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Tags !MOD BOX WARNING! , DNA testing , Elizabeth Warren , lying charges , racial categorization

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Old 13th March 2018, 04:43 AM   #1
applecorped
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Elizabeth Warren refuses to take DNA test

https://nypost.com/2018/03/12/warren...-to-get-worse/

"Rather than retracting or apologizing for past assertions of Native American identity that have been refuted by genealogists and historians, the Massachusetts Democrat is doubling down on her story about being a Cherokee or a Delaware."


Edited by Loss Leader:  Edited to make it clear the text is q quote from the article.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:17 AM   #2
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Well, this not-at-all-a-distraction seems perfectly relevant.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:29 AM   #3
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I like Elizabeth Warren, and consider her to be a decent presidential candidate honestly.

But I think she should attempt to clear this up, even though it's a no-win, really.

Let's say she takes the test (hopefully on an episode of Maury) and it comes back she's like 1/128th Choctaw or something. She is technically telling the truth, but it still won't be good enough.

Or, let's say it comes back she's not native American at all. Then what? She apologizes or whatever, and then moves on.

But I think she looks like she's hiding something if she doesn't do something. And "Pocahontas" as much as I hate Trump, is a pretty funny jab that will stick.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:35 AM   #4
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the one-drop of blood rule used to be enough for Americans...
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
I like Elizabeth Warren, and consider her to be a decent presidential candidate honestly.

But I think she should attempt to clear this up, even though it's a no-win, really.

Let's say she takes the test (hopefully on an episode of Maury) and it comes back she's like 1/128th Choctaw or something. She is technically telling the truth, but it still won't be good enough.

Or, let's say it comes back she's not native American at all. Then what? She apologizes or whatever, and then moves on.

But I think she looks like she's hiding something if she doesn't do something. And "Pocahontas" as much as I hate Trump, is a pretty funny jab that will stick.
And will taking this test actually do anything to silence those critics? These are people who seem highly resistant to facts and reality, so why would a test saying she is 1/16 or what ever native do to silence them?

I think there is a real cost in acknowledging the criticism at all, and that might be rather higher than benefit of apologizing or even being proved technically correct but it will never matter in their eyes anyway.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
https://nypost.com/2018/03/12/warren...-to-get-worse/

Rather than retracting or apologizing for past assertions of Native American identity that have been refuted by genealogists and historians, the Massachusetts Democrat is doubling down on her story about being a Cherokee or a Delaware.
Her claims of Native American ancestry have not been refuted, they just haven't been proven. All she has to go on are stories that were passed down from her family. With Native Americans actively trying to avoid registering in the past, and the obvious problems of tracking down information from over a hundred years ago, the best anyone looking at the genealogical records have been able to say is they can neither confirm nor deny it.

As far as a DNA test goes, well, there are only 23 base pairs of DNA in your average human, and only a 50/50 chance of passing on any one particular gene to a child. After six or seven generations, odds are against any particular descendant having any DNA from any particular ancestor.

In short, it is entirely possible that she is telling the factual truth about her ancestry, and that she will never be able to prove it.
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Old 13th March 2018, 05:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
Her claims of Native American ancestry have not been refuted, they just haven't been proven. All she has to go on are stories that were passed down from her family. With Native Americans actively trying to avoid registering in the past, and the obvious problems of tracking down information from over a hundred years ago, the best anyone looking at the genealogical records have been able to say is they can neither confirm nor deny it.

As far as a DNA test goes, well, there are only 23 base pairs of DNA in your average human, and only a 50/50 chance of passing on any one particular gene to a child. After six or seven generations, odds are against any particular descendant having any DNA from any particular ancestor.

In short, it is entirely possible that she is telling the factual truth about her ancestry, and that she will never be able to prove it.
Well that's interesting. You're saying she might have no native American DNA but is still a native american?
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:06 AM   #8
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Does anybody care?

In a similar note, Kathy Griffin is going back on tour.

On facebook, some of my Trump supporting friends are "up in arms" and annoyed at KG's tour announcement. They are posting their annoyance and suggesting boycotts and protests.

All of my friends on the left could not care less; none of them have posted a single nit about KG's tour.


