GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1265923401
From: Wilcox Lisa <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Puzzled
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2010 13:23:21 -0800
Don't mind me, I'm sort of thinking out loud, here, rambling
On Feb 11, 2010, at 10:39 AM, Brownie MacKie wrote:
> I think that it's just a logical process that occurs regularly in
> line. My Ellises "daughtered" out. Actually I prefer to use the term
> "ended." No sons. It's just one of those things....there can't be a
> "reason" for it. Nothing causes it but the "luck of the draw." If
> carried the family name, I would think lines would "son" out. :-)
If you ignore the surname issue altogether, lines do "son out," with
respect to mtDNA, don't they?
There may not be a reason, but there's always a cause. Or several
causes. That is, there are underlying processes, even if we are
clueless about what they might be. John has explained one aspect of
the processes with math.
In the case of --what do we call it, "genomic evolution"?-- random
events are an integral part of the process, but are not always as
random as they seem. As an example, humans are very slightly likelier
to produce male offspring than female offspring. There's evidence that
attractive men are very slightly likelier to produce female offspring.
The previously mentioned genetic predisposition against carrying males
to term, and the slightly higher likelihood that females will survive
in utero. And so on.
Given that fundamental impulse of genes to self-replicate, many will,
by definition, eventually fail to do so. Genetic genealogists count on
replication errors and failures, in fact, or we wouldn't be able to
distinguish one line from another!
Lisa, slightly less puzzled