Sunday, September 18, 2011

Colchicine is a very dangerous drug

Some people have been misinformed that having Familial Mediterranean Fever proves a Melungeon connection. This is certainly not true despite articles on the Internet.  The statement that there are many cases in Hancock county, TN is false. The most dangerous aspect of this dislusional thinking is that the advice to just TRY colchicine is very dangerous advice because colchicine is a very dangerous drug. An ethical Dr. would only prescribe colchicine if the benefits outweighed the danger. Leave the prescribing to a licensed physician.

What can it do?
According to web site Epocrates Online, these are the things colchicine can do to you. We explain each medical word in simple terms. Please note: As with each drug, a list of side effects doesn’t mean you will definitely get them all, or even one of them. But it's way too dangerous to take trying to prove you have FMF

Serious reactions:

1. Myelosuppression – This means suppression of your bone marrow, where your blood cells are created. When our bone marrow is suppressed, we can have anemia, be more prone to infections, and we may bleed more easily.

2. Leukopenia (lack of white blood cells – responsible for fighting infections), thrombocytopenia (lack of platelets – responsible for stopping bleeding), granulocytopenia (lack of a type of white blood cells also responsible for fighting infections), pancytopenia (this means lack of all types of blood cells altogether) – All of these can happen when your bone marrow is suppressed.

3. Diarrhea, severe – Well, this doesn’t require any explanation, does it?

4. Myopathy – This means an inflammation in your muscles, causing them to be weak, among other things.

5. Rhabdomyolysis – This means breakdown of muscles.

6. Neuropathy – This is something the guy in the show had at the end, and it means an inflammation of nerves. It can cause tingling, pain or a lack of sensation in our fingers.

7. Hepatotoxicity – This means a toxic effect on our liver.

8. Nephrotoxicity – This means a toxic effect on our kidneys.

9. Multiple organ failure, including fatal – This means that instead of just one organ in our body having problems (like the liver or kidney above), many organs stop working properly altogether.

10. DIC – This means “disseminated intravascular coagulation”. It’s a condition in which blood clots form inside blood vessels throughout the body while at the same time bleeding can happen.

11. Hypersensitivity reaction – This means an allergic reaction to a drug. It can be anything from a rash or fever (seen on the show) to a potentially fatal condition called anaphylaxis. The latter one can show up as a low blood pressure (like the guy on the show had).

12. Azoospermia – This is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough sperm in the semen.
Common reactions:

1. Diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, cramping, abdominal pain
2. Fatigue
3. Headache
4. Pharyngolaryngeal pain – This means pain in the throat and mouth.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some Descendants of Meredith Collins

Who Is Meredith Collins?
Brenda Collins Dillon (deceased Dec. 13, 2006) Brenda's family has given me permission to reprint some of her articles. There is good information here. JC

Meredith Collins was my ggggrandfather. He served in the REVWAR as a Virginian Soldier,
served in the militia after the war was over, and appeared to have moved often always with
a group of Collins families believed to be related somehow. The Collins intermixed or inter-
married with such families as Mullins, Johnsons, Roark, Holloway, Gipson, Trent, Riffe,
Lambert, Justice, Coots, Blankenship, Roberts, and with these names the mystery of a group
called "The Melungeons". In my 25 + years of research I have heard many times rumors of
of a connection to the famous Melungeon, Vardy Collins of Newman's Ridge Tennessee. Many
folks believe Vardy and "Merdy" were brothers and tho this has not been proven, I personally
believe they were related but think they were more likely to have been first cousins, grandsons
of Old Thomas Collins who settled with his sons on the Flatt River of NC.

c.-Meredith "Meredy" Collins - Veteran of the Revolutionary War
b.1760 Virginia *from Eula Conley. d.1841 Pike Co.KY
Revolutionary war- Montgomery-Fincastle Counties Division under Captain
James McDaniell. (his name is on a plaque by the courthouse, Pikeville, KY)

1776 Fincastle-Momtgomery Co.
Christianburg,Va.-signed entry list for RevWar
under Capt. James McDaniel
George Collins
Lewis Collins
David Collins
Meredith Collins

Meredith Collins was probably son a of John Collins Sr. who was the son of old Thomas of
Orange Co. NC then to Pittslyvania Co. VA came from Louisa Co. VA

