Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269125859

From: "Raymond Whritenour" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 18:57:39 -0400
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You can have the last word, since this will be my final post. k=4 may be an input, but the results it produces are an output. You can't make k=4 mean anything you want it to! If you could do that, there wouldn't be any point in doing the analysis! And, the results we see from the k=4 analysis coincide with historically earlier ideas of racial divisions--NOT with anyone's personal arbitrary social construct. When you can explain how the paper Ann linked shows 52 ethnic groups showing up, in the k=4 analysis, exactly where we would have placed them in the traditional 4-race scheme, then, you've won this debate. ("Coincidence" is not an acceptable answer.)

Ray Whritenour

----- Original Message -----
From: Vincent Vizachero<mailto:>
To: <mailto:>
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 6:20 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] OT How many races are there?

There is a division at k=2, k=3, k=4, k=5, k=6, k=7, k=8 . . . .

When you run this sort of analysis, k is an input not an output. If
you choose k=4, then k=4.

The paper Ann linked clearly shows that you can make k equal whatever
you want (limited by the number of sampled populations, of course) and
you'll get a sensible output.

There is nothing special about k=4, except that it looks "right" to you.


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