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Hungarian Sequencing Company Vets DNA For 'Gypsy Or Jew' Genes

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the borat-plus-hitler-plus-gattica dept.

Biotech 467

ananyo writes "Hungary's Medical Research Council (ETT), which advises the government on health policy, has asked public prosecutors to investigate a genetic-diagnostic company that certified that a member of parliament did not have Roma or Jewish heritage. The MP in question is a member of the far-right Jobbik party, which won 17% of the votes in the general election of April 2010. He apparently requested the certificate from the firm Nagy Gén Diagnostic and Research. The company produced the document in September 2010, a few weeks before local elections. Nagy Gén scanned 18 positions in the MP's genome for variants that it says are characteristic of Roma and Jewish ethnic groups; its report concludes that Roma and Jewish ancestry can be ruled out." Adds ananyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited." Just when you think the world is too modern for such things, modernity gets hijacked by flim-flam.

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467 comments

Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (5, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#40297513)

But did they scan him for the vampire gene?

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297549)

But did they scan him for the vampire gene?

Maybe we can isolate and remove the "thug gangsta yo" gene from knee grows. Then they'd beat up the kids who think being a criminal is cool instead of beating up the kids who want to study and better themselves for "acting white".

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (-1, Flamebait)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#40297585)

Maybe we could just scan for the racist gene and postnatally abort all of you.

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (1)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#40297753)

Being against vampires is racist now?

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (0)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about 2 years ago | (#40297809)

Did I reply to the vampire post?

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297963)

Do you always answer questions with a question?

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298423)

So what if I do?

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40298045)

Only if by "racist" you don't mean "white person who says anything bad about someone who's not white" and consider it fairly.

Re:Maybe not Gypsy or Jew... (0, Flamebait)

BronsCon (927697) | about 2 years ago | (#40298573)

I don't see anything racist in that comment, aside from, maybe, "knee grows", but, then, I would ask "What term can be used to refer to a black person and not be considered, by some, to be offensive or racist? African American? Black? Colored? Negro? Afro Puff? Porch Monkey? Nigger?". All of those offend somebody, some moreso than others; and I'd say all but the first three would be considered by most to be racist terms.

It's fact that black kids trying to better themselves are ousted for "being white" and often get the shit beat out of them. The ones who survive that are often quite successful and well-accepted members of society. Hell, one of them even got my vote for President. I wonder if all the knee grows interviewed on the news saying they were gonna vote for him "because he black" realize they would have kicked his ass in high school for "being white".

And before I get jumped for being a racist, I'm only parroting the exact argument made by most of my black friends.

Vampire (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 2 years ago | (#40297605)

Thats Rumania, not Hungary

Re:Vampire (4, Informative)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 2 years ago | (#40298449)

Transylvania is only a part of Romania (not "Rumania") after World War I. It was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before. And Hungarian is still the second language there. Nothing is simple in the Balkans :-)

This is brilliant (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297565)

Scanning the genes of your leaders for street thieves and scammers (Gypsys) AND the kikes that keep their finger in your pocketbook no matter what. Sounds like wise decision making on the officials part

ananyo is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297717)

"The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

Really? Since when?
We have a lot of blonde-haired, blue-eyed natives prancing about in Africa?

Re:ananyo is bullshit (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40297803)

Since we realized we all came out of Africa, the rift valley to be more specific.

Re:ananyo is bullshit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297899)

Not really. It's been a while since then, and the interbreeding with Neanderthals that happened only to the future caucasoids and mongoloids. In particular, light-colored hair developed twice, among caucasoids and a certain tribe of pacific islanders.

Re:ananyo is bullshit (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40298281)

I don't think the interbreeding did anything to propogate the genes. Where's the neandrathal DNA in modern humans?

Re:ananyo is bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298493)

it's all back in africa

Re:ananyo is bullshit (2)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about 2 years ago | (#40298719)

I don't think the interbreeding did anything to propogate the genes. Where's the neandrathal DNA in modern humans?

Congress?

Re:ananyo is bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297961)

The theory is bullshit.
You might as well go and fuck a female monkey, because we all evolved from the rift valley.

The test was not necessary (-1, Flamebait)

toriver (11308) | about 2 years ago | (#40297587)

Since he joined Jobbik he is too dumb to be an Ashkenazy Jew, and too subservient to authority to be Roma...

