Things you don't need to know...

Redglyph

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Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam are indeed the biological ancestors in theory, the article mentions them in the synopsis (but it's not freely available and it's probably not easy to digest anyway). The former is measured by the number of mutations on the mitochondrial DNA (transmitted from mother to children only) and the latter with the mutations in the Y-chromosome (transmitted from father to son only). In a nutshell, he number of mutations since the common ancestor is deduced from the differences between individuals of the present time, and the mutation rate that is known.

Both have different dates, which makes Eve meeting Adam a bit of a conundrum. ;)

PS: When I first learned about the mitochondria, I found that it was an amazing discovery. The idea we have in each cell a set of critical subunits with their own DNA is so mind-boggling.

I believe there is a lot of arguing about these origins and where humankind first migrated, due to mismatches between different theories.

EDIT: an article that explains the Eve & Adam part much better than me - apparently the theory has evolved and both may even have lived at the same time.
 
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Ripper

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Myrthos

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Yeah, those ancestors even have names: Adam and Eve!! :)
I have that feeling there are also people who's ancestor was the serpent :)
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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The Serpent must have been - this is a personal guess - a powerful natural deity.

I often read the assumption in archaeology that perhaps snakes / serpents were considered something supernatural, because they are able to shed their skin away.
 
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largh

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Going back 2000-7000 years (depending on what assumptions they use) every human being today stems from the same genealogical lines. Meaning we all have the same exact ancestors that far back. All other lines have died out.

It's "a statistical certainty" according to people who have investigated this, even doing computer simulations.

Anyone interested can read a (now quite old) paper I found:
https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...-individuals/330372AB57FB1CB3839FAAA46CF81B66

I'm guessing only @largh; has the statistical know-how to really understand the details, though the basics are easy :)

Yeah, genetic modelling is not easy stuff to understand and I am not a geneticist by training although I frequently collaborate with them. Anyway, after a quick skim, I picked out a few things:

1) This is a model. Models are not reality but some can be useful.

2) Mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) is always inherited along the maternal line (i.e. from female to female) because mitochondria come from the ovum (mitochondria are "power plants" of cells and are actually tamed bacteria but that's another story). Multiple studies have found that Homo sapiens probably have common ancestors from some 100-300k years ago. That is no news and has been the prevailing interpretation for many decades. That result has been shown using mDNA other among methods. Now, it is important to understand that this does NOT imply that all humans would stem from one female. It only implies that the ancestors shared similar mitochondrial DNA. Most likely there is no one "common mother" and that hypothesis is mostly brought up by people who believe in the bible. Genetic differentiation often takes longer times than one generation. We are likely talking about a group or few groups of individuals living in the same region (somewhere in modern day Kenya/Ethiopia if I recall correct).

3) It is scary to mix religion and science. I did not look carefully, but I do not see the article mentioning "2000-7000 years" or making any other creationist claims. It just seems another article airing a model showing relatively similar results to earlier calculations. However, if you see "2000-7000 years" in articles, you can be almost certain that the author is biased. Obviously, it is shown using thousands independent methods that what the creationists claim is not true. Homo sapiens has a history measured in hundreds of thousands of years, not in thousands of years as the creationists claim.
 
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SveNitoR

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Yeah, genetic modelling is not easy stuff to understand and I am not a geneticist by training although I frequently collaborate with them. Anyway, after a quick skim, I picked out a few things:

1) This is a model. Models are not reality but some can be useful.

2) Mitochondrial DNA (mDNA) is always inherited along the maternal line (i.e. from female to female) because mitochondria come from the ovum (mitochondria are "power plants" of cells and are actually tamed bacteria but that's another story). Multiple studies have found that Homo sapiens probably have common ancestors from some 100-300k years ago. That is no news and has been the prevailing interpretation for many decades. That result has been shown using mDNA other among methods. Now, it is important to understand that this does NOT imply that all humans would stem from one female. It only implies that the ancestors shared similar mitochondrial DNA. Most likely there is no one "common mother" and that hypothesis is mostly brought up by people who believe in the bible. Genetic differentiation often takes longer times than one generation. We are likely talking about a group or few groups of individuals living in the same region (somewhere in modern day Kenya/Ethiopia if I recall correct).

3) It is scary to mix religion and science. I did not look carefully, but I do not see the article mentioning "2000-7000 years" or making any other creationist claims. It just seems another article airing a model showing relatively similar results to earlier calculations. However, if you see "2000-7000 years" in articles, you can be almost certain that the author is biased. Obviously, it is shown using thousands independent methods that what the creationists claim is not true. Homo sapiens has a history measured in hundreds of thousands of years, not in thousands of years as the creationists claim.
I might've worded it wrong. I'm an atheist, so not at all claiming that everyone came from Adam and Eve. Rather:

It's not that we have one single forefather/-mother, but going back as little as 2000-7000 years, everyone who is alive today has so many forefathers that it becomes almost statistically certain that everyone alive today is related to every single person from that time who managed to pass on their genes until today. Everyone is related to everyone on much shorter time scales than previously thought.

