Skip to comments.Scientist: DNA Disputes Russian Tsar Remains
Posted on 07/14/2004 9:04:34 AM PDT by blam
Scientist: DNA Disputes Russian Tsar Remains
July 14, 2004 An American scientific team has disputed what was thought to be the definitive identification of the remains of the Russian royal family, executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, London's Daily Telegraph said Monday.
The Russian government in 1998 identified bones found in a common grave in Yekaterinburg, formerly Sverdlovsk, as belonging to Tsar Nicholas, Tsarina Alexandra and three of their daughters.
Tsar Nicholis And Family
Calling us names, as Dr. Gill has done, will not help their fatally flawed position."
The Russian authorities said then that the identification was 99 percent certain following tests carried out by a British scientist, Peter Gill, comparing DNA fragments taken from the bones and blood taken from descendants of the tsar, including Britain's Duke of Edinburgh, the consort of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Daily Telegraph said a team from Stanford University in California headed by Alec Knight has contradicted that finding in a paper for the International Ancient DNA Conference in Brisbane, Australia.
Its research is based on DNA taken from the finger of the Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the sister of Alexandra, who is buried in Jerusalem.
The new hypothesis has led to an angry exchange of views between Gill and Knight.
When Knight published an earlier version of his theory in the Annals of Human Biology earlier this year, Gill described the research as "vindictive and political."
But Knight, who worked in cooperation with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Eastern Michigan University and the Russian Academy of Sciences, said his theory was even stronger than when it first appeared in the annals and that "calling us names, as Dr. Gill has done, will not help their fatally flawed position."
The newspaper quoted Knight as saying, "we have uncovered irregularities and inconsistencies (and very strange goings-on) in the case," and that the results claimed by Gill were "essentially impossible."
Knight said he was not impugning Gill, "but rather the actions of those in Russia who had control of all the samples, concluded at the outset that they were the royal family, acted with secrecy and deception, distributed the samples to the labs in other countries, participated in the analysis, wrote a report concluding identity and then voted on acceptance of that report."
Knight conceded that he had carried out his research on behalf of the Russian Expert Commission Abroad, a group of scholars that disputes the conclusion that the bones found in Yekaterinburg in 1991 belonged to the royal family.
Some elements in Russia, particularly in the Orthodox Church, maintained that the bodies were not those of the Royal Family. But the bones were reinterred in the Romanov family crypt on the 80th anniversary of their murder in 1998. In 2000, the tsar and his immediate family were canonized by the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
? descended from who? "THE Czar"? or a previous Czar?
So where is the family? hiding in Argentina?
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Most of European royalty is related. World War I was a war among cousins.
Where the bodies of the Czar and his family ended up is now a mystery.
I don't remember whether there was actually any DNA tests performed before they were declared to be that of the Czar and his family.
Do you know ?
I don't think so.
The newspaper quoted Knight as saying, "we have uncovered irregularities and inconsistencies (and very strange goings-on) in the case," and that the results claimed by Gill were "essentially impossible." ...Knight conceded that he had carried out his research on behalf of the Russian Expert Commission Abroad, a group of scholars that disputes the conclusion that the bones found in Yekaterinburg in 1991 belonged to the royal family.Fascinating, but not surprising. Slipshod work and fraud is endemic to genetic "studies".
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Or conversely - could some assumptions of the British royals' lineage be in error?