And, interestingly enough, they're doing it
while trying to make the case about someone else's dishonesty.
Funny when that happens, right?
It's about Senator Elizabeth Warren's DNA test.
Let's look at what the P-G Editorial Board actually writes
about Senator Warren and the test and then let's see if it is, in fact, factual. If it isn't we know they're simply lying. Either that, or an editorial board attached to a news organization couldn't be bothered to check their own facts. I used to ask this about Jack Kelly: which is it, dishonesty or incompetence?
First, there's this from the editorial:
Elizabeth Warren, as everyone knows, by now is no more Native American than most of the rest of us, maybe less than many of us. Her native American blood is 1/64th to 1/1024th of a percent.
While the board is trying to be sarcastic, this is actually correct. But let's take a look at what the test
The largest segment identified as having Native American ancestry
is on chromosome 10. This
is 13.4 centiMorgans in genetic length
, and spans approximately 4,700,000 DNA bases. Based
on a principal components analysis
(Novembre et al., 2008), this segment is clearly distinct from
segments of European ancestry
-7, corrected p
-value of 2.6
) and is
strongly associated with Native American ancestry.
Then there's this from the board:
It should matter to thinking Americans because Ms. Warren based much of her adult academic and political career on being a “woman of color.”
This is presented by the P-G Editorial Board with no evidence. On the other hand the Boston Globe published this
- an article with the headline:
Ethnicity not a factor in Elizabeth Warren’s rise in law
And a few paragraphs down we read:
In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman.
So where is the evidence (you know, the facts
) upon which the P-G Editorial Board bases its assertion? Can we see it? How does it refute the "clear evidence, in documents and interviews" that the Globe has already written about? An explanation is needed. Unless and until we see it, you're simply lying.
The P-G Ed Board's dishonesty is compounded by this next sentence:
And because she has never apologized for the fabrication.
There's no apology because there was no fabrication. What the board is hoping you'll think, I suppose, is that if you believe their lie about a "fabrication", then the fact that Warren hasn't apologized only supports the existence of that "fabrication." That's another lie.
Then there's this from the board:
And because her appropriation insulted the Cherokee Nation, to which she claimed affiliation. (The tribe has denounced her.)
Again, it's simply a lie that she claimed
affiliation. Take a look:
The board's next paragraph:
But the lie matters most of all because, even after she took a rigged DNA test that showed her Indian blood to be extremely minimal, she doubled down: This shows that what I said was right and true all along. [Italics in original.]
Now they're asserting a "rigged DNA test." Again, evidence? And by that I mean: "evidence (other than the fact that it doesn't fit into your right-wing politics?
)" Until and unless you can present it, we'll know you're lying.
Let's go back to the report. This is the bio of the guy who wrote it:
Dr. Carlos D. Bustamante
is an internationally recognized leader in the application of data science and
genomics technology to problems in medicine, agriculture, and biology. He received his Ph.D. in Biology
and MS in Statistics from Harvard University (2001), was on the faculty at Cornell University (2002-9),
and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010. He is currently Professor of Biomedical Data Science,
Genetics, and (by courtesy) Biology at Stanford University. Dr. Bustamante has a passion for building
new academic units, non-
profits, and companies to solve pressing scientific challenges. He is Founding
Director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary, and Human Genomics (CEHG) and
Inaugural Chair of the Department of Biomedical Data Science. He is the Owner and President of CDB
Consulting, LTD. and also a Director at Eden Roc Biotech, founder of Arc
-Bio (formerly IdentifyGenomics
and BigData Bio), and an SAB member of Imprimed, Etalon DX, and Digitalis Ventures
among others. [Bolding in original]
And the methodology:
Analysis was performed to
scan the human genome to
identify individual chromosomal segments
and Native American ancestry
, using the RFMix
computer program, which
was developed by
us (Maples et al., 2013) and is one of the leading methods for ancestry analysis.
ancestry analysis used reference samples from various
used in human genetics
do not provide complete coverage of
all Native American groups,
with Native American ancestry
may be missed. In addition, it is not possible to reliably
tribe or group.
The individual’s sample contained
sites of genetic variation across the human
, of which 660,173 overlapped with sites in the reference set used for ancestry analysis.
Our population reference set
of 148 individuals (a continental reference panel of 37
individuals from across Europe, 37 from Nigeria
with Sub-Saharan African ancestry, 37 from across the
with Native American ancestry, and 37 individuals from China). To determine whether
Native American ancestry
in the sample
unusually high relative
European ancestry, analysis was also performed on
185 individuals from
sets from the
1000 Genomes Project
(n = 99 individuals)
individuals of European ancestry
from Great Britain (n = 86 individuals)
Politifact, by the way, found the Bustamente report "credible
." Politifact ads:
Bustamante said that the analyst working with the DNA sample didn’t know it was Warren’s when running the test.
So show me the "rigged" part, please. Until and unless you can, you're lying.
As for the board's italicized charge above, we can point to Politifact's last sentence:
The DNA test can’t prove every part of Warren’s family story, but the researchers we reached said it is consistent with her account.
Her account being that she was told that her great-great-great-grandmother was Cherokee. The test is consistent with that.
Finally, the board should be more careful when it writes a sentence like this:
This is either the mark of a totally shameless and utterly cynical person, or the mark of a deluded one.
Because we have to wonder what the "this" designates as it's obvious (considering all the facts laid out above and all the dishonesty discovered in the P-G editorial) exactly who's being shameless and utterly cynical (or deluded).
Here's a hint for writer of this editorial in case you didn't understand that last paragraph: