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I happened to notice this Slate headline: Gates and Crowley Share DNA - So What?

Had a discussion over lunch with a friend about it. I touched on three things that the article brought to mind.

The first thing I thought when I read the article was: are you kidding? I've spent hours adding up to YEARS researching my family, and you're telling me someone has figured out that these two men are related in the span of less than a WEEK? Going back to the 4th century?!!! I can't even get further back than any one ancestor's immigration to North America, and even if I accept undocumented lines I'm still stuck in centuries that end in "-teenth."

Then I considered the DNA claim, and weighed it logically. OK, so even if both men happen to have submitted DNA samples well in advance of the notorious arrest incident, in time for the results to have already been processed (not in "CSI-time"!) and be known, this is still mitochondrial DNA we're talking about. Exactly how related anyone really feels to someone on the basis of a shared haplogroup is subjective, for sure, but it's a bit of a stretch to take that kind of connection to the level of national media. (Then again, this is The Media we're talking about. Nuff said, I guess.)

But finally, I'm left with this thought - and probably the best one I had regarding the whole point: it helps illuminate the fact that there is no such thing as "race" at the DNA level. Many people are undoubtedly still unaware of that fact. Maybe if more of them were educated, it would be a tiny, baby-step forward for at least a few. One can always hope.

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Comment by Greg Settle on July 31, 2009 at 11:22am
I certainly don't believe much I read on the internet regarding sensational news! The fact is we all relate back to ancestral Adam and ancestral Eve from Africa if you choose to believe that fact.

Related back to the fourth century? IMHO, that's a load of beans! Like you, I've found it hard to prove almost anything of any age.

Loved your comment about DNA on CSI-time, lol. I generally refer to it as DNA-while you wait!
Comment by Deason Hunt on July 31, 2009 at 8:50am
" ...are you kidding? I've spent hours adding up to YEARS researching my family, and you're telling me someone has figured out that these two men are related in the span of less than a WEEK? Going back to the 4th century?!!! I can't even get further back than any one ancestor's immigration to North America, and even if I accept undocumented lines I'm still stuck in centuries that end in "-teenth."

lol: isn't that just the absolute truth!
Comment by Doug Tallman on July 31, 2009 at 8:36am
Nice thought.
Comment by Eileen Cogan on July 31, 2009 at 7:53am
Nice entry!

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