Mar 08 2013

Father of Us All

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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Father of Us All”

  1. PharmD28on 08 Mar 2013 at 3:16 pm

    well, I cannot say I really follow it all, but I certainly have a greater sense for how much more complex the issue is….

  2. BillyJoe7on 09 Mar 2013 at 4:56 am

    The elephant in the room.

    Steven Novella: “The mitochondrial Eve dates back to about 200,000 years ago. The new study discovers a more ancient form of Y-chromosome then was previously known, and this version dates back to 340,000 year ago. (Obviously the genetic Eve and Adam never hooked up.)”

    And that, therefore, unless the error bars of both estimates is at least 140,000 years, there was no Adam and Eve and that, therefore, JC, if he existed, died for a mere metaphor, thereby invalidating all of the Christian religions.


  3. MarcusGPon 09 Mar 2013 at 8:31 am

    Not only the Christian religions, but all the Abrahamic religions. Could push it further and say all creation myths.

    Not that that is the point, eh?

  4. almostmedicineryon 09 Mar 2013 at 8:40 am

    “And that, therefore, unless the error bars of both estimates is at least 140,000 years, there was no Adam and Eve and that, therefore, JC, if he existed, died for a mere metaphor, thereby invalidating all of the Christian religions.”

    Because that’s what gave it away, wasn’t it?

    Frankly, if we expect Genesis to be right, then the farthest ancestor we could trace anyone to (with this method), would be Noah. So if Genesis was right, we’d be confusing Noah with Adam.

  5. almostmedicineryon 09 Mar 2013 at 8:46 am

    Correction, the farthest, male ancestor. Noah’s sons’ wives might have had a common traceable female ancestor. If it was true.

  6. norrisLon 11 Mar 2013 at 12:11 am

    I did once calculate the number of offspring from a single couple whose first child was born in 1000AD, allowing 3 surviving children per generation to each produce 3 further offspring, and allowing 3 generations per century. So by 1100AD there were 27 surviving offspring, and so on. If anyone else wants to calculate that through to 2000AD, go ahead and let me know what you come up with.
    The final number at 2000AD is probably greater than the current population of the world.

  7. The Other John Mcon 13 Mar 2013 at 8:07 am

    I always thought it was interesting people don’t ever seem to trace their geneologies back very far, until I realized that we have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-gps, 16 great-great-gps, then 32, then 64, then on and on and on.

    Makes it real tough to back for more than a few generations just as a practical matter. And by then, you are just as related to a guy on the street then to some of your distant great great greats, so it’s tough to even care at that point. This also makes the historical attempts at “preserving bloodlines” by kings a spectacularly silly idea, forever doomed to failure. If only they did a little math.

  8. Bill Openthalton 13 Mar 2013 at 10:19 am

    John –

    The “kings” did manage to breed for a number of disorders such as haemophilia, prognathism, … :)

  9. Jared Olsenon 14 Mar 2013 at 6:10 am

    Not sure what you mean by

    “This apparent paradox is resolved by realizing that as you go back generations, ancestors are counted increasingly numerous times.”

    I’m hopeless with numbers and stats…

  10. Murmuron 14 Mar 2013 at 6:42 am

    Jared, what this means is that the further you go down your history, the more likely it is that your ancestor on one branch of your tree is the same person as on another branch of the tree.

    One of your mother’s great great great great great great grandfathers could very well be your father’s great great great great great great grandfathers too. At six generations you have 64 great^6 grandfathers, and historically people did not travel as far so it is likely ancestors are shared even more closely than this. This is only going back 200 years or so, once you start going back 600, you have over a million grandfathers and pretty soon your grandparents would outnumber the population of the planet if your branches had not intermingled at some stage.

    It is much easier to show graphically, which unfortunately I can’t through this medium.

    Even as close as the Victorian age, cousins marrying cousins was not frowned upon, and in Westeros not too long ago a Targaryen brother would marry his sister without batting an eyelid… or am I mixing reality with fiction again?

  11. Jared Olsenon 15 Mar 2013 at 5:09 am

    Murmur, thanks for the clarification, I get it now…

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