Over the past nineteen years, it has been my privilege to have you send me your DNA from all over the world. We started way back in 2000 because I wanted people to be able to share in the excitement of the research being done in university laboratories like my own in Oxford but rarely reaching beyond the halls of academe. That has all changed and nowadays cheap DNA tests are widely available, even if their meaning is sometimes dubious. The popularity of ‘ethnic testing’ is a case in point, where even religious persuasion is given a genetic foundation by some companies. Have they never heard of the outrages of ‘racial purity’ and the eugenics movement or is it just one more business opportunity? We have never pretended that the genetic makeup of the world is anything but straightforward. We are simply not a collection of entirely separate and biologically defined ethnic groups and to pretend otherwise is scientifically invalid, misleading, divisive and dangerous. I am optimistic that genetics, used properly, will serve to dispel this falsehood and Oxford Ancestors will never offer tests that divide the people of the world into categories defined by race, ethnicity or religion.

Bryan Sykes MA PhD DSc




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