Re: [asa] Fw: What Darwin Didn't Know article by Dr. Fuz Rana

From: Murray Hogg <>
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 17:42:18 EST

Hi David,

I was reflecting about this overnight and it struck me that scientists probably only have themeselves to blame when they choose to engage in fanciful comments about "mitochondrial Eve".

Personally, I'd have thought the potential for misunderstanding and misrepresentation would be obvious.

It's probably one for filing under "What on earth were they thinking!"


David Opderbeck wrote:
> It's truly disappointing and frustrating that Rana continues to
> popularize the notion that mitochondrial DNA studies "attest[] to" what
> Rana would offer as the Biblical notion of Adam and Eve. He knows
> better. He knows that mDNA studies don't establish a single Adam or Eve
> who were contemporary with each other, he knows that both mitchondrial
> Eve certainly lived among a population of many other breeding pairs, and
> he knows of Ayala's "Myth of Mitochondrial Eve" paper and other similar
> population genetics studies. Any popular article or talk that makes
> such claims and doesn't address the foregoing is simply misleading.
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
> On Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 5:13 PM, D. F. Siemens, Jr.
> < <>> wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:07:01 -0800 (PST) John Walley
> < <>> writes:
> >
> > FYI..
> >
> > >
> > > Dr. Fuz Rana has a very good article in the latest Charisma
> > > magazine entitled What Darwin Didn't
> > > Know. Here is the link to it.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> There are two matters that I didn't note having comments. The first:
> "But some of the most recent advances related to hominid-human
> relationships raise questions about evolution's validity. In 1997
> fragments of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA from a 40,000- to
> 100,000-year-old skeleton were found in West Germany. When scientists
> compared them with the corresponding fragment of human DNA, the
> researchers discovered that Neanderthals made no contribution to human
> genetics."
> What does a lack of contribution from contemporaries have to do with
> evolution? The claim is that Homo sapiens, H. neanderthalensis and
> now H.
> floresiensis (?) all share ancestry, not that one is the ancestor of the
> others. Since H.s. and H.n. had overlapping ranges, I suggest that some
> modern Europeans could still have Neanderthal inheritance. Mitochondrial
> DNA is inherited only though the mother. So, if a H.s. male fathered a
> son with a H.n. female, and the son fathered offspring with a H.s.
> female, there would be no evidence in the mitochondria of the H.n.
> genetics, though the chromosomal inheritence might be retained.
> The second:
> "Scientific consensus confirms that humanity originated about 100,000
> years ago in east Africa near the location ascribed to the Garden of
> Eden."
> I'll not use the vulgar but appropriate term to describe the claim that
> East Africa is the Near East.
> Dave (ASA)
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Received on Wed Jan 28 17:42:54 2009

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