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FTDNA featured in Feb. 6th Newsweek article

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  • FTDNA featured in Feb. 6th Newsweek article

    Don't miss it!

  • #2
    Disappointment

    What a disappointment that article was.

    I was more than a bit dismayed it repeated the notion of the Cohen Modal Haplotype, even though even the original researchers have backed away significantly from the notion. Hope those erstwhile Catholics in the article didn't reach for the circumcision implements just yet!

    Also, it saddened me to see all these people using DNAPrint to get their "percentages" of their heritage. I've posted before the story of my friend, who migrated to the US as an adult. Parents came from two, tiny, unimportant, very isolated mountain hamlets in the Alps.

    DNAPrint said my friend was over 30% Native American...

    (Doh!)

    It was so sad to read about that African-American principal who "found out" with a DNAPrint test that he was "0% black." The article alluded to all his soul searching, etc. Your feelings on racial identity aside, people have a right to know the truth, and to have tests they pay for be backed up with science, not wild claims.

    Who knows what the heck is going on at DNAPrint, but I would not rely on those percentages one iota...
    Last edited by Mikey; 4 February 2006, 08:03 PM.

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    • #3
      I'm sure that DNA testing companies do make mistakes sometimes. It would be nice if they tested everyone twice just to make sure the results match.

      Have you ever heard that Winston Churchill was part Native American? Apparently his mother was an American and had some Native American ancestry. Just goes to show you, you can't make assumptions about someone's heritage because of where he was born.

      Kelley

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      • #4
        Kelley,

        I've never heard that (about Churchill), but with respect to my friend, it is just not a possibility. Pedigree charts back to the 1500s. Isolated villages. Not a chance.

        I should also mention that the testing company admitted that several European nationalities regularly produce false positives for Native American ancestry. Ironically one of these nationalities (Italian) is now present in large numbers in the new world (Argentina, Brazil, etc.), which I point out must damn their whole testing system.

        If an Italian from Argentina shows up as mixed mextizo (part Native American), can you imagine the accusations of affairs and the hand wringing, family history rewriting, etc. that would go on for that family?

        It's just not right.

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        • #5
          This is a new field and I agree that some DNA testing companies are probably jumping the gun a bit with the results they claim to be able to provide with their tests

          Another thing to consider is that it is estimated that somewhere between 5%-15% of children were not fathered by the person that they think fathered them. Yes, people do have affairs and sometimes pregnancy is the result. People are sometimes given the wrong babies to take home from the hospital. There is a case in my family where a baby girl, Pearl, was adopted into the family, after the family claimed she had been left on their doorstep (this was over 80 years ago). Anyway, everyone in the family had strict instructions not to tell the girl she was adopted. She went through life thinking these people were her real parents when they were not. My mom is always saying "when so-and-so, and so-and-so die, I am going to tell Pearl's daughter that Pearl was adopted." But for Pearl it is too late.

          I often think of these things myself when doing genealogy research - I can learn what the official records say about where I came from and where my people came from - but can I ever really know for sure? No!

          Kelley

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          • #6
            I agree Kelly. But, I should note that in my friend's case, the mechanism just isn't there. Illegitimate births are common, but Hopi and Sioux in isolated villages in Austria, siring illegitimate kids? Nope.

            Bottom line, DNA doesn't lie, if and only if it is applied correctly. Sometimes, an educated person must simply trust his or her gut, especially in cases like this.

            I stress again the company admitted to false positives from several European nationalities...

            I'd save my money for now.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kelley
              I'm sure that DNA testing companies do make mistakes sometimes. It would be nice if they tested everyone twice just to make sure the results match.

              Have you ever heard that Winston Churchill was part Native American? Apparently his mother was an American and had some Native American ancestry. Just goes to show you, you can't make assumptions about someone's heritage because of where he was born.

              Kelley

              one of the first things most people learn in genealogy is family storys are usually wrong why is it a surprize dna proves them wrong again

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              • #8
                the article

                http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11080815...wsweek/page/3/

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