I feel the same way about EW's refusal to take a DNA ancestry test.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Well that's interesting. You're saying she might have no native American DNA but is still a native american?
In theory, yes.

Let's say her great-grand father was fully native american, and the markers used to identify genes as being native american are found on genes 1,2,3 and 4. Her grandfather gets all those genes, but since her great-grandmother was European, the matching genes 1', 2', 3', and 4' do not have those markers.

So her grand father has 11', 22', 33' and 44'. Her grandfather then has her mother with another European, by chance her mother only gets the markers from 1 and 3. So her mother has 11',2'2',3'3, and 4'4'.

Her mother then has her, and can only pass along 2' and 4', and by chance passes along 1' and 3'. So Warren would have 1'1',2'2',3'3', and 4'4'. So there's no markers left despite her great grandfather being Native American.

That's a very simplified example, and a lot would depend on the markers used and the accuracy of the test being done (to my knowledge many commercially available DNA tests do a pretty poor job). Finding markers can demonstrate lineage, but failure to find markers doesn't necessarily disprove lineage.

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Old 13th March 2018, 06:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Well that's interesting. You're saying she might have no native American DNA but is still a native american?
Not sure how you are defining Native American, but yes. She might have some ancestors who were Native Americans, but their DNA is not part of her genetic makeup.

There are probably only 46 chromosomes in your genetic makeup, but barring inbreeding, you had 64 great-great-great-great grandparents. Some of them you will no longer have a genetic link to, even though they obviously must have existed. If you mapped out your family tree that far back, it would be quite possible that you would not be able to prove ancestry to any one particular member by DNA alone*.

*With the notable exception of your direct patrilineal ancestor. The male X chromosome is what makes a male a male, and if it isn't passed on the result is a female, so you can trace those lines back with genetics as far as you have samples for.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:16 AM   #11
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ancestry is determined not through the code of the genes, but of SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms).
And yes, in pure theory such markers might disappear trough mutation and recombination - but that is extremely unlikely.

No, if Warren is descendant from known Native American populations, it would probably be detectable.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:17 AM   #12
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At the risk of whatabouting, Warren's ancestry, or even her understanding about her ancestry, has little relevance to her as a person, her politics, or her motivations. On the other hand, Trump's tax returns are potentially very relevant to those things, calls for them have gone entirely ignored, and it has had no negative impact on Trump's political career.

So, why is this important? Why is this not a distraction?
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:19 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
ancestry is determined not through the code of the genes, but of SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms).
And yes, in pure theory such markers might disappear trough mutation and recombination - but that is extremely unlikely.

No, if Warren is descendant from known Native American populations, it would probably be detectable.
Do certain group have more documented SNPs than others? How complete is this field, particularly for north American ancestry?
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:20 AM   #14
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A. She shouldn't take a DNA test. Its a gross violation of privacy and we have no right nor need to know her ancestry.
B. Her story could be entirely true and she may not have Native American ancestry. It might just have been a family rumor that everybody believed. Nobody was lying they were just wrong.
C. It is funny to make fun of her for claiming Native American Ancestry, its a bit of a trope really. "I'm 1/32 Navajo on my mother's side"
D. This isn't going to change anyone's vote so who cares, other than a bid of schadenfreude.

Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
At the risk of whatabouting, Warren's ancestry, or even her understanding about her ancestry, has little relevance to her as a person, her politics, or her motivations. On the other hand, Trump's tax returns are potentially very relevant to those things, calls for them have gone entirely ignored, and it has had no negative impact on Trump's political career.

So, why is this important? Why is this not a distraction?
There is a teenie tiny bit of relevency, if she lied about it to get some sort of advantage. Its a bit of gaming the system if you are basically a WASP but use you're 1/16th Native ancestry to help with admissions to college. Doesn't matter for much and will be dismissed by those who like her and just added to the list for those who don't.

This story has zero impact except it gives grist to late night talk show hosts. I suppose when it comes to Dem primary, it may scuttle her chances but I don't think she has any more chance than Bernie did really.

