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The Odd One Out
Posted: 30 June 2012 05:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Scottish lecturer found to be ‘grandfather of everyone in Britain’

A retired lecturer who took a DNA test to find out where his ancestors came from has been found to be directly descended from the first woman on earth, who lived 190,000 years ago.

Ian Kinnaird, 72, has a genetic marker inherited from his mother that traces his ancestry to an African lineage that has not been found before in Western Europe.

Researchers from Britain’s DNA, who carried out the tests, said the result meant that in genetic terms he was a “thoroughbred”, and could be described as the “grandson of Eve, or the grandfather of everyone in Britain”.

They were so surprised by the results that they phoned Mr Kinnaird, a widower who lives in the far north of Scotland, to break the news to him.

They told him his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), passed through the female line, was 30,000 years old and only two genetic mutations removed from the first woman, while most men have a genome with around 200 mutations since the earliest humans.

Alistair Moffat, the historian and rector of St Andrews University, who was involved in setting up the DNA project, said: “It is an astonishing result and means he could have been in the ‘Garden of Eden’.

“It is further proof that even white Anglo-Saxon Protestants are descended from a black Eve.”

The project has now tested 2,000 people across the United Kingdom and most have markers that trace their ancestry back up to 3,500 years,

These defined them as descendants of various groups including the earliest Britons, the Ancient Irish, Vikings, hunter gatherers and cave painters.

The project aims to map Britain’s “family tree” and previously found that the actor Tom Conti shared an ancestor with Napoleon Bonaparte.

Mr Kinnaird, of Halkirk, Caithness, who taught at the North Highland College in Thurso, and was a tutor for the Open University, said he was interested in history but had no particular expectations when he paid £200 for the test.

It also showed his “fatherline” is Scandinavian and he carries a YDNA marker which is found in a quarter of Norwegian men.

He said: “I have led an unremarkable life until now but my computer has been red hot since I was told. This is a real gobsmacker. I seem to carry a gene from west Africa that arrived through the slave trade.

“I have been researching the links between the slave trade and Liverpool, the area where the female side of my family came from. Africa was part of my geography degree at Hull University in 1959, but I couldn’t have imagined anything like this.”

Mr Kinnaird’s L1B1 genetic marker will also be carried by his sister Jean, 65, a retired teacher who taught in Wigan, and the daughter she had at the age of 17 who was given up for adoption.

Mr Moffat, who set up Britain’s DNA with James Wilson, a geneticist

from Edinburgh University, said the unassuming lecturer was a “remarkable” individual.

He added: “This lineage appears in Africa, in Senegal, but has never been seen in north-west Europe. It is likely to have reached Britain through the arrival of slaves in Liverpool.

“A woman who might be called Eve and a man who might be called Adam really existed.

“Eve, the mother of all of us, lived around 190,000 years ago just as homo sapiens were evolving. Other women lived at the same time but only Eve’s mtDNA survived.

“Adam also lived in central Africa, perhaps only 140,000 years ago. Only his YDNA survived to father all of the male lineages on earth.

“Mr Kinnaird cannot pass on his mtDNA, but his sister could and she had a daughter who will carry the lineage.”

The tests by Britain’s DNA suggest 32 per cent of British men are descended from the Pretani, or original Britons, more than 12 per cent have

Germanic ancestry, 11 per cent are hunter gatherers and more than seven per cent are Ancient Irish.

Source.

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Posted: 30 June 2012 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The tests by Britain’s DNA suggest 32 per cent of British men are descended from the Pretani, or original Britons, more than 12 per cent have Germanic ancestry, 11 per cent are hunter gatherers and more than seven per cent are Ancient Irish.

11 procent of Brits are still hunter-gatherers?

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Posted: 30 June 2012 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Also, title and byline are hopelessly incorrect: all of us, not just this single Brit, can trace our ancestry to “African Eve”, that is the whole point of “African Eve”. And she was not the first woman on earth. She was the first woman who’s genetic line still survives. (and in fact, “she” was probably a number of genetically close women rather than one individual)

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The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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Posted: 30 June 2012 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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What the article really tried to tell but hopelessly screws up, is that the man apparently has genetic markers only found in West Africa, which suggests a (recent) ancestor of him was an African. And potentially but not necessarily a slave. Not necessarily, because many Western slave traders actually married daughters of local West African rulers, thus creating family bonds that assured the supply of slaves (local, that is indigenous, West African rulers were the main suppliers of slaves to Western slave traders).
Also, I get from it that a larger part of his MtDNA has retained “old” genes compared to most other people.

