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​Scientists Claim Humans Are Descended From Two People

Jess Hardiman

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​Scientists Claim Humans Are Descended From Two People

Featured Image Credit: 20th Television

A recent study claims all modern humans have descended from two people who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

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The study, which was headed by scientists Mark Stoeckle and David Thaler, saw the team look into the genetic 'bar codes' of five million animals (including humans) from 100,000 species - with results apparently proving that we descend from a single pair of adults, following a catastrophic event that wiped out the human race.

Er, right. Not quite Adam and Eve vibe it initially sounded like, is it?

Stoeckle and Thaler - Senior Research Associate and Research Associate at the University of Basel in Switzerland, respectively - believe the 90 percent of all animal species we know today hail from parents that began giving birth at around the same time - less than 250 thousand years ago.

Along with mining 'big data' insights from genetic databases, the two scientists also reviewed literature in evolutionary theory, including Darwin.

Stoeckle said: "At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom."

Thaler added: "This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could."

The new report also had input from experts at the Rockefeller University, with the findings published in journal Human Evolution.

It raises the question of why there was supposedly a need for human life to start all over again such a relatively short time ago.

"If a Martian landed on Earth and met a flock of pigeons and a crowd of humans, one would not seem more diverse than the other according to the basic measure of mitochondrial DNA," said Jesse Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University.

"Culture, life experience and other things can make people very different but in terms of basic biology, we're like the birds," Stoeckle added.

The 'mitochondrial DNA' examined by the team - which is the DNA that mothers pass down through generations - showed the 'absence of human exceptionalism'.

"One might have thought that, due to their high population numbers and wide geographic distribution, humans might have led to greater genetic diversity than other animal species," added Stoeckle.

"At least for mitochondrial DNA, humans turn out to be low to average in genetic diversity."

Topics: Science, News

Jess Hardiman
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