GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-05 > 1242947196
From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] NPE
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 19:06:36 -0400
The Y-haplotree nomenclature is accurate, representative, and understandable.
It also has the great advantage that it is entirely objective and not subject to
the whims of personal taste or preference. Ask the zoological community (or me)
what chaos an arbitrary naming system produces.
Yes, eventually, as we determine the locations of even the currently known
"synonymous" SNPs, the hierarchical cladistic labels will get *very* long, which
is the reason, several months ago, I suggested we start breaking up the names:
I think the eventual consensus was to break the characters into fours, after
setting off the first letter, and I've adopted the practice:
R-1b1b-2a1b-4d is a lot easier to recognize and remember than R1b1b2a1b4d.
There is also an effective alternative to the long hierarchical subclade labels,
namely, the use of "shorthand" or "vernacular" names, which are based on the
most downstream positive SNP tested (e.g., R-U106, R-P312, R-SRY2627, and so
on). I find these shorthand names an entirely workable, easy-to-remember
substitute for the hierarchical names; and, as FTDNA is using them, my members
are using them, which mandates my using them, or at least knowing their
locations in the R haplotree.
I would not find the use of arbitrarily numbered sets (e.g., R5500) desirable
because there's no "information" in the name itself. The hierarchical names at
least tell you where in the hierarchy you are. The shorthand names at least
tell you the SNP, which can then tell you where in the hierarchy you are,
especially if you've memorized the locations of the major ones. An arbitrary
name, devoid of information, means having to keep a lookup table handy to know
what which subclade is meant by which name.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Peter A. Kincaid
> Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] NPE
> I don't see where you got the notion I was interested in
> stability. I have been an advocate of terminology that
> that is accurate/representative/understandable/concise.
> I think the R1b1b2a1a type scheme is a mess also.
> As more subsets come on board we will likely see
> something like R1b1b2a1a2a1a1a2a ... How is
> that helpful? I think it would have been better to
> have a numbering scheme once the intial letters were
> used up. In the R group for example, initial subsets
> could have been assigned R0, R10, R20 ... R90.
> Then there could be 9 more breakdowns of the
> initial group (ie. R0 gets R1-R9). When this initial
> allottment runs out 10 more can be taken from the
> next 100, and then the next 100, etc (ie. R0 group
> gets R100-R109 then R200-R209, then R300-R309,
> etc.). There is no limit to this and your get more
> appealing labels (i.e. something like R5500 is better
> than R1b1b2a1a2a1a1a2a...
> Peter. A. Kincaid