Administrator/Researcher: Angela J. Cone
Costa Tsirigakis - Founder J2 Y DNA project & admin/researcher from 2006 - mid 2008
See bottom of page for Project Admin. information

How scientific studies are conducted - The Scientific Method

Making Observations
eg. Observing that sometimes (but not always) haplotypes and haplogroups are correlated.
testing may lead to new observations
Forming a hypothesis
Testing the predictions

Hypotheses are formulated based on observations. Hypotheses are tentative answers to questions generated by observations.
eg. "some STR markers values are correlated with J2 sub-clades and can be used to reliably predict sub-clade"

Reject or do not reject
the hypothesis
Predictions are tested with rigorous experimentation. Studies that involve people or animals are required to conform to high ethical standards.
Null Hypothesis
Making Predictions
For every hypothesis, there is a corresponding null hypothesis (HO). The null hypothesis is that there is no effect. Hypotheses are expressed in the null form for the purposes of statistical testing.
eg. "STR markers cannot be used to reliably predict J2 sub-clades"
Based on your hypothesis, you can generate predictions.

Results Published

When the results are conclusive enough to be accepted in a peer reviewed publication

In academic research, findings are usually not made publicly available until after the predictions have been rigorously tested using the scientific method, and after the research has undergone peer review.

Peer review is an important step, that helps distinguish science from pseudo science.
All the steps in red are done before peer review.

Usually the public is only made aware of research findings after the research study has been written up and submitted to a journal, and has undergone peer review. During peer review the draft paper is usually sent to two or more researchers in the same field. If the reviewers are not happy with the quality of the research, they will reject the paper (often they will advise what changes need to be made). In peer review, the reviewers judge the scientific quality of the research (they are not biased by any personal issues). Sometimes the only thing that is "wrong" with the paper is that the focus of the research is outside the topic area of the journal. In these cases the researchers should submit the paper to a more appropriate journal.

The Differences between Science and Pseudo-Science.

The Scientific method is rigorous and based on observation, theory, experimentation, documentation, repeatability, and critical review. The underlying principles of Science: to observe, question, theorise, and test are quite different from pseudo-science, which begins with a preconcieved idea or theory and then looks for certain experimental results or evidence to support that idea, rejecting other contrary evidence in the process.

Making an observation -> making a deduction -> stating the deduction as fact before/without rigorous scientific testing
=> PseudoScience

Making an observation -> making a deduction -> presenting the deduction as an unconfirmed hypothesis until confirmed with rigorous scientific testing
=> Science

How does this relate to the J2 Y-DNA project?

The J2 Y-DNA project conducts its research according to the scientific method. The only manner in which the project differs from academic studies is that the DNA testing is funded by each individual test subject, and that preliminary results are made available publically (ie. prior to being conclusive as determined by rigourous scientific study/peer review).

At this time (July 2008), all the J2 Y-DNA projects findings are still in the process of being scientifically tested. None of the findings are ready for peer review yet. The research still needs to continue/undergo rigourous scientific study before it is at a stage where it would be considered ready for peer review.



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This work can be freely cited, if it is attributed to:
The J2 Y-DNA project

Angela Cone - Co-administrator from mid 2006 - mid 2008
Administrator from mid 2008 - Present
Click here to read about Angela.

Costa Tsirigakis - Founder J2 Y DNA project & admin from 2006 - mid 2008