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The DNA Test

I sometimes think that DNA is regarded as the new magic or religion. But like all science, the results are not always clear cut as they first seem. Example: - most post-mortems reveal food in the stomach, therefore eating causes death. OK, that's a bit extreme but every week we hear of some amazing scientific "discovery" which requires just a bit more money to double check through more research. And then the claimed breakthrough is never heard of again. Anyway, DNA. I am just waiting for some bright spark to announce that the Anglo Saxons settled the West Highlands of Scotland in the distant past. This is based on the DNA of the entire population of the remote Knoydart Peninsula now being heavily Anglo Saxon. That may be what the DNA science says. But history says that the original population was forcibly removed in the mid-1800s. Attempts in 1948 to use legislation first introduced after the First World War to allow returning servicemen to claim crofts on under-used agricultural land were defeated. The courts sided with Nazi-loving landowner Lord Brocket. And I wonder how scientists would fare when it comes to untangling the DNA of the historic population of the rural Highlands anyway. Many of the long standing families were kicked off the land, or emigrated, years ago to be replaced first of all by Border shepherds and these days by English estate workers. I say "English estate workers" because it seems that every stalker and ghillie I hear interviewed on the radio is from south of the border. And then there's a problem that DNA testing is revealing very few family trees are good guides to genetic make-up. A lot of dad's in them are not biological fathers. Personally, I don't care. I think nurture is far more important than nature. It makes no difference to me if one of my great great great grandfathers is no blood relation of mine (not that I’m saying that anyone has said such a thing). I find fascination with DNA misguided and even a little fascist.  

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