The famed Al Sharpton and Michelle Obama genealogist explains how discovering that DNA testing confirms the relatedness of a group of people with roots in an isolated, Eastern European peasant village strengthens her belief in the assertion that:
if you go back far enough, we're all cousins. [. . .] "no human being (of any race) can be less closely related to any other human than approximately fiftieth cousin, and most of us (no matter what color our neighbors) are a lot closer."At an outlet other than Huffington Post, the use of dodgy math to "prove" everyone is genealogically related might seem counterintuitive as a theme around which to base an article on a tool that aims to directly assess genetic relatedness. John Hawks pointed out in 2006 in response to an article containing similar themes:
Geneticists are generally concerned with a subset of this genealogical network. We care not about the number of genealogical ties among people (which must grow indefinitely large very quickly in any population), but about the actual ancestry of genes.Also see Genealogical vs. genetic ancestors and Blaine Bettinger's post on genealogical and genetic trees. While Relative Finder will uncover the occasional surprising distant relationship, mostly it will find connections between people with similar racial/geographic origins, as it did with Smolenyak's Osturnites.