DNA Research #DNA Re: questioning the "cohen gene" #dna

Deb Katz

On 2006.07.11 Joan Hartman <joanhartman@ameritech.net> asked:

Does anyone have any science-based response to [...] an anthropology
blog, which challenges the conventional understanding of the "cohen
gene" (the blog is written anonymously so I cannot evaluate the author's
from everything I've read and understand---which is extensive and includes
most of the scientific papers on the subject---the information in the blog
you quoted is fairly accurate. The thing is, it looks like cohanim Jews of
either haplogroup are very much more likely to have the CMH than non-cohanim
Jews and non-Jews...so even though the CMH may have arisen independently in
both haplgroups, there is some kind of connection...and for my money the
connection is geographic and cultural, i.e. for several thousands of years,
the J1's and J2's who developed the CMH were hanging out together...in the
middle east.

As it happens, I have three lineages (one J1f and two J2*) with the CMH...
although only one retained a tradition of cohanim descent. (one of the J2*s)

My best guess theory based on the facts so far is that all priests did not
descend >from one man...but rather >from numerous men (including likely
"Aaron" and his paternal relatives as well as others of the era who may have
"bought" their way into the preisthood or gotten there by other means).
Thus, I don't think the CMH's time to a common ancestor is far off...2500 to
3500 years ago is probably about right. The whole issue of how to
accurately date TMRCA of Y-dna matches is subject to hot debate...in time
they will figure this out and get a better handle on what other genetic
distinctions cohanim may share (i.e. fine tune the CMH) and we will get our

Debbie Katz
Los Altos CA

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