Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mitochondrial Eve

A maternal ancestor to all living humans called mitochondrial Eve likely lived about 200,000 years ago, at roughly the same time anatomically modern humans are believed to have emerged, a new review study confirms.

The results are based on analyses of mitochondrial DNA. Found in the energy-producing centers of cells, mitochondrial DNA is only passed down the maternal line, and can be traced back to one woman.

However, this doesn't mean she was the first modern woman, rather it indicates that only her descendants survive to the present day.

"There is always some other female that predated mitochondrial Eve, whose DNA didn't make it up to modernity," said Marek Kimmel, a professor of statistics at Rice University. "So the age of the mitochondrial Eve is always less than the age of the true, first female modern human."

Read it all here.

I contacted Marek Kimmel and asked him to answer 3 simple questions about this and he never responded.  I wanted to know how a scientist confirms this assumption: "she was the first modern woman" but only because her descendants were the only ones to survive to the present day.


Alice C. Linsley said...

That is true. It could also be that she is one of the humans who were from the beginning. The article fails to mention that there are 3 original mitochondrial Eves. It appears that, given the human propensity to self-destruct, the Creator placed more than one set of original parents on Earth.

Anonymous said...

So... they all 'self-destruct'ed?

Did humanity have a propensity to self-destruct before the exile from Eden? Or do you not think that there was a 'fall'?

I guess what I'm saying is... if God wanted to place multiple first parents on the earth due to their propensity to self destruct, then:

a) His plan failed, which is of course impossible; and...

b) They had a propensity to self destruct before the fall

Please forgive me, I'm very curious.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The Adam and Eve story is about the order of creation and not primarily a record of genetic diversity or a theological proposition.

Anonymous said...

What does 'order of creation' mean when separated from theology?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Order of creation refers to the divinely established binary opposites that are universally and objectively observed on Earth. Male-female, night-day, the heavens-earth, seas-dry land, etc. One of the entities is perceived to be superior in some way. Males are larger and stronger than females, for example. Heaven is more glorious than earth.