Sunday, 18 September 2016

Human Population Bottleneck Sizes

Various apologetic arguments claim that the scientific estimate of the minimum human population is some value such as 2,000, which is not supported by the actual scientific literature; in this post we'll look at where some of those numbers seem to be coming from.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Misunderstanding and Misrepresenting Mitochondrial Eve

Every time there's a discussion of Adam and Eve, someone who doesn't understand the biology will inevitably bring up ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ (or sometimes ‘Y-chromosomal Adam’) as though this is somehow relevant to the Biblical fictional characters.

The latest example over at SN is LHRMSCBrown, who links to this piece by William Lane Craig:

It has been shown by geneticists that all living human beings on the face of the earth today, based on their mitochondria in our cells, are descended from the same woman. There is literally a mother somewhere in the distant past of the entire human race. Scientists have called her the Mitochondrial Eve. They don’t think that this is the Eve of the Old Testament because they would say this woman was just one of probably thousands of women who existed at that time but remarkably if there were all these other thousands of women their descendants have all died off somehow in the course of history and everybody that exists today is a descendant of this woman who actually lived at some time in the prehistoric past.

Craig can rarely be accused of getting the science correct, and this is no exception.