Re: Moorad's comment is sound

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Jun 24 2005 - 11:21:40 EDT

On 6/23/05, <> wrote:

"The only controversy among geneticists is how polite to be about this
> study," said Montgomery Slatkin, a mathematician at the University of
> California, Berkeley. Slatkin has written papers tracing the genetic history
> of sphingolipid disorders, a cluster of four common diseases. "I don't know
> anyone who thinks it's true."
> Is that a reference? - "I don't know anyone who thinks its true."
> He talks about struggling to be polite because THEY'RE ANGRY. THEY DON'T
You still haven't acknowledged who Montgomery Slatkin is. From Cochran's

"We are grateful for comments and help from many colleagues, not all of whom
agree with our model. ... Slatkin helped us with the population genetic

He also referenced this paper on this:

Slatkin, M. Am J Hum Genet. 2004 Aug;75(2):282-93.
A population-genetic test of founder effects and implications for Ashkenazi
Jewish diseases.

Slatkin is widely published in genetics
his computer programs are widely used. He also helped Cochran run his
program. This is the same person who gave those quotes. Note the strange
acknowledgement "not all of whom agree with our model".
 So when Slatkin says he doesn't know anyone who thinks it's true, it's
relevent. The polite part is how forcefully do you say that it is wrong. An
example of a "less polite" geneticist from the NT Times:

The authors "make pretty much all of the classic mistakes in interpreting
heritability," said Dr. Andrew Clark, a population geneticist at Cornell
University, and the argument that the sphingolipid gene variants are
associated with intelligence, he said, is "far-fetched."

The bottom line is the genetics community still believes that the diseases
are caused by founder effect and find the current research wanting (to
different degrees). The most favorable reaction I've seen is from Dr. David
Goldstein in the NY Times article. At best, Cochran has an unproven
hypothesis that hasn't been "ruled out" over and against "quite a strong
case" for founder effect.
Received on Fri Jun 24 11:24:06 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Jun 24 2005 - 11:24:08 EDT