DNA shows Irish people have more complex origins than previously thought
Fri, 05 Jul 2013 01:03 CDT
The red-hair gene is most common in Irish blood.The blood in Irish veins is Celtic, right? Well, not exactly. Although the history many Irish people were taught at school is the history of the Irish as a Celtic race, the truth is much more complicated, and much more interesting than that ...
Research done into the DNA of Irish males has shown that the old Anthropological attempts to define 'Irish' have been misguided. As late as the 1950s researchers were busy collecting data among Irish people such as hair colour and height, in order to categorise them as a 'race' and define them as different to the British. In fact British and Irish people are closely related in their ancestry.
Research into Irish DNA and ancestry has revealed close links with Scotland stretching back to before the Ulster Planation of the early 1600s. But the closest relatives to the Irish in DNA terms are actually from somewhere else entirely!
Medieval map of Ireland, showing Irish tribes. Irish origin myths confirmed by modern scientific evidenceIrish Blood: origins of DNA
The earliest settlers came to Ireland around 10,000 years ago, in Stone Age times. There are still remnants of their presence scatter across the island. Mountsandel in Coleraine in the North of Ireland is the oldest known site of settlement in Ireland - remains of woven huts, stone tools and food such as berries and hazelnuts were discovered at the site in 1972.
But where did the early Irish come from? For a long time the myth of Irish history has been that the Irish are Celts. Many people still refer to Irish, Scottish and Welsh as Celtic culture - and the assumtion has been that they were Celts who migrated from central Europe around 500BCE. Keltoi was the name given by the Ancient Greeks to a 'barbaric' (in their eyes) people who lived to the north of them in central Europe. While early Irish art shows some similarities of style to central European art of the Keltoi, historians have also recognised many significant differences between the two cultures.
The latest research into Irish DNA has confirmed that the early inhabitants of Ireland were not directly descended from the Keltoi of central Europe. In fact the closest genetic relatives of the Irish in Europe are to be found in the north of Spain in the region known as the Basque Country. These same ancestors are shared to an extent with the people of Britain - especially the Scottish.
DNA testing through the male Y chromosome has shown that Irish males have the highest incidence of the haplogroup 1 gene in Europe. While other parts of Europe have integrated contiuous waves of new settlers from Asia, Ireland's remote geographical position has meant that the Irish gene-pool has been less susceptible to change. The same genes have been passed down from parents to children for thousands of years.
This is mirrored in genetic studies which have compared DNA analysis with Irish surnames. Many surnames in Irish are Gaelic surnames, suggesting that the holder of the surname is a descendant of people who lived in Ireland long before the English conquests of the Middle Ages. Men with Gaelic surnames, showed the highest incidences of Haplogroup 1 (or Rb1) gene. This means that those Irish whose ancestors pre-date English conquest of the island are direct descendants of early stone age settlers who migrated from Spain.
The Kingdom of Dalriada c 500 AD is marked in green. Pictish areas marked yellow. Irish and British DNA : a comparisonIrish origin myths confirmed by modern scientific evidence
One of the oldest texts composed in Ireland is the Leabhar Gabhla, the Book of Invasions. It tells a semi-mythical history of the waves of people who settled in Ireland in earliest time. It says the first settlers to arrive in Ireland were a small dark race called the Fir Bolg, followed by a magical super-race called the Tuatha de Danaan (the people of the goddess Dana).
Most interestingly, the book says that the group which then came to Ireland and fully established itself as rulers of the island were the Milesians - the sons of Mil, the soldier from Spain. Modern DNA research has actually confirmed that the Irish are close genetic relatives of the people of northern Spain.
While it might seem strange that Ireland was populated from Spain rather than Britain or France, it is worth remembering that in ancient times the sea was one of the fastest and easiest ways to travel. When the land was covered in thick forest, coastal settlements were common and people travelled around the seaboard of Europe quite freely.
I live in Northern Ireland and in this small country the differences between the Irish and the British can still seem very important. Blood has been spilt over the question of national identity.
