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Old 6th September 2018, 12:26 PM   #1
Vixen
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Man says he goes back to William the Conqueror

On a television programme recently, about DNA, Justin Berkmann (of MInistry of Sound fame) said he was related to royalty. When asked who, he replied, Edward I, and that he went back to William the Conqueror.


Quote:
Founder of Ministry of Sound Justin Berkmann was revealed as being fourth cousins once removed with Liam Bairstow who plays cafe worker Alex Warner in the programme hosted by Nicky Campbell joined by genetic experts.
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co...orrie-15116911

How meaningful is being a 'fourth cousin once removed'?

Is 'going back to William the Conqueror' anything exceptional?
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Old 6th September 2018, 12:28 PM   #2
ahhell
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Is 'going back to William the Conqueror' anything exceptional?
Not especially.
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Old 6th September 2018, 01:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Not especially.
Indeed. I think it can be shown that every human alive now has a trace of his blood.
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Old 6th September 2018, 01:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Indeed. I think it can be shown that every human alive now has a trace of his blood.
I wouldn't go that far, I'd guess his descendants might be pretty uncommon in the Far East. But it's far from rare. My wife is a descendant, via King John of Magna Carta fame.
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Old 6th September 2018, 01:56 PM   #5
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If he goes back William, could he asked him when I will get my lawnmower back?
He borrowed it in the 1070's.
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Old 6th September 2018, 02:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
On a television programme recently, about DNA, Justin Berkmann (of MInistry of Sound fame) said he was related to royalty. When asked who, he replied, Edward I, and that he went back to William the Conqueror.


https://www.manchestereveningnews.co...orrie-15116911

How meaningful is being a 'fourth cousin once removed'?

Is 'going back to William the Conqueror' anything exceptional?
Only if he's a merman.
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Old 6th September 2018, 02:41 PM   #7
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Why is he going back to William the Conqueror? Did he not get conquered enough the first time?
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Old 6th September 2018, 02:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post

Is 'going back to William the Conqueror' anything exceptional?
No, but actually being able to trace the descent is.


Just about everyone in Europe is descended from Charlemagne, but that's because they're descended from the same people alive about 1000 years ago.
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Old 6th September 2018, 03:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
No, but actually being able to trace the descent is.


Just about everyone in Europe is descended from Charlemagne, but that's because they're descended from the same people alive about 1000 years ago.
I understand Rutherford's thinking. However, there are four major logical fallacies inherent in his argument. (1) The sweeping generalisation, (2) The assumption people breed randomly, (3) they breed exponentially, and (4) mistaking his opinion for fact.

He says he's descended from Charlemagne but I am willing to wager he is just saying that off the top of his head.

As an example of (2), the same TV programme expressed great amazement that one of the actors, Thomas Burke, had 99% Irish DNA. This is because even though he has lived in England all his life, his forebears come from a remote part of Ireland, an island called Innisturk (iirc). IOW it is pure flippancy to say 'he shares the same DNA as everybody else'.
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Old 6th September 2018, 05:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I understand Rutherford's thinking. However, there are four major logical fallacies inherent in his argument. (1) The sweeping generalisation, (2) The assumption people breed randomly, (3) they breed exponentially, and (4) mistaking his opinion for fact.

He says he's descended from Charlemagne but I am willing to wager he is just saying that off the top of his head.

As an example of (2), the same TV programme expressed great amazement that one of the actors, Thomas Burke, had 99% Irish DNA. This is because even though he has lived in England all his life, his forebears come from a remote part of Ireland, an island called Innisturk (iirc). IOW it is pure flippancy to say 'he shares the same DNA as everybody else'.


