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View Diary: Ancient Ireland: Celts? (116 comments)

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  •  Although, if people understood more about (14+ / 0-)

    chromosomes and how they are passed on from one generation to the next, an awful lot of modern racism and ethnocentrism would go out the window.

    For example, the likelihood that you have inherited one single gene from any particular great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparent might be rather small.

    Why? Because you have (potentially) 256 gggggg-grandparents, and only 46 chromosomes.

    Thus, you have only about a 20% chance of having inherited one of your chromosomes from any specific gggggg-gp. You might have inherited a particular allele of a gene, even if you didn't inherit an entire chromosome, due to crossover recombination -- but crossover is "relatively" low-frequency, and to have inherited a particular crossover allele from a particular gggggg-gp, you would of course have had to inherit the corresponding chromosome from the corresponding ggggg-gp (child of the original gggggg-gp) -- and there's still only about a 35% chance of that.

    Mind you, if your great-grandmother came to America from a small Irish village, well ... you may have many fewer than 256 gggggg-grandparents. And for that matter, if your ggg-grandparent was a British aristocrat, well there again, intermarriage implies a narrowing of the ancestral tree.

    Nonetheless, the important point is this: Just because you are descended from Charlemagne, doesn't mean you inherited anything more from him in genes than you did in gold.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 11:19:24 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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