But.. (1)

David89 (2022710) | about 2 years ago | (#40297601)

Why would the ETT want to start a prosecution? Oh yeah, didn't RTFA

Re:But.. (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40297973)

Yeah, I was wondering the same question about prosecution, then read:

The ETTâ(TM)s secretary, JÃzsef Mandl, chair of medical chemistry at the Semmelweis University in Budapest, says that the certificate is âoeprofessionally wrong, ethically unacceptable â" and illegalâ. The council discussed the issue on 7 June and concluded that the genetic test violates the 2008 Law on Genetics, which allows such testing only for health purposes.

I think the larger question would be, why in the world would there be a law in finding out anything you want pertaining to your own genes??? They ARE your genes aren't they?

I suppose this guy could claim he was trying to screen himself for something like Tay-Sachs disease [wikipedia.org] or something else genetically related to being Jewish...

But still....kinda hard to see a law like this in existance...shouldn't you be able to test yourself for whatever reason you wish?

Re:But.. (3, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#40298441)

I think the larger question would be, why in the world would there be a law in finding out anything you want pertaining to your own genes??? They ARE your genes aren't they?

A few months ago I was listing to NPR, and they were having this exact debate. There was a representative from the AMA arguing that ordinary people were too stupid to interpret DNA tests, and therefore they should be illegal unless a doctor requests them. So this is not just a Hungarian thing, there are plenty of Americans who also think the world is "too modern" for you to be allowed to have knowledge about your own body.

Re:But.. (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#40298643)

And as OP shows, they were right. Uneducated people cannot interpret them correctly, so instead they work their imagination, and use the tests for racial profiling and discrimination nazi-style (notably this is the CORRECT usage of nazism, as that is exactly what nazi idea was - that humans have racial elements that make them less worthy that are genetic based on race, rather then largely independent of race, such as stupidity).

Here you see the danger of ignorance at work, yet again. Saddest part is, we already have done this particular dance in the past, several times. And it never ended well. And as sad as it is, the argument that "people need to be protected from their own ignorance" appears to have merit. Though personally, I would prefer education as a solution rather then enforcing ban on exploiting ignorance.

Re:But.. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#40298741)

...and use the tests for racial profiling and discrimination nazi-style

From reading the article, I didn't see where this individual had used his own genetic results for any type of discrimination.....but he had looked into it, to see what his own racial profile was.

I do see he's a racial issues type person....but the USE of the tests for himself, didn't seem to do any harm to anyone else.

Is finding your genetic racial disposition something that in of itself is inherently wrong?

As a hungarian (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297623)

I feel like throwing in the towel and getting the hell out of this country.

Re:As a hungarian (5, Funny)

octothorpe99 (34654) | about 2 years ago | (#40297673)

I feel like throwing in the towel and getting the hell out of this country.

Don't do that! You'll need your towel if you're going to travel!

Re:As a hungarian (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298749)

I feel like throwing in the towel and getting the hell out of this country.

Don't do that! You'll need your towel if you're going to travel!

Don't panic.

Re:As a hungarian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298665)

Thats it. I'm outta here too. (Eddig bírtam kb. én is. takarodni kell a p*csába, ha akarunk még kezdeni valamit a jövnkkel)

meaning : I could hold out this long and not longer. We've got to GTFO while we can, if we want an at least tolerable future.

Hard to know what to think of this... (4, Funny)

multicoregeneral (2618207) | about 2 years ago | (#40297641)

Why would it even matter? Unless you're some kind of right wing, neo nazi freak - oh, wait... never mind.

Re:Hard to know what to think of this... (1)

hendridm (302246) | about 2 years ago | (#40297929)

+3 Informative? Because you can't be on the right without hating Jews and Roma people I guess...

Re:Hard to know what to think of this... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298103)

+3 Informative? Because you can't be on the right without hating Jews and Roma people I guess...

I don't think Jobbik has exactly been coy about it's platform with regards to this: they DO hate Jews and Roma. Take your thinly-veiled Godwin's law reference and stuff it up your Nazi ass.

Re:Hard to know what to think of this... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298001)

Well, it doesn't matter if you don't mind this. [youtube.com]

Nonsense? (4, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40297667)

>>Adds anonyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

These are two different claims. One is that the test is nonsense, the other is that racial purity has long been discredited.

It's quite possible for both the genetic test to be valid, and to not *care* about racial purity.