Last edited by ahhell; 13th March 2018 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:26 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
ancestry is determined not through the code of the genes, but of SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms).
And yes, in pure theory such markers might disappear trough mutation and recombination - but that is extremely unlikely.

No, if Warren is descendant from known Native American populations, it would probably be detectable.
How would it be detectable if she didn't inherit any chromosomes from her Native American ancestor?
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
At the risk of whatabouting, Warren's ancestry, or even her understanding about her ancestry, has little relevance to her as a person, her politics, or her motivations. On the other hand, Trump's tax returns are potentially very relevant to those things, calls for them have gone entirely ignored, and it has had no negative impact on Trump's political career.

So, why is this important? Why is this not a distraction?
Well it seems to me that a significant component of liberal politics is promoting diversity and equality across racial/cultural lines. If it turns out to be the case that a democrat claimed to be a minority in effort to further professional ambitions, that is a problem and a story worth covering. Just like Trump claiming to be a billionaire and actually being broke, or whatever.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
How would it be detectable if she didn't inherit any chromosomes from her Native American ancestor?
Unless her ancestor managed to reproduce via parenthogenisis, she will have inherited parts of the DNA of her Native American ancestor.
What would be critical is knowing the relevant DNA sequences from known descendants of the tribes in question for comparison: she might be from an almost extinct tribe with insufficient data available.

I am curious why Warren hasn't done a private testing under a false name long ago: I assume she did an the results weren't convincing enough.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:36 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I am curious why Warren hasn't done a private testing under a false name long ago: I assume she did an the results weren't convincing enough.
That is a weird thing to assume.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:39 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
There is a teenie tiny bit of relevency, if she lied about it to get some sort of advantage. Its a bit of gaming the system if you are basically a WASP but use you're 1/16th Native ancestry to help with admissions to college. Doesn't matter for much and will be dismissed by those who like her and just added to the list for those who don't.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/el...tive-american/
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:42 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Unless her ancestor managed to reproduce via parenthogenisis, she will have inherited parts of the DNA of her Native American ancestor.
What would be critical is knowing the relevant DNA sequences from known descendants of the tribes in question for comparison: she might be from an almost extinct tribe with insufficient data available.

I am curious why Warren hasn't done a private testing under a false name long ago: I assume she did an the results weren't convincing enough.
But each chromosome only has a 50/50 chance of being passed down, and there is a limited number of chromosomes. If it was more than a handful of generations ago, and the rest of her ancestry is European, there is a good chance she would not have inherited any of those chromosomes. What is distinctive about those Native American chromosomes would be irrelevant.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:44 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
But each chromosome only has a 50/50 chance of being passed down, and there is a limited number of chromosomes. If it was more than a handful of generations ago, and the rest of her ancestry is European, there is a good chance she would not have inherited any of those chromosomes. What is distinctive about those Native American chromosomes would be irrelevant.
Which raises an interesting, if technical, question. If no native American DNA remains, can she still claim to have NA ancestry anymore? Is what determined ancestry your forefathers, or your DNA?
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
How would it be detectable if she didn't inherit any chromosomes from her Native American ancestor?
You don't have any full chromosomes from any of your grandparents, you have chromosomes made by mixing and matching the grandparents chromosomes. Chromosome pairs get mushed together and then separated out again during sexual reproduction, during the production of eggs and sperm, if I remember correctly. So you don't have a complete copy of your paternal grandfather's 21st chromosome, for example. You have a 21st chromosome made from 1/2 of your grandfather's and 1/2 of your grandmother's 21st chromosome, passed to you through the sperm. When you produce sperm or eggs, each one will contain one copy of each chromosome, but each of those chromosomes will contain DNA from all four of your grandparents, all eight of your great-grandparents, and so on.

I think I got that right, although I have not yet had my second cup of coffee and it has been more than 20 years since I took genetics. I am happy to accept correction if I got it wrong.

ETA: At any rate, genetic testing is a funny thing that does not always mean what it appears to mean. They make ancestry claims based on the presence of markers and such, but those tend to be an imperfect match with any precise genetic history. It may be possible for Warren to have some genes that are strongly associated with Native American ancestry, even if she does not actually have Native American ancestry.

