Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-04 > 1050445356

From: "John F. Chandler" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Asiatic Peoples part II
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 17:50 EST
In-Reply-To: message <> of Tue, 15 Apr 2003 12:39:14 -0600

David wrote:
> Hello Bennett: Well, I know that last week their team was "discussing it" -
> changing the confusing East Asian designation to something that better
> reflects
> the weight of incoming data.

No, it sounds as if they are unrepentant. If, by "incoming data", you
mean the anecdotal evidence of the surprised customers, the company is
quite correct in ignoring that, and I think they will continue to do so.
Anecdotal evidence is simply not reliable. I've said that in connection
with the question of mutation rates, and it's just as true here. If
they have 1000 customers, and 10 customers complain that the results
don't make any sense, this is not a basis for changing the package.

> could eliminate a lot of the fuss by using a term such as "Asiatic". They
> indicated that the idea had merit, and would give it due consideration.

That's not the answer. More precisely, that's not a scientific answer.
It's possibly a diplomat's or lawyer's answer. "Asiatic" is a word that
can be interpreted as "East Asian" or more generally as "Asian"
depending on context. They would be saying "Asiatic (i.e., East Asian)"
and hoping that the surprised customers hear that as "Asiatic (i.e.,
general Asian)". In short, it would be deliberate deception.
Ultimately, it all comes down to where they draw the boundary on the
maps showing where each category fits. They are not going to change
those maps without a whole new series of data-gathering *and* new
results that support such boundary revisions. (I give them credit for
scientific integrity, even if there are problems with their method.)

John Chandler

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