The Germans and the English: closely related?

The common wisdom is that the English (or more broadly speaking, the British) are very closely related, genetically as well as linguistically.  EvolutionistX examines the relationships amongst the various European ethnicities, with some interesting findings. In response to a question he compares German and Polish genetics, specifically, and then compares the various European peoples.

“Obviously German is here referring to one of the Germanic peoples who occupy the modern nation of Germany and speak a Germanic language. But as noted before, just because people speak a common language doesn’t necessarily mean they have a common genetic origin. Germans and English both speak Germanic languages , but Germans could easily share more DNA with their Slavic-language speaking neighbors in Poland than with the English.

According to Wikipedia, the modern Germanic peoples include Afrikaners, Austrians, Danes, Dutch, English, Flemish, Frisians, Germans, Icelanders, Lowland Scots, Norwegians, and Swedes.”

I’m no scholar on the subject of HBD, though I have a curiosity about it and an interest in it. But I admit I was surprised to read the last sentence in that first paragraph above — the statement that Germans might have closer genetic ties with the Polish people than with the English. This is because, just as I said, the popular belief is that the English and the Germans are very close cousins. I suppose we all tend to take that for granted, having heard it so often.

In discussions of history and politics on right-wing blogs, many people bitterly condemn the two world wars involving the English and the Germans, on the grounds that ‘it was cousin against cousin‘ or sometimes ‘brother against brother‘, with the implication that the two peoples should never have fought each other.

However history shows us that oftentimes more closely-related peoples are at odds with each other, rather than allies and good neighbors.

There’s a great deal more information in the article about the various European peoples, including some useful genetic maps. Of one of the maps, EvolutionistX says:

“Note, though, that this map has some amusing results; clearly it’s a more Nordic distribution than specifically German, with “Celtic” Ireland just as Nordic as much of England and Germany.”

That last point, about ‘Celtic’ Ireland being just as Nordic as much of England and Germany, is also counter to the popular beliefs, especially those of Americans of Scots or Irish descent, who remain adamant that their ancestors were Celts, not Nordic or Germanic. So much of the inter-group squabbling and grievance-nursing could be eliminated if only ethnic partisans would accept this information as true. Unfortunately people will often believe what they choose to believe and reject any information that challenges their belief system. Politics too often colors people’s openness to new information.

“In 2003 a paper was published by Christian Capelli and colleagues which supported, but modified, the conclusions of Weale and colleagues.[14] This paper, which sampled Great Britain and Ireland on a grid, found a smaller difference between Welsh and English samples, with a gradual decrease in Haplogroup I frequency moving westwards in southern Great Britain. The results suggested to the authors that Norwegian Vikings invaders had heavily influenced the northern area of the British Isles, but that both English and mainland Scottish samples all have German/Danish influence.”

Maybe, as I think I mentioned in an earlier post on this subject, there is a closer kinship amongst the various peoples of the British Isles than between the supposedly close kindred, the English and the Germans. And that seems only common sense, to me.

Is it just my perception, or have intra-European grudges and animosities increased somewhat in the last few decades? In the face of the common threat to all the European peoples, these kinds of rivalries and grievances should diminish. At the same time, though, I don’t think any kind of amalgamation of the various peoples should be the goal; each people is unique; all have their strengths and their weaknesses. Europeans are not all the same. And good fences make good neighbors.

Alliances, yes, but no forced unions, whether EU-style or other such pan-European schemes.

 

 

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Germans and the English: closely related?

  1. Pingback: The Germans and the English: closely related? – The Roper Report

  2. EvolutionistX

    One of the interesting thing about the language/genetics business in England is just how thoroughly the Germanic migrants imposed/passed down their language. Given the DNA, you’d really expect some sort of (large) Celtic substrate or vocabulary to the language. After all, the Norman invasion contributed a substantial quantity of French words, but never replaced the essential Germanic core of the language. By contrast, English doesn’t seem to have any Celtic core–we have more Greek words in English than Celtic ones.
    Given that, I totally understand where people were coming from when they thought the Germanic invasions had replaced the majority of people, at least within England proper.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bonnyblue1607 Post author

      Yes, good points. Why is there so little evidence of an original Celtic language, given the apparent genetic makeup? One of those mysteries that I’ve never heard explained, even in my college linguistics classes.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting, by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. evolutiontheorist

      My guess is that Celtic didn’t enter the language because the elites never learned it.
      The progression from Scottish Gaelic to English happened in historical times, so we can observe that process. The lower classes have to adopt the language of the upper classes for legal and practical reasons, but the upper classes have no reason to adopt the language of the lower classes. Over time people forget the details of the old language and just teach their kids the new one.

      Like

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