Re: Multi-Regional vs. Replacement, was This might be an ev

John Atkinson (
Mon, 22 May 1995 07:30:06 GMT (J. Moore) writes:

>Cf> >So MtDNA does not show the effects of admixture in a lineage; it's like
>Cf> >tracing back one speck of dust in a single drop of water in a stream.
>Cf> >It tells you where the speck of dust came from (as far as it can be
>Cf> >traced) but it doesn't tell you as much as you'd hope about what parts
>Cf> >of the stream it travelled through.

>Cf> 1) Given large sample sizes, ancestory through the female line should
>Cf> be about as good an indicator as (paternal) last names - most people
>Cf> didn't move around very fast.
>Cf> -Clara A. N. Fitzgerald

>It does not, however, tell you anything about admixture or the lack of
>it, as the MtDNA proponents had claimed, and as is still claimed by
>people using it as support for the replacement theory. It tells you
>about one side of a family.

>In the same way, knowing that someones's last name is "Moore", which
>is English (although possibly changed from the Scottish [or Irish?]
>form of the surname) doesn't tell you what their ancestry consists
>of. In my case, for instance, it's mostly Danish. My name, though
>handed down through one side of the family, just as MtDNA is handed down
>through one side of the family, doesn't show the whole picture about my

Your example uses a sample size of 1. Pretty sus statistics!

On the other hand, if *everyone*'s name was Moore (known to be an English
name), this would be at least pretty good evidence for the hypothesis that
there were no (or at least very few) Danish ancestors around.

I do have my doubts about the Replacement theory. But a valid statistical
refutal of the validity of the MtDNA argument must go *much* further than
just saying "It doesn't say anything about the male line." I believe such
valid (quantitative) refutals have been attempted, with considerable