In “Heretical History” and numerous other posts, we have argued that the contributions, genetic and cultural, of the Turkic-Iranic Khazars deserve much more attention than the cosseted theories of European Zionist Jews and the official views of the state of Israel on Jewish history.
Maybe If It’s First Generation Sex-Linked Testing, Not Autosomal
Dust off the crystal ball. Scientists consider DNA ancestry services “genetic astrology,” according to a recent BBC article by Pallab Ghosh. In “Some DNA Ancestry Services Akin to ‘Genetic Astrology’,” Ghosh quotes Professor David Balding as maintaining that ‘“such histories are either so general as to be personally meaningless or they are just speculation from thin evidence.’”
We received an interesting email from Bailey Edsall-Parr, an anthropology student, customer and genealogy enthusiast from Michigan. We present it here as a guest blog post.
You’ve heard of Gaius Flavius Antoninus, the assassin of Julius Caesar. You are probably familiar with crocodile shears, a notorious torture device. If you are an aficionado of the annals of rock and roll, you know about the band named Tilly that perished in an airplane crash on December 12, 1956 en route to a “Lester Concert Hall.”
Shakespeare painted the last of the York rulers of England as a murderous maniac who was rightly dispatched to hell by Henry Tudor in 1485. But the story of Richard III’s skeleton supposedly dug up last year in a parking lot may top that of the Bard for pulling the wool over our eyes. Or it may be the luckiest archeological find since King Tut . . . .
We are our DNA. It was not a surprise to find that our entire DNA is Functional (“Junk DNA Isn’t Junk, and That Isn’t Really News”). The surprise is in the discovery of what we can do with what we once thought was junk.
DNA Meets History in Chilling Forensic Case about Louis XVI and Henry IV
“Les Miserables” Lives Again! DNA, not Gothic literature, has all the best stories and tales of murder and intrigue. According to Sam Kean, author of The Violinist’s Thumb: And other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Told by Our Genetic Code, “ …Somewhere in the tangle of strands are the answers to many historical mysteries about human beings that were once thought lost forever.” Kean says each one of us has”… enough DNA to stretch from Pluto to the sun and back,” and “…every human activity leaves a forensic trace in our DNA” and the story that DNA tells, Keans says, “…is a larger and more intricate tale of the rise of human beings on Earth: why we’re one of nature’s most absurd creatures, as well as its crowning glory.”
Richard Lewontin’s Disappearing Act
The octogenarian bête noir of biological determinism reviews three new books about why we should be proud of our ancestry–or just be quiet about it. “There is a certain irony,” he writes, “in claiming an undemonstrated biological superiority for a group, six million of whom were slaughtered for their claimed natural degeneracy.” If your dynosaur feathers are not ruffled yet, read on.
New Center is Hiring
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dedicated its new Genome Sciences Building on University Day, Oct. 12, 2012, a major event in the increasingly interdisciplinary world of genome science. Located at the geographical center of campus, the Genome Sciences Building has an overarching goal: to foster collaborations at the intersection of different disciplines – and in every way, it is designed to do just that, according to the university.