Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A critique of The "Eve" Hypotheses: A Genetic Critique and Reanalysis

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(Review Paper) Cited in Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A critique of The "Eve" Hypotheses: A Genetic Critique and Reanalysis

Mitochondrial Eve Hypotheses Flaws[edit | edit source]

Mitochondrial Eve is a true hypothesis. All mtDNA must come from a common female ancestor. It must come from a female ancestor because mtDNA is passed through the female/mother. However, hypothesis have been made to conclude that this female ancestor is of African origin, lived 200,000 years ago, that the phylogeny of mtDNA is also of population (saying that all modern humans are from the same geographical population as the common ancestor) and also that the modern human came from Africa and spread across the world to wipe out the homo humans to extinction, also known as "out of Africa replacement hypothesis". These hypotheses are wrong[1].

It has also been said that Africans contain DNA at a higher level than Europeans or Asians when it comes to genetic diversity, but no statistical test has been showed to support it.

Methods[edit | edit source]

Hypothesis One – African Origin: Maddison looked at the cladogram that supports the hypothesis that the mtDNA originated in Africa. There were 10,000 trees that were shorter than the rest and had two different basal clades. The first basal clade had seven African haplotypes and the second clade was an Asian-African clade. Therefore the clade is not purely African which means the mtDNA could not have originated from Africa. There are many flaws to using cladograms to measure origins. Hypothesis Two- Lived 200,000 years ago: They used intraspecific calibrations to measure the time of origin, however this has multiple errors. The large ranges provided by the calibrations (varied between the two scientist) make clear the uncertainty. Because of genetic drift and the evolutionary process, no large sample can be used to accurately trace ages of species. Hypothesis Three and Four – Same Geographical Population/Spread Around Old World: They looked at 2 population expansions, both being at the haplotype level within 1 step clades. First being Arabs and Sub-Saharan Arficans and the second being across Europe. All showed restricted but non-zero gene flow. There could have been geographical origin because all Old World humans had to have come in contact with one another. [1]

Results[edit | edit source]

The results are as follow, the location of the mitochondrial eve is not Africa, it is unknown. The time period in which she lived was not 200,000 years ago, it was much longer ago than that. The Out-of-Africa hypothesis is false.[1]

It's questionable how there is a wide genetic variation in our modern world today but yet it leads down to one common ancestor.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Templeton, A.R. (1993) The "Eve" Hypotheses: A Genetic Critique and Reanalysis.American Anthropologist 95, (1 ) 51-72 . Retrieved on March 22 from ,

The "Eve" Hypotheses: A Genetic Critique and Reanalysis Alan R. Templeton American Anthropologist , New Series, Vol. 95, No. 1 (Mar., 1993), pp. 51-72 Published by: Wiley-BlackwellExternal Link on behalf of the American Anthropological AssociationExternal Link Article Stable URL: