Category: 23andme

More on Admixture Testing

Don’t compare apples to oranges.

I will attempt to explain the problems about parental populations and genetic tests for the typical Type I “movement” Nutzi dimwit. I will use simplified examples to illustrate the concept.

Let’s say Company X is assaying the autosomal genome of a Russian and trying to construct “ancestry percentages.”  The parent populations they are using as the standards of comparison are Germans and Japanese.  The Russian tests out as “95% German and 5% Japanese” (cue heavy breathing from the anti-Slavic contingent of Der Movement, Inc.).  However, if that same Russian was tested with parental populations of Russians and Japanese, the test results may be “100% Russian and 0% Japanese.”  The same basic principle applies to other groups.  The more similar the person or group tested is to the parental populations, the less “exotic admixture” they will display, and vice versa.

This does NOT mean that “race is a social construct” or “genetics is subjective” or “deconstructivism is correct.”  In the example above, the Russian’s genome is what it is, and can be identified as ethnically Russian.  However how one wishes to describe the objective reality of the genome can be subjective, or partially subjective, dependent on what parental populations are used.  And, even more fundamentally, how those parental populations are named.  What if the German population was labeled as “European” and the Japanese as “Asian.”  Then the Russian is “95% European and 5% Asian.”  On the other hand, most Germans would test as “100% European” as they are essentially being compared to themselves (in practice  of course there is statistical error, and not all Germans derive from identical genepools, so typical German percentages may vary from, say, “98-100 European” in this case.  The main point is that if Germans are being tested against a German parental population that is labelled as “European” they will have higher European percentages than other groups).

Of course, one can argue that this critique can be taken too far.  If you want to know the admixture percentages of Puerto Ricans, then using, say, Iberian, West African, and Amerindian parental populations are reasonable.  Using Puerto Ricans themselves as the parental population, and comparing Puerto Ricans to Puerto Ricans – with people getting test results of “98-100% Puerto Rican” is not going to be informative about the admixture question asked.

Fair enough.  But what if we were asking: which Hispanic group has the most admixture?  And then assume you use as the parental populations Puerto Ricans and Japanese.  Mexicans are going to show more “Asian admixture” in this case, given their greater percentage of Amerindian ancestry compared to Puerto Ricans.  If the parental populations were Mexicans and Nigerians, then Puerto Ricans would be seen as a Mexican-Nigerian mix.  

You can see that the manner in which the question is asked, and what data are used to answer it, is going to influence the interpretation of the outcome.

Subtleties like this fly right over the head of the typical “movement” fetishist.


More on DNA Testing

DNA testing.

Putting aside the issue of companies intentionally altering results for sociopolitical reasons – for which they should be sued by customers – I think these tests are reasonably good at determining majority ancestry at the continental level and also good at determining high (10-15+ %) “admixture” at the continental level as well.  23andme, with all the SNPs they use, will most likely be reasonably accurate for intra-continental majority ancestry – whether someone is of British Isles descent or more generally Northern European or Eastern European or Southern European, etc. Some other information may be more or less accurate as well, but there are limits.  As I’ve said before, I would have a healthy skepticism for any minor ancestry under 10%, definitely skeptical under 5%, and once you get below the 1-2% range it’s laughable to believe that’s realistically statistically different from zero.  The possibility that these companies screw around with customers is real; it may be more likely though that they make the significance levels so broad that they virtually guarantee some “exotic admixture” for many people, particularly those not people derived from parental populations from which gene frequencies were determined (*).

The tests are more useful than some of the more extreme detractors claim; they do work in the broad sense stated above.  But they do not work to the extent that they are advertised by the companies, and they certainly cannot be used to definitively determine ancestry in the Nutzi fashion of obsessing over “purity” – even the most stringent confidence intervals used by these companies is not at the levels commonly accepted in the literature, and these companies have already admitted that genetic distance from parental populations can create artefactual admixture.  Tools are useful when used properly and when you understand their limitations, and these tests are tools that can be used or misused.

The one good thing about these tests is the accumulation of raw autosomal DNA data, which could be used in the future for genetic kinship assays or genetic structure analyses.  Years ago, Decodeme allowed 23andme users to upload their raw data and gave back a ranked list of ethnic groups most genetically similar to the uploaded profile.  That was a form of genetic kinship analysis (crude and qualitative) that was useful, generating findings that refuted both the crazed race-deniers of the Left and the crazed ethnic fetishists of the Right.