(Montgomery Co. militia 1780's by Kegly)(Osborn Company )

Benjamin Sexton
Charles Sexton
David Collins
George Collins
* Meredith Collins (enlisted 1776 at age 16, makes him in his 20's)
Lewis Collins (son of John)
Elisha Collins (refused to take Oath of Allegiance 1777)
John Sexton
William Bowlin
William Riddle(son of Moses)
John Riddle (son of Moses)
Samuel Collins
John Collins (Probably a Jr.)

m.1-Unidentified woman ca.1782-85 (This would be durning his militia
service in Montgomery Co. Va.)
h. probably Upper New River along the VA/NC border
h. probably Russell Co. VA. Name on tax rolls 1799-1809; children:
c.1-Bradley Collins b. 1787, probably Wilkes Co. N.C.
d.after 1844, probably Appanoosa Co. IA
m.1-Unidentified woman, in Virginia ca 1810.
c.1-Andrew Collins b.1811, probably Russell Co., VA
d.possibly Iowa, later than 1844.
m. "Betsy"Sizemore ca. 1830's
h.1-Clay Co. KY, ca 1830-1840
h.2-Chariton Co., MO ca 1840-1844
h.3-Appanoosa Co., IA, 1844-?
c.1-Lewis Collins b. 1837, Clay Co., KY. Civil War Veteran.
c.2-Samson Collins b. 1841, Chariton Co. MO. Civil War.
c.3-Archibald "David" Collins b. 1844, Chariton Co., MO. or Appanoosa Co., IA.
c.4-Polly Ann Collins b. 1848, Appanoosa Co., IA.
m.Phillip Newton Smith 3/26/1871, Scott Co., MO.
c.2-? Bradley had several children by his first wife, but the number and their names are
not known.
m.1- possible........Jane Rhea 1817 Orange Co. NC...(found record not sure him)
m.2-Catherine Barney, 7/28/1831, Clay Co., KY. No children?
m.3-Betsy Griffin, 2/16/1833, Clay Co., KY. No children?
m.4-Elizabeth Lunsford, 9/5/1836


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Monday, September 5, 2011

Conclusions and Jumping to Them

Conclusions and Jumping to Them

By Roberta Estes, copyright 2011

One of the things that people who study the sciences in a university environment learn is how to think with both logic and reason. This training is necessary to form a hypothesis and to construct experiments that will truly address the question or questions they are attempting to answer, without bias. This technique is called Cause and Effect Cognitive Reasoning.

However, it's easy to get caught up with what is colloquially called "pretzel logic." And for those untrained as scientists, especially those who might want to believe something specific, it's very easy to see how pretzel logic occurs.

Let's look at cause and effect cognitive reasoning.

Example 1

1. Eighty percent of the cracks in blacktop streets occur when the temperature is over 90 degrees.
2. Deaths in the elderly population increase when the temperature is over 90 degrees.

Cracks in the street are causing an increase in deaths of elderly people. Equally wrong conclusion - deceased elderly people are causing cracks in the street.

Why are these conclusions wrong? Because while items 1 and 2 are linked by the same underlying cause, neither of them is the cause of the other. It is incorrect to infer that they are.

Example 2

1. All canine animals are ferocious (for this example).
2. Bears are ferocious.

Bears are canine animals.

Why is this wrong? Just because items one and two are individually accurate does not mean that you can draw any parallel, analogy or conclusions between items one and two.

This becomes more difficult when we introduce factors where we know the outcome to be true.

Example 3

1. All living things need water.
2. Roses need water.

Roses are living things.

While this is factually true, it is not true because of the facts stated, but because of two facts that are not stated.

3. Dead things do not need water, and...
4. All thing are either dead or alive.

When these two extra data points are added, we can then correctly deduce the answer that roses are living things. However, to do so by using only statements 1 and 2 would be a logically incorrect process for the same reasons that our first two examples were wrong. It's difficult to understand this though, because we already know that all matter is alive or dead and dead things don't need water.

This is an example of letting pre-existing knowledge influence a conclusion. Even though people claim to understand this logic process when stepped through examples individually, and the methods for accurate deductive reasoning, more than 80% of the population still fails simple logic tests.

So now that we understand how NOT to get caught up in logic traps, let's move on to areas more relevant to genealogy.

