Richard Buggs is Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and a Senior Research Leader at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
(Recorded 24 May 2020) Has modern genetics disproven the idea of Adam and Eve? Could two individuals carry within them enough genetic variation to be the sole ancestors of today’s diverse human population? Theoretical and empirical studies of genetic bottlenecks show that large diverse populations can be descended from a single couple. Commonly-used methods of reconstructing past human population sizes would not point to a single couple bottleneck even if it were true. There are a range of historical scenarios by which a single couple could be the sole progenitors of present day human genetic diversity.
See this video from Richard Buggs that just came out. What are your thoughts?
Agreed, but that kills off the sole progenitor idea.
I wouldn’t say the intron experiment is necessary, just interesting.
Interbreeding with what? Other H. sapiens? Then it’s not sole progenitors any more. Different species of Homo? Why would separately created species be interfertile?
I don’t know why Venema should concern us rather than the evidence relevant to the scenario.
I’m presuming that Buggs is proposing a created pair, sole members of the species. Isn’t that it? Even if it’s a bottleneck of two from a previously larger population, where’s the interbreeding coming from?
This question is asked by minds just a few steps from madness. It is a “scientific” question of the same caliber as “could a superalien have built a Pret a Manger on the moon, then removed all evidence for it?”
Hehe. It is a question. Fransisco Ayala asked the question and published an analysis in PNAS. Was he a few steps from madness too? (for this particular reason, not others ).
Well, it does. They are using the term differently, and they have a right to do so. Sole progenitor, in this discourse, includes theological meanings. Scientists do not have the right to tell theologians what they mean by terms in theology.
Why even bother? That is an important question.
Initially, they had not realized that interbreeding is a massive loop hole. It took a while for them to realize this.
They still want to minimize interbreeding, and this analysis is a way to determine how much interbreeding, at most, is required.
It is part of what stimulated RTB to propose a new de novo model of AE (Mosaic Eve). You could argue that isn’t a single couple bottleneck either, but it is from their point of view.
There is a history of people saying that their theological beliefs on sole-progenitorship were totally ruled out by particular genetic evidence (effective population size), requiring a minimum population size of 10,000. That wasn’t true, in fact it was never the consensus view.
Even if trans-species variation ends up putting a minimum population size of 15, that is orders of magnitude less than 10,000.