Thursday, September 21, 2006

Youse are all Celts too

The sassenach amongst the readership, that is. A research team from Oxford University finds that the English are nearly as Celtic as the Scots, who in turn aren't as Celtic as the Welsh:
"[T]he majority of Britons are Celts descended from Spanish tribes who began arriving about 7,000 years ago.

Even in England, about 64 per cent of people are descended from these Celts, outnumbering the descendants of Anglo- Saxons by about three to one.

The proportion of Celts is only slightly higher in Scotland, at 73 per cent. Wales is the most Celtic part of mainland Britain, with 83 per cent.

Previously it was thought that ancient Britons were Celts who came from central Europe, but the genetic connection to populations in Spain provides a scientific basis for part of the ancient Scots' origin myth."
"Who cares?" is one not unreasonable question in the comments below the Scotsman piece. But the answer is a depressingly large number of people both sides of the border who latch onto some supposed genetic difference to make a point about the inferiority or superiority of a supposedly "Celtic nation", as Prof Sykes points out:
"In the 19th century, the idea of Anglo-Saxon superiority was very widespread. At the moment, there is a resurgence of Celtic identity, which had been trampled on. It's very vibrant and obvious at the moment."
In other words, the racists on both sides of the nationalist fence have no scientific basis for their argument. But we knew that already.

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