Wednesday, August 30, 2006

But I Might be the Rightful Claimant to the Spanish Crown

Not to deny props to the National Geographic DNA project, but they really shouldn't make the fine print so fine. Turns out that in my case I paid NG more than a hundred bucks to trace my DNA lineage from my own personal African Adam -- 60,000years ago -- onward through time to some guys who wandered up into the Middle East and then over to Europe and then down to the bottom of Spain fleeing the Ice Age. Oh, my grandad times several thousand was a housepainter in the sense that I am descended from the Cro-Magnons who painted the walls of their caves with bunnies and horsies and playful kittens.

Okay, just horsies. Times were hard. They were too busy wiping out the Neandertals.

That's an interesting bit of history. But then it grinds to a halt. That's it. NG has no specific opinion on what my genes say about what happened after about 10,000 years ago, no insights into what hanky and what panky my forebears got up to in the vulgar modern world.

Well, that's not exactly true. Read between the lines and it would seem that I am probably the world's whitest white man. I am supplied with the happy information that I am a member in good standing of haplogroup R1b as determined by the markers on my Y-chromosome.

The technical definition of membership in this particular group is Common as Dirt. I share the this particular genetic heritage with 70 percent of the male residents of southern England and with more than 90 percent of the male population of parts of Spain and Ireland.

Welcome to Honky Chateau, people. This is disappointing. The preconceptions of certain people will be confirmed.

Still, I like the Spanish part of this, and I can live with the Irish part.

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