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  • Timelines for Haplotrees

    Hello everyone. This is more under the label of a hopeful suggestion than it is a complaint.

    It would be very nice if the Haplotrees on FTDNA had a rough (and adjustable as new data is processed) timeline on the bottom (with perhaps vertical 5000 year graduations marked by light gray vertical bars alternated with no shading) so that people looking at the Haplotree would have an idea of the time periods that splits are believed to have occurred.

    This same sort of timing could be incorporated into migration maps. (I know that there is a small amount of this timing incorporated...for example I and I2, but there is no timing for any further splits.)

    I think that adding the timeline to the bottom of the Haplotrees and providing even more detailed migration maps with times for the splits, would make FTDNA more user friendly and useful to amateur genealogist that make the foray into genetic genealogy. Most of the folks using FTDNA are not geneticists and are unlikely to get more than a rudimentary understanding of genetics and the time frame of the splits. It would be helpful to provide that timeframe for them and maybe even explain the differences between paleolithic, mesolithic, and neolithic peoples (like - hey, neolithic people were agricultural while paleolithic people were hunter gatherers).

    Just one guys ideas to make things better.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Coldwarrior View Post
    Hello everyone. This is more under the label of a hopeful suggestion than it is a complaint.

    It would be very nice if the Haplotrees on FTDNA had a rough (and adjustable as new data is processed) timeline on the bottom (with perhaps vertical 5000 year graduations marked by light gray vertical bars alternated with no shading) so that people looking at the Haplotree would have an idea of the time periods that splits are believed to have occurred.
    The tolerance in these current predictions is embarrassingly huge. FTDNA is in the business of promoting DNA testing not planting FUD (Fear Uncertainly and Doubt).

    Any knowledgeable FTDNA customer can do a simple Google search and find these numbers if they desire. I don't ever see FTDNA promoting these numbers unless there are scientific breakthrough that make the tolerance much less.

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting Kvetching

      So Tick, you seem pretty knowledgeable; what is the current tolerance on these predictions and why would they be embarrassing? Is there a more accurate predictor available?

      Why would anyone have "fear" over a timeframe being applied tentatively to the haplotrees, with a disclaimer that these are current “best approximations” that will be refined as more information becomes available?

      It is true that some of these estimations of when a haplotype split occurred may be available by an internet search. However, since the point of FTNDA is to aid genealogists, why not make it user friendly and provide these estimations along with other relevant information in a single location...providing a valuable customer service to their clients?

      What harm is there in informing someone that the present estimation for a haplotree split occurred during the Neolithic period…or that a different split appears to have occurred in the Mesolithic period, etc.?

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      • #4
        Good suggestion

        Coldwarrior, I think your suggestions would be very helpful to novices like me, where genetic genealogy is very confusing and the language almost foreign. Anything to make the diagrams more "user-friendly" and interesting should be welcomed. I particularly dislike how the migration map is completely blank. How hard would it be to add the names of the countries on the map? I am also completely baffled by "thetick's" negative comments.

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        • #5
          I agree with thetick.

          Of what possible use would highly speculative estimates be for genealogical research to know that a certain subclade is estimated to be Neolithic versus Mesolithic? If you're talking about subclades where there is a clear scientific consensus about that, that's fine. But a lot of what passes for "knowledge" about the ages of haplogroups/subclades is sheer speculation. You can read certain threads in these forums where that sort of speculation takes off.

          What would be useful is to know that certain subclades can reliably be dated as 2,000 years old or less. However, for most subclades that young an age would only come from Big Y results. And Big Y results only started coming in this year. It will take a lot of analysis and some time to reliably estimate the ages of some of the newly discovered subclades that may be less than 2,000 years old.

          Another reason I think speculative estimates of the ages and geographic origins of subclades would not be useful is because of the acrimonious debates that tend to take place over whether this haplogroup is Celtic or Germanic or whatever. It's really not worth arguing about until we have more ancient DNA results. Until then, these sorts of speculations don't contribute as much useful information as they fuel entrenched positions among genetic genealogists.

          And I write all this as someone who is interested in how much information haplogroups/subclades can contribute to genealogy research. I'd prefer that FTDNA continue to be conservative about providing information about speculations about haplogroups until there's a strong scientific consensus about what can be said reliably. As thetick pointed out, anyone who wants to read about speculations that can't be scientifically nailed down yet can do an internet search for what they're interested in. They'll probably find something, but I don't know how reliable that information would be.
          Last edited by MMaddi; 20 July 2014, 04:48 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Coldwarrior View Post
            Hello everyone. This is more under the label of a hopeful suggestion than it is a complaint.

            It would be very nice if the Haplotrees on FTDNA had a rough (and adjustable as new data is processed) timeline on the bottom (with perhaps vertical 5000 year graduations marked by light gray vertical bars alternated with no shading) so that people looking at the Haplotree would have an idea of the time periods that splits are believed to have occurred.

            This same sort of timing could be incorporated into migration maps. (I know that there is a small amount of this timing incorporated...for example I and I2, but there is no timing for any further splits.)

            I think that adding the timeline to the bottom of the Haplotrees and providing even more detailed migration maps with times for the splits, would make FTDNA more user friendly and useful to amateur genealogist that make the foray into genetic genealogy. Most of the folks using FTDNA are not geneticists and are unlikely to get more than a rudimentary understanding of genetics and the time frame of the splits. It would be helpful to provide that timeframe for them and maybe even explain the differences between paleolithic, mesolithic, and neolithic peoples (like - hey, neolithic people were agricultural while paleolithic people were hunter gatherers).

            Just one guys ideas to make things better.
            A good post.

            Comment


            • #7
              Eupedia Phylogenetic Trees Have Timeline Infor

              Thanks to everyone for their comments. I was poking around a bit for my particular haplogroup's timeline information and thought I would share what I found.

              My haplogroup is I2a1a (so far). As of September 2013, the Eupedia folk have I2 under M438/P215/S31 and the split between I2a (L460), I2b (L416) and I2c (L596) as happening in the Late Paleolithic.

              Following my particular branch (I2a/L460), the split between I2a2 (P214) and I2a1 (P37.2) appears to have occurred between the Late Paleolithic and the Mesolithic (about 20,000 years ago). They have I2a2 geographically in North-West Europe and Central Europe, while I2a1 is in Western Europe and Eastern Europe.

              Moving down the line, I2a1a (CTS595) of Western Europe appears to have split or branched into L880, M26, and L1286 during the Neolithic period.

              The M26 line appears to have acquired the L627 marker during the Bronze Age. The L160, PF4088, C1133B, Z105, Z118, and Z106 markers all appear to have happened after the Bronze Age.

              Of course, most all of this is speculative, but I find it pretty interesting none the less. I was aware that they found 2 bodies in a Megalithic Tomb in the Normandy area of France (The Dolmen of La Pierre Fritte to be precise), dating about 2,800 BC. They were able to extract DNA and test it and both bodies were I2a1a (with I-M26 being predicted from the STRs).

              So, my deep ancestry appears to have been related to Megalith builders from at least the Neolithic period and located in Western Europe. I don't know about folks like the Tic or MMaddi, but I think a lot of people would find that sort of information interesting in their genealogical pursuits. It tells the story of their ancestral tribal affinity.

              If you would like to see this sort of information about your own line, maybe you should check out the Eupedia.com Genetics web page for your Haplogroup.

              As stated previously, I would like to see FTDNA offer this sort of information, even on a tentative and speculative basis that is likely to be modified as new data becomes available.
              Last edited by Coldwarrior; 21 July 2014, 04:44 PM.

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