I’ve just noted this programme that went out on St. Davids Day. It throws up a number of real surprises. Still 17 days to watch.
Who are the Welsh? What links us to the rest of the world? And what sets us apart? Jason Mohammad, Beti George and Dr Anwen Jones trace the epic journey of our DNA - along the paths of pre-history, from Africa and the Pyrenees, to Wales today. Genetic science is revealing secrets from ages long gone. But this is also an exciting story about today’s Wales. Amazingly, each one of us carries in our bodies a treasure from the distant past. Now, for the first time, ground-breaking science is creating a picture of the nation’s DNA. Bryn Terfel, Siân Lloyd and Gareth Edwards are among the first to learn the secrets of their ancient ancestors.
Alistair Moffat (who owns the company that is selling private DNA analysis behind all this) has been comprehensively debunked in Private Eye - and there’s an excellent article here about these ‘studies’:
Gutted to find that the £250 I shelled out and has told me I had a direct link to, Owain Glyndwr, could be fraudulent.
But, thanks for the link which is quite informative. Manufactured reporting news and quack science is something I expect from BBC London; though not on S4C. I’ve just sent a letter to S4C as I didn’t realise the links, possibly financial, between them and the, Moffat Partnership: if true, it stinks.
There was an item about this on Radio Cymru a couple of weeks ago in which a spokesperson for S4C stated that all of the revenue from the testing had gone to Moffat’s company and that S4C had not made a penny - no profit share, no commission, nothing.
But the point is that the whole thing just misses the point spectacularly. The Daily Mail version of the story states that “Despite their claims to a cultural kinship, the Celtic peoples do not form a single group”. Is ‘culture’ carried in our DNA? Of course not. Can you be ‘culturally kin’ to someone without sharing a single blood tie right back to the so-called mitochondrial Eve? Of course you can.
But, when all’s said and done isn’t “Mitochondrial Eve” just another theory? I mean they’ve traced back to this starting point and said it all started in Africa…Yet, what came before her?
The DNA study’s lead author, Rebecca Cann, called her colleagues’ and her choice to use Eve as the name “a playful misnomer,” and pointed out that the study wasn’t implying that the Mitochondrial Eve wasn’t the first – or only – woman on Earth during the time she lived [source: Cann]. Instead, this woman is simply the most recent person to whom all people can trace their genealogy. In other words, there were many women who came before her and many women who came after, but her life is the point from which all modern branches on humanity’s family tree grew.
It’s my believe the original, Eve was from, what is now called, Gwynedd. My proof? None! (Unless, you count the voice in my head telling me so.) It’s just what I personally hold true…Oh, I agree somewhere down the line we’re all related…Dosn’t that make we can choose our friends but not our family, redundant?
I’m most surprised at how monolithic most of England is. The fact that Cornwall and Wales are genetically more similar to their mutual neighbours than they are to each other isn’t a surprise in the least, after all the English are just Britons who adopted the culture of their conquerors.