I’d like to finish by answering certain fundamentally dishonest population geneticists, interviewed by leftist journalists, who make comments such as “there’s no thing as a White European group” and “there are no single gene variants that distinguish one group from another; we all share such variants.”

As regards the first comment, your own data refute your statement, a continental European group (which can of course be further subdivided as one gets ever more fine-grained in the analysis) clearly falls out of the data, and the fact that the group – depending on how things are studied – may be slightly fuzzy around its edges does in no way suggest it does not exist.

As far as your second comment goes, I do notice the word “single” in there, you misleading, mendacious bastards – who says single gene variants define any population group?  Isn’t that why you study hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of SNPs, you dishonest scum?

Fat chance any of these people ever doing genetic kinship assays or DifferInt analyses on large-scale human data.  It’s not “paranoia” to say they have political agendas, it is just plain fact.  Anyone who doubts that should meet some of these folks at scientific conferences, go up to them at their poster presentations, and delicately bring up the implications of their work with respect to race.  You will get a hysterical SJW tirade in response; for these people anti-racist politics are more important than scientific integrity, by at least one order of magnitude.  Still doubt it?  Read this, particularly the last paragraph.

*Consider the category “unassigned” in these test results, which for customers of certain ethnies can reach very high percentages when the most conservative confidence intervals are used (and even those confidence intervals are too “liberal” by scientific standards).  So, what does it mean?  That these people are part-Martian?  No, what is actually does mean is that these companies have very poor ethnic coverage, and when one approaches reasonable confidence intervals large fractions of these people’s genomes are left undetermined.  That also raises the question of how accurate the assigned determinations of the genome for these people are, for minority “admixture,” as noted above.

9/5/17: Answering an Ethnonationalist

Knocking down the strawmen.

First, to characterize race-first White nationalists as people obsessed with 23andMe results (or who believe “Russians are the same as the Irish”) is as much a caricature as saying all European ethnonationalists want to re-fight World War II.  In each case, you can find some who fit the description, but hardly most, much less all.

See this on 23andMe and related tests

Even in the US white nationalism is failed as a concept. Cajuns, Alaskans and Minnesotans are not the same people.

If WN has failed it has been due to poor leadership and freakish fossilized dogma, not due to the fact that we haven’t atomized ourselves enough!  Two Alaskan families are “not the same people as well” – perhaps each family should establish their own micro-state (or igloo-state)?

There is a reason why your founding fathers created the united states and not a state. 

America is hardly the same nation made by the Founders.  Local identities ultimately fail in America because the USA is so heavily “diverse.”   Minnesotans can be Somalis.  Alaskans can be Inuit. Christian Midwesterners can be illegal Mexicans brought in for a meat-packing plant. Boston liberals can be Jews.  If you say then you are talking about White Alaskans and White Minnesotans and White Midwesterners and White Bostonians – well, yes, what do they have in common – racethey are White. In America, that’s the glue that holds it all together.  Without race, local identities can – and do – devolve in to cucked civic nationalism. Let all the “people of Houston” stick together in the face of a natural catastrophe! Whites, Blacks, Browns – they all got that “south Texas” identity, don’t you know.

I would recommend white nationalists in the US to focus more on the regional and what makes them unique instead of trying to invent a bond between them and very different people on the other side of the continent.

European activists get frustrated with “uninformed Yanks” who “misunderstand Europe” and give “low-information advice.”  Well, that goes both ways.  Imagining America as a big Europe while every other person (nearly) is a racial alien of some kind does not work.  A White American who is racially aware (or at least not cucked) has much more in  common with a similar White American “on the other side of the continent” as they do with cucked Whites, or non-Whites, who share similar local cultural markers and identities.  If Europeans cannot understand the overwhelming importance of race in America and American history, then their advice is not helpful.

Also race isn’t really a necessary discussion in Europe since there are extraordinarily few Slovakians who aren’t white. 

But it is absolutely essential in America for the converse reason.  And is it really immaterial in Slovakia?  I read somewhere they are headed for majority Roma status – I presume you don’t consider gypsies to be White.  And beyond that – in today’s globalist society, the aliens are “just around the corner” – even in Slovakia.

Different people of European origin still need to stick together for the common good. 

Eliminate the word “still” and you are getting it.

Another 23andMe Fail

In a word: hogwash.

