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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Red, White, and Blue Bloods

As a proud American who abhors exclusivity and snobbery, I welcome the news that almost all of us are descended from royalty. The only thing better than shuttering an exclusive club is opening up membership to all.

Even without a documented connection to a notable forebear, experts say the odds are virtually 100 percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal personage or another.

"Millions of people have provable descents from medieval monarchs," said Mark Humphrys, a genealogy enthusiast and professor of computer science at Dublin City University in Ireland. "The number of people with unprovable descents must be massive." [Link]
Judging from the thousands of unprovable descents proven by the WorldConnect Project alone, the number must indeed be massive. These people will not be satisfied with a mere statistical likelihood of royal roots, and will continue to grasp at genealogical straws. As for me, a royal connection would be nice (those folks are so well documented!), but I'd just as soon descend from sturdy yeomen with interesting criminal records.

As we Americans celebrate the 230th anniversary of our independence, let's also celebrate our independence from the notion that some genes are "better" than others. After all, if not for primogeniture laws and a couple of beheadings, I could be the one married to Camilla Parker Bowles. And I'm not better than anybody (except maybe this guy).

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