Dear Dr Swamidass,
I just finished reading your captivating book ‘The Genealogical Adam and Eve’. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it helped provide some clarity regarding those enigmatic first few chapters of Genesis and the many ways in which it can be viewed, however I just have one question. Although I understood most of the book, there was one thing that was not clear to me. Would you be able to provide a delineation between the most recent universal common ancestor (MRUGA), the identical ancestor point (IAP) and the near identical ancestor point (I think you called it ‘NIAP’)?
You mention “Going back a little bit further we reach the identical ancestor point (IAP), where everyone at that point and more ancient is either the ancestor of everyone alive to day or the ancestor of nobody”. Do you mean that at the IAP, 100% of people are the ancestors of everybody, or 100% of people are the ancestors of nobody? If so, what does that mean? Or do you mean that at of everyone alive at the IAP (100% of people alive at that point), some of those people are the universal ancestors of everybody alive today (lets arbitrarily say 63%), and the remaining 37% of people at that point are not universal ancestors? If so, what does that mean? And how then does the NIAP relate? Is the IAP the period there everybody at that point (100% of people) are the universal ancestor of the MRUGA? If so, could you explain that more?
You also mention certain IAP individuals are ‘poorly located’ and ‘unlucky’. Please could you explain this more? I get that those people are in the most isolated regions of the globe, but how are they poorly located and unlucky in regard to the IAP?
Lastly, I am assuming your Adam (and Eve) would be the MRUGA, and not the IAP, right? Could you explain this a little more? Perhaps in your explanation regarding these questions, you could provide some theoretical examples to help facilitate understanding.
I thought your explanations were very clear throughout the rest of the entire book, and have already recommended it to numerous other people – it’s just this one thing I was uncertain about. I know you go into more detail as to what these terms mean. I understood the individual explanations, but just failed to see how they all related.
Any help you could provide me with would be greatly appreciated.