While notions of race are tied up in all sorts of political correct nonsense and/or racist stereotyping, the simple fact of the matter is that there is a certain nexus of genes that are associated with what we commonly call race, and no amount of politically correct handwaving will make the science go away. Things like sickle cell anemia are associated with people of African descent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle-cell_disease#Genetics), as is Tay-Sachs in Ashkenazi Jews (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_genetics_of_Jewish_people [wikipedia.org]), high rates of adult lactase enzymes in people of Northern European descent, low rates of alcohol dehydrogenase in several Asian groups, and so forth.

Long story short, while the concept of race is socially constructed (what is considered "white" has changed significantly over the last 100 years), the labels that we do use for race can be backed up by genetic testing (by looking for clusters of genes associated with a race), and so tests like this *are* scientifically valid, even though ethically suspicious.

Re:Nonsense? (3, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#40297807)

If we are going to be scientific, drop the notion of race and use clines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cline_(biology) [wikipedia.org]

It would kind of be like applying modern astronomy to the celestial spheres: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nonsense? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297979)

Cline and race have the same definition, so their use is interchangeable. The general public knows what race means and not cline. So if you want to speak to the general public use race.

Re:Nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297897)

This is true, and it should be obvious. As far as I know characteristics like intelligence and fitness do not vary over different races, perhaps because judgements of the quality of those characteristics are variable as well. Other than that, it makes sense that a group of humans living in an area with particular characteristics would adapt to those characteristics with changes in their own characteristics. This is just evolution, a response to conditions, and could never logically lead to racial hatred, though it could expose racial tensions and conflicts. It exposes the conditions of the past.

Re:Nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297999)

As far as I know characteristics like intelligence and fitness do not vary over different races

IQ tests have consistently shown that different groups have significantly different averages. Go read Murry & Herrnstein's 'The Bell Curve'. Stating what the statistics have shown is what got the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA in big trouble right before his retirement.

Re:Nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298055)

As far as I know characteristics like intelligence and fitness do not vary over different races

Yes they do. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nonsense? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40297933)

In short, it's not nonsense that you can determine parts of heritage from genetic testing.

It IS nonsense that it matters.

Re:Nonsense? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40298013)

In cases like the Hemmings family finding out they're related to ole' Tom Jefferson, it certainly does matter, as it sheds light on an aspect of history that is traditionally not recorded and/or talked about by historians.

Re:Nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298733)

The Hemmings family is DEFINITELY talked about by historians. It's more like, recently you can't find an exhibit about Jefferson that doesn't make that a primary piece of the exhibit.......

And for the record, people knew he was sleeping with his slave even at the time.

Re:Nonsense? (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40297977)

They aren't even always ethically suspicious. I'm a pasty white guy with a father from india. 2 generations from now my descendants could wonder if my father is really my father and they actually have a great grandfather from india. That could be especially important if it turns out we carry some genetic disposition to disease that would effect women, that we will never see manifest.

If you're Black in the US you may want to know what tribe or area you ancestor was kidnapped from in africa.

Testing like this can also, on a macroscopic level, pose serious questions about any notion of racial purity. This jackass in hungary may be definitely not be partially roma or jewish, but that doesn't ask what percent of the population in hungary are.

Re:Nonsense? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298061)

low rates of alcohol dehydrogenase in several Asian groups

That's incorrect. In reality, East Asians tend to have LADH that is 10 to 15 times more efficient than in Western Europeans and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase that is 3 to 4 times less efficient. Since the reactive intermediate in the blood becomes acetaldehyde instead of ethanol, alcohol consumption causes acetaldehyde to promote vasodilation and cause the 'Asian flush'.

Re:Nonsense? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#40298123)

>>Adds anonyo: "The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited."

These are two different claims. One is that the test is nonsense, the other is that racial purity has long been discredited.

That's why the two statements are joined with the word "and"...

Re:Nonsense? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298125)

The problem here is that there are many half-truths in what you have written. Sicle cell anemia is stongly associated with some groups in Africa, and their descendants in the wider world, and those groups are also associated with darker ("black") skin. But the reverse can not be said, e.g.: not all African groups have significant instances of sicle cell enima, nor are all "black" skinned populations prone to sicle cell anemia.

The cause of course is that sicle cell anemia is only going to be evolutionarily viable/stable in areas with a high prevelence of malaria, since if you only inherit the gene that causes it from one of your parents you are rewarded with a high tolerance to malaria. This benifit is the only thing that kept this condition from removing itself from the gene pool. Outside of those specific areas, it is not prevelent in the population.

