Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1069566051

From: <>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 00:40:58 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>

I'm truly left clueless by some of this - especially by the last
sentence in a correspondence I obviously missed, as follows; " I
especially liked a comment from one person who said, "With "their"
website, they can control the agenda, set the ground rules, filter out
the "have-nots" and demand an offering for the rite of passage."
Offering for the rite of passage? What are they talking about? Did I
miss something major? I don't understand.

Having been an active list member for a year now (almost - seems like an
eternity), but starting out as a really green newbie - and having asked
for exactly what we've been trying to provide - DNA 101 - so I could
educate myself and ask/talk intelligently - I can see absolutely no
foundation or basis for this rather offensive commentary. I have never
experienced it nor seen it. All of the "haves", by whom I mean those
who have more knowledge than me, which in the beginning was absolutely
everybody, have always been very generous and answered my questions both
onlist and offlist. We as a group are exceedingly, exceedingly
fortunate to have the group of experts that monitor and participate on
this list. I have concerns that as the list grows and genomics becomes
more mainstream, we may lose some of that expertise on our list. And if
the list treats these people poorly, they'll leave for sure. Why stay
and be abused.

Ann, our moderator assures that the tone remains civil (and answers many
questions herself) - and yes we have had some heated debates - but it
has been among those with the knowledge who were debating methodology
and process for the most part. And yes, sometimes we do play devils
advocate and ask difficult questions - but they always receive answers.
We all CARE about this topic, and yes maybe we're somewhat insane about
it at times (it's after midnight here when I often work on this stuff
instead of sleep) - but if anything it makes us more inclined to answer
questions and share - because we understand that for this technology to
fulfill its potential, for anyone to ever benefit from this in the
capacity that is possible if DNA testing ever becomes an accepted,
standard genealogical practice, we all have to educate everyone we can
get to listen.

I guess I'd like for anyone who has a serious issue with behavior, such
the person who wrote the above mentioned quote, to contact Ann (the list
administrator), or the person with whom they have the issue. If a
problem does exist, then it needs to be addressed. Perhaps we have an
issue of understanding. I don't understand what is being referenced,
for one.

For my 2cents worth, I wanted a primer, I still want a primer when I
encounter a "new" genetics topic (which is routinely), and all of the
newbies who have weighed in want a primer (I think anyway). Those who
always answer the same questions over and over again want to provide a
primer, or at least someplace to point people to so we don't have to
type the same answer repeatedly. I'm sure many people don't ask because
they don't want to either look stupid or be a pain, knowing how much
they don't know. I didn't want to - I mailed offlist for a long time.
I do agree with Ann's commentary about endorsing any one site or
individual. So Anne, is there free space someplace that provides very
basic web frames that we could simply post a compiled list of hot links
by topic. I have some in a Word document that I use, that I've
compiled, and we could simply convert it to html or convert the document
to pdf and keep it current. The site wouldn't be anyone's site - it
would be the DNA List site - if someone could volunteer to keep it
current periodically by adding new links.

Is this plausable, feasible, and will someone volunteer for the web part
of this. I don't have that skill set, but I'll help compile the list
and sort by topics. Actually, I think David volunteered to do that too,
but the recent commentary may have cooled his jets a bit.

And one last thing - I want to add that I personally am very, very
grateful for all of the people who participate on the list. Thank you.
No, we don't always agree, but everyone adds a unique perspective. I
always enjoy the various interests of the posters, from pure haplogroup
stuff to anthropology. Many minds are changed here. Healthy debates
take place here. Change in ways science is done, interpreted and used
have their genesis here. People contribute when they see a need. Look
at Charles site where he has offered free space for 2 special "list"
projects (DNAPrint and mtDNA) - and Ann's work for the group with her
MCRA calculator and DNA Print comparison spreadsheet - and David's
offers - and Ann Hart's contributions - and more. This group is not
just about taking, but about giving as well. It's one of the rare
groups in that light. I want to thank those who contribute their time
and talents to help others. While I do contribute, I'm very very clear
in the fact that I have received far more from the group's combined
efforts than I can ever contribute - and that without this group I would
never be able to handle this surname project - and would not have been
able to learn what I need to know - even though it has at times been a
painful process.

-----Original Message-----
From: David Faux [mailto:]
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 2:46 PM

You know, I have made the simplest of suggestions twice - I give up.

It appears that newcomers to the List will not be given any guidence by
the inclusion of one link to one site on the web which will get them
started and perhaps deflect some of the repeat questions that we see
here that reflect the fact that many don't have the basic understanding
of the matter to even formulate a clear question. It is not their fault
- they are brand new to the topic. I don't know why it is a "weak
agenda". It involves giving new subscribers a basic tool to get them
started (and which will serve as a reference guide at later points).
Common sense folks. I don't know if there is some hidden agenda of
which I certainly am not aware. What, so "let them eat cake"? I feel a
responsibility to help those struggling with the topic, but I also
expect that they will have done a bit of homework first. It seems that
there is a "sink or swim" attitude afoot. In addition to being a
clinician, I am also a teacher. I have a textbook for every course I
teach. It ! is an esssential tool. Is the concept different on an
Internet List where we speak of SNPs like everyone should know what this
means. How many times has Ann or others given a definition of this one

Clearly I am fazed and dazed by what I perceive to be an unfathomable
response to this matter by a cadre of individuals. I am shifting gears
for the moment - active to passive. I will join the ranks of the
"lurkers" - I really need to spend more time working on my newest
publication. I trust that those who e-mail me with various questions
will understand that for the moment I need to take a break. Good luck

David F.

Jim Hull <> wrote:
Thanks to all who privately e-mailed me with their comments and
assessments of the so-called "Newbie Scenario" which, of late, seems to
be a weak agenda for this website. Interestingly, the theme of the
e-mails I received seems to be that "all of us are "newbies" to DNA
genealogy...we all need to share and be a part of the DNA agenda...the
learned must tolerate the unlearned." I especially liked a comment from
one person who said, "With "their" website, they can control the agenda,
set the ground rules, filter out the "have-nots" and demand an offering
for the rite of passage."

Dr. David K. Faux, P.O. Box 192, Seal Beach, CA, 90740, USA

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