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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default What do you think of genetic ethnic DNA testing?

    Awhile back I read about a guy who had been a principal and avid adocate for African-Americans in the southern States. He came from Creole stock and believed that the majority of his heritage was African. On a whim, he did one of those DNA mouth swab tests that offers indications of what percentages your DNA matches up with various ethnicities. He was shocked to discover that he had no African blood at all.

    I'm kind of fascinated by the idea, as we know a fair bit about 3-5 generations back and there is no Jewish background that we know of, but my brother and even father frequently are assumed to be Jewish based on their appearance. This occurs to such a degree that my brother has even called my mum a couple of times asking her if she is really sure that we are not Jewish somewhere along the line.

    Apparently one university prof in the States was gathering information for a study he was doing and offered for his class to be tested free of charge. Many took him up on it and were very surprised at the results. They were interviewed about how they viewed their cultural identity in conjuction with their genetics. Were the two separate entities, or did one impact the other?

    What do you think? If you were offered the chance to be tested, would you do it if it were free? Would you consider paying to do it? What do you see as the pros/cons?

  2. #2
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    I would definitely be interested, free or not.

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Would it bother you if you discovered something unexpected or would you just see it as something interesting?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    An interesting idea, and yes I would be inclined to determine my genetic history in a greater detail. It would be an intriguing insight into ancestry and genetic point of origin, perhaps tribal consciousness on some level.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    I would love to do a test but not coming from an immigrant nation like the States I don't think there would be many surprises.

    I used to go to school with a girl who looked totally German like everyone else but after having known her for years I finally found out that she is half Cuban. In some ways that influenced my perception of her but when it comes down to it your upbringing determines a lot of who you are, this girl had never much contact with her Cuban dad during her formative years so even despite her DNA she was still very German and it was hard to perceive her as anything else.

    I don't think it would really influence me if I found out I had African or Indian ancestors (which is very unlikely considering my very light-skinned appearance and the neck of the woods I am from), these ancestors would have lived so long ago it wouldn't have had any influence on my cultural upbringing, on who I am as a person.

  6. #6
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    Would it bother you if you discovered something unexpected or would you just see it as something interesting?
    That would almost make it better.

    It would be cool to find that much of what you think your genetic heritage is could be is wrong.

  7. #7
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    That would almost make it better.

    It would be cool to find that much of what you think your genetic heritage is could be is wrong.
    It happens quite frequently.

    However, don't put much stock in it. There are a lot of limitations on genetic testing. Women can only get information on their paternal line by having their closest male relative tested. You cannot test each line of ancestors...you only get a snapshot. So you may actually have X ancestry but the test shows only Y ancestry. The program African-American lives got criticized for leaving the crucial bit of data out.

  8. #8
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    I stopped caring where my ancestors lived about the time they died.
    If a deaf INFP falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

  9. #9
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Free of charge? Sure but I wouldn't seek it.

    Already know my mother's side back quite a number of generations and a few generations on my father's side. Both are pure Chinese but I'd kill myself laughing if it was discovered that there was another or other cultures somewhere in my lineage. I'd provide proof to my snob of a father!!

  10. #10
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I'd do it for free or possibly for a nominal fee as I'm kinda curious but I wouldn't spend a huge amount of money on it. I suppose a potential con would be if your genetic test results somewhat worked against you. Say you find that you have some genetic blood tracing to ancestors who are an ethnic minority and the society you're in is biased against that minority.
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