Of course that nuance is far to complicated to be taken into account in a ideology as corse as "race". So no, nothing like this goes to show the concept of race as a valid idea. The world is simply too complicated for over-generalizations like "race" to mean much.

Re:Nonsense? (3, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about 2 years ago | (#40298271)

the labels that we do use for race can be backed up by genetic testing (by looking for clusters of genes associated with a race), and so tests like this *are* scientifically valid, even though ethically suspicious.

Not so much, because hybridization is the norm, not the exception. That is, it is perfectly possible for a "white" person in the US to have many "black" genetic markers. My family has been in North American for over 300 years, and it would be astonishing if I didn't have some African, Jewish and Native American ancestors.

So while it is correct to say that "certain genetic markers have higher rates of association with certain socially constructed cultural groups" the association is sufficiently weak to be diagnostically useless. So it is clearly false to claim that genetic tests for "race" are "scientifically valid" (whatever that means... certainly they are anti-Bayesian, which is the only meaning "scientifically valid" should have.)

Furthermore, the very notion of "racial fragility" (which for some reason gets called "racial purity") is enormously stupid. Racial fragilists claim that if they have just one ancestor who happens to belong to a particular socially constructed cultural group then their own racial identity is completely destroyed (ie is fragile). Since racial identity is purely a social construct that happens to be weakly associated with minor genetic variations, this is clearly idiotic.

As an example of the lack of genetic distinction between "races": both Irish and Eastern European immigrants to Canada were once considered racially distinct from Anglo-Scottish immigrants. They were literally considered "not white" (which you allude to.) Likewise, Korean and Japanese people are genetically identical, but belong to socially distinct and often mutually antagonistic "racial" groups.

Genetic differences between cultural groups may (but do not necessarily) exist. This does not validate genetic tests for "race" because "race" is a genetically meaningless concept due to the weakness of the association between cultural groups and genetics.

Re:Nonsense? (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40298375)

>>the association is sufficiently weak to be diagnostically useless

No, it's not. That's the point. Statistical methods have enough power to determine what race a person is with, IIRC, around 13 markers checked.

If you can discriminate between two groups using stats, that means that the two groups are statistically distinct, tautologically speaking.

>>Furthermore, the very notion of "racial fragility" (which for some reason gets called "racial purity") is enormously stupid. Racial fragilists claim that if they have just one ancestor who happens to belong to a particular socially constructed cultural group then their own racial identity is completely destroyed (ie is fragile). Since racial identity is purely a social construct that happens to be weakly associated with minor genetic variations, this is clearly idiotic.

I agree it's all nonsense - it's normally called miscegenation here in the US.

As I said in my post, it is possible for racism to be nonsense while still acknowledging that science can genetically tell the socially-constructed races apart.

It's the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might make you feel.

Re:Nonsense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298311)

Genetic subgroups, OK--although based on probability, yes? But does that make a "race"? Are (Ashkenazi) Jews a "race"? Are "several Asian groups" a "race"? Better to use less-charged language, don't you think?

Re:Nonsense? (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40298459)

>>Genetic subgroups, OK--although based on probability, yes? But does that make a "race"? Are (Ashkenazi) Jews a "race"? Are "several Asian groups" a "race"? Better to use less-charged language, don't you think?

Being afraid of language never benefited anyone.

As I said, race is a socially constructed phenomenon that *also* has enough statistical differences in the people given those labels for science to discriminate between them.

I just hate it when otherwise scientifically-minded people become complete dimwits any time a politically correct urban legend turns out not to be true.

Re:Nonsense? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40298329)

It's quite possible for both the genetic test to be valid

Judaism is not encoded in anyone's DNA. People convert to Judaism all the time, and people convert away from Judaism to other religions all the time. My great-grandfather was a blond-haired, blue-eyed German who was raised by Catholic parents, who fell in love with my great-grandmother, converted to Judaism, and immigrated to America. Unless you are one of those people who thinks that converts are not really "Jews" (which is not a position that even the most hard-core ultra-orthodox Jewish movements [openly] accept), you cannot claim that genetic tests can reveal whether or not someone is Jewish.

