GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2000-09 > 0969909279
From: "Bryan L. Ford" <>
Subject: Re: Lines back to Adam and Eve
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 12:14:39 -0700
Chris & Tom Tinney, Sr. wrote:
> (6) This type of censorship is unwarranted,
> limiting and unnecessary. It should be
> exceedingly obvious to all on this list, as
> noted by Bryan, that "present day members
> of the hereditary priestly class of Jews known
> as Cohanim, nearly 75% show a common
> patrilineal descent by mitochondrial markers,
> and a divergence time from a common male
> ancestor at least consistent with a time near
> that of Moses and his brother Aaron"; this
> fact could NEVER be appropriately evaluated
> nor considered without the tradition and genealogies
> contained within the Old Testament record, as
> preserved by the House of Judah.
> [Sun, 24 Sep 2000 14:58:06 -0700
> From: "Bryan L. Ford" <>
> Organization: Oregon State University]
Please note that the above passage was taken from a private email I
wrote to Mr. Tinney. Lest anyone get the wrong impression, I copy the
full text (with apologies to all those who could care less) here:
> Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 14:58:06 -0700
> From: "Bryan L. Ford" <>
> Organization: Oregon State University
> To: "Chris & Tom Tinney, Sr." <>
> References: 1 , 2
> Chris & Tom Tinney, Sr. wrote:
> > I am not playing games with etymology,
> > as you incorrectly suggest. Furthermore,
> > I agree, respect and abide by "what
> > the list owner says is on-topic". This
> > includes the numerous discussions
> > concerning DNA, which you have allowed.
> > For the year 2000: Query: DNA
> > "Matching Record Count: 122".
> > Query: genetics
> > "Matching Record Count: 61"
> > For the year 1999: Query: DNA
> > Matching Record Count: 106
> > Query: genetics
> > Matching Record Count: 92
> In general these discussions relating to genetics and DNA have begun
> with on topic questions and have ultimately ended on topic. Occasional
> posters, some for lack of familiarity with scientific methods, or with
> particular aspects of population genetics or molecular biology, have
> clearly digressed out of topic. The topicality of genetic markers in a
> present living descendant of a medieval personage, is no more off topic
> than would be you or I in making a claim here of descent inferred by
> conventional genealogy from such a person.
> Since the technologies in question (DNA analysis, accelerator
> radiocarbon dating etc.) have recently come into existence or have
> recently become much more powerful tools, they are necessarily discussed
> via examples of what may be accomplished. The fact that, for example,
> the Jefferson/Hemings story does not involve medieval individuals is not
> really at issue. Discussion of such an investigation is simply an
> examplar of the possible application of this new technology to medieval
> genealogy. Just as molecular investigations of the maternal lineage of
> Neandertals are examples from prehistory-- but no less off topic in this
> case since it shows the range of time over which the technologies can be
> applied (30,000 years in one case), and hence establishes practical
> limits that clearly do not exclude examination of medieval descents.
> > You have already opened the door to
> > the history of the biological revolution,
> > which includes Darwin's ideas, to the present
> > evaluations of DNA. This is appropriate,
> > for "Although medieval natural philosophers
> > tried to approach nature objectively, they
> > found it inconceivable that nature could
> > be studied independently from God,
> > its creator, and Man, its user."
> > "Medieval Bestiaries and the Birth of Zoology,"
> > by Aura Beckhöfer-Fialho
> > http://www.antlionpit.com/aura.html
> It did not appear to me this way. The door has been always been open by
> many historical and genealogical scholars to the application of
> contemporary tools of science in addressing questions relating to
> medieval history and genealogy. The history of those scientific tools
> may be interesting but is quite irrelevant to a genealogy discussion.
> Relevant to history of science and technology of course, but not to
> > Religion was a fundamental aspect of
> > the Medieval period, the Bible and its
> > genealogies a blueprint of what Kings
> > and Rulers wished to be part of, (as noted
> > by their numerous attached connections
> > thereto). Evaluating Biblical genealogies
> > is a necessary ingredient in the professional
> > evaluation of Medieval records, (recorded
> > and passed down to present posterity), as
> > they were influenced in structure and creation,
> > to a great degree, within this framework.
> I think most subscribers here would agree that speculation about
> medieval genealogy is fair game here. Biblical descents, while perhaps
> interesting, are useful here on occasion as examples of genealogy likely
> to be impossible to confirm by conventional means. They serve as
> examplars, for many scholars here, of what not to do or at least what
> not to take too seriously. At least until _new_ evidence warrants.
> Just such new evidence occasionally surfaces, often from the application
> of emerging advanced technologies. As an example, you may recall, a
> recent external confirmation of an Old Testament issue of relatedness
> (that is a bit of biblical genealogy) comes from analysis of the DNA of
> ostensible present-day descendants of Aaron. That is, in present day
> members of the hereditary priestly class of Jews known as Cohanim,
> nearly 75% show a common patrilineal descent by mitochondrial markers,
> and a divergence time from a common male ancestor at least consistent
> with a time near that of Moses and his brother Aaron.
> Thomas MG, et al. Origins of Old Testament priests. Nature. 1998 Jul
> Skorecki K, et al. Y chromosomes of Jewish priests.
> Nature. 1997 Jan 2;385(6611):32.
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