction: ‘get me out of here (Tonga)’ in fact the Tongan warriors, after defeating the battle forces of the other islands would hunger to return to Tonga: te Langitoto au ki Tonga (see place names in NZ). The Dr’s DNA discussion of the lines from America means that the kumala (how about the taro) was brought back from Columbia then distributed to the rest of Polynesia. What power did the Kings have to dictate that when you find something good bring it back to me.

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