A second issue with the tests is that there are several genetically distinct Jewish populations (hint: this is because genetics has more to do with geography than with religion). The Ethiopian Jews have a very different genetic "fingerprint" than European or Middle-Eastern Jews, and I am just going to go out on a limb and guess that the test performed on this politician did not include genetic markers from Ethiopia. I similarly doubt that genetic markers from Central Asia populations were included, or from controversial communities like the Lemba. Not all Jews have white skin, black hair, or prominent noses, and not all Jews have European DNA.

Re:Nonsense? (2)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#40298417)

Given this was taking place in Hungary, we can use some common sense and assume they are testing to see if the guy's DNA matched markers taken from Ashkenazi Jews.

Re:Nonsense? (3, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40298517)

Considering that as recently as 400 years ago, Hungary was ruled by the Ottoman Empire -- the same empire that mass numbers of Sephardic Jews ran to after the Spanish expulsion -- it is not at all unlikely that there are Hungarians who are descendants of Sephardic or even Yemenite Jews, or any of the other Jewish populations that lived under Ottoman rule. You are also ruling out the possibility that people traveled, and that some of this guy's ancestors might have found their spouse in the middle east (which is not terribly far from Hungary), or that someone from another region was traveling and met their spouse in Hungary.

The only populations you can really rule out are populations that were isolated to the point of being forgotten, like Ethiopian Jews.

Re:Nonsense? (2)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#40298705)

The criterion that whoever has a Jewish mother is Jewish though is widely accepted in pretty much all of Judaism.
And it doesn't matter if you convert, you'd still be a Jewish Catholic or Jewish Atheist or Jewish Pastafarian.

I suppose these people's racial 'logic' works on similar terms.

Re:Nonsense? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 2 years ago | (#40298771)

The problem is that they're not testing for "race". They're tasting for "racial genes", which are supposed to tell if you have any Jewish or Roma heritage.

Take a guess is that is possible. Hint: no. If you have mixed heritage, you could inherit these traits from any of the two parents, or get a mix of both. Now make such breeding to have happened many generations ago, and good luck trying to figure out now if you have any such heritage through traits or genetic testing. Chances are that even if there are any unique genetic profile to these races, it's long gone from your gene pool.

Example: a black parent and a white parent can have a black child, or a white child, or a mixed color child. There are in fact cases where two very white-looking people can have a black child or vice versa provided they have same recessive genes that are suppressed in them and expressed in their offspring. Same goes for most other "racial" features.

In case you were wondering (-1, Troll)

bennyp (809286) | about 2 years ago | (#40297679)

Europeans are still Nazi pigs

Re:In case you were wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40297801)

So are the Democrats.

Re:In case you were wondering (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40297827)

And vomiting generalized insults over a whole continent puts you on the moral high ground compared to your average neonazi idiot how, exactly?

Re:In case you were wondering (2)

gman003 (1693318) | about 2 years ago | (#40297857)

There are still Nazi pigs in Europe

FTFY. This is just proof that idiocy knows no national boundaries - there's racist fucks in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australia, Oceania and probably even Antarctica.

Unless you can definitively demonstrate that your country has never, in all its history, engaged in any sort of ethnic discrimination (or been the victim of it)...

Re:In case you were wondering (1)

value_added (719364) | about 2 years ago | (#40298697)

Do they really celebrate Running of the Jew in Antarctica?

[Sorry, someone had to slip a Borat joke]

Re:In case you were wondering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298167)

Europeans are still Nazi pigs

If only... [theneworder.org]

sort of two distinct issues (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40297713)

1. How accurate are these tests?

and 2. How ethical is doing something like that?

I think the answer on #1 is actually more complex than this summary makes it sound. The notion of pure ethnic groups is a fiction, but you can trace some kinds of population lineages using genetic markers. That's in fact some of how we've recreated early human population movements; by estimating when in time certain markers diverged between Asian and European populations, for example, we can estimate when those populations migrated out of the Middle East / Africa area where their ancestors likely originated. The HapMap [nih.gov] project maps some more recent geographical correlations.

Re:sort of two distinct issues (5, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40297887)

Anyone with even a brief understanding of the history of that region of Europe realizes that notions of racial purity are bunk. Now it is possible that the Roma and Jews are still sufficiently genetically distinct due to lower rates of interbreeding, but the fact is that the Hungarian people are, to put it vulgurally, mongrels. Even the ancient Huns themselves were likely a hodge podge of ethnic/racial groups from all over Eurasia, and Hungary has so many layers of occupation and invasion dating back to Classical times that while we can say the progenitor population probably spoke a Uralic mothertongue, you have a wide array of later groups; early Indo-Europeans, Turkic, Germanic, Latin, Slavic and on and on. If you want to find a population approaching a full blooded Hungarian, I suggest you go to Finland.

