Monday, January 11, 2010

Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People

Posted By Ann Rabinowitz

Due to a message from one of the Blog readers, Jeff Miller, I was provided with a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTJFziTzOeg to a presentation made by Jon Entine in regard to his book: “Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People”. Written in 2007, the book has sparked debate about questions of who is a Jew among other things.

One of the premises he mentions is that 75-80% of Jewish males have Middle Eastern ancestry whereas 50% of Jewish females do not. This leads to the assumption that Jewish males, as they traveled and moved from place to place, took on brides from the surrounding locales. These brides assumed Jewish customs and traditions and thereon later brought up their children in their father’s culture.

He further discusses the high IQ of Abraham’s children that has been tested as well as the proclivity for forty or so inherited diseases and the issue of the Cohen Gene. All this is quite interesting stuff which has been followed in the years since its publication with many new inroads into the DNA world for Jewish researchers.

Entine, who is a long-time journalist, think tank philosopher and television producer, provides commentary on his research via his web site devoted to the book http://www.abrahamschildren.net/interviewFlashAC.htm

Remember, to look this month on the Blog for the latest DNA success story.

1 comment:

  1. 75-80% of Jewish males have Middle Eastern ancestry whereas 50% of Jewish females do not

    That doesn't make sense. Perhaps he means "75% of Y-Chromosomes (which are carried only by males) belonging to Jewish men are similar to those originating in the Middle East, while 50% of mitochondrial DNA (which is transmitted by women only) originates outside the Middle East."

    In other words, both Jewish men and Jewish women will tend to have similar proportions of their total ancestry originating in the Middle East - but the ultimate female ancestor of their female line (the mother of their mother of their mother ...) is less likely to have originated in the Middle East than the ultimate male ancestor of their male line.

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