You don't know what you're talking about. Your understanding of the relevant statistics appears to be entirely lacking; and in addition, you seem entirely unaware that genetic analysis can now provide very high levels of reliability in terms of mapping the transfer of DNA. Indeed, this is Rutherford's very area of expertise. To suggest that "he is just saying that off the top of his head" is, to employ the vernacular, total bollocks. But I'll happily take that wager of yours.
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Old 6th September 2018, 05:54 PM   #11
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I used to know someone who had documented evidence of her lineage going back to Harald Hardradr. She showed it to me once.
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Old 6th September 2018, 06:10 PM   #12
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I can reliably trace my lineage directly to Pocahontas of native American fame. However I suspect so can hundreds of thousands of other people after 13 generations.
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Old 6th September 2018, 06:46 PM   #13
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Off the top of MY head: I completely forgot where I read all of this, and I can reproduce the numbers only order-of-magnitude wise:

A nice percentage, but less than half (say, 12% or so) of the population of Eurasia, problably descended from Dzhengis Khan.
Charlemagne is like 300 years earlier and may be more pervasive throughout central Europe, but I am not sure everybody has him as great^x grandfather.
Mitichondrial Eva - the most recent woman to have been a direct ancestor in the matrilinear descendancy- lived what ... 250,000 years ago?
The Adam of the Y-gene - our most recent patrilinear forefather - was much more recent - say, 40,000 years ago.
These two can be estimated based on DNA sampling.
It's not possible to determine ancestry through a mixed-sex line of ancestors past a certain number of generation by DNA testing, due to the homeopathic dilution effect Rutherford explains. Same is true for determining the most recent ancestor through mixed lines of all of us, this can only be modelled, and hinges critically on rates of migration. Particularly on if, when and how often people cross seas and oceans. The Americas and Australia were probably never completely cut off - or were they? Anyway, such models, with minimal migration to the remote continents (1 per year or so) indicate the last common ancestor lived as recently as 5000 years ago, most likely in south-east Asia. And that person might not have left any gene to anyone, probably has not to you.
Not long before the single most recent ancestor, everybody was an ancestor to everybody alive today, but I forgot how long that would be.
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Old 6th September 2018, 07:15 PM   #14
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There used to be a joke about how all the Irish in the USA claimed to be descended from the Kings of Ireland. Turns out it might not be a joke:

Quote:
Millions of Irish Americans, especially those in New York, may be directly descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the most prolific warrior in Irish history. A team of geneticists at Trinity College Dublin led by Professor Dan Bradley discovered that as many as 3 million men worldwide may be descendants of the Irish warlord, who was who was the Irish “High King” at Tara, the ancient center of Ireland from A.D. 379 to A.D. 405.
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Old 6th September 2018, 10:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
As an example of (2), the same TV programme expressed great amazement that one of the actors, Thomas Burke, had 99% Irish DNA.

But apparently he also has 99% bonobo DNA! Are bonobos Irish?!
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Old 6th September 2018, 10:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
But apparently he also has 99% bonobo DNA! Are bonobos Irish?!
You’re thinking of Bono.
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Old 6th September 2018, 11:25 PM   #17
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99% Bono, too?!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th September 2018, 01:03 AM   #18
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I think there are several problems with saying you are descended from someone ancient.
1.There are 32 chromosomes in a human body. Go back 5 generations and on average you will have received 1 from each one of these ancestors. Go back any further and see arguments about homeopathy.
2. If we are discussing the male line then it only takes one woman to have slept with a man that is not her husband and you are descended from another man.
3. Documents can be faked.
4. Go back 30 generations (30*25= 750 years) and you are descended from about 1,000 million people, less inbreeding (which would reduce the number down a lot). This means that if your ancestors lived in the UK you probably are descended from most people who lived in the UK 750 years ago. Yes, this is a simplification of the facts.

Exceptions to the above. There is a tiny bit of DNA that gets passed from father to son and another bit that gets passed from mother to daughter.
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Old 7th September 2018, 01:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I understand Rutherford's thinking.
Clearly, you don't.
Quote:
He says he's descended from Charlemagne but I am willing to wager he is just saying that off the top of his head.
Then you'd lose, as LondonJohn points out. Adam Rutherford knows exactly what he's talking about. To find out more, I highly recommend his book, A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived, which goes into more detail than allowed by a newspaper article.
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Old 7th September 2018, 01:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I think there are several problems with saying you are descended from someone ancient.
1.There are 32 chromosomes in a human body. Go back 5 generations and on average you will have received 1 from each one of these ancestors. Go back any further and see arguments about homeopathy.
That's not how chromosomes work. And it's 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell, not 32 in total.
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Last edited by zooterkin; 7th September 2018 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 7th September 2018, 01:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post

Exceptions to the above. There is a tiny bit of DNA that gets passed from father to son and another bit that gets passed from mother to daughter.
Yes; the male line can be traced by looking at the Y chromosome, the female line by the mitochondrial DNA (which is not part of the 23 pairs of chromosomes).

