change the facts . . .
We always suspected the genetics community of clinging to stale dogmas and being slow to acknowledge emerging new evidence about American Indians. But we did not dream that their officiousness extended to changing the information given by test subjects to bring it into conformity with preconceived conclusions.
Not until we heard Marcy's story.
"Over the years, I've heard complaints that [a DNA testing company] is not really responsive when you have questions about unexpected results," Marcy said. "They usually suggest further testing, which of course, means more revenue to them.
"I've had some major disagreements with [a DNA testing company] over how they list results for mitochondrial haplogroup ancestral origins . . . . I found out they were taking dozens of T2's who had listed their earliest known female ancestor as being from America or the United States, changing this and placing them in the 'unknown' category. They claimed that because our haplogroup was designated European, our ancestors couldn't be from the United States!
"Now this was nonsense, because at the same time, they allowed people to claim other similarly-colonized western countries, like Cuba. It's my opinion that if participants list a country of origin for their earliest known female relative, that should be what is on the web page, not something assigned by [a DNA testing company] because as they told me, it may 'confuse people,' or contradict current scientific data.
"As a consequence [the DNA testing company's] publicly reported ancestral origins has nothing to do with our haplogroup's ancient Cherokee clan mother. The chips should fall where they may."
Now this is not professional behavior on the part of a DNA testing company and it prevents new findings from coming to light.
In a study of 52 individuals claiming direct maternal descent from an American Indian woman, mostly Cherokee, we found that they were unmatched anywhere else except among other participants. Haplogroup T emerged as the largest lineage, followed by U, X, J and H. Similar proportions of these haplogroups were noted in the populations of Egypt, Israel and other parts of the East Mediterranean.
DNA testing companies do a disservice to their customers and to science by failing to call results as they appear without doctoring them. It is time geneticists stopped bringing all American Indians over the Bering Straits and forcing test subjects into the Procrustean bed of outmoded theory.
For more on "anomalous" American Indian haplotypes, visit our Cherokee DNA Studies, now in Phase II testing.