In Species with Amnesia, Robert Sepehr attempts to outline the genetic lineage of the Araucano people, also known as the Mapuche people. In his claim, he explains how the lineage of the group traces its origins to Chile, but as a population, the people originate from blondes and redheads as seen in the New World. He claims the Mapuche held the largest degree of Caucasoid heritage, in which he specified that the population holds about twenty percent of the Rhesus negative blood type (page 73).
He claims that the significance of this finding follows a biological similarity alongside the Basques. The Basque origins most closely date back to the Paleolithic Europeans, in which Sepehr suggests the Mapuche are closely genetically related to Upper Paleolithic Europeans. Running with this idea, he claims that "Aryan European” traits -- blonde or red hair, green or blue eyes -- were present in the Mapuche. Because these were recessive traits, however, they are largely masked by dominant traits brought in through interbreeding.
Sepehr also claims that the early inhabitants may have died off from the exposure from outside diseases. He looked at the example of the events that occurred in Tahiti, explaining that the early explorers left documents detailing that ten percent of the population were Caucasoid (no information was found to support this statistic, but other research found indicates explorers describing the population of Tahiti as exotic and carrying a sense of “otherness”). When a later ship of explorers came in, most Native Caucasoids had died from disease. In his book, he explained how the Polynesians placed these Native Caucasoids in high regards, evident through the high positions of power they held (page 73).
Historically, the Mapuche were an indigenous population consisting primarily of agriculturalists. In the mid-sixteenth century, the Spanish arrived in central Chile and established military outposts. The Mapuches were very resistant against the explorers seeing as many of the explorers showed no respect, only pushing to colonize the land. For four centuries, the group kept their independence from the Spanish, waging guerrilla warfare until finally signing a treaty with the Spanish crown, granting independence of the Araucano territory (Wikipedia).
Regarding their biology, multiple genetic studies carried out over time have shown that the Chilean Mapuche population hold sixty percent of Native American ancestry. Contrary to Robert Sepehr’s claims, the Chilean population itself is very mixed, originating from Amerindians and Caucasians. Most of the population didn't have A, B alleles or d / Rh (-) alleles when the Europeans arrived in Chile. These genes- the A, B, and Rh (-) alleles, were carried by the European explorers.
Regarding the "Aryan" appearance of the the Mapuche: Sepehr's claims seem far from reality both in the present day and dating into prehistory. Although there is variation among the people, many of the Auracano have limbs and extremities that are short and thick. Their faces are round, flat, with prominent cheek bones. Their mouths are large and their hair is “black, course, and straight […] The skin is of a reddish-brown color: not so dark as the Indians of the north, and lighter in the mountain tribes than in those who inhabit the regions of the coast” ("Notes on the Physical Characteristics of the Auracano," R. E. Latcham, 1904:172).
Research has shown that the Mapuche are found to be Rh (+), rather than Rh (-), as Sepehr claimed. An estimate shows that around one-sixth of the genes are attributable to whites. The gene flow between the Mapuche and the White Spaniards shows a positive correlation. The gene flow between the two populations has lasted for twelve generations, with an increase of about 8.6 percent per generation. With this calculation, it is understood that in the last generation, sixty-five percent of European genes would be present in the hybrid genes. With these statistics, there is ample evidence that disproves Robert Sepehr’s theories regarding the Mapuche or the Araucano.
Looking further into the biological evidence to understand possible origins of the Mapuches, craniometric data seems to help provide better evidence for the origins of the indigenous group. Based on the data, the “Araucanians appear to originate from coastal groups that migrated from Africa in the north to the south, with occasional linkages to migrating populations from Bolivia and Argentina, the former probably utilizing the northern valleys of Chile to move farther south sometime before A.D. 500-800. The Argentine groups are probably related with migratory groups from central altiplano of the Bolivian Andes that moved further south and probably came from eastern slopes of the Andes” (Dillehay and Rothhammer 2013: 157).
To backup the craniometric data, Dr. Acuña, Dr. Ramírez, Dr. Cifuentes, Dr. Llop (consisting partly of the medical staff at the University of Chile), and Dr. Eaton, apart of the Science Faculty Adolfo Ibáñez University, Santiago, Chile, studied the Chilean coast, taking samples and analyzing blood groups, serum proteins, and enzymes. Their research showed that the migratory populations hold similar genetic characteristics as their ancestors. In addition, the linguistic evidence discussed by Dillehay and Rothhammer (2013) shows that all of these migratory groups shared a common language, Quechua (Source).
With ample amounts of data provided to disprove Sepehr’s claim, it appears that the Araucano or Mapuche have no links to the supposed “Aryan race.” Their biological and physical features refute the claims, showing clear evidence of their ancestral ties tracing back to regions of South America.
In attempting to suggest this ideology of the origins of the Mapuche, Sepehr taps into Nazi era ideas about Aryans as the so-called the “master race.” He seems to be claiming that the first people to inhabit the Americas were people of European descent. Such false claims hold racial implications, bringing in the mentality that if the “original race” was of Indo-European origins, that then allows for conquests regarding “rightful ownership.”