GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-05 > 1179872500
From: Pat Oliver <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Comet set fire to Northern Hemisphere 13000 years
Date: Tue, 22 May 2007 17:21:40 -0500
>Hi Diana: I enjoy reading your posts. I am new here and am trying to be an
>observer. However this post generated some thoughts in my mind about the
>present state of DNA genealogical science. I was just reading about the
>state of geophysics before plate tectonics revolutionzed that field and
>several others. All the prior work was thrown out the window - new
>language, new models etc. etc. were created.
>What this Forum is dealing with is very new. As I recall, none of this was
>much understood prior to 1990 - it truly is a new "science". But what is
>the science here? Is it identifying clusters of people with a common
>ancestry? Is it gathering groups of haplotypes together? On and on.
>I have been trying, for two years or more, to understand causal effects: a.
>Are mutations random? (I personally don't think so!!!). b. What are the
>mutation rates of the respective dys loci and are they stable? (I don't
>think so, I believe I1a, for example, has different rates at several dys
>loci than R1b) c. How do we represent relationships? By name (I don't think
>so, my name is McGregor and I am 18 mutations different from the present
>There is a lot of fundamental work that needs to be done, just getting
>everyone to use the same terms (many disciplines involved) is difficult. I
>believe someone on the forum used the term "datamaniac". I believe that is
>all we really have.
>Based on my educational experience and work background - I would like to see
>a "skunk works" type effort, cross-disciplined, to flesh the "science" out
>of what we're dealing with here. Form teams to attack the basic questions
>and at the end of the day awards can be given to the contributors, if
>appropriate. Note, in a real skunkworks environment, everyone is thrown in
>a room and the door is locked with security keys and proprietary keys and
>nothing gets out. You work ungodly hours for years at a time as a team!!!
>I don't see this problem getting much further ahead without a lot more
>cooperation and teamwork. I now leave the podium. In Vino veritas
Well said Robert!! But I believe that most, if not all, "skunk works"
efforts are/were massively funded by corporations with deep pockets
and hopes of recouping their investments through government
contracts, or by the government itself which has access to our
collective pockets. That is different from our present situation
where there are a half-dozen companies just trying to survive their
competition in a small market. That's not a friendly environment for
cooperation and teamwork.
|Re: [DNA] Comet set fire to Northern Hemisphere 13000 years by Pat Oliver <>|