Anthropologist Bruce Mannheim reports that a recent well-publicized study on the genetics of native Americans, which used genetic analysis to find “at least three streams of Asian gene flow,” is in fact a confirmation of a long-known fact. Mannheim writes:
This three-way distinction was known linguistically since the 1920s (for example, Sapir 1921). Basically, it’s a division among the Eskimo-Aleut languages, which straddle the Bering Straits even today, the Athabaskan languages (which were discovered to be related to a small Siberian language family only within the last few years, not by Greenberg as Wade suggested), and everything else.
This is not to say that the results from genetics are unimportant, but it’s good to see how it fits with other aspects of our understanding.