However, the lastest research into both British and Irish DNA suggests that people on the two islands have much genetically in common. Males in both islands have a strong predominance of Haplogroup 1 gene, meaning that most of us in the British Isles are descended from the same Spanish stone age settlers.
The main difference is the degree to which later migrations of people to the islands affected the population's DNA. Parts of Ireland (most notably the western seaboard) have been almost untouched by outside genetic influence since hunter-gatherer times. Men there with traditional Irish surnames have the highest incidence of the Haplogroup 1 gene - over 99%.
At the same time London, for example, has been a mutli-ethnic city for hundreds of years. Furthermore, England has seen more arrivals of new people from Europe - Anglo-Saxons and Normans - than Ireland. Therefore while the earliest English ancestors were very similar in DNA and culture to the tribes of Ireland, later arrivals to England have created more diversity between the two groups.
Irish and Scottish people share very similar DNA. The obvious similarities of culture, pale skin, tendancy to red hair have historically been prescribed to the two people's sharing a common celtic ancestry. Actually it now seems much more likely that the similarity results from the movement of people from the north of Ireland into Scotland in the centuries 400 - 800 AD. At this time the kingdom of Dalriada, based near Ballymoney in County Antrim extended far into Scotland. The Irish invaders brought Gaelic language and culture, and they also brought their genes.
Irish Characteristics and DNA
The MC1R gene has been identified by researchers as the gene responsible for red hair as well as the accompanying fair skin and tendency towards freckles. According to recent research, genes for red hair first appeared in human beings about 40,000 to 50,000 years ago.
These genes were then brought to the British Isles by the original settlers, men and women who would have been relatively tall, with little body fat, athletic, fair-skinned and who would have had red hair. So red-heads may well be descended from the earliest ancestors of the Irish and British.
A spoof (and very funny) exploration into the characteristics of all Irish-blooded males can be read at this link: www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend. Identified genes include IMG or the Irish Mother Gene and the GK (MF) S Gene Kelly-Michael-Flately-Syndrome which explains the inability of the Irish man to move his hips while dancing!
Marie McKeown lives in Ireland where she works on community projects, teaching arts workshops and conflict resolution skills. She also teach workshops on self-care and personal development. She has many interests including health, creative writing, travel, history, and my native Ireland. She graduated with a degree in Spanish and Medieval History and has lived in Spain and East Asia and Latin America.
The empathy trap: therapists and counselors almost by definition are empathic, to facilitate clients' recovery - but this quality can mean those carers are targets for sociopaths, aided by what Dr Jane & Tim McGregor call "apaths". The first UK article on this cruel sport shows how to identify and thus avoid it.
People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like "I was stupid", "what was I thinking" of "I should've listened to my gut instinct". But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath's superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.
On initial contact, a sociopath will often test other people's empathy, so questions geared towards discovering if you are highly empathic or not should ring alarm bells. People with a highly empathic disposition are often targeted. Those with lower levels of empathy are often passed over, though they can be drawn in and used by sociopaths as part of their cruel entertainment.
Sociopaths make up 25% of the prison population, committing over twice as many aggressive acts as other criminals. The reoffending rate of sociopaths is about double that of other offenders, and for violent crimes it is triple.
But not all sociopaths are found in prison. There is the less-visible burden of sociopath-induced emotional trauma which, if left unchecked, can lead to anxiety disorders, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Chronically traumatized people often exhibit hyper-vigilant, anxious and agitated behavior, symptoms such as tension headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, abdominal pain, back pain, tremors and nausea.
Exposure to and interaction with a sociopath in childhood can leave lifelong scars. This can apply to people in therapy - and for those who in recovery trained as therapists, re-exposure as an adult can trigger old emotions and PTSD.
This article is not about sociopaths per se but about surviving the harm they cause.
Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.
The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality - what we call "gaslighting". Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost.
