April 16, 2005

Genographic project video presentation

can be found here. Some extra information plus a Q&A session near the end.

It is interesting that all six people (whose results were revealed during the presentation) loved what they heard. The African discovered that he belonged to haplogroup B which was frequent in his hunter-gather people from Tanzania; the Mongolian discovered that he belonged to haplogroup C3 and was a descendant of Genghis Khan to boot; the Native American discovered that he belonged to haplogroup Q, which is the main Native American lineage and he was descended from Siberian mammoth hunters of the Ice Age. The three Europeans got something interesting to think about too: one was a Western European R1b concordant with his English ancestry (the same as Dr. Wells), the second one was descended from the important Inventors of Agriculture, and the third one's ancestor was a Kurgan horse-rider and alleged Proto-Indo-European.

It would be much more realistic to show some unexpected results, e.g., a Native American who was descended from a European, or a European who was descended from an African. What goes through the mind of a black man when he is told that his forefather was white? What happens to a would-be-jihadi when he is told that he is carrying Crusader DNA? What are the consequences when a people who think that they are descended from Alexander the Great are told that they are actually not? (or these people, for that matter) Perhaps, they will console themselves with some educational programs.

Will the Genographic project concentrate only on "success" stories, such as the alleged descent of the modern Lebanese from the Phoenicians, or the Lemba from ancient Israelites? Or, will we learn some more sobering facts too, say the potential discovery of a few erectus sequences hidden in the 100,000 soon-to-be-gathered samples?

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