Re:sort of two distinct issues (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 2 years ago | (#40298039)

If you want to find a population approaching a full blooded Hungarian, I suggest you go to Finland.

There are no "full-blooded" Uralic peoples. Uralic/Finno-Ugrian is a linguistic appelation, not a genetic one. The Uralic languages have spread across a wide swath of genetically unrelated peoples, and the Finns have just as much a varied background as Hungarians.

No, we don't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298761)

As a Finn, I'd like to note that it's well-established that we are very inbred. There is a wide array of genetic diseases (and a few positive mutations) that can be found essentially nowhere else in the world.

Nothing but a smokescreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298323)

Everyone here is barking up the wrong tree. Political power is always driven by self-interest. Logically, only a self-interested person would consider initiating coercion against another as his means to an end (and that is the essence of all government).

Therefore, "Racial purity" is merely a gimmick that helps to consolidate political power into the hands of the elite few. Consolidation of political power is the end goal, and "racial purity" is nothing but a cheap attempt to chip away at that goal.

Crapola (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#40297751)

Considering the rather complex history of invasions and migrations through Hungary, I can't even imagine what one would qualify as a pure Hungarian. We're not talking about largely homogeneous populations like Iceland or Norway, we're talking about a country that has been the stomping ground from everyone from Central Asians to Germans to Mediterranean types. Read a history of that region. The idea that there is any kind of true full blooded "Hungarian" is daft.

Re:Crapola (4, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#40297877)

Ah, you see, the beauty of the racist fuckwit approach is that you do not have to define "true full blooded Hungarian". You only need to define single factors as "un-Hungarian" or "un-$country_of_your_choice", so that you can persecute at your heart's content. When you done with one group, you switch to the next. Keeps the population on its toes, you see?

Also, you employed reason while looking at racist crap. Never works, trust me on that.

Re:Crapola (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | about 2 years ago | (#40298065)

The idea that there is any kind of true full blooded "Hungarian" is daft.

The point wasn't to be full blooded Hungarian. The point was to not be a Gypsy or Jew.

Re:Crapola (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298147)

England on the other hand is an inbred island with bad teeth.

Re:Crapola (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40298721)

You don't have to go back that far, until not even 100 years ago "Hungary" was way more than modern day Hungary and people moved to and from. And not only in Hungary. The whole Balkan area was mixed and matched, including quite a bit of central Europe too.

It's especially funny when you see some right wing idiot demand that everyone who is not a "pure $insert_country" has to leave, and when you ask for his name you notice that at some point in history his ancestor clearly didn't stem from around the area...

Speaking as an ignorant layperson (0)

BitHive (578094) | about 2 years ago | (#40297883)

Just what makes you all so sure these guys *haven't* figured out a way to screen for racial impurities? Heck, DNA wasn't even thought to be important until recently. Time and time again ivory tower eggheads have turned out to be wrong, despite all their book learning.

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40298187)

Just what makes you all so sure these guys *haven't* figured out a way to screen for racial impurities?

The well-known patterns of intermarriage between Jews and the surrounding cultures, that's what. Jews do not generally like to admit it, but intermarriage has been happening between Jewish men and non-Jewish women for thousands of years (it is actually less common for Jewish women to marry non-Jewish men). This should not be terribly surprising, since Jews rarely lived in such isolation that they had no contact with other cultures, and one of the things that commonly happens when two cultures meet up is for people to intermarry.

It is also worth pointing out that there is no single Jewish ethnic group. There are Ashkenazic Jews, Sephardic Jews, Yemenite Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and less known populations of Jews in central Asia and Africa. These groups have distinct genetic patterns, with the exception of a common Y chromosome gene that indicates descent from the ancient priestly line (this is an uncommon gene among Jews, and has little use in ruling out that a person is the descendant of Jews; this gene is not present in Ethiopian Jews, for example).

All that being said, I take issue with the term "racial impurities." What does that even mean? If I lined up a bunch of white men, would you know which ones were Jews (hint: not at all)? If a Jewish baby and a non-Jewish baby are switched at birth, how would anyone know? Judaism has more to do with culture and religion than genetics; there is no gene that makes someone Jewish, Jewish people are not born keeping kosher or covering their heads. You can make a similar statement about Gypsies; Roma is a culture, not something that is encoded in someone's genes.

