Genetics can’t determine your indigenous heritage

| | November 22, 2017

Collectively, genetics studies have shown us that the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas are descended from a group that diverged from its Siberian ancestors beginning sometime around 23,000 years before present...

All genetics research to date has affirmed the shared ancestry of all ancient and contemporary indigenous peoples of the Americas, and refuted stories about the presence of “lost tribes”, ancient Europeans, and (I can’t believe that I actually have to say this) ancient aliens.

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But it’s also important to understand what genetics can’t tell us. While writing up this article, I was appalled (although not surprised) that there is at least one personal ancestry testing company that has made the claim that they can help you determine whether or not you are Beothuk based on your DNA.

Let’s be clear: all claims that a person’s tribe or indigenous nationality can be determined from their genomes are scientifically inaccurate. First, this is because there simply are no currently known genetic markers that allow us to identify individual tribes or nations; although we see geographically patterned genetic variation throughout the Americas in ancient and contemporary populations which allows us to differentiate them (as done in this study), genetic lineages are not tribal or nation-specific....

 

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: No ‘lost tribes’ or aliens: what ancient DNA reveals about American prehistory

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