Boston Globe botches math in big Elizabeth Warren scoop on Native American ancestry

Source: Washington Examiner | October 15, 2018 | Katelyn Caralle

The Boston Globe issued a correction to its big scoop about Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s possible Native American ancestry, showing that their math was off.

The correction note, appearing now at the bottom of the report, reveals that the ancestry percentage of a potential 10th generation relative is actually even lower than originally stated.

The Globe initially reported that Warren has “strong evidence” of Native American heritage, stemming from six to 10 generations back, which would make her at minimum 1/512th (or .19 percent) Native American.

However, the Globe acknowledged that the number actually doesn’t even reach the tenths place without rounding up.

“Correction: Due to a math error, a story about Elizabeth Warren misstated the ancestry percentage of a potential 10th generation relative. It should be 1/1,024,” the Globe said in its correction. That would put the percentage at .097.

To put this into perspective, the Republican National Committee shared a link to a 2014 New York Times article which discussed how the largest genetic profile study published at the time found in that European-Americans had genomes that on average held .18 percent Native American ancestry.


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