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Old 13th March 2018, 06:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Which raises an interesting, if technical, question. If no native American DNA remains, can she still claim to have NA ancestry anymore? Is what determined ancestry your forefathers, or your DNA?
I don't see how your ancestry could be based on anything other than who your ancestors were. Whether you inherited DNA from them is another matter entirely.
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Old 13th March 2018, 06:58 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Chromosome pairs get mushed together and then separated out again during sexual reproduction, durung the production of eggs and sperm, if I remember correctly. You don't have any full chromosomes from any of your grandparents, you have chromosomes made by mixing and matching the grandparents chromosomes.
(Disclaimer, my biology education is limited to AP Bio in high school plus some required college level classes that I don't remember anything about)

Yeah, you don't get a full chromosome from your parents. You get half of one. Which is the point being made - if i have half of a chromosome with markerA and the other half has markerB, and I only pass on the half with markerA, markerB is lost.

So that was the question - if by luck, all the halves of the chromosomes your great-great grandfather don't get passed to you how would you be able tie a lineage to him with your DNA?

That's a serious question BTW.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:00 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by bonzombiekitty View Post
(Disclaimer, my biology education is limited to AP Bio in high school plus some required college level classes that I don't remember anything about)

Yeah, you don't get a full chromosome from your parents. You get half of one. Which is the point being made - if i have half of a chromosome with markerA and the other half has markerB, and I only pass on the half with markerA, markerB is lost.

So that was the question - if by luck, all the halves of the chromosomes your great-great grandfather don't get passed to you how would you be able tie a lineage to him with your DNA?

That's a serious question BTW.
If I recall correctly, you dont get half of a chromosome from each parent, you get (roughly) half the genetic material from a chromosome, all recombined with the other parents DNA. So it's all mixed together, not cut in half and stuck to another half.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:01 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
I don't see how your ancestry could be based on anything other than who your ancestors were. Whether you inherited DNA from them is another matter entirely.
Sounds about right, but sometimes in light of what science can find we can change definitions.

Anyway it was just an academic question.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:04 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
I don't see how your ancestry could be based on anything other than who your ancestors were. Whether you inherited DNA from them is another matter entirely.
Chromosomes are passed 50/50 from parents, but they aren't necessarily passed evenly from their parents or their grandparents. It isnt inconceivable that a particular line could disapper from one's DNA entirely by chance after several generations.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:13 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
If I recall correctly, you dont get half of a chromosome from each parent, you get (roughly) half the genetic material from a chromosome, all recombined with the other parents DNA. So it's all mixed together, not cut in half and stuck to another half.
So humans are, in fact, designed by committee?
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:20 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Like I said tiny and:
Quote:
.....evidence is contradictory over whether she used false claims of Native American heritage to gain an edge over other candidates for a job at Harvard or drew a large salary for teaching only one class.
So, if you are looking for reasons to criticize her, this is a minor something and its funny.

Edit to add, its sort of like the folks that still call trump Drumpf or small fingered. It doesn't matter its just mildly amusing.

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Old 13th March 2018, 07:22 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Chromosomes are passed 50/50 from parents, but they aren't necessarily passed evenly from their parents or their grandparents. It isnt inconceivable that a particular line could disapper from one's DNA entirely by chance after several generations.
Yes - but they tend to look for multiple markers.

There are tens of thousands of genes packed in there, maybe more. You are not going to lose all genes from one particular line within just a few generations. They currently estimate that the human genome encodes about 6.4GB of information.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:29 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Yes - but they tend to look for multiple markers.

There are tens of thousands of genes packed in there, maybe more. You are not going to lose all genes from one particular line within just a few generations. They currently estimate that the human genome encodes about 6.4GB of information.
It isn't likely, but neither is it impossible. A DNA test would be less conclusive than a well documented ancestral tree (which probably doesn't exist).
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Yes - but they tend to look for multiple markers.

