Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1118235994

From: "David M. Lawrence" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Non-Participation in Genographic Project
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 09:06:34 -0400
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

How many of you who question the use of the data are scientists? I'm
one, and I happen to know quite well that one cannot analyze data you
don't have. Part of the study involves collecting samples from
indigenous populations that have not been as mobile as ours. That data
will be used to get a baseline measure of regional genetic variation.
That data will NOT reveal anything about more recent migrations and gene
flow among groups. With both data sets, scientists can ask many more
questions than they can ask with just one or the other.

I suggest Mr. Stafford work on his reading comprehension -- the reply
clearly indicates that the project hopes to answer questions of both
deep and recent ancestry. Deep ancestry is also given as one of the
goals in the project FAQ (

The response on how the data is appropriately vague, however, in that no
scientist knows all relevant questions when embarking on a project. The
answer to one question often leads to many more questions. I don't
expect Wells et al., to be able to anticipate all those other questions
in advance.

As for the ludicrous allegations that the project is just a fund-raiser
-- and those allegations are ludicrous -- I just spent more than $300
replacing lost ecological field equipment so that I can do more
fieldwork this summer. The amount that they're requesting we pay for
the transfer, $15, is negligble. That's about two or three hours for a
work-study student's wages, about one or two hours of a graduate
research assistant's wages, and only a few minutes of an information
tech's wages. It's a lot less than what I charge people for one hour of
consulting work.

Those estimates do not include costs of data processing, data storage,
or a host of other research-related charges.

If anyone continues to insist that this project has a profit motive,
I'll have to check news reports to see if they have been mentioned in
any alien-abduction cases.

Dave Lawrence

Robert Stafford wrote:
> The greater divide may be between those who believe that the public data will actually be useful to scientists studying ancient migrations and those who believe it is just a money raiser. It appears that the public portion is a financial project looking for a scientific rationale. It seems that, after the question was brought up, Wells and NGS came up with tortured explanations of how their scientists will use the data. See the rationale at the bottom of this page:
> As you can see, they are not even proposing that the data will be useful for the study of ancient migrations. Rather, it will be used for modern migrations. Thus, non-participants cannot be accused of "hostility to exploring those [ancient] origins." A direct financial contribution to the project would give more bang for the buck to the study of ancient migrations.
> It is hard to see how new DNA results will add anything to the mounds of statistics already available to document modern migrations. Even if they were useful, I would rather see data collected in a more methodical manner.
> Bob Stafford
> "David M. Lawrence" <> wrote:
> I don't think an apology is owed you or anyone else. Those deep
> ancestral origins are part of your genealogy, like it or not. Your
> hostility to exploring those origins is puzzling. (What are you afraid
> of learning?)
> ==============================
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