The infinite monkey cage had a show about genes 2016, and I re-listened to it a few weeks ago, reminding me of this. I believe the episode was called "What is Race?" if you want to check it out.
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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largh

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It's not that we have one single forefather/-mother, but going back as little as 2000-7000 years, everyone who is alive today has so many forefathers that it becomes almost statistically certain that everyone alive today is related to every single person from that time who managed to pass on their genes until today. Everyone is related to everyone on much shorter time scales than previously thought.

I still don't understand where you got "2000-7000 years". Also, the model is not cancelling previous interpretation. It just suggest another way to interpret the data given the model and the assumptions were right. You jump too quick to conclusions. It's just one paper among many.
 
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Couchpotato

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All that data shows that all of us came from a certain point in history. That just adds credibility to the bible and that whole-tower of Babylon fable, and I'm not religious.
The story of the Tower of Babel explains the origins of the multiplicity of languages. God was concerned that humans had blasphemed by building the tower to avoid a second flood so God brought into existence multiple languages. Thus, humans were divided into linguistic groups, unable to understand one another.
 
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largh

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All that data shows that all of us came from a certain point in history. That just adds credibility to the bible and that whole-tower of Babylon fable, and I'm not religious.

Haha, you're just trying to provoke :p Not going into that trap...
 
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Couchpotato

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Nah but yeah scientist's don't like religion, and religion can't be disproved either. It's the whole "Faith vs. Fact" and why religion and science are mutually incompatible.:lol:

 
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largh

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Nothing wrong with religion as such. Mixing faith and religion in the scientific method is not science, however. Books written thousands of years ago can give cues to natural and cultural phenomena but they are certainly not "the truth". They are just tales from that time.
 
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Couchpotato

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Nothing wrong with religion as such. Mixing faith and religion in the scientific method is not science, however. Books written thousands of years ago can give cues as to natural and cultural phenomena but they are certainly not "the truth". They are just tales from that time.
It's amazing how much history is lost because what was written was destroyed, or the ones with knowledge died without sharing it. One example the Library of Alexandria.

Rome destroyed it and we lost a good chunk of that knowledge. Now as for the bible tales yeah who knows. Probably some kernel of truth lost over time as well.

On a side note there are undersea continents that were once part of the earth.
 
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largh

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Couchpotato said:
It's amazing how much history is lost because what was written was destroyed, or the ones with knowledge died without sharing it. One example the Library of Alexandria.

Rome destroyed it and we lost a good chunk of that knowledge. Now as for the bible tales yeah who knows. Probably some kernel of truth lost over time as well.


True, yet it is also amazing how much information has been found and pieced together. Historians and anthropologists are doing fascinating (yet super-boring) work figuring out which parts of chronicles could be true, which parts politically influenced and which parts pure fiction. Perhaps someone can come with a book/podcast recommendation to learn more about their work. I listened to one but it was in Finnish...

On a side note there are undersea continents that were once part of the earth.

That's called plate tectonics ;)
 
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Couchpotato

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No that was Middle-Earth. I'm just joking.:p

Though I was reading about that in a few science journals this week. Europe has another continent below it's landmass. Caused by radiation and yes plate tectonics.

New Zealand is also part of a submerged continent. Fascinating.
 
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Redglyph

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I'm not really religious either, I prefer to believe the origin is natural rather than divine. But carefully avoiding the subject of religion beliefs (because not the right forums ;)), the scientific way is not easy or comfortable to believe.

For example, there's a big gap between the biological Eve and Adam, that some try to explain for ex. with polygamy (Genghis Khan must have his part in it), but it's not as if a couple just spawned at a specific time and start making babies anyway. There must have been mutations and selections leading to our proud species, gradually and possibly at different places (but I don't know much about it). So it's not surprising that it's hard to pinpoint any origin, and it's probably pointless to try.

The very idea of natural selection is shocking too when you consider how complex our biology is.

That's a lot of uncertainty, so I understand people who chose to believe something else. Personally, after much reading on the subject - first and foremost in Terry Pratchett's books, I think the most likely explanation is that we evolved from an Igor-like species by self-hacking (or were perhaps engineered by them?). It's like the bike, clever engineering can extend a limited species' reach.
 
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SveNitoR

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I still don't understand where you got "2000-7000 years". Also, the model is not cancelling previous interpretation. It just suggest another way to interpret the data given the model and the assumptions were right. You jump too quick to conclusions. It's just one paper among many.
Hmm. I was sure I'd linked an open article, but it turns out I hadn't. Maybe it was the comments by the scientists I'm (mis?)remembering.

Edit: I'd linked wrongly but this article ( https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02842 ) is also paywalled.

Anyway, I found an open article where they quote the first article I wrote about:

https://doi.org/10.4236/ns.2021.134011

"Rohde et al. [2] considered the MRCA and MRIA times for the current global human population. Their simulations necessarily required estimates of uncertain quantities—specifically past human population sizes, migration routes, and number and frequency of migrants. However, under a wide variety of assumptions, they concluded that the MRCA of the current global human population likely lived between 2300 and 3400 years ago: or between approximately 300 and 1400 BCE. The same analysis [2] put the estimated date of identical ancestry between about 3000 and 5400 BCE."
 
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Alrik Fassbauer

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Well, human fossils of any kind shows that humans and those who came before whom we call nowadays "human" ... had a variety of … shapes and formes.
 
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