At school, 'James' took a dislike to a classmate, 'Sam', who was sensitive and popular. He would mock him for auditioning for the school play or for getting upset over failing a test. The situation deteriorated when it became known that Sam's parents were separating. Sam appeared to be taking it with fortitude, to the admiration of his peers. He also got attention and sympathy from the school staff, especially James' favourite teacher: ie, the one he manipulated most easily.
James decided on a plan of covert bullying. He started a whispering campaign implying that Sam's parents were not splitting up, that he had said they were in order to seek attention. Sadly, this was all too successful and over the next few days Sam was met with silence and verbal bullying from his hitherto-supportive classmates.
James continued his campaign, targeting Sam's close friends over the next few days. They found themselves accused of misdemeanours such as sending offensive emails/texts. Then the 'favourite' teacher went on "leave with immediate effect" after accusations of assaulting a pupil. Where had the accusations come from? Guess.
This case shows how deliberately sociopaths, from a young age, can target others. Taking advantage of people's credibility and goodwill, James exploited the situation. With a more perceptive head teacher, this sociopath might have been found out, but he knew who to manipulate and how far he could go.
SEE THE EMPEROR/EMPRESS'S CLOTHES
© Franceso PirroneTo deal with sociopaths effectively, you first need to open your eyes. In The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, two weavers promise the emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those who are stupid and unfit for their positions.
When the emperor parades before his subjects, all the adults, not wishing to be seen in a negative light, pretend they can see the clothes. The only truthful person is a child who cries "But he isn't wearing any clothes!".
You, too, need to see sociopaths as they really are. We are conditioned to keep quiet, which often means turning a blind eye to or putting up with abuse.
The boy in the tale represents those who see the problem behavior for what it is and find the courage of their convictions to make a stand. Sight becomes insight, which turns into action. Awareness is the first step in limiting the negative effects of contact with a sociopath.
INTERACTIONS OF THE SOCIOPATH
Let's look at what we term the Socio-Empath-Apath Triad, or Seat. Unremitting abuse of other people is an activity of the sociopath that stands out. To win their games, sociopaths enlist the help of hangers-on: apaths.
The apath. We call those who collude in the sport of the sociopath apathetic, or apaths. In this situation, it means a lack of concern or being indifferent to the targeted person.
We have highlighted the importance of seeing the problem for what it is via the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes, which represents the collective denial and double standards which are often a feature of social life. The apath in this context is someone who is willing to be blind: ie, not to see that the emperor/empress is naked.
Apaths are an integral part of the sociopath's arsenal and contribute to sociopathic abuse. Sociopaths have an uncanny knack of knowing who will assist them in bringing down the person they are targeting. It is not necessarily easy to identify an apath; in other circumstances, an apath can show ample empathy and concern for others - just not in this case. The one attribute an apath must have is a link to the target.
How apaths, who might otherwise be fair-minded people, become involved in such destructive business is not hard to understand, but it can be hard to accept. The main qualifying attribute is poor judgment resulting from lack of insight. They might be jealous of or angry at the target, and thus have something to gain from the evolving situation.
At other times, the apath might not want to see the 'bad' in someone, particularly if the sociopath is useful. Or they might choose not to see because they have enough on their plate and do not possess the wherewithal or moral courage to help the targeted person at that time. Usually, be it active or passive involvement, the apath's conscience appears to fall asleep. It is this scenario that causes people blindly to follow leaders motivated only by self-interest.
Readers might know of Yale University professor Stanley Milgram's experiments to test the human propensity to obey orders, as participants gave increasingly large electric shocks to subjects. Afterwards, he wrote an article, The Perils of Obedience: "Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process".
Apaths are often fearful people. They are the ones most likely to go with the flow, to agree that the emperor/empress is wearing new clothes. They might also fail to perceive the threat: a danger is of no importance if you deny its existence.
An apath's response to a sociopath's call to arms can then result from a state of 'learned helplessness'. Apaths behave defenselessly because they want to avoid unpleasant or harmful circumstances [including the sociopath turning on them]. Apathy is an avoidance strategy.