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298629)

If I lined up a bunch of white men, would you know which ones were Jews (hint: not at all)?

I believe this was just tested. But if you can handwave the results away with politically correct platitudes, I guess that means if you raise Chinese kids to be white, they'll end up having green eyes just like the Irish.

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40298659)

I believe this was just tested. But if you can handwave the results away with politically correct platitudes

I guess you have no concept of people converting to Judaism, do you? Or are you one of those people who things that converts are not really Jews?

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40298713)

If a Jewish baby and a non-Jewish baby are switched at birth, how would anyone know?

Saved my grandfather's life. By extension enabled my own to exist. Anecdotal evidence.

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (1)

hazah (807503) | about 2 years ago | (#40298723)

Just to clarify, the switch wasn't intentional. There was enough chaos to go around at the time.

Re:Speaking as an ignorant layperson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298279)

despite or because of? People were drawing maps of which racial groups lived where that were pretty accurate a hundred years ago. Talking about race became verboten in the middle of the last century, as part of the mass delusion of cultural marxism. Mommy professor says that race doesn't exist - she knows this because of the studies that have been produced to discredit the notion of race - liberals say that whites don't exist but other races are oppressed and need social services, respectable conservatives say that nothing is about race, especially race.

George Zimmerman was going to be a white man who shot an innocent black 13-year-old who was just buying skittles until the Internet screwed that up.

Eric Holder calls us cowards for not talking about race because as long as anything a conservative says about race is automatically racist the only winning move is not to play.

Political agenda here? (2)

GottMitUns (1012191) | about 2 years ago | (#40297919)

I got an impression that Slashdot is pushing a certain point of view here. What's that about "nonsense" of racial purity? Are you denying that Jews and Gypsies exist? There must genetic markers defining any racial group that physically differs. It is certainly possible to determine the likelihood of person having certain ancestry based on genetic typing.

Re:Political agenda here? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298041)

If race doesn't exist, neither does genocide. If race doesn't matter, genocide doesn't matter. What racial group is faced with mass immigration into its homelands and propaganda against having children?

Re:Political agenda here? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40298297)

There must genetic markers defining any racial group that physically differs.

You'd think so, but it's not actually the case. e.g. Any two black Africans are no more likely to have common DNA than any black African and a white European. Sure, they're both going to have higher levels of enzymes that synthesize melanin, but that doesn't tell you anything you couldn't determine by looking at them. Race is an false concept invented out of ignorance and tribalism.

Discredited as predictive, NOT for accuracy (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#40297945)

The test is of-course nonsense, and notions of 'racial purity' have long been discredited." Just when you think the world is too modern for such things, modernity gets hijacked by flim-flam.

Sorry, but you either descended from Jacob (insert the comparabl\, or you did not. We currently have the technology to measure that with a high degree of confidence.

Now, if you want to talk about whether or not an adopted Jew, or a convert, count as "really" Jewish, that gets into matters of dogma, not genetics - And don't think this extends only to the "racists" - Just as some groups would hold such ancestry against someone, orthodox Judaism considers it (specifically, matrilineal descent) a requirement.


And for the record, I consider both stances equally stupid.

Re:Discredited as predictive, NOT for accuracy (4, Interesting)

readin (838620) | about 2 years ago | (#40298295)

Sorry, but you either descended from Jacob (insert the comparabl\, or you did not. We currently have the technology to measure that with a high degree of confidence.

Jacab was how many years ago? Maybe 5000? With an average childbearing age of 25, that makes 200 generations. Ignoring inbreeding for the moment, the number of ancestors you have doubles every generation. 2 to the power of 200 is....I don't have a calculator but it is pretty darn big, many many times the number of people there were on this planet 5000 years ago or even today.

Even if you go back a mere 2000 years ago, you have 80 generations meaning you have far more ancestors than there were people.

What this implies is that you are almost certainly the descendant of every single person who was alive and had progeny in your ancestors region 2000 years ago. You can argue that that still doesn't make you descended from certain minorities, but think about that exponential growth in ancestors again. All it takes is one foreigner to come in and mix with the gene pool. 1000 years later everyone is that foreigner's descendant. There might not have been a lot of travel back then, but there was enough.

