Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-04 > 1113252922

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Jewish/non-Jewish surname and Y-DNA results
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 13:55:22 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <>


I'd like to think that I don't have an "in a nutshell"
approach to any topic, but review and consider each
case on its own merits.

I find it disingenuous to rip into someone's argument
and accuse them of a rigid, non-scientific approach,
then basically say "other duties call so I will let
this topic go." No offense, but I'd like a chance to
respond to your accusations, particularly since you
suggest this topic will arise again when the next
"Jewish/Non-Jewish surname gets their test results."
Actually, this has become a common (and somewhat
irritating, at least to me and I hazard a guess, for
others as well) List topic these days.

I did get the "jist" from your posts that your
suggestion that Y DNA R1b results "can NOT be used to
distinguish Jewish R1b ancestry from non-Jewish R1b
ancestry" actually extended to all Y DNA & MtDNA
results. Your additional statement that "being Jewish
is being viewed as more of a cultural/religious
concept than a genetic category" seemed to support to
my interpretation.

One question you might want to think about is why
certain non-Jewish individuals want to find genetic
"proof" of Jewish ancestry, despite the strong DNA
evidence to the contrary? What is the motivation? Is
it truly scientific, or based on personal, religious
or emotional motivations? What is your own motivation
in this regard? What about the possibility of Jewish
ancestry particularly intrigues you (or is desirable
to you)? Because that's the impression I get - that
some would VERY much like to find Jewish ancestry.

Most Jews share surnames with non-Jewish - that does
not create a genetic relationship between people of
similar or identical surnames. It doesn't even create
such a relationship between non-Jews or Jews sharing
the same surname.

You are correct in stating that the "mere fact that
groups overlap and share a haplogroup says nothing
about the origin of that shared haplogroups within
those populations." I'm sorry, but that's simply not
the case with Ashkenazi R1b. I already explained the
reasons why this is so - there is no modal Jewish R1b
haplotype (as there is with all the other Middle
Eastern/Israelite/Mediterranean results such as G, J1,
J2, etc and much of the European results as well). It
is diffused through all Ashkenazi groups - both
western and eastern groups. Even Behar, who I
disagree with frequently on almost all points
regarding Ashkenazi DNA analysis, finds that the "best
candidates for haplogroups that entered the Ashkenazi
Jewish population recently via admixture include
I-P19, R-P25 and R-M17." (See the study: "Contrasting
Patterns of Y Chromosome Variation in Ashkenazi Jewish
and Host non-Jewish European Populations," Doron
Behar, 2004, Hum Genet.)

Let's truly examine the facts in a scientific fashion:
You have no family history of being Jewish. You are
R1b (a haplogroup that even Jews themselves obtained
from their European ancestors). There is no DNA
results from Jewish Semler's showing R1b haplotypes
that are similar to your own. In fact, I haven't
heard any indication that Jewish Semler's have been
DNA tested all. There is nothing to indicate Jewish
ancestry in your case.

Now I can claim Native American ancestry if I want
to(OK, guys, forget the wacky DNAPrint
Ashkenazi/Native American connection here). I have no
genealogy trail indicating any Native American
ancestry. My father's DNA is R1a - not Q or Q3. No
family history whatsoever that my family has any
Native American ancestry. Does my R1a results
"disprove" possible Native American ancestry? No.
But given the facts I just set out, it is far more
likely that I don't have Native American ancestry,
just like it is far more likely that you do not have
Jewish ancestry. 100% sure? No, nothing is 100%
certain, not even in science. But certainly in these
cases much more likely than not.

Are you actually arguing that Jews (or Native American
or substitute in your own favorite ethnic/racial
groups of choice here) need to "prove" they are
actually Jews? This is my interpretation when you
state: "it's a big leap too far for me to agree that
only be raised as Jewish is PROOF of being Jewish"?
NO? Then what proof are you suggesting? That Jews
prove their "Jewishness" through their genes?

Ellen Coffman

--- Kiernan O'Rourke-Phipps <>
wrote:> .
> It's a big leap too far for me to agree that only
> being raised as Jewish is
> PROOF of being Jewish. Yes, it's proof of being
> raised as ethnically Jewish,
> but it says very little to me about one's genes.
> My two cents.
> Nice sharing points of view with you! Other duties
> are calling so I will let
> this topic go. No doubt it will roll around again
> when the next person with
> a Jewish/Non-Jewish surname gets their test results!
> Thanks,
> Kiernan

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