Genetic Genealogy – Its a Good Thing

“Most Likely Family Tree”

Genetic genealogy is the use of DNA testing in combination with traditional genealogical methods to infer relationships between individuals and find ancestors. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level and type of the genetic relationship between individuals.

Rapekit DNA Provider

The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. This dirtbag terrorized California, namely the Bay Area, for ten years and then slipped off under a rock for 32 years leaving 50 women, at least 13 families, and 100 households hanging without justice. The Cops had his DNA, but the creeps DNA wasn’t in the data banks. Why? Because he was a Cop and knew how to avoid detection.

OJ offs his wife and the term DNA enters our lives. Then Ancestry.com, 23andMe, etal, show up and everyone gets itnerested in their DNA history. I spat into the tube for 23andMe and lo and behold I learned, much of which I already knew or suspected, that I was descendant from the Neanderthals, and their descendants The Vikings, and their descendants The Danish and the Irish. A pretty murky bunch of ancestors, I will admit, but we all can’t descend from Kings, can we Kanut. I have friends who have gone further with Ancestry.com who have found family dating back for centuries.

One of the people that got really into this stuff figured out a way to use Genetics (23andMe) and Genealogy (Ancestry.com) to figure out who the “most likely person” may be from a DNA sample that is not in the various databases. What that means is she searched for folks with similar DNA as the dirtbag’s, then tracked those folks DNA data by building a “Most Likely Family Tree”, and then studying that family tree to find the “most likely dirtbag”.

“Most Likely Dirtbag”

She then gave the information to the Cops, and they then got a new, sample of the “most likely dirtbag’s DNA”, and ‘Voila’ his DNA matched the original rapekit sample DNA to one in a gazillion. GOTCHA DIRTBAG!!!!! Sadly the story doesn’t end here, however. Enter the ACLU.

OMG, cries the ACLU, you have not only invaded the dirtbag’s privacy, but the privacy of the rest of is entire freeking family tree. It is of no importance that you caught a dirtbag of the worst and slimiest ilk, you have invaded his privacy. Let’s see now. The Genetic Genealogist started with rapekit DNA, utilized various databases, willing provided by millions of law abiding people. Then she bonehard studied all the data to come up with the “most likely dirtbag”, and then used his (the dirtbags) newly attained DNA to catch him. ACLU, if that is an invasion of privacy, sign me up. I’m ready to be invaded. This is no more an invasion of privacy than wandering through an old cemetery looking for names.

Google invades my privacy. Genetic Genealogy makes my life better and safer. ACLU, do something useful, go after Google.

 

Growing Older

Growing Older

As I grow older, I realize that it is a time in my life to savor. The obvious why, is that time is running out. The less obvious why, is the realization of how little I have learned during my lifetime. Let me give you a case in point.

For 78 years I have been peeling banana skins from the stem end. It seemed obvious to me to grab the stem, bend it backwards and boom, the peel splits and peels right off. Actually that happens alot of the time, but when the banana is fresh and new, often the stem won’t snap, and that pesky peel splits, lengthwise, and mashes the stem end of the fruit. You’d never ask someone how to peel a banana though, would you? They’d probably tell you to go ask a monkey, or some smart aleck answer like that. So for 78 years, I have blissfully struggled.

I was watching the Nat Geo channel the other day; it was a series about our closest animal relatives, the chimpanzee. We are 96% alike, BTW, according to the people that know this sort of stuff. I was carefully watching one of the chimps, sitting on a treelimb, peeling a banana. He held the banana in one hand, and with the other, without incident, rapidly peeled the skin. I pressed the rewind for another, more scientific, look. Bing, bang, boom, the peel was off. I rewound again and I noticed the stem end was pointing down. I rewound again and this time, tapped the slo-mo button and sure enough the mystery unfolded.

He held the banana with the stem end down, with the other hand, thumb and forefinger, he pinched the opposite end and pulled. I learned three things. You are never too old to learn; second, if you want to learn the right way to do something, ask and expert; third, laugh at yourself, you are funny.