Example 4

1. A DNA participant matches an individual whose ancestor is known to live a few kilometers from the participants ancestor in Germany.
2. The matches ancestor is Jewish.

The participant is Jewish.

What is wrong with this conclusion? This is the same situation as Example 2 where the two individual statements are true, but no connection can be drawn between the two facts.

Could this be true, meaning could the participant's ancestor be Jewish? Yes, but one cannot state that it is true through logic or deductive reasoning based on only the information presented here. More information is needed.

What might the scenarios be?

The two individuals may have a common ancestor in the Middle East before the dawn of the Jewish religion and migrated to Germany independently.

The two individuals may share a common ancestor in Europe, and one family may have subsequently converted to Judaism.

The two individuals may share a common ancestor in Europe, and one family may have subsequently converted from Judaism.
There is not enough information given in items 1 and 2 to reach any conclusion about Jewish heritage for the participant. To conclude otherwise would be incorrect at best, and potentially unethical, depending on the circumstances and motivation for drawing the incorrect conclusion.

Example 5

1. A Y-line DNA participant claims to have Native heritage.
2. The DNA participant carries yline haplogroup R1b or a subclade.

Haplogroup R1b indicates Native heritage.

This is the perfect example of pretzel logic. This is incorrect because while these items individually may be perfectly accurate, there is no logical link between the two. Here's why.

The individual may not have Native heritage at all.

The individual may have Native heritage, but not on the paternal line.

If the individual does have proven Native Heritage on the paternal line by genealogically accepted documentation sources, such as the Guion-Miller Rolls, the paternal ancestral DNA can still be European because many European males fathered children with Native women and those children were considered full tribal members due to their mother's tribal status. However, the DNA of these fathers is still of European origin, regardless of whether the children were considered tribal members or not.

No DNA tests on pre-contact burials produce any evidence of European haplogroups, so there is no reason to suspect that any haplogroup R1b members were part of either initial or later migrations to North America before European contact.

Example 6

1. A male in the Melungeon project carries haplogroup E.
2. An individual in the Portuguese project carries haplogroup E.

Men who carry haplogroup E are Portuguese. Equally wrong conclusion - all Portuguese men with haplogroup E are Melungeon.

Why is this wrong? I'm sure by now you recognize the error in the logic. These two statements, while individually true, have nothing to do with each other. What might be more accurate situations?

There are many men in Portugal who carry haplogroup E. Haplogroup E was born in Africa and through migration and enslavement, haplogroup E subgroups are found throughout Europe and the Americas.

Melungeon males who carry haplogroup E need to be individually evaluated as to the locations of their matches, both current and ancestral, and results combined with genealogy.

Melungeons are defined as a particular group of individuals in a specific place and time, and people living in Portugal are not included in the group defined by documented records.

People who are members of haplogroup E can be found in nearly every geographic project, so finding one in the Portuguese project and logically connecting the Portuguese to the Melungeons due to this finding would come under the category of either pretzel logic or perhaps the desire for a particular outcome.

Searching for Data to Support a Desired Outcome

Drawing a conclusion and then attempting to fit data into the conclusion isn't science, it's deception, but unfortunately, to the uninitiated, it can sound quite compelling. This is why scientific review panels exist in the scientific world, to insure unbiased reporting of results and accuracy of logic in the scientific process. There are no internet police to regulate the truthfulness or accuracy of websites and what they have to say, but in academic publishing there are editors and peer review boards, and they are brutal. They do however, insure that the consuming public can have faith in the results within the limits of what science had to offer at the time of publication.


The internet is the perfect breeding ground for pretzel logic. People desperately want to believe one thing or another, someone is Native or isn't European, is Jewish or isn't, for example, and using pretzel logic, they can convince themselves, and sometimes others as well that A and B separately are true, so combine them to get C. This isn't a recipe, and A and B can't simply be combined.

At the following website, compliments of California State University at Fullerton, several examples of different types of faulty reasoning are provided.

Dr. Robert Gass, who provides this website, specializes in Human Communications in the areas of persuasion, arguments, critical thinking and deception detection.

Don't fall into the pretzel logic trap. Be sure when you're evaluating logic statements and scenarios, especially those described by others that you don't allow previous knowledge, preconceived ideas or personal desires to cloud your vision. Be sure to ask yourself if these factors might be influencing the position of the individual making the statements.

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