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Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1268855098


From: "Raymond Whritenour" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 15:45:00 -0400
References: <9e2b1.3875d76e.38d2394b@aol.com><BLU126-DS15F1457F7750EB09BF7863922C0@phx.gbl><420D34E2-29D8-434D-874C-09388BE92820@vizachero.com>
In-Reply-To: <9e2b1.3875d76e.38d2394b@aol.com><BLU126-DS15F1457F7750EB09BF7863922C0@phx.gbl><420D34E2-29D8-434D-874C-09388BE92820@vizachero.com>


They could have picked 8 or 12 groups, if they wanted to, but the test results for the major "racial" component of each person's ancestry would not be consistently correct, otherwise they would have used a different number of groups than they did--which was four. One wonders if EthnoAncestry's hold-up on a BGA test is due, at least partially, to their attempt to find ancestry-informative-markers for a fifth distinguishable "race."

Ray Whritenour
----- Original Message -----
From: Vincent Vizachero<mailto:>
To: <mailto:>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 1:07 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?


Doug's post just covered this actually, but the answer that you can
classify people into however many groups you think there ought to be.

If you decide there are eight groups, then you can find a way to put
everyone into one of those eight groups. DNAPrint could just as
easily run their analysis with k=2 or k=4. They picked three because,
well, triangles are elegant.

The number of groups is essentially an arbitrary decision.

VV


On Mar 17, 2010, at 12:39 PM, Raymond Whritenour wrote:

> I think this post by Ann Turner provides the best answer to this
> question, so far. If there is "no such thing as race," then how is
> the AncestrybyDNA (aka, DNAPrint) test able to distinguish the major
> biogeographical ancestry (out of four possibilities historically
> called "races") for EVERY single individual they test (excepting
> people with roughly equal amounts of two or more racial
> backgrounds)? "Race" is not a synonym for "species" (in a scientific
> taxonomy sense).


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