About the only way one could reasonably claim not to have ancestors of a certain race is if that race was almost completely isolated - like the American Indians or Australian aborigines. But anyone with ancestors from Europe, Asia or Africa can be pretty sure they have Jacob as an ancestor.

Re:Discredited as predictive, NOT for accuracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298553)

This is simply untrue. Jews are commanded to welcome the convert.

Re:Discredited as predictive, NOT for accuracy (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#40298585)

orthodox Judaism considers it (specifically, matrilineal descent) a requirement. And for the record, I consider both stances equally stupid.

The jews believe that the savior hasn't yet come, because Jesus couldn't pass (or refused) tests in the old testament. They're still waiting for their savior, and one of those tests is that the savior will be a descendant of a particular person. If anyone here is being stupid, it's you -- there is no jewish race. Either you descended from that specific person, or you didn't.

The jewish community has maintained geneology records to an unrivaled level of detail ever since; it's at the very heart of their religion. The scientific test is completely superfluous to them; they know who they are because they've maintained records since before we knew what DNA was. Also, a scientifically-valid test to determine whether a given person is a direct descendant of another person is a matter that has non-religious legal implications; For example, in estate proceedings.

I guess the bottom line here is that people have gotten twisted up about the definition of race and forgotten that the jewish community is a special case: Their religion is literally based on genetics, and has been unfairly lumped into racial politics; They don't care what 'race' you are today, only whether or not you descended from a specific person (or not). Science can already determine whether you've descended from Ghenghis Khan or not (there's actually a pretty good chance the answer is yes), and if you go back far enough, you'll find a point when humanity was nearly wiped out... and almost all of us are descended from one of about 20 women, the so called "genetic Eves". You can't dismiss the jewish community without dismissing good science as well.... hell, the records the jewish keep have scientific value themselves -- anyone who studies geneology will attest to this.

Test Results (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40298331)

I can't speak for the Roma, but on behalf of the Jewish people, I accept the results of this test. This idiot has nothing to do with us genetically. Cue other ethnic groups demanding he test himself so they can wash their hands of him as well. (Sadly, people like this take: "Nobody wants me" to be a compliment rather than an insult.)

bastagesGene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298387)

Can I get tested for the bastages gene instead. MY wife and I may be carriers but not full bastages. And we do know that to get ahead in this world only true bastages fully succeed. Only confirmed genetic testing would be able to vet out whom is a true bastage vs whom is acting like one as a means to an end. We must identify the Bastages.

  Also through empirical testing and anecdotal evidence Bastages is a genetic components as I have see the nicest people come from the biggest of Bastages and the biggest of Bastages raised by the nicest of parents. And though latent Bastage tendencies may be in all of us as a recessive gene, we should test and identify these Bastages early and shape their upbringing for the betterment of humanity

Then again this could all just be a load of c#$p

Are Europe's demons awakening (again)? (1)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 years ago | (#40298481)

Reading this kind of news is pretty shocking IMHO. First we have anti-ROMA racism in France, then anti-ROMA and antisemitic racism in Hungary. I really hope history doesn't repeat itself, though I'm not overly optimistic.

Hungarians are a sad bunch (3, Interesting)

Prune (557140) | about 2 years ago | (#40298495)

In talks with Hungarian friends, some of which still live there, they seem keenly aware of the poor image their country has in the eyes of the rest of the world. It's a country best known for giving the origins to history's most prolific serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory (killed ~600 young girls with torture methods that make the Spanish Inquisition look like amateur hour), and for being the de facto porn capital of Europe. Worse, the attempts of Hungarians to whitewash haven't made things much better, yet they persist. For example, last year there was quite a bit of drama on the Wikipedia page for the countess, with Hungarians trying to sanitize the Bathory article of some of the more gruesome details and putting in claims that the evidence against her was hear-say and/or politically motivated (veritably and verifiably false, as there were plenty of well-documented witnesses). When this didn't work out and much of the dishonest editing was undone (though I've still been unable to fully restore the article), they tried to shift the blame for the edit attempts on feminists. Which might have been convincing, had I not hang around Hungarian IRC channels in one of which the whole whitewash campaign was discussed.

What is "Jewish"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40298543)

Is being Jewish a religion, ethnicity, or culture? Only one - ethnicity - could even possibly be connected to genes, and even then I gather that that is not valid?

No monopoly (2)

kstahmer (134975) | about 2 years ago | (#40298547)

It’s reassuring to know that the United States of America doesn’t have a monopoly on nut cases.
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