Thoughts on DNA ancestry tests

“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.”

Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas

I have written about how water raises a turmoil inside me, and how I conjecture that inheritance has roots in my grandmother. What other fears did my ancestors feed into my DNA?


The dead past still lives in our DNAs, people buried in time walk within us, very much alive!


Human curiosity propels me to dig into my DNA and inspect every hidden corner.


With all the existing quick services, simple and easy, right?


Maybe wrong!


At first DNA testing seemed like an innocent global attempt to eliminate racism. Heartfelt videos emerged, revealing ancestry of participants from a country that they despised. Oh, how border melting, nationality-pride dissipating, captivating, isn’t’ it?


Things took a gloomy turn when these ads went from “Know your past” to “ Do you have royal blood?”


Yet another reassurance hunt to validate individual special-ness.


I was so close to doing the test, and then I stumbled upon a video titled “White Supremacists, You Won’t Like Your DNA Results” in which Stephen (humorously) digs into the modern-day genetic testing because curiosity is in his genes.


Beyond individual prejudices and favouritism for certain results, a much bigger concern arose for me: I am surrendering my DNA to face-less organizations, handing out a blueprint of my very being on a silver platter. Maybe they are honest fellow scientists, just trying to give me answers, or maybe they will clone me. (insert tin foil hat). Nevertheless, the privacy agreement could give them full permission to resell your information to various sources. 

So I chose to not know my DNA and to accept my ordinary-ness. ( but that’s just me)


Have you done the DNA test, would you consider it under the current circumstances?


16 Responses

  1. I have done it. Looking for my ancestors and places of origin. Fascinating, knowing where your people came from. It did help me to track down ancestors and where they immigrated frim in the far distant past, the multitude places and ethnicities that make up who I am….study of the many cultures. However, it disturbs me to think how my DNA could possibly be misused.

    1. I don’t doubt that the results would be fascinating to me too. I have a burning curiosity. Hopefully no body will misuse your information. Thank you for sharing this. xx

  2. Oh my, I dream of a DNA test. I know the history of my family since the middle of the XIXth century but somehow I have very unpopular in Poland facial features. Many times people tell me that I look middle eastern – and that’s a total mystery for me since, looking at my family tree, I should not have any not Polish ancestors.

  3. I haven’t done one either as I only just found my biological family and that takes a lot of getting used to. I agree with your point though regarding sending your special stuff which makes you; you, to some faceless organisation. Could it end up on an international database and why should I care? I haven’t done anything wrong. I think its deeper than that. Prior to the internet and the algorithms which follow your viewing habits and suggest new ones for us, we used to seek out new products, experiences, places to visit and this was though out by ourselves, now we have to think less and less so the decision making process is taken out of our hands to a certain extent. This is why blogging is really important to allow us to explore our own subconsciousnesses without being swayed in either direction by an algorithm.
    Carry on writing everyone, don’t listen to the man!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I do agree that we are becoming jaded and put less thought into our decisions.

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