Sunday, February 04, 2007

DNA Research Questions?

soc.genealogy.methods | Google Groups

"I'm looking into doing a DNA Test (probably Y-DNA) for genealogical
purposes. I see from reading Family Tree Magazine that there are a
number of organizations who can provide the Y-DNA tests. Have
anyone out there use this test and would like to share your thought
on value of resulting information?"

I joined in this discussion 11 months ago and had an enquiry in my mail box about it just now.

Google Groups found about 2,330 hits from Mar 3, 2006 to Feb 4, 2007 for author:Hugh author:Watkins

together with the lists and private emails at about 10 a day . . . .I have no idea what the context of my remarks was.

author:Hugh author:Watkins - Google Groups search - Results 1 - 100 of about 2,760 from Mar 3, 2006 to Feb 4, 2007 for author:Hugh author:Watkins

My position is very simple, DNA research is only useful if backed by solid and complete traditional research.

You must very carefully define the question to be asked first and you may not get any useful answer.

So many of the studies look like wildy optimistic money spinners for the owners of the laboratories.

The Melungeon Mystery Solved: A Scientific Researcher's View - DNA - Why it won't work - By James S. Elder:
" My first concern was that the study be done properly. That meant testing only individuals who were universally accepted as having Melungeon heritage. If you throw non-Melungeon genes into the pool, you get non-Melungeon returns from gene testing. I began to hear reports almost immediately about individuals who I certainly question as having real Melungeon roots being sampled. Researchers and computer junkies have a term for this - GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The more I thought about these tests, the more I realized that DNA alone can not prove Melungeon ancestry, regardless of how carefully the tested individuals are selected. There is an inherent and fatal flaw in any such test using mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA to trace a 'race' to another ethnic group. Additional problems face the researcher attempting to use human leukocyte antigen region (HLA) chromosome 6 testing. These are currently the three techniques used for attempting to determine ethnicity using DNA.

Studies of the HLA region have been done primarily for medical reasons. Scientific consensus is that any conclusions about race derived from such studies are difficult to assess and the resulting conclusions are highly questionable. Quite properly, none of the current or proposed Melungeon DNA tests of which I am aware use HLA test"


Fact & Fiction


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