Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268689622

From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: [DNA] Y-DNA clade naming
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:47:02 -0400
References: <><><><1072FC26160F4735BC62506A750D877D@HP><>
In-Reply-To: <>

We have had *this* discussion on the list numerous times before, too.

Names like "M359.3" are simple, but unfortunately, such "shorthand" or
"vernacular" names don't give you a clue where they are on the haplotree.
Offhand, I don't know where M359 is on the tree, I would have to look it up.
The reason we use hierarchical names on cladograms is that such names tell you
exactly where they are in the tree, without having to look them up.

So, looking up M359.... I can only find an M359.2, which is a synonym for P41.2
which is the defining SNP for I2a2a. M359.2 may be the more useful name, to
you, but I2a2a is the more useful name, to me.

If you're not doing research that involves knowing where you are in the tree, or
if you're doing research that involves knowing only a small part of the tree
well, then fine, use the vernacular names. But please grant that others may be
doing research where the hierarchical labeling of the Y-DNA haplotree becomes
the more efficient system.

By the way, I made a suggestion almost exactly a year ago that we break the
hierarchical names into more readable units. I suggested quads. The thread
begins, here:

Peter Langley then made the excellent suggestion to offset the quads by
isolating the initial letter:

I've been using the system ever since, at least for the longer names:
While it takes some getting used to, now that I am used to it, I really like it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Sasson Margaliot
> Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 4:11 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Clades, Definitions, Discoveries, FTDNA
> It is not about nature of the process, it is about policy.
> The name like M359.3 is good, because it's here to stay. When
> new instance of the same change is discovered, the new one
> will become M359.4, nothing needs to be renamed.
> For a good system of tagging, the stability is a very
> important property. Writers of scientific papers do not
> use letter-digit-letter-digit designations anymore, because
> by the time article is published chances are the designation
> already will mean something else. But the
> designation like
> The designation like "J-M359" is stable, and naturally wins
> the completion and is preferred by writers.
> The tree can grow all it wants, the smart policy of tagging
> (which is the one actually used by writers) is already perfectly
< stable.
> On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 7:01 PM, Diana Gale Matthiesen
> <>wrote:
> > Sasson,
> >
> > It is not a "game," it is the nature of the process. As
> > our knowledge expands, the tree grows more branches.
> > The only way to stabilize the names is to stop doing
> > research and freeze the tree in its present state. Would that be
> > your preference?
> >
> > Diana
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: On Behalf Of
> > > Sasson Margaliot
> > > Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 10:00 AM
> > > To:
> > > Subject: Re: [DNA] Clades, Definitions, Discoveries, FTDNA
> > >
> > > The constant renaming of YDNA lineages is an addictive game,
> > > played by half-dozen important experts. If this game helps them
> > > to stay focused on their ground-breaking research, why not?
> > >
> > > Why would anybody pay attention to these renaming games? The
> > > fluid notation has no use.
> > >
> > > Sasson

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