ETA: As Oystein has already explained.
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Old 7th September 2018, 01:27 AM   #22
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Richard Dawkins goes into this in some depth in the beginning of The Ancestor's Tale. The issue is that if you go far enough back you will find that any person is either an ancestor of everyone living today, or no one. So, given that William the Conqueror has some verified descendants alive today, we can expect that at least everyone in England, probably in Europe, is a descendant.
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Old 7th September 2018, 02:13 AM   #23
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Didn't we do all of this in this thread about two months ago?
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=330041

And didn't OP misunderstand Rutherford's argument there too, even after having it explained a couple of times?
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Old 7th September 2018, 02:58 AM   #24
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On paper, I had my direct-line ancestry back to the time of Charles II. And so what, because later I discovered a late-19th century Italian intruder (my real great-grandfather who was, by all accounts, the randiest of all old goats) muddying the waters. The standard genealogical paper-trail depicts what polite-society records say is true, not what actually happened. And Mr. Rizza is intrinsically more interesting than the bloke he cuckolded.
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Old 7th September 2018, 04:47 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by mkg View Post
On paper, I had my direct-line ancestry back to the time of Charles II. And so what, because later I discovered a late-19th century Italian intruder (my real great-grandfather who was, by all accounts, the randiest of all old goats) muddying the waters. The standard genealogical paper-trail depicts what polite-society records say is true, not what actually happened. And Mr. Rizza is intrinsically more interesting than the bloke he cuckolded.
How did you find out about the non-paternity event?
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Old 7th September 2018, 04:53 AM   #26
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Further reading:
Quote:
Family tree shows our common ancestor lived just 3,500 years ago.
[...]
Researchers have calculated that the mystery person, from whom everyone alive today is directly descended, probably lived around 1,500 BC in eastern Asia.[...]

Besides dating our most recent common ancestor, Rohde's team also calculates that in 5,400 BC everyone alive was either an ancestor of all of humanity, or of nobody alive today.
https://www.nature.com/news/2004/040...040927-10.html

Quote:
Whether they are a Serb and a Swiss, or a Finn and a Frenchman, any two Europeans are likely to have many common ancestors who lived around 1,000 years ago. A genomic survey of 2,257 people from 40 populations finds
https://www.nature.com/news/most-eur...tors-1.12950#/
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Old 7th September 2018, 04:56 AM   #27
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Very quick sums assuming each generation breads every 25 years and has 2 kids there would have been 137.5 billion direct descendants in 2112. Given the world population is only 7.2 billion we are all related to him 19 times.

Note For a slightly more accurate calculation simply remove the instances if interbreeding from the above calculations.
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Old 7th September 2018, 07:12 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I used to know someone who had documented evidence of her lineage going back to Harald Hardradr. She showed it to me once.
Much cooler than William if you ask me.
Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
2. If we are discussing the male line then it only takes one woman to have slept with a man that is not her husband and you are descended from another man.
I'm mildly amused by this given the discussion of Irish descent in this thread. My old man claims the Irish used to send boys to be raised by their maternal uncles for this reason.

Also, with Ghingis Khan, one or more of his sons may not have been his. I think the eldest was born while his wife was being held hostage by a rival Khan.
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Old 7th September 2018, 07:49 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
How did you find out about the non-paternity event?
Duplicate post - sorry. See below.

Last edited by mkg; 7th September 2018 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Duplicate
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Old 7th September 2018, 08:08 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
How did you find out about the non-paternity event?
Cutting two years of work down to a sentence or six ...
1. A witness (my mother and two of her sisters) report of a domestic argument in which my purported (and drunk) great grandfather told his purported daughter (my grandmother) that he wasn't actually her father.
2. Making sense out of a report of the apparently illogical behaviour (involving a boat and ice cream) of my great grandmother, which boiled down to a ferry and an Italian lady shopkeeper.
3. Tracing the Italian lady's husband and determining his regular travel on that ferry.
4. Tracing and making contact with the descendants (UK, USA and Canada) of said ferry traveller, of which there are many (but nowhere near most of them also being descendants of said Italian lady).
5. Wondering about the distinctly Italianate appearance of several close relatives.
6, Counting days backwards from the birth of my grandmother to the probable date of conception and wondering why the closure of that ice cream shop and the removal of the perpetrator and his family to the other side of the country followed very soon after.
No, I haven't had DNA tests. I don't think they're needed.
EDIT: Almost forgot - I now have a photo of the culprit. I'm a dead ringer.

