Genealogy, Kinship and DNA …

… Or, Why Did Your Great-great-grandfather Marry His Cousin?

A talk I’m giving ….

Genealogy reveals the structure of family relationships among distant relatives. Why do certain families intermarry while others shun each other? For the young singles, how do you calculate your suaboyä, in order to find the ideal spouse?

Brookdale Library
Thursday, April 25, 7–8 p.m.

Details

Comments

  1. #1 lynn Fellman
    April 24, 2013

    Once again I’ll miss your talk. I’m curious — will you be referring to Alan Bittles work on cousin marriage? He was at NESCent for awhile and where I read about “purging” thus kicking deleterious mutations out of the gene pool.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 24, 2013

    Well, yes and no. There are those of us who have been putting cousin marriage in proper biological context for decades, and what I’ve seen indirectly of his work looks interesting and basically right, but I’ve not had a chance to read his book.

    But yes, the benefits of marrying your cousin may very well outweigh the costs! Of course, since I have no first cousins, that’s easy for me to say. Also, Huxley’s new baby girl cousin is a parallel cousin, and I’m strictly opposed to parallel cousin marriage. Cross cousin marriage, that’s fine but parallel cousins … THAT’S UNNATURAL.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    April 24, 2013
  4. #4 Ole Phat Stu
    Germany
    April 25, 2013

    Some people (Bishop Usher) assume the world to be about 6000 years old. Assuming an average generation to be 30 years, that would be 200 generations.

    Now, even going only half way back and assuming people have 2 parents (pace Mary) , that would make for 1267650600228229401496703205376 ancestors, more people than have ever lived. Therefore there must have been some inbreeding.

    Right, that’s Kansas accounted for ;-)

    [/sarcasm]

  5. #5 Ole Phat Stu (again)
    April 26, 2013

    But seriously : Is there a structured prosopography of the families available? If so, a multivariate analysis (or e.g. the ID3 algorithm) might provide some clues.