© Andreas GradinThe empath. Often, the person targeted by the sociopath is an empath. Empaths are ordinary people who are highly perceptive and insightful and belong to the 40% of human beings who sense when something's not right, who respond to their gut instinct. In The Emperor's New Clothes, the empath is the boy who mentions the unmentionable: that there are no clothes.
In the 1990s, researchers suggested that there was a positive relationship between empathy and emotional intelligence. Since then, that term has been used interchangeably with emotional literacy.
What this means in practice is that empaths have the ability to understand their own emotions, to listen to other people and empathise with their emotions, to express emotions productively and to handle their emotions in such a way as to improve their personal power.
People are often attracted to empaths because of their compassionate nature. A particular attribute is that they are sensitive to the emotional distress of others. Conversely, they have trouble comprehending a closed mind and lack of compassion in others.
Very highly empathic people can find themselves helping others at the expense of their own needs, which can lead them to withdraw from the world at times.
It is odd. Most of us enjoy watching films and reading books about heroes who refuse to go along with the crowd, which suggests there is something admirable about people who make a bold stand.
But in real life, watching someone raise their head above the parapet often makes the rest of us feel queasy. Most - the 60% majority - prefer the easy life. It was interesting to discover, when doing the research for this book, how often people see empaths in problematical terms.
Empaths use their ability to emphasize and to boost theirs and others' well being and safety. Problems arise for empaths, however, when there are apaths in the vicinity. Empaths can be brought down, distressed and forced into the position of the lone fighter by the inaction of more apathetic types round them.
THE SOCIOPATHIC TRANSACTION
Often empaths are targeted by sociopaths because they pose the greatest threat. The empath is usually the first to detect that something is not right and express what s/he senses.
As a consequence, the empath is both the sociopath's number one foe and a source of attraction; the empath's responses and actions provide excellent entertainment for sociopaths, who use and abuse people for sport.
The world of the empath is not for the faint-hearted. In the context we are discussing, empaths often find themselves up against not only the sociopath but often a flock of apaths as well. Apaths are afforded pole position in the sociopath's intrigues.
But this prime spot comes at a price for, in what we call the "sociopathic transaction", the apath makes an unspoken Faustian pact with the sociopath, then passively or otherwise participates in the cruel sport.
© Fotolia OllySOCIOPATH-EMPATH-APATH TRIAD
The usual set-up goes like this: the empath is forced to make a stand on seeing the sociopath say or do something underhand. The empath challenges the sociopath, who straight away throws others off the scent and shifts the blame on to the empath. The empath becomes an object of abuse when the apath corroborates the sociopath's perspective.
The situation usually ends badly for the empath and sometimes also for the apath, if their conscience returns to haunt them or they later become an object of abuse themselves. But, frustratingly, the sociopath often goes scot free.
Sociopaths rarely vary this tried-and-tested formula because it virtually guarantees them success.
Sociopaths draw in apaths by various means: flattery, bribery, disorienting them with lies. A sociopath will go to any lengths to win her game. The best way to illustrate the interplay, and the ease with which apaths are pulled in, is by another short story.
'Steve and Robin' were microbiologists at a prestigious university, collaborating on an important vaccine trial. The department head, Ben, hoped to gain substantially; success could see his status in his field rise and prove the catalyst for a glittering career.
His colleagues worked relentlessly collecting data, then Ben drafted a paper for submission to a respected journal. He decided that the outcome didn't look tantalising, so falsified key results in order to present findings in the best light. On completing the draft, he sent the paper for comment to his colleagues. Steve replied by email that he was happy with the manuscript; he used the opportunity to suck up to his boss. But Robin was aghast, noting colossal errors. With great urgency, he rattled off an email to Ben.
Receiving no response to this or a phone call, Robin went to find Ben in person, discovering him in the cafeteria with Steve. But he was too late. Ben had poisoned Steve's mind, saying that Robin had challenged him over the accuracy of the results, due to a longstanding grudge. Ben said he had to pull Robin up about his own work several months back. Steve was different, Ben implied. He intimated Steve would be on course for promotion "especially if we get this paper out and secure funding for the next-stage trials".