There are tens of thousands of genes packed in there, maybe more. You are not going to lose all genes from one particular line within just a few generations. They currently estimate that the human genome encodes about 6.4GB of information.
But the genes don't get all mixed together like that. You have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with a bunch of genes in them. In each pair, you inherited one chromosome from your mother, and one from your father. There might be some genetic drift between one and the other, but it would be the exception, not the rule.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:40 AM   #33
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Even if the test could conclusively show she has no native american ancestry, it's a pointless thing. She apparently said she had native american ancestry based on what she was told by her family. If a DNA test shows she doesn't has that ancestry, it doesn't mean she did anything wrong - just that her family was wrong.

What would matter (and I use the term loosely for such a trivial thing) would be if she said she had that ancestry but her family never told her she did.

The whole thing is silly.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:46 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
If I recall correctly, you dont get half of a chromosome from each parent, you get (roughly) half the genetic material from a chromosome, all recombined with the other parents DNA. So it's all mixed together, not cut in half and stuck to another half.
I don't recall a mechanism that would mix up the DNA like that.

Last edited by bonzombiekitty; 13th March 2018 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:55 AM   #35
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I would refuse to take the test too.

If she takes a test and proves the family story correct, do you think she'll get a full-throated apology from her detractors, incl. Trump? Hell no.

Whereas if she doesn't, at least people whining about it come off like backwards dickheads obsessed with racial purity.
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Old 13th March 2018, 07:57 AM   #36
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I really don't understand this at all.

For context the entire concept of giving two farts about one's ancestry outside of living relatives you still interact with and/or were influenced by during your formative years makes zero sense to me.

The idea that somebody 4 or 5 generations ago belong to some arbitrary "grouping" of people has any influence on who I am now is just incomprehensible to me.

I don't get why anyone would waste the neurons demanding another human being "prove" they are linked via heredity to some other group, but I also don't understand why anyone would bring up their link to some other group in any context except pure in passing trivia at most.
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Old 13th March 2018, 08:04 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Rather than retracting or apologizing for past assertions of Native American identity that have been refuted by genealogists and historians, the Massachusetts Democrat is doubling down on her story about being a Cherokee or a Delaware.
I have no opinion of Warren one way or the other other but she’d gain more respect (well, from me at least) if she would just tell her detractors to **** themselves. Starting with The Orange One and down the line from there.

Originally Posted by C_Felix View Post
Does anybody care?
Nope.

Quote:
In a similar note, Kathy Griffin is going back on tour.
Beheading trump was a good career move - before that, I had no idea who she is or what she does. I still don’t but now I know her name.
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Old 13th March 2018, 08:27 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So humans are, in fact, designed by committee?
A committee of two. Each of whom were also designed by a committee of two, who were also designed by a committee of two...well, you get the idea.
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Old 13th March 2018, 08:32 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
But the genes don't get all mixed together like that. You have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with a bunch of genes in them. In each pair, you inherited one chromosome from your mother, and one from your father. There might be some genetic drift between one and the other, but it would be the exception, not the rule.
Again, for purposes of heritage, the genes are not being examined, but the non-coding areas of base sequences between genes. The reason being that genes cannot differ too much from human to human before they no longer function.
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Old 13th March 2018, 08:40 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Random View Post
But the genes don't get all mixed together like that. You have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each with a bunch of genes in them. In each pair, you inherited one chromosome from your mother, and one from your father. There might be some genetic drift between one and the other, but it would be the exception, not the rule.
However, that's not the end of the story. When you get conceived, as a fertilized egg, you indeed have 23 pairs of chromosomes, one from each parent, so, say, a chromosome 2F from your father and a chromosome 2M from your mother (if you have more than two chromosomes #2, one of your parents probably was a chimpanzee). During mitosis, normal cell division, in principle this is faithfully copied.

However, the production of gamets (eggs and sperm) involves another kind of cell division, meiosis, where one cell copies its chromosomes and divides into four. During that, genetic recombination may take place: two sister chromosomes get entangled and exchange a piece of their genetic material. So each of your gametes can have a different makeup of chromosome #2: either truthfully a copy of 2F or of 2M, or a strand of 2F followed by a bit of 2M followed again by the rest of 2F (as in the picture on the wiki page on genetic recombination), or most of 2M with a top of 2F (as in the picture on the wiki page on meiosis).

So you don't necessarily pass a whole chromosome to your children that's identical to one of those you got from a parent.
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