Last edited by mkg; 7th September 2018 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 7th September 2018, 08:19 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
How did you find out about the non-paternity event?
Cutting two years of work down to a sentence or six ...
1. A witness (my mother and two of her sisters) report of a domestic argument in which my purported (and drunk) great grandfather told his purported daughter (my grandmother) that he wasn't actually her father.
2. Making sense out of a report of the apparently illogical behaviour (involving a boat and ice cream) of my great grandmother, which boiled down to a ferry and an Italian lady shopkeeper.
3. Tracing the Italian lady's husband and determining his regular travel on that ferry.
4. Tracing and making contact with the descendants (UK, USA and Canada) of said ferry traveller, of which there are many (but nowhere near most of them also being descendants of said Italian lady).
5. Wondering about the distinctly Italianate appearance of several close relatives.
6, Counting days backwards from the birth of my grandmother to the probable date of conception and wondering why the closure of that ice cream shop and the removal of the perpetrator and his family to the other side of the country followed very soon after.
No, I haven't had DNA tests. I don't think they're needed.
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Old 7th September 2018, 10:39 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Also, with Ghingis Khan, one or more of his sons may not have been his. I think the eldest was born while his wife was being held hostage by a rival Khan.
Almost: she gave birth suspiciously shortly after he got her back from that rival Khan.
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Old 7th September 2018, 10:58 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
I would have thought that Australian Aboriginal populations for example might have been isolated by then.
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:14 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I would have thought that Australian Aboriginal populations for example might have been isolated by then.
Maybe so, but they haven't been for the last couple of hundred years.
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:32 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Maybe so, but they haven't been for the last couple of hundred years.
True, but even so in that time many have still been pretty socially separate
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link is 2015 data (2013 Data below):
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US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 7th September 2018, 12:13 PM   #36
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My Grandmother once did spite genealogy (she wanted to stick it to the DAR and DOC) and researched her family tree back to Billy the Conquerer. that’s not hard because once you link back to a senior noble a few generations down from any monarch you’re probably assured a path back to said monarch. So these sort of claims don’t impress me very much. It not like I’m gonna be sitting on the English throne anytime soon even if I didn’t have older brothers.
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Old 7th September 2018, 05:38 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
On a television programme recently, about DNA, Justin Berkmann (of MInistry of Sound fame) said he was related to royalty. When asked who, he replied, Edward I, and that he went back to William the Conqueror.


https://www.manchestereveningnews.co...orrie-15116911

How meaningful is being a 'fourth cousin once removed'?

Is 'going back to William the Conqueror' anything exceptional?
Do you think such associations should have an impact on the royal families and constitutional monarchies in countries in Europe today?
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Old 8th September 2018, 11:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
But apparently he also has 99% bonobo DNA! Are bonobos Irish?!
Not that old chestnut again.
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Old 8th September 2018, 11:56 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
Clearly, you don't.


Then you'd lose, as LondonJohn points out. Adam Rutherford knows exactly what he's talking about. To find out more, I highly recommend his book, A Brief History of Everyone who Ever Lived, which goes into more detail than allowed by a newspaper article.
There is a big difference between talking about the general and the specific.

I am sure I am theoretically related to actor Thomas Burke, who is 99% Irish.

However, in the meantime, he can truthfully claim to be Irish. I cannot.

As for Berkmann, his claim to related to royalty is absurd as Edward I was such a long time ago. Come back when it is within the last dozen generations or so.
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Old 8th September 2018, 12:03 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Do you think such associations should have an impact on the royal families and constitutional monarchies in countries in Europe today?
I think if we are going to have a concept of some people being 'noble' and others not, then obviously, you have to have a means of measuring it.
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