By the time Ben joined them, Steve, though initially shocked, had been won over by Ben's swift flattery and insinuations
Robin crossed the cafeteria to them. "Hi, you two got a moment?" Briefly there was an awkward silence. Steve exchanged a look with Ben, who gave a slight conspiratorial smile, now that the transaction was done and the sport under way. "Yes, we were just talking about the paper. By the way, I did see your email, but if you look at the paper thoroughly, I think you'll find that everything is correct." Steve replied with a smug look that "I'm with Ben on this one". Robin was floored. "You can't be serious? You're happy for it to go off to be reviewed with all these serious errors? Our reputations will be left in ruins."
He decided to make a stand. He asked for his name to be removed as a co-author but was exasperated to learn that it was sent off to the journal anyway. More frustratingly, it was published. Meanwhile, the workplace became a source of stress for Robin as he struggled to cope with the backlash from colleagues who saw his intervention as an attempt to sabotage their work. People avoided him and, when they did talk to him, the conversation was stilted.
Eventually Robin arranged a meeting with Ben to have it out once and for all. But Ben took control of the agenda. "Robin, I have to be honest with you, many of your colleagues are unhappy about the way you handled things and some have made complaints. They don't trust you to conduct yourself professionally after you attempted to sabotage their hard work. Mercifully the reviewers saw what a fine trial we'd conducted and didn't get wind of your attempted slur.
"We can't afford to have a saboteur on the team. So I've discussed this with the dean and he agrees there is no future for you here, and there's no other way to deal with this. You've got to go."
Any phase of this story sound familiar?
THE GASLIGHTING EFFECT
In the story above, the actions of Ben and Steve have a 'gaslighting' effect on Robin. Gaslighting is a systematic attempt by one person to erode another's reality.
© unknownThe syndrome gets its name from the play and films of the same name in which a murderer strives to make his wife doubt her sanity and get others to disbelieve her.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented in such a way as to make the target doubt his/her memory and perception. Psychologists call this "the sociopath's dance". It could involve denial or staging of strange events.
This is Machiavellian behaviour of the worst kind. And anyone can become a victim of the sociopath's gaslighting moves: parent and child, in-laws, friends, groups of people including work colleagues.
Psychotherapist Christine Louise de Canonville describes different phases that the abuser leads the relationship through:
To learn more, including how to recover from exposure to a prolonged sociopathic transaction, buy The Empathy Trap: Understanding antisocial personalities by Dr Jane and Tim McGregor (Sheldon Press, ISBN 978-1847092762).
Comment: DR JANE McGREGOR is a freelance trainer and lecturer at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham. She holds a PhD in public health and worked in the NHS and voluntary sector, mostly in the field of addiction treatment.
TIM McGREGOR is freelance consultant and trainer, and a mental-health practitioner of many years' standing. He has worked in the NHS and voluntary sector, most recently as a commissioning adviser.
INFJs are, by definition, rare, reserved, and unlikely to initiate anything, which means that many of them can end up alone and misunderstood. To help with things, I’ve compiled a list of points which I think would be of great use to anyone considering dating someone who identifies as an INFJ.
“INFJs are all about deeds, not words. Don’t fuck up anything when you are granted a stage by an INFJ. It may take a long time before they give you that stage. Remember that they are intently testing you at that point. Talk all you want after that audition, providing you pass the test. The conversation will be most pleasant forever after… until you fuck up.
Eight years of marriage to a textbook INFJ has taught me the power of truth. I have seen what happens to people who deceive an INFJ. They are dropped like a hot pan.”
“I do think that’s one of the main features of the INFJ type, vital even: a strong sense of right and wrong; they can’t tolerate wrongdoings of any kind. But at the same time, I’ve observed that INFJ’s attitude over their sense of morals comes in two variants; Jesus-like ones that say “turn the other cheek”, and the badass Kenshin ones that punish wrongdoers.”
