Re: tracing Polish Jewish origin through blood group markers

Ethan Vishniac (
6 Mar 1995 01:35:48 GMT

In article <>, A. Hart <> wrote:
>Do any biological anthropologists or geneticists have any theory of
>the origin of Polish Jewish ancestry?

I have a file of references that I will mail to anyone interested.

Blood groups are not a good way to trace ethnic ancestry because
they are affected by natural selection, mostly by diseases. Skin
color and skull shape are (as I understand it) similarly unreliable
because they are affected by (i.e. subject to natural selection due to)
climatic conditions.

Ashkenazim are mostly descended from Eastern Mediterranean people, but
not exclusively from the ancient inhabitants of Israel (too much
mitochrondrial diversity for that).

"Quis tamen tale studium, quo ad primam omnium rerum causam evehimur,
tamquam inutile aut contemnendum detractare ac deprimere ausit?"-Bridel

Ethan T. Vishniac
Dept. of Astronomy also Associate Professor of Astrophysiology
The University of Texas G.G. Simpson Hereditable Chair of Evilution
Austin, Texas, 78712 University of Ediacara `Knowledge, Wisdom, Beer'