Monday, March 4, 2013

A Reminder for Sinclair DNA Researchers

From time to time, I look up on the wall of my office where I keep the following pinned up -

"Objectivity in science is a value that informs how science is practiced and how scientific truths are created. It is the idea that scientists, in attempting to uncover truths about the natural world, must aspire to eliminate personal biases, a priori commitments, emotional involvement, etc. Objectivity is often attributed to the property of scientific measurement, as the accuracy of a measurement can be tested independent from the individual scientist who first reports it." source 

A DNA study is by its very nature a scientific enquiry. How are you approaching yours? Are you:
  • Looking for proof of a conclusion you've already reached?
  • Emotionally involved in the titles or nobility your ancient ancestors might have held?
  • Starting with the surname you were given and immediately looking back at medieval people who held the same surname?
Or are you:
  • Starting by finding two records for each person in your family history - grandparents, their parents, and so forth?
  • Using reasonable methodology to look across the divide from where you're stuck to where you MIGHT connect?
  • Forming loose hypotheses based on DNA SNPs rather than STRs?
  • Testing those hypotheses using reliable historical resources rather than those created in the 1800s by questionable historians? (note: I'm sure there are some good ones from the 1800s)
  • Precisely quoting your sources so others can independently repeat your research and question your conclusions?
Source - Wikipedia "Objectivity (science)"