Saturday, August 20, 2022

Eight or fourteen generations? A correction in the New Yorker

We are as closely (or distantly) related to our seventh cousins as we are to any random person anywhere in the world – or so I once read or heard. In "Ancestor Worship", an article on genealogy in the New Yorker from 9 May 2022, Maya Jasanoff at first seems to offer confirmation: "Owing to the random process of recombination, the chances are vanishingly small that any given person has inherited detectable autosomal DNA from a specific progenitor more than eight generations ago." Yet the online version of the article says "fourteen" instead of "eight", and a correction is included at the end that the article had "misstated the number of generations". (Andrew Shields, #111words, 20 August 2022)

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