Articles on Ancestry

Displaying all articles

Ancestry ad depicts a white man in 19th-century clothing standing in front of a Black woman holding a ring telling her they can leave and be together in Canada. Ancestry

Ancestry ad gets it wrong: Canada was never slave-free

Canadian audiences did not object to Ancestry's ad which romanticized Canada as “Promised land,” but they should have.
Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in the United States. Steve Allen/Shutterstock.com

Genes and genealogy and making the most of famous relations

Before you attribute a trait to a famous ancestor like George Washington or Marie Antoinette, you might want to see how much DNA you actually share with these people. It's not what you thought.
We’ve underestimated the extent of mixing between ancestral groups throughout human history. from www.shutterstock.com

How DNA ancestry testing can change our ideas of who we are

Estimating our ancestry is hard – because our backgrounds are much more mixed up than we thought. So don't take your DNA ancestry test results literally: they're just a prediction.
Genetic ancestry testing might all seem like harmless fun, but there is a downside. (Shutterstock)

Genetic ancestry tests don’t change your identity, but you might

The results of genetic ancestry tests are grossly over-simplified. A new study shows the tests reinforce what you want to believe rather than offering objective, scientific proof of who you are.
DNA testing has its risks, including that you don’t know who will own your genetic data. Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Five things to consider before ordering an online DNA test

Online genetic testing promises many things. Some are the stuff of fantasy, while others, even if scientifically feasible, still carry risks. Consider these five things before ordering a test.
We want to know we are connected - yet we crave to be unique. Moral white panic is also involved and so is big business. (Shutterstock)

The mythical quest for our ancestors is big business

The current craze to search for our ancestry is complicated and paradoxical. We want to know we are connected -- yet we crave to be unique. Moral white panic is also involved and so is big business.
This skull belongs to the carnivorous gorgonopsian therapsid Smilesaurus ferox which lived 255 million years ago. Cradle of Humankind/Flickr/Wikimedia

You can thank our pre-mammalian ancestors for your sexy teeth

Modern sabre-tooth mammals have their canines constantly on display. This allows them to seduce mates. But was sexual selection also an important phenomenon among our pre-mammalian ancestors?
To which flag do the kiwi bird’s ancestors belong? New Zealand, Australia or somewhere else? Lakeview Images

Rewriting the origin of New Zealand’s kiwi bird ancestors

New research has shattered the idea that New Zealand’s iconic kiwi bird is a close relative of Australia’s emu. Instead, the kiwi has a closer connection with a giant flightless bird that was the stuff…

Top contributors

More