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Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-09 > 1127079710


From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Basics on Ethnic Groups
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 14:41:50 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <20050918195956.1344.qmail@web33009.mail.mud.yahoo.com>


Greg:

I think your analysis may be oversimplifying a very
complex subject. While I appreciate the fact that you
are attempting to deal with the "basics" of the
haplogroup puzzle, I think your oversimplication is
problematic because it attempts to tie haplogroups
with ethnic groups without a lot of supporting
archaeological and genetic evidence to back it up.
Thus, my concern is that you are relying on your
"insight" rather than genetic, linguistic and
archaeological studies. While I have no issue with
speculation, it appears to me you may be putting forth
your "insights" as factual "basics."

While the early Celtic cultures may have appeared in
areas heavily populated later in time by the Slavic
tribes, this hardly makes them "Slavic" (which would,
according to your analysis, make them R1a, not I1b).
There is absolutely no genetic or archaeological
evidence that the I1bs were the "Celts" you speak of
and brought Celtic culture and language to the British
Isles (nor is there any evidence, for that matter,
that they were R1a). The early Celtic culture of
Europe was also found in areas that today are heavily
R1b. Not to mention that Russian populations have a
frequency of 9% haplogroup J. Thus, even if the Celts
can be said to have originated in the areas of Central
and Eastern Europe, it is likely they were mixture of
haplogroups, including R1a, I1b, J, R1b, E3b and
probably low frequencies of G as well.

I think the DNA studies on ancient Iberian and Basque
serve as warnings that one cannot assume that
contemporary populations are accurate reflections of
their ancient counterparts.

Look at it this way, Greg. R1b is believed to have
originated somewhere in the area of the northern
Levant - perhaps Anatolia and Armenia, perhaps further
east, into Central Asia. R1b is far more common now
among Europeans than among populations where it may
have originated, possibly due to founder effects and
genetic drift, or simply due to the wide-open spaces
of Europe after the LGM. Do you define your
haplogroups by the areas in which they originated or
with the contemporary ethnic groups they are now found
with the highest frequencies?

I don't think it is appropriate to define R1a as
"Slavic" or R1b as "Iberian." It reminds me of when
FTDNA was telling everyone who was haplogroup J that J
was "Jewish" because J is prevelant among Jewish
populations. R1a is very common in Slavic
populations, some more than others. R1a is also very
common in India and parts of Central Asia. There are
some researchers who believe that R1a originated in
Central Asia, not Eastern Europe. R1a may have spread
up to Scandinavian long before the Slavic tribes, as
they appear on the historical scene, even existed.

On the other hand, labels can be very useful. The
question, I think, is how to utilize them in an
accurate fashion to assist those exploring their DNA
results.

Ellen Coffman

--- "Greg W. Moore" <> wrote:

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