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BBC: Study Debunks Illegitimacy ‘Myth’

From those myth-busters at BBC News:

Study debunks illegitimacy ‘myth’

By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The rate of illegitimate births in the British population is much lower than many people believe, a study says.

It suggests an oft-quoted figure of one in 10 for the number of children fathered illegitimately is a myth.

The real number is more likely to be less than one in 25, researchers say.

The analysis looked at the connection between surnames and unique signatures on the male, or Y, chromosome in a sample of 1,678 British men.

The study by Mark Jobling and Turi King at the University of Leicester, UK, was funded by the Wellcome Trust and is published in the journal Molecular Biology & Evolution.

Referring to the one in 10 figure, Professor Jobling told BBC News: "I think it is an urban myth. But it is very often said," Professor Jobling told BBC News.

He said he often asked audiences what they thought the real figure was when he gave talks, and the rate of one in 10 came up again and again.

"What we show is that it is likely to be much lower than that. If you look directly at families without any prior suspicion of non-paternity, then you find a value of about 1% or 2%."

Hereditary surnames were introduced to Britain by the Normans at the time of the conquest.

The Y chromosome is a package of genetic material that, like a surname, is inherited from father to son more or less unchanged.

But over time, the Y chromosome accumulates small changes in its DNA sequence, allowing scientists to study the relationships between different male lineages.

It follows that men with the same surname might have very similar Y chromosomes. But adoptions, infidelity, name changes and multiple founders for one surname can cloud the picture.

However, for the 40 surnames included in the sample, the results show a strong relationship between a man’s surname and the characteristic markers carried on his Y chromosome.

This suggested many British men who share a surname also share a common male ancestor in the last few hundred years. Further, the relationship gets stronger the rarer the surname is.

This fact allowed the researchers to estimate the probability of "non-paternity", or illegitimacy, among men who share a particular surname.

Men with common surnames, such as Smith, were no more likely to have such a common ancestor than men chosen at random from the general population.

But men with rare surnames such as Attenborough, Haythornthwaite, Herrick, Stribling and Swindlehurst tended to have Y chromosomes that were very similar, suggesting a common ancestor within the past 700 years.

"Attenboroughs essentially form one big family of distant relatives," said Dr King. "The Y chromosome type was the same even across spelling variants, which confirms that the spellings of names were formalised only relatively recently."

When they compared these patterns with data from Ireland, they found a higher proportion of men with common surnames, such as Ryan, O’Sullivan and O’Neill, showed common ancestry.

However, Professor Jobling cautioned against assuming that current patterns reflected the early histories of surnames and the men who founded them.

Over several generations, some male lineages may die out altogether, while some men have better reproductive success than others – meaning their lineages become more common. This phenomenon is known as drift.

Major historical events such as the Black Death and the industrial revolution could also have affected the picture.

So assuming that names such as Attenborough were only founded by one person could be a mistake, said Professor Jobling.

Simulations carried out by the researchers showed that the chance of one male lineage surviving from a single founder through 20 generations was just 9.6%.

The study also uncovered evidence of African ancestry in some white Britons.

About 39% of men with the surname Revis who participated in the study and 10% of men with the surname Bray carried a type of Y chromosome normally found in Africa.

The practice of using hereditary surnames filtered down from Norman noble families to all classes of society so that by the fourteenth century people in many classes had surnames and by the sixteenth century it was rare not to have one.

We posted this BBC News article in its entirety because it is one of the most Orwellian pieces of gobbledygook posing as journalism that we have ever seen.

The study featured does not in any way address the first three paragraphs of the article.

It doesn’t take DNA samples to figure out whether a child is “illegitimate” or not. Nor does it take an exegesis on Norman surnames.

It is instead a very simple matter. Was the mother married to the father at the time of birth or not?

Or as the Oxford English Dictionary so indelicately puts it:


Not born in lawful wedlock; not recognized by law as lawful offspring; spurious, bastard.

