Observations on Research, Marriage, and Genealogy by Peter C. Patton, Ph.D. (11 June, 2014, 13 Sivan, 5774)
Observations on Research, Marriage, and Genealogy. Peter C. Patton, Ph.D
Dear Sir, I have recently read your book on The Khazars and your book on The Tribes. I have the complete literature on the Khazars... You mentioned Martin Bernal's magisterial three-volume set Black Athena in your book and your own research and approach reminded me of Prof. Bernal's. His synthetic multi-disciplined approach was widely panned by the Classics academic community because he was a social scientist and had no 'right' to publish in their area. However the world's greatest Classicist, Oxford Professor Martin West came to his rescue with his analytical study entitled The East Face of Helicon, showing that Bernal was correct. All scholarship is a bit like mathematics. Many great theorems have two names attached to them, the name of the person who thought of the theorem but could not prove it, and the name of the person who proved it but would never have thought of it. Analysis is excellent but it must somehow follow synthesis, or at least observation.
On page 494-5 of the Tribes you point out that the tribes tend to stay together and mention forces like people living in social and religious communities for most of human history. The drivers of human development are surely nature and nurture and you do mention the genetic component of social cohesiveness. My family is of Scottish origin; my first ancestor in this country arrived in 1742 as a young person and served as a Captain in the Revolutionary Army in 1776-79. I noticed when doing a genealogy for our family all the way back to the Isle of Mull on the West Coast of Scotland, that ancestors always married other Scots, even after coming to America. As you point out, this should be no surprise as they lived largely in Scottish (Presbyterian) communities. But now as Isaiah once prophesied, we would one day have our families divided and scattered. So, when we sent our two daughters off to colleges a thousand miles away we didn't know what to expect. One married a Pope (Clan Ross) and the other a Wright (Clan MacLaren). I have been a college teacher for the past 57 years and I have often seen this same 'genetic' selection happen within other ethnic groups.
Peter C. Patton, Formerly professor and director of the center for Ancient Studies at the University of Minnesota. Now teaching ANE, Bible, and Classical Literature at Oklahoma Christian University.