Quote: Dating the Y

Dienekes comments on a new paper that attempts to estimate the age of a Y chromosomal clade:

I am constantly amazed by how the tremendous amount of effort required to identify, sample, catalogue, process, and genotype great numbers of people from around the world is accompanied by an apparently complete lack of interest in checking the basic premises on which interpretation of this data is based.

There are too few people who understand the assumptions underlying the computer programs they’re using – which, after all, are intended to be useful in a broad range of species, not just humans. Yet few species have demographic histories anything like humans.