Two new papers on population genomics in subSaharan Africa (SSA) are out, and they’re very interesting. The link is to a blog that discusses them a bit. The papers themselves are open access.

I’ve long said that as we get a broader sample of genomes from SSA we’ll gain a better understanding of our ancestral population structure. There is so much diversity here, and our sampling thus far has not been very comprehensive. These papers are helping change that. In other words, the probability that our estimates of effective population size will increase as we survey this region is high.

The effective population sizes for some groups are on the order of ~20,000 over the last 800,000 years. Very, very interesting. My hot take on this is that this will push back even the “error bar Adam” significantly, but I’ll need to spend more time on this - I’m just starting on reading them. Similarly, William Lane Craig’s hope for shoehorning a sole genetic progenitor Adam into the data at 100,000 years ago (not that this was plausible in any case) is even more unrealistic.

I’m curious to hear what impressions @glipsnort , @sfmatheson and @RichardBuggs might have.