Is Eve dying or dead?

Glenn R. Morton (grmorton@waymark.net)
Wed, 10 Feb 1999 06:15:47 -0800

In this week's Science News is an article on new genetic data that implies
that Mitochronridal Eve may not mark the origin of humanity. The article
can be found at:
http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/2_6_99/bob1.htm

The article says:
"However, even some admirers of mitochondrial Eve now say that the jury is
out on whether state-of-the-art DNA studies can live up to their early
billing. Accumulating data prove compatible with either of the two main
theories of how H. sapiens came about."
"The recent African-origin model championed by many genetic researchers
relies on genetic findings that fit just as easily into a contrasting
multiregional model. " Bruce Bower, "Dna's Evolutionary Dilema, Science
News 155:88

"Analyzing DNA samples from Africa, Asia, and Europe, Harding's group
estimated that a common ancestor of modern beta-globin gene sequences
originated in Africa around 800,000 years ago. Asian origins of this DNA
region extend back more than 200,000 years, according to their analysis."
"This pattern fits best with the multiregional evolution model, the
scientists say. Modern humans had apparently spread through much of Asia by
the time of what would have been mitochondrial Eve's debut. Differences in
overall beta-globin diversity between Africa and Asia are modest at
best,reflecting the unifying effect of consistent interbreeding, they
conclude." Bruce Bower, "Dna's Evolutionary Dilema, Science News 155:88

There are counter arguments of course from the Out of Africa people. But
the point of this is that when christian apologists rely so heavily on
Mitochrondrial Eve they are relying on very weak evidence. I have long
argued that Adam is very old. This data is going my way in favor of an
old Adam. Christianity must come to grips with this.

If the popular apologists would keep up and monitor trends, they could have
seen this coming several years ago:

"If the coalescence time of mtDNA is truly about 200,000 years ago, then
the expected coalescence time of almost all nuclear genes are going to be
commonly greater than one or two million years. This places the expected
coalescence times of much nuclear DNA into a period in which all humans
probably lived in Africa. Hence, studies on nuclear DNA are expected to
have an African root under all hypotheses of modern human evolution." ~
Alan R. Templeton, "Testing the Out of Africa Replacement Hypothesis with
Mitochondrial DNA Data," in G. A. Clark and C. M. Willermet, ed.,
Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research, (New York: Aldine de
Gryuter, 1997), pp. 329-360, p. 353

"Unfortunately, the original papers that put forward the idea that the
mtDNA data support the Out of Africa replacement hypothesis are flawed with
respect to both sampling design and analytical methodology. The flaw in
the sampling design stemmed from a focus not on the Out of Africa
replacement hypothesis, but rather upon subsidiary hypotheses that are
necessary but not sufficient for the veracity of the replacement
hypothesis. In particular, much of the past effort has concentrated upon
demonstrating that the common mitochondrial ancestor of all humanity
resided in Africa, that she lived approximately 200,000 years ago--or at
least considerably less than the time of the expansion of Homo erectus out
of Africa--and that human population size has greatly expanded in the
recent past. All of these hypotheses are necessary for the replacement
hypothesis to be true, but none of them discriminate between the
replacement hypothesis and an alternative in which all Old World human
populations were genetically interconnected to one another by gene flow,
albeit at low and restricted levels throughout the entire evolutionary time
period marked by the coalescence of all mtDNA diversity back to a common
female ancestor. Under the gene flow, the common ancestor could have lived
anywhere in the Old World, including Africa. Hence, demonstrating that the
root of the mtDNA tree is in Africa (which has not yet been done: Maddison
et al. 1992; Ronquist 1994; Templeton 1993) offers no discrimination of the
relative merits of the replacement versus gene flow hypotheses." ~ Alan R.
Templeton, "Testing the Out of Africa Replacement Hypothesis with
Mitochondrial DNA Data," in G. A. Clark and C. M. Willermet, ed.,
Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origins Research, (New York: Aldine de
Gryuter, 1997), pp. 329-360, p. 329-330
glenn

Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information
http://www.isource.net/~grmorton/dmd.htm