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The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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Posted: 30 June 2012 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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LaMa - 30 June 2012 07:02 AM

The tests by Britain’s DNA suggest 32 per cent of British men are descended from the Pretani, or original Britons, more than 12 per cent have Germanic ancestry, 11 per cent are hunter gatherers and more than seven per cent are Ancient Irish.

11 procent of Brits are still hunter-gatherers?

Living at Menorca and getting my fair share of Brittons, I would say yes.

 

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Posted: 30 June 2012 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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LaMa - 30 June 2012 07:03 AM

Also, title and byline are hopelessly incorrect: all of us, not just this single Brit, can trace our ancestry to “African Eve”, that is the whole point of “African Eve”. And she was not the first woman on earth. She was the first woman who’s genetic line still survives. (and in fact, “she” was probably a number of genetically close women rather than one individual)

Which title?
Mine or theirs?

 

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Posted: 01 July 2012 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Unfairly Balanced - 30 June 2012 10:05 AM
LaMa - 30 June 2012 07:03 AM

Also, title and byline are hopelessly incorrect: all of us, not just this single Brit, can trace our ancestry to “African Eve”, that is the whole point of “African Eve”. And she was not the first woman on earth. She was the first woman who’s genetic line still survives. (and in fact, “she” was probably a number of genetically close women rather than one individual)

Which title?
Mine or theirs?

 

Theirs

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The Kruger-Dunning effect is rampant on internet fora.
J. Kruger & D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it: how difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. J Pers Soc Psychol. 77, 1121-1134

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Posted: 01 July 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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phew

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Posted: 01 July 2012 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I can actually believe I hear you guys talking…interesting conversation, interesting notes LaMa and now I can blissfully go back to the ‘soup of America’ where we’re all about .01% of everyone else ever born?

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SilentTone: hulitoons blog of just plain silliness?
UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: ‘I am because we are.)”  So, I AM because WE are

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Posted: 01 July 2012 06:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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As a volunteer medic who sees what people do to one another in central Scottish cities any weekend there’s a major sporting event or any other public event on, I’m inclined to say that 11% of the British population might well be hunter-gatherers although that might be giving them too much credit! You certainly encounter plenty of inarticulate, aggressive people with primitive weaponry and a desire to use it in central Scotland if that counts! Not sure what they’d hunt and gather though. Pigeons? Each other? Too far south to hunt haggis!

Getting back to some form of relevance though, it is an interesting subject, just the linked to article does seem to miss the point a fair bit. Mind you, it’s not surprising, the way UK papers have been furiously sacking staff of late, in an attempt to keep their heads above water, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Telegraph truly has nobody left who can properly understand, or write authoritatively on, scientific matters. And even then they’re far from the worst in the country for this sort of thing. The really grubby tabloids’ grasp of scientific matters tends to extend to lurid front page articles claiming that ill-defined ‘Experts’ claim that within five years, we’ll all be dead.

There’s a good book on scare phenomena that I have around here somewhere, called “Scared to Death” by Booker and North, (details to follow when I find the thing!), that has some fantastic examples of newspapers managing to invent astounding predictions based on a total lack of understanding of research into illnesses, as well as a strong media desire to ‘sex up’ stories to sell more papers. My favourite is one from the UK’s Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE) scare of the 1990s, where a major paper claimed confidently that “Leading Experts” predicted that by the turn of the 21st century, millions would be dead from BSE, the National Health Service would have collapsed, civil order would have broken down, and the UK would’ve become a pariah state too badly affected for other countries to want to help, with the Channel Tunnel, for example, blocked by “miles of French concrete” to stop British people getting out! I really have to look it up again, some of the articles are truly hilarious once they’ve entered history and there’s no chance of anyone still taking them seriously! The trouble is, at the time, poor reporting really does have an effect on the way a lot of people see the world.

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Posted: 01 July 2012 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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C. the UK isn’t alone in any of what you speak.  The press to be the ‘first’ to report news everyone is panting for is finding a lot of comic relief here in the U.S. as well.  The latest had to do with a Supreme Court decision regarding Health Care. 

I am sure that much of this is because of large cuts in reporters and writers, but in the end, if you cut too much you become not a News Station nor your reports news at all but grand stand-up comedy…..period.

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