Perhaps these “scientists” should concentrate on debunking the myths about how the sciences are still objective.

Or the myth that our media does not have an agenda.

For what is the purpose of this study and this press release posing as a news article but to advance the notion that illegitimacy is not a problem?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 11th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “BBC: Study Debunks Illegitimacy ‘Myth’”

  1. Trogdor says:

    No doubt, I fully expect the unwashed ignorant masses to eat these lies up, but I have so many educated liberal friends that eat it up too. Very frustrating. It’s all lawyer speak these days, and the liberal lawyers are really the people destroying our freedom and liberty.

  2. Howard Roark says:

    I’m glad you said it, SG. I was reading this article, and halfway through it I was saying to myself, “Why are they trying to complicate this issue?”

    I decided to check out the Wellcome Foundation to see if I could find some uber-Left cabal of evil scientists who were trying to shape national policy with their research. Is it possible they were trying to find reasons to undermine the notion of waiting until one is married before having children? Perhaps. Carry the thinking a little further, and you can imagine a society that simply gives up on the notion of marriage as a prerequisite for procreation. This is exactly part of the formula expressed by communists, both domestic and foreign, such as the American Fabians, the ACLU, and many individuals like John Dewey in the 1920’s and 1930’s, where it is easy to see that there is an effort to change the Judeo-Christian standards and morals of this country in order to usher in a “new age”. (source, p 129)

    Of course, this dechristianization of the West is nothing new. It was attempted in France’s Reign Of Terror, and has been gathering considerable momentum since the time of Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist theorist from 100 years ago:

    Gramsci posited that because Christianity had been dominant in the West for over 1600 years, it was therefore completely fused with Western civilization. The West, advised Gramsci, would have to be dechristianized and simultaneously atheitized by means of a “long march through the culture” so as to slowly infiltrate and then radically transform every cultural institution from the family, to the church, seminaries, schools, universities, judiciary, media, entertainment, politics, and political parties.
    Extreme (obscene) sex education was the strategy added by Lukacs. He reasoned that if Christian sexual ethics such as chastity (abstinence), fidelity, and monogamy could be undermined among children, then both the hated traditional family and Christianity would be dealt crippling blows. Towards this end, Lukacs launched radical sex education programs in the schools. Children, under the control of Bolshevik commissars, were force-fed atheism and instructed in all aspects of promiscuity while simultaneously encouraged to deride and reject their parents, pastors, and Christian moral ethics. All of this was accompanied by a reign of terror perpetrated against parents, priests, and other dissenters. Lukacs’ strategic method would later be brought to American schools by among others, the NEA, ACLU, GLSEN, and GSA. (source)

    However, after checking out the Wellcome website, I found a heritage organization in England that is rather fond of its legacy and founder, Sir Henry Wellcome. Much of the history of the organization details how effective of a salesman he was, and what a bourgeois lifestyle he led. Hard-core PETA Leftists would be appaled at Wellcome’s company today–they dutifully explain that they test on animals!

    So where is the evidence of their attempt to undermine England’s mores? It isn’t on there, of course. If they were dedicated to such things, they of course would not advertise their subversive aims.

    It was when I read of his troubled marriage that I began to think, “Maybe the Wellcome organization seeks to sell a lifestyle that results in the sale of more of their services. After all, they come from a long line of upper-class debauchery, oblivious to the ingredients that make a sound society (family, freedom, etc).”

    What do you think? Are they simply lab technicians looking to grow their profit margins or are they after bigger game?

  3. artboyusa says:

    Glad you mentioned Gramsci, Howard. His idea of creating a revolution by “capturing the culture” is central to understanding what’s going on today in what remains of the West.

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”Not born in lawful wedlock; not recognized by law as lawful offspring; spurious, bastard…….”

    Hah!! That only proves the error of the definition. One look at the people elected to our congress should convince anyone since, although every person born out of wedlock is, indeed, a bastard, not every bastard was born out of wedlock.

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