“I have an INFJ friend, who is someone I would never EVER want to piss off, I’ve seen him angry only once in my life, and he goes all out then, lashing out to the point that it’s fearsome and it takes nearly an hour for him to cool down… it would start with him just suddenly becoming quiet and very isolated and then bam!
If ever in a war, that dude is on my side as a general!”
“We go through great efforts to keep everything civil, friendly, and harmonious, and we even allow people a certain amount of “buffer space”. But once you’ve overstepped that boundary or pushed things too far, then BAM! Tactical. Nuclear. Strike.”
“When someone gets the better of us, and they do so in a way that is not admirable, they become mortal enemies that must be vexed immediately.”
“I agree with the above. I will take a lot of abuse now, but once I am pushed to a point and feel I have nothing to lose or protect, well, you are pretty much dead meat. I will sit on every piece of ammunition I have and let the offender do their best, and then in the end, I let it all loose.
If you get on their good side, you have made a wonderful ally for life, and most likely they will use their arsenal to protect you.”
“I’m an INFJ, and I sometimes mentally play out what I’d like to say to someone I’m angry with, but I have never (and would never) take physical vengeance on anyone. I’m incredibly patient, but do eventually have a point where I will calmly tell someone what they have done to upset me and whether or not I will be able to get past it. If it’s something I can’t get past, that’s pretty much the end of things with that person.”
On holding back:
“My tendency to hold back IS who I am, and I am okay with that. I embrace that.
Because I am here and my friends know it. I am at my maximum potential when I am taking care of my family, yes, but I have many close friendships I nurture on a regular (every few weeks) basis, and they are almost as important to me.”
“INFJs take time to open up. They are slow burners. I find I can’t really get to know them until after many prolonged conversations. But after you enter their realm of trust they are the sweetest, most genuine people.”
“If I pursued a lot of meaningless sexual relationships, I can guarantee you I would be miserable in the end. It’s not in my nature. I am 100% aware that I’m someone who has to have a certain level of emotional bonding and trust to have sex with someone, and while I’ve had friends give me a hard time for it in the past, I accept this about myself. I can’t turn that off, and I know it. So, instead of living in denial, trying to be “the tough chick who can have sex like a man,” I hold out for someone who actually values my true nature. If I didn’t do that, I’d only be hurting myself over and over again. Denying your true nature in an effort to be “fashionable” or “modern” or “independent,” in my opinion, really comes back to bite you in the ass.”
“I can’t see the appeal of casual sex, for me I have to be in a relationship with someone before I’d consider sex with them. Sexual intimacy is much more valued and emotional to me and I do not want to waste that on people I don’t know or do not have a special bond with.”
“I take care of and very much value my body. If I’ve just met that person, I feel really uncomfortable with the idea of a stranger touching me the same way as someone who respects and loves me. I don’t judge others for what they do with their bodies, but I know what feels right and what doesn’t feel right for me.”
“Can’t do casual. Must be committed. Feel safe.”
On Feeling Different:
“I have always felt extremely different from others. I know when people are sick, even sometimes right down to what is bothering them. I am automatically drawn to people in pain and instinctively help people through hard times with out even knowing I am doing it.”
“INFJs are more “for the cause”, not free-love.”
“INFJs look scary love-wise.”
Other Useful Quotes:
“If I go to a party, I find that I do latch on to one or two people I feel comfortable with or click with, and try to have a meaningful conversation with them of some sort. I CAN mingle well, but I prefer not too as it’s draining for me. I am not an extrovert so I know I will not be the life of the party, but I do not expect myself to be, beyond making a bold entrance, which I kinda like to do. I like the excitement of hanging back and wondering who will give me the vibe, or who’s energy I’ll pick up on, and if that will be a surprising find, as in someone I wouldn’t ordinarily talk to.”
“I can listen a person’s mouth off.”
“INFJs are attracted to martyrdom like a moth to a flame.”
Let them come who wish to come, And let them go who wish to go, And do not harm to me or mine. -Ancient Icelandic Invitation Formula for the Elven Folk
Prince of Brats