View Full Version : All Whites Descended from Karl der Grosse?: a Genealogist/Mathematician Speaks

Saturday, January 17th, 2004, 06:47 PM
A genealogist and evidently a mathematician by the name of Jack Lee puts forth the proposition @ http://www.oz.net/~lee/Genealogy/charlemagne.html (http://www.oz.net/~lee/Genealogy/charlemagne.html) that: "there is virtually no chance that anyone of European ancestry is not directly descended from Charlemagne." I think he puts forth a good case...as hard as it is to believe. I welcome any and all (esp. mathematical) challenges to this man's notion.

Friday, January 23rd, 2004, 05:33 AM
I'm not sure it could be refuted. But here is a quote from someone who tried:

Uncle Genghis meet Uncle Charlemagne: A number of you have written to me over the past few days to comment on this column's suggestion that one in every 200 men alive today is a descendent of Genghis Khan, and some of them are perhaps even descendents of Charlemagne as well. Richard Bixby took issue with both suggestions and had this to say about them:

"The fundamental flaw in the 'mathematics' of 'Everyone is descended from Charlemagne' is the assumption that the number of actual ancestors 40 generations back is anywhere near 2 to the 40th power, resulting in the ludicrous number of one trillion ancestors. While the author does mention cross-breeding, he makes no attempt to quantify its effect on his math, as that would simply deflate his 100% hypothesis. In fact, cross-breeding is something most genealogists see regularly - often it is as much a question of how two people are related or how many times/ways they are related, as it is whether they are related at all.

"The probability of descent from Charlemagne for Europeans is surely quite high, but assuming it's practically 100% just because 2^40 is a huge number doesn't make sense. If it did, then those descendents of Genghis Khan would also be descended from Charlemagne, because they would have 2^40 ancestors, too, which would surely include Charlemagne and every other European alive at the time. Not only are the number of ancestors of those Khan descendents not anywhere near that number because of interbreeding, the number of Europeans from 40 generations ago in that set of ancestors is minimal, if any existed at all. We should keep in mind that the descendents of Charlemagne also crossbred, causing Charlemagne to usually appear multiple times in the ancestries of those who are descended from him, and not at all in those who aren't. Ditto for Genghis. The numbers of people not descended from these two might be minorities within their geographical areas, but they aren't zero. We really don't know, without knowing the rate of crossbreeeding.

"And it also needs to be kept in mind, that Genghis' brothers, father, father's brothers and their sons, grandfather, grandfather's brothers and so on, also had the same Y chromosome, so present-day people with the same Y as Genghis are not necessarily his descendents, but may instead be descended from one of his paternal ancestors instead. That likely is a large chunk of the number sharing the same Y in the study. And assuming that this frequently-inherited Y chromosome even came from Genghis and his family is conjecture, unless there is some documentation for descendence from Genghis to the present day for at least some of the participants. This kind of study cannot prove descendence on its own, only relatedness on the various paternal lines."

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Sunday, January 25th, 2004, 01:17 AM
I'm not sure it could be refuted. But here is a quote from someone who tried:EXCELLENT POST! Kleinwildjaeger, the source's arguments are well stated, IMO. :)