Elizabeth Warren’s (1/512)th Is Normal for European Americans

Assume that the 1/512 number is accurate as to Warren’s American Indian (also called Native American) genetic inheritance. Percentage-wise, this is 0.001953 or 0.1953 percent or almost 0.2 of 1 percent. That’s two-tenths of one percent, or one-fifth of one percent. This, however, is almost exactly what the average is for European-Americans.

Let’s compare that to the Native American percent found in other Americans. Ballpark figures will do. All data can be criticized, and we have no need for exactitude here.

An article in Science from 2014 tells us that Latinos “carry an average of 18% Native American ancestry”. The average African-American genome contains 0.8 percent Native American ancestry.

The Science article summarizes a technical study. From the latter, we find the average Native American ancestry of European-Americans. There are two estimates, based upon “genome-wide” and “X chromosome”. These are 0.18 percent and 0.22 percent, respectively. Their average is 0.2 percent, which is, for all our practical purposes, precisely what has been reported of Elizabeth Warren.

Therefore, Warren cannot even claim that her tiny Native American ancestry is anything special or exceptional. If we chose a random sample of Americans of European ancestry, we would find the same result as long as the sample was large enough to reduce sampling error.


2:17 pm on October 15, 2018