I want to introduce a new guest blogger here at Anthropology.net, his name is Jon Entine and he’s a very well known producer and writer. You should be interested in his work.
His new book, Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People and a companion website, integrates genealogy and genetics with religion and identity and to help understand the shared biblical ancestry of Jews and Christians. This book enters at a very poignant point; I think this is a critical time where we will see experiments test the genetic component and origin of cultural identities.
Ancestry.com recently found out that 25% percent of their people they polled have sought genetic researchers for more information about their ancestors. And of that 25% about 11% have taken or sponsored a single test, while another 14.% are already on their second test and third, according to the survey. In addition almost 60% plan on taking steps to learn more about their own genealogy.I predict this interest to understands our genetic geneaology will all get more with Ancestry.com’s cheap at-home genetic tests.
This interest in genetic genealogy started off in academia. Back in 1997 I remember reading reports in Nature of the results of a genetic genealogy analysis of 188 Jewish males from Israel, England and North America, I was astonished. The subjects’ Y chromosome led researchers to identify a unique array of six markers, shared in 97 of the 106 who identified themselves as descendants of Cohanim, descendants of the Jewish family who claim to be direct descendants of the biblical Aaron. Now opening up a discussion with that implies there’s genetic evidence to support the religion is like cracking open Pandora’s box, but it is really important to correlate a genetic similarities to cultural identities.
Currently, I’m helping Jon get situation with blogging here. He will be blogging under the screen name ‘abrahamschildren’ and I welcome the opportunity to have him blog at Anthropology. Personally, I can’t wait to read more from him.