European family ties are knotty
I have trouble understanding “Europeans are one big family” (SN: 6/15/13, p. 8). It says that every person living in Europe today shares a common set of ancestors. First, what does “set” mean? “Set” implies there are certain common characteristics of the members, but people living in Europe 1,000 years ago had only one thing in common: living in Europe. Second, I interpret the article to mean that everybody now living in Europe is descended from people who lived in Europe 1,000 years ago. But this cannot possibly be true. Immigration has been more or less continuous, has it not? The ancestors of many present-day Europeans lived in Africa and Asia a lot more recently than 1,000 years ago.
Fredric Blum, Merion, Pa.
The reader is right that recent immigrants to Europe might not share ancestors in this time range. Stu