GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2012-02 > 1329506480
Subject: Re: [DNA] Out of Africa
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2012 19:21:20 +0000 (UTC)
>> I have explained here many times a very simple and basic thing: in DNA
>> genealogy you operate not with generations per se, but with a product "kt", >> which is a product of the generation length and the mutation rate constant.
> John Chandler
>Unfortunately, the father-son mutation studies have shown that the
relevant time-like unit for Y-STRs is the literal generation. That
means the rate constant "k" must be calibrated in mutations per
literal generation, not per year. The corresponding value of "k" in
mutations per year isn't a constant after all, but rather a
socio-geo-econo-political variable that must be determined
independently for each situation.
>> For example, the mutation rate constant 0.12
>> mutation/haplotype/generation for the 67 marker haplotypes is valid ONLY >>for 25 years per (conditional) generation.
>In fact, that isn't a constant at all and is not valid EXCEPT when the
actual average literal generation length is equal to that of the
specific set of data used to come up with that figure. Since you don't
know the actual average literal generation length for that figure, you
It seems that I have explained to you earlier, and not once, how I view your "position", but, apparently, to no avail. Well, I have to repeat it because with your "position" you do a disservice to this community, and to science in general.
Let me explain.
Your "statements" present a good example of a passive negative view, of a soft rejection of what it is known and described in the scientific literature. Of course, you have a complete right to expose a negative mentality, you are in a free country after all. On the other hand, and on the same reason I have an equally complete right to explain how I read it.
It is negative because you do not suggest anything instead of what you are trying to dismiss. Zero. You do not have any proof (regarding what you have said) except your negative feelings, you do not have data. Just empty words. I would be able to understand and accept it if you come up with, say, fifty different datasets, with actually known distant chronology, and show that the calculated TMRCAs (using, e.g., my methodology and the mutation rate constants) give a systematical deviation, "beyond reasonable doubt". I would truly appreciate it. It would have been a positive contribution to the issue. Have you done it? No, you have not. You have just pronounced some dismissive words.
Now, what if you have shown as a (possible) result of the work, described above, that in fact those chronology, determined independently, fits the calculated TMRCAs, albeit with some margin of error? Hmmm, you would probably say, who could though of such an outcome? It seems that those generation lengths average themselves, and with 50-100-200-300 generations they indeed make into an average and pretty reproducible figure.
Have you done it? No, you have not. You keep just pronouncing some dismissive words with no support besides your "feelings" and "preconceived knowledge".
Now, I have news for you. I have done it. The paper is published in "Advances in Anthropology" http://www.scirp.org/journal/aa/ , and I gave here a reference, but you probably did not bother to read it and to see DATA. If you did, why would not you be more specific and to show what is incorrect about it. Instead, you repeat those negative words. You did not bother to pay attention that the cited paper has employed 3160 haplotypes, most of them in the 67 marker format, and from various haplogroups and subclades, of 55 lineages total. Many of them had a documented common ancestor. How can you possibly be negative after it?
I appreciate much more an opposite modus operandi. I appreciate when a critic goes ahead, analyzes DATA, and shows what he/she got. It might be erroneous results, in that case there is an opportunity to discuss them, openly. It might be correct and justified results, and in this case science is a winner. What did you do? You did not show data, so there is no basis for your words. They are, I repeat, empty.
Frankly, it is a pseudo-scientific (or couter-scientific) approach. Because science is not developing via negative "criticism", it is developed with ONLY positive hypothesis, data, observations, which move science ahead. You now try to pull it back.
With the same attitude you can say that there should be no life, because it woul be statistically improbable. You might even show your calculations. However, look around, there is life around. You can say, and "formally" rightly so, that thermodynamic quantitative considerations can be applied only to infinitely diluted solutions, and it is senseless to apply them to real solutions. However, those who think positively go ahead and EXAMINE it, and it turned out that in many cases the system works. Granted, there are some deviations at high concentrations, however, it works at some moderate concentrations pretty good. The theoretical basis of chemical kinetics is far from perfect, however, people get Nobel prizes for their works in chemical kinetics. My direct mentor, Nikolay Semenov, was one of them. He was head of my chair of chemical kinetics, and he taught us, young students, that we should never pay attention to negative "criticism" unless the critic offers a solution of the problem. I teach my students the same thing. Now I teach you, as you see.
Best regards, and with sympathy,