Sykes’ DNA research

+4 votes
58 views
I’ve read Bryan Sykes’ books, good style, interesting research. For those of you who know more about DNA, what would be the limitations of Sykes’ research? How does his work compare with US based dna tests?
in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

Ooh. A kinda loaded, complex, and open-ended question subject to a lot of personal opinion.  But don't worry, dear readers, I will not launch into a typical essay-length reply.  :-)  For that, you can glance at this blog post.

Sykes is an undeniable pioneer in the field. But his studies--and some publications--have not been without criticism. Too, we have to keep in mind that genetic genealogy has been changing as quickly as technology in general. Bryan's last serious book was published in 2011; the last one before that, 2006. I say "serious" because his last, in 2015, was one of those that many academics and geneticists looked down their collective noses at: Bigfoot, Yeti, and the Last Neanderthal: A Geneticist's Search for Modern Apemen.

I'm positively thrilled that his company, Oxford Ancestors, was able to stay in business despite issuing a closure notice last March. We don't need DNA testing companies going out of business, and Oxford Ancestors is one of the oldest. However, in light of advancements in DNA testing in recent years, their offerings are limited.

I, too, own and have enjoyed some of his books, including The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry; Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland; and DNA USA: A Genetic Biography of America. But I'll leave it to others to offer additional commentary about limitations and comparisons.

by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (351k points)
+1 vote
While I am not able to comment on the quality of his research, the Wikipedia article on Sykes does share criticism from some in the field.

I find his books interesting, although some are getting a bit long in the tooth, and should be read in light of later research. Much progress has been made in the field, and the science continues to involve.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (501k points)

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