This week everyone is a genetic scientist ~ who knew? Yep. Turns out every moron in the U.S. knows how to interpret DNA results, even if the last science class they took was bio back in 1975.
Actually, interpreting DNA results can be a challenge, as I discovered when my daughter and I took the tests a while back and received strange results. Well, she did anyway. She was 75% Ashkenazi Jewish, as expected, since her father is 100% and I’m 50% (father’s side), but she got a twelfth Irish and a twelfth mishmash. There was no significant Dutch from my mom’s father ~ no great loss, as he was a bad man. I got all excited about this and concluded that my maternal grandma lied about who got her preggers (it happens, hey, and she was a teenager), and my Ohio grandpa was an cool Irish milkman.
I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a big way that year, so happy I could delete bad man grandpa from my family tree. But to be 100% sure, I sent in a sample to be tested too… and guess what? Yep. The return of bad grandpa! O noez! And not only did my test show almost zero Irish, it pinged the specific part of the Ohio Valley where bad grandpa was from. Dang! Goodbye forever Irish milkman, waaah. It was nice never knowing you. 😢
But how could this happen? There was nothing wrong with my test. I got the 50% Ashkenazi Jewish, as I should have. And not only that, but the ancestry site correctly matched me with a cousin back East and we chatted a bit. My daughter was matched with the same cousin. (My other daughter has declined to take the test, declaring that they are a foolish waste of money. She’s a CPA.)
Later, an actual scientist, as opposed to our trolling POTUS, explained to me about how complicated the process is to determine genetic makeup. The labs use markers to compare your DNA to known samples and arrive at probabilities. The more samples they have, the more you can assume the results are closer to “true.” But they don’t look at your saliva under a microscope and find an eensy beansy shamrock ☘️.
I wrote and hosed some political stuff cuz I’d rather focus on meeee.
Btw, regarding my cousin. As it turns out, you can’t really make up for a lifetime of a non-relationship with a test match and a few emails. We don’t really have much in common to talk about after catching up on the basics. Maybe it would be different if we lived nearby and could go to lunch, but I can’t hop on a plane and spend the money for a vacay on the East Coast, as nice as it might be to meet some blood relatives.
My parents chose not to have close (or in some cases any) relationships with either of their families, for their own reasons, which means I didn’t get to either, and now after all these decades I can’t suddenly create something that never existed.