Boffins or Bafoons?
They obviously are different :)
Journalists generally have absolutely no respect for science.
You're quoting "Boffins at Yale university, having studied the women's raw DNA data, said all the numbers should have been dead on."
Let's start by saying that the definition of a pair of identical twins is that they were both hatched from the same egg, or more accurately the egg split in half after being inseminated and produced two separate masses which eventually developed into two individual humans. I have not looked it up and I'm already guilty of one of the same critical mistakes made by the journalist which is that I have no verified my facts. But this is how I understand it.
If I am correct, then cellular reproduction through mitosis should have split the nucleotides of the original cell precisely. This means that over a certain percentage of the genetic pairs to be reproduced survived in tact. Let me clarify, from what I can fathom, simply mathematical entropy dictates that there must be an error in every cellular reproduction. It is not mathematically possibly for two cells to be 100% alike. 99.9999% is realistic, but not 100%. This is a mandatory aspect of science. To make the particularly clear, refer to Walter Lewin's initial lecture from Physics 801.x in MIT Open Courseware on Youtube where he explains how to measure in science.
So, we're presented by your quote "Boffin's at Yale..." which leads me to ask :
- What is a boffin?
- What is the measure of a boffin?
- Who is qualified to measure whether this individual is a boffin?
- What is the track record of accuracy by the boffin?
- Was the boffin a scientist? If so what field?
- Was the boffin a student? If so, what level and field?
- Was the boffin an administrator? Were the a scientist before? When did they last practice? How well did their research hold up when peer reviewed? Did they leave science because they weren't very good at it and now they wear a suit?
And "having studied the women's raw DNA data"
- How contaminated was the data (0% is not possible)
- How was it studied?
- Were all 3 billion strands sequenced and compared? Was it simply a selection?
- Did they study just the saliva as the companies did or was it a blood sample?
- Does saliva increase contamination?
- Was the DNA sample taken at Yale?
- Was the DNA sample shipped?
- If it was shipped, was it shipped the same way?
- Could air freight cause premature decay or even mutation, etc...?
And "said all the numbers should have been dead on"
- Was the boffin really a boffin? (see above)
- What does dead on mean? What is the percentage of error?
- What numbers are we talking about?
- Should the results been identical between the twins?
- Could two samples from the same twin produce the same discrepancies?
- Could two separate analysis of the same sample produce the same discrepancies?
- What happens when one person spits into a tube and then the spit is separated into two tubes?
- Did the boffin say "all the numbers should have been dead on" or did they provide a meaningful figure?
- Is this the journalist's interpretation of what the boffin said?
- Are these words the words of the original journalist or was it rewritten to make it sound more British? I've never heard any self respecting person use the term boffin if they actually had a clue to begin with. Same for the word expert.
- Did the "boffin" dumb down the results for someone who is obviously oblivious?
Overall, does this comment translate to :
"Qualified scientists with proven track records specializing in the field of human genetic research as it relates to ancestry evaluated 98% of the sample from each of the two twins, verified that they are in fact identical and that there should be no more than 5% margin of error when comparing the results of genetic studies between the two girls."
I'm not a scientist. I'm barely a high school graduate. But before I would dispute the accuracy of what the AC said by defending it by stating "Boffins at Yale university, having studied the women's raw DNA data, said all the numbers should have been dead on.", I would absolutely start with attempting to answer those questions above.
At this time, while I believe strongly that these twins are in fact identical and I believe they were verified at some point in their life (whether by a "boffin at Yale" or elsewhere) to have been conceived from the same egg, I would not offer it as evidence without further research or conclusive proof. That would be an insult to science. My believe is irrelevant unless this were some high school sociological report for a political science class. And even then, that's a misnomer.
Let's address ancestry as well.
I read the results and let's take an except as you did.
- 23andMe reckoned the twins are about 40 per cent Italian, and 25 per cent Eastern European;
- AncestryDNA said they are about 40 per cent Russia or Eastern European, and 30 per cent Italian;
- MyHeritageDNA concluded are about 60 per cent Balkan, and 20 per cent Greek.
I'm no expert on ancestry, but I have questions.
- What does it mean to be italian, eastern european, russian, etc...?
- Within how many generations would the be counting?
- Would the 40% Italian refer to the 1800's very likely means balkan and greek in 200AD?
- Is Russian of east european or east asian or central asian descent?
- Is balkan east european or russian?
What I'm reading here is that all three companies were in 100% agreement. If anything, for an imperfect science, it's impressive how perfectly they agree.
As another item
- Two of the tests reported that the twins had no Middle Eastern ancestry, while the three others did, with FamilyTreeDNA saying 13 per cent of their sample matched with the region.
I'm pretty sure that if we believe modern science, everyone on earth should come from the middle east and before that Africa. So unless the twins come from another planet, they have middle eastern descent. The question is, how many generations back? Also, what counts as middle eastern descent? If we refer to religion, only a few thousand years ago, Jerusalem was in war with the Seleucid empire which almost definitely spread seeds from the middle east to the Mediterranean or maybe the Mediterranean seed was spread widely enough to influence what is considered the middle eastern bloodline today.
Again, I don't see the data conflicting, I would need far more information to sound even moderately intelligent.
And I'll attack one more
- On top of this, each test couldn't quite agree on the percentages between the sisters, which is odd because the twins share a single genetic profile.
This is absolutely 10000% not true. They are born from the same egg. I can't find her birth date, but I'd put her at about 33 years old, but that may simply be because she dresses like an old lady. Either way, let's round to 30 years old.
Unless she and her sister have been in the womb together until last week which I doubt, they should have been through an infinitely different life causing infinite changes in their their genetic code from one another. Their genes can't possibly be that similar anymore. Almost certainly less than 99% similar now. That's at least 30 million differences from one another given that a human gene consists of 3 billion nucleotides or genetic pairs.
Consider that simply walking in the sun causes genetic mutation. Pressures from drinking water can cause genetic mutation (I read a peer reviewed paper on this, but can't cite it).
So, please don't bash the AC, he's as full of shit as I am... the only thing I got out of this article is that some girl who has a twin sister has now made an international impact with her ignorance of science in an effort to make a headline to increase the ratings of her TV show which should have served the purpose of informing people of facts.
I would like to see some real research on this topic from people who are far smarter than me. At this time, I have many questions and wouldn't even know where to start answering them.