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NY Times Article

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  • NY Times Article

    Interesting article in today's NY Times Science section on British/Irish origins.

  • #2
    It's quite hilarious to me. To support 6-marker Dr. Oppenheimer, they quote 9-marker Prof. Sykes, the same one who proclaimed a Florida man the heir to Genghis Khan based on a 7-out-of-9 marker match. The Florida man turned out to be R1a1, whereas Genghis Khan was C3.

    Perhaps the most absurd claim of all is this one:
    He also adopts Dr. Forster’s argument, based on a statistical analysis of vocabulary, that English is an ancient, fourth branch of the Germanic language tree, and was spoken in England before the Roman invasion.

    Note that Dr. Forster is a geneticist, not a linguist, and knows very little about languages at all:


    • #3
      It is likely some germanic language was spoken in parts of Britain before the Romans arrived. There were settlements of mixed celtic and germanic people speaking a north sea germanic language in Britain such as the Belgae. Whether the germanic language had any foothold beyond that is difficult to say. There was already a great deal of trade between Britain and the continent which we know from trade goods being found in both places and a trade language may have been spoken as well. However, to say that anything approaching english was spoken is going way to far, especially since we cannot even say that frisian, dutch or german per se were spoken at that time. The interesting articles provided by Igmayka really make it quite clear that Dr. Foster's analysis has little merit.