I’ve seen the “timeline” “data” from a number of people, and it’s all been as absurd as that (or more so).   If DNAPrint as “bad,” how is 23andMe better? In a gross sense it is, but in a net sense, compared to the “state of the art” at the time, and given what we should expect in 2017, and given Der Movement fantasies about absolute accuracy and precision, it’s not. For majority ancestry, no problem, but for fine-grained analyses – not good at all.

And when are any of these companies going to provide genetic kinship data to established ethnic and racial categories?  Of course, academic population geneticists shy away from genetic kinship data as well – after all, we can’t let the rubes know who they are most related to, can we?  I mean, they might get all, like, racist on us and all.

Sallis Agrees With the Alt Right on Something

Some good sense.

I essentially agree with and endorse this article, with some caveats, and it should be read together with this piece I wrote several years ago.

The article is reasonably sound, although one caveat is that if one approaches these tests with a sense of realism with respect to their limitations – limitations spelled out in my Counter-Currents piece – then getting tested may not be a bad idea.  Having the raw data could be useful if you can find someone who can do a genetic kinship analysis with it. But taking the details of the data literally – thinking that there’s a real difference between 100% A, 0% B vs. 99.3% A, 0.7% B, for example – is ludicrous. I would take even the 90% confidence readings with a large grain of salt, and the 50% confidence readings are so absurd that the salt grain needs to be the size of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

The other caveat to the article is that the comments section is mixed; some comments are useful, some are asinine, so caveat emptor.

There are two basic questions here.

1. Is 23andMe a good test?

2. Assuming an ancestry test is good, is it worthwhile?

To which I answer: 1) No and 2) Maybe, depending on context.

In an absolute sense, 23andMe is superior to DNAPrint’s tests from ~15 years ago; in a relative sense – comparing each test to the “state of  the art” available at the time – it really isn’t better at all.  With the level of understanding and methodology we have today, coupled with a prudent interpretation of the data, one could do much better.

What if a test was sound?  Well, sure, it can be interesting, but I’ll repeat something I’ve been hammering home here over the past few years – the only biopolitically relevant genetic metric is genetic kinship (at all levels of genetic integration).  If one can measure that, then it is useful. All else can be interesting, but not directly important from an EGI standpoint.

And if people are going to hysterically obsess over sub-fractional admixture percentages then this is missing the forest for the trees.

Race in the News, 8/27/16

Several items.
A lot in this article is highly stupid politicized nonsense, but this:

I asked Wells whether my percentage breakdowns of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese meant anything. “Yes,” he said, “but I think it is misleading to go to a decimal place or even to go out two digits.”

Likely has some merit. As a crude, off-the-cuff opinion, I’d say that anything less than 10% is open to reasonable skepticism, less than 5% to more stringent skepticism, and anything in the range of 1% or less is more or less ludicrous (unless strong, reproducible, and definitive evidence is given to say otherwise).
And it’s not only Koreans and such groups that have poor coverage. There are Europeans who, at the higher levels of “significance,” have really large amounts of “unassigned” ancestry.
At best this is marginally better then DNAPrint…about 15 years later. I guess though to get Der Movement to be a bit more skeptical I should praise the test, which will provoke the opposite reaction.
So: 23andme is really good, it’s the best!
The “goddess” Coulter is a documented mudshark, and the “god emperor” Trump is cuckily backpedaling faster than a LSD-dazed clown on a unicycle.

“Suddenly, I just became a huge mainstream celebrity in the intellectual world,” says D’Souza, who was inundated with speaking invitations. He also became a hot commodity among blonde conservatives. After dating Laura Ingraham and then Ann Coulter, he found the ultimate prize in Dixie Brubaker, a beautiful blonde from a conservative California family, whom he had met while working in the White House; they married in 1992. D’Souza admits, “It was my mission to marry the all-American girl.”

Race in the News, 8/6/16

Or should that read Der News?

“…the storm has only begun to gather,” indeed.
Der Movement’s favorite genetics company continues its long decline, emphasis added:

Some outdated or underused features have been discontinued in the new 23andMe experience.

These features include:
DNA Melody
Haplogroup Tree Mutation Mapper
Inheritance Calculator
ABO Blood Lab

Global Similarity

Profile SmartSearch
Family Inheritance Genome View
Reynold’s Risk Score Lab

Sure, I mean why would anyone care to know what groups they are more or less genetically similar to at the global level? After all, dat be rayciss and all.