Re: The Rashi Descent #general
Robert E. Heyman <robeh@...>
Jacob,
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No, that is not how the argument goes. The argument goes, you have 2^30 ancestors, and they are all Ashkenazic Jews (this is where the flaw is  how would one know this?). But let's assume you know this for a fact. This is many more than the number of Ashkenazic Jews who lived during that time. You pick one person, and compute the probability that you are *not* descended >from him. This probability is 0, so the probability that you are descended >from him is 1. You can still reach this conclusion even if you say that there is only a 1% chance that each ancestor is Ashkenazic. The numbers are that strong. However, even if the world would agree to this percentage (which is highly doubtful), you have still implicitly assumed that each ancestor is independent >from each other one, which is ridiculous. To fix this, you would have to set up the kind of models you allude to here. This is where I quit figuring the probabilities.:) Robert Heyman JGSGW and Canberra robeh@... http://home.iprimus.com.au/robeh From: "Jacob D. Goldstein" <jake@...> The argument that has been put forward runs as follows: 
