I have read on several conspiracy sites that out of all the American presidents 33 of them are related to Alfred the great and Charlemagne.

I have tried to find out if this info is correct but am stumped.
Is there any truth in this or are “they” just nuts ?

The assertion may well be true, but far less intriguing than it sounds. See Steve Olson, The Royal We, The Atlantic Monthly, May 2002. Olson’s article argues that

thanks :slight_smile:

I got a D in Probability and Statistics at Penn State University, so please excuse me if I blow the logic here, but I’m gonna give it a shot anyway because I’m feeling frisky this morning.

If Everyone in the world descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone from Europe descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne ( who was really Karl De Magne, but that’s a tale for another thread ) , then logic dictates that Europeans are descended from all 4, whereas non-Europeans are descended from just the first two.

Since there was a fair amount of warring, conquering and the like that originated in the Mediterranean cultures ( Greece and Rome ) and then was spread East, how can one say with such surety that the Non-European Group only descends from two people, and the Europeans descend from four?

Nefertiti and Confuscius predate Muhammad and Charlemagne by centuries. Surely Eurpeans are descended from all four?

Personally, I like to think I’m descended from Charles Nelson Reilly but I’m not sure that contributes much to the current question.

Cartooniverse ben Reilly. :stuck_out_tongue:

If you bury $3125 in your backyard, their underground agents will conact you. Then you’ll see who is nuts!

If Karl, then “der Grosse” (the Great). Both France and Germany regard Charlemagne/Karl den Grossen as one of their nations’ founding fathers.

Anyway, of course nobody in the world is descended from only two or four people - your number of ancestors exceeds four by quite a bit. Saying that “everyone in the world descended from Nefertiti and Confucius, and everyone from Europe descended from Muhammad and Charlemagne” (I don’t know if it’s true, but let’s assume it is) simply means that everybody in the world can find Confucius in his ancestry if he traces back his roots far enough. And every European can, besides finding Nefertiti and Confucius in his ancestry, also find Muhammad and Charlemagne. This does not exclude non-Europeans from descending from Charlemagne just as well; it means that for Europeans, the probability for descending from Charlemagne is nearly 1, while it’s lower (but not zero) for non-Europeans. Somebody who does not descend from Charlemage will find another (maybe less prominent) person in his ancestry instead in the very place where someone else has Charlemagne.

You mean Karl der Grosse. But he went by Carolus Magnus.

Schnitte got it exactly right. Note this sentence in Olson’s article:

This sentence, if literally true, means that every adult European alive in the year 1000 who has at least one descendant alive today is the ancestor not only of that descendant, but of everyone alive today with an ancestor who was alive in Europe in the year 1000. Charlemagne and Muhammad were purely arbitrary choices: Chang’s study could have just as easily used any two European ancestors who can trace their lineage to a living descendant today.

So there are no full-blooded American Indians? Not to mention a billion Chinese? That assertion is absurd. And about Charlemange and Mohammed, well I don’t believe that either. Geneticists have found serious evidence that there was a woman who lived around 200,000 or so years ago from whom we are all descended. Likewise a male of somewhat older vintage.

On the other hand, given that nearly all the US presidents were of British stock the OP is quite plausible.

My apologies, I was sure I’d read the name Karl De Magne somewhere, perhaps my memory is being evil. I sit corrected, thank you.

If those names are chosen at random, then I prefer to believe I am a direct descendant of Cecil Adams.



In a related note, the study explained by this article suggest that an estimated 16 million asian males today can directly trace their ancestry (through Y-Chromosome analysis) to a single man (or more likely, this man and his male relatives) who lived in Asia about 1000 years ago, give or take a couple hundred years. The mostly likely canidate for this man - Genghis Khan.

Those chances aren’t as good as for Charlemagne, because the number of generations between you and Cecil isn’t as large.

No, he went by “Karl”, or whatever it would have been in late eighth-century Frankish. He was an advocate of preserving and spreading what was left of classical culture, and Latin, but I’m sure he spoke Frankish at home. Frankish is a Germanic language, I think rather more closely allied to modern Dutch than modern High German.

OK. I’ll but that Nefertiti & Confuscius could have parented offspring together, but Muhammed & Charlemenge? Come on! 2 men can’t make babies!

But how could Nefertit and Confusicus have children together, they lived thousands of miles apart?

You’re referring to “Mitochondrial Eve” and “Y Chromosone Adam”. The key here is that those two folks are the common decendant of everyone alive today by a single-gender line. That is to say, that if I look at my mother’s mother’s mother’s… mother, back enough generations, I’ll get to MtEve, and if I look at my father’s father’s father’s… father, I’ll eventually get to YAdam. But if you’re allowed a mixed line, then you can almost certainly find a more recent common ancestor: It’s just that mixed lines are much harder to trace. You can’t do it microbiologically like you can with the Y chromosone or mitochondria, but you can do it statistically.

…sniff…he gets around.

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: