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From: "Raymond Whritenour" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 17:34:21 -0400
References: <9e2b1.3875d76e.38d2394b@aol.com><BLU126-DS15F1457F7750EB09BF7863922C0@phx.gbl><420D34E2-29D8-434D-874C-09388BE92820@vizachero.com><BLU126-DS13D4450536247AD6B9EDAB922C0@phx.gbl><9AA83833-1542-4CAA-8890-D1E7CEC502F0@vizachero.com>
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Vincent:

How, then, do you explain, for example, that with a control population of about 100 Mexican Indians, they were then able to identify every person with majority Native American ancestry in the entire Western Hemisphere who took the test? (And, a similar control population versus test population occurred with the other three "races," with similar correct results!) They were NEVER able to discover markers which distinguish Japanese from Vietnamese, nor Italians from Norwegians; but, they were ALWAYS able to distinguish "East Asians" from "Europeans."

Ray Whritenour
----- Original Message -----
From: Vincent Vizachero<mailto:>
To: <mailto:>
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?


Raymond,

I think you are missing the point. There would be nothing more or
less correct about them using 2 or 8 or 500 categories. They
obviously face a practical limit in that they cannot sample every
possible biogeographic population.

Who knows exactly why they used four. My guess is that it was
convenient, or that four is what they thought their customers might
expect, or that they thought. I can assure you that there is no magic
formula that told them "four" is the "right" number.

VV


On Mar 17, 2010, at 3:45 PM, Raymond Whritenour wrote:

> 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.


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