Thanks for @glipsnort for this in-depth look at population genetics.
What I find disappointing about this article is that it fails to mention that human genetic diversity is smaller than we see in most other species. If you are going for an objective presentation of the facts it is a good idea to give the complete picture.
The genetic diversity of our species not what we see in animals that were all over the globe for the last million years, but rather is consistent with a migration from a single population in southern Africa 100,000 years ago, and absorbing a couple of smaller populations (Neanderthal and Denisovan) as they covered the globe.
Very nice article!
Thanks, Steve, for an article even a caveman like me can understand!
I’m looking forward to reading this from a true expert, @glipsnort . Thanks.
I very much enjoyed your article and find that what you say harmonizes with what I learnt in my study of scripture while getting my MDiv degree in Theology and my study of genetics while getting my MD in medicine. It is so refreshing to see one science respecting it’s limits when discussing a topic that cuts across multiple fields. In this case genetics and theology. Yet adding knowledge it legitmately can add to the subject.
My understanding Genesis’s report of man origins was to present an ordered story about the beginning of the world and man in contrast to Babylonian chaotic story of creation that the Israelites were exposed to during Babylonian captivity.
I have a similar education background though I went into physics rather than medicine.
Interesting… would like to hear more about this.
I tend to take the A&E story more seriously with minimal adjustments (subtracting magical elements) to fit scientific discovery (and without trying to force science into the story). Doesn’t mean I don’t find literary explanations like what you suggest interesting. It is possible for both to be true, I think.
Thanks, @glipsnort. Had to bookmark this one. It was pretty well written for a guy with just two English degrees.
Question: Population genetics’ tools and methodology to measure a two-person bottleneck all seem to peter out around 500,000 years ago. Do you think this will change in the foreseeable future? In other words, are technological or methodological breakthroughs likely to change that date?
I doubt the limit is going to change very much. When you go that far back, you start to get down to a handful of lineages that we all descend from, and it becomes impossible to distinguish four ancestral lineages that happen to survive from four created genomes.
Great article. The figures were very helpful. I understand population genetics a little better now