Re: [asa] Dawkins on the fossil record

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Fri Dec 18 2009 - 20:36:37 EST

> Now, when you say "a single pair as the sole ancestors of all modern
> humans", do you mean this in the sense of the pair being the sole "humans",
> and then their offspring interbreeding with each other, etc?

Yes.

> If so, does anything change if what's considered to take place is that there
> was a "single pair" who bred with each other, and their offspring didn't
> breed with themselves, but with the greater population the single pair
> originally came from?

Yes, quite a lot changes. This would allow a much larger set of genes
into the human population, thus making for better compatibility with
the genetic data; in fact, unless there is some sort of unique genetic
marker linking bakc to the single pair, there would not be any genetic
evidence for the event.

The Deccan Traps are possibly involved in the end-Cretaceous
extinction; the Toba eruption is the one often invoked as possibly
significantly impacting human populations. (I think that Ben Franklin
was actually the first to link volcanoes and climate, with possible
human impact, based on large eruptions in Iceland.)

Would there have to be some unique genetic marker? Not necessarily;
the critical component could be entirely spiritual, or it could be an
emergent effect incorporating numerous genetic factors, or it could be
a gradient with no one critical factor.

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Fri Dec 18 20:37:01 2009

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