Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A critique of The Myth of Eve

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(Review Paper) Cited in Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A critique of The Myth of Eve

Points Made[edit | edit source]

The theory of a Mitochondrial Eve is supported by anthropological evidence. However, it is a theoretical explanation to address current confusion between group genealogies and individual genealogies. The mitochondrial eve is the latest female that humans can be traced through the woman-only link. More research needs to be conducted, but the evidence does seem to point to a specific point of divergence towards the evolution of modern human beings[1].


Methods[edit | edit source]

The mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother, was sampled from 147 females found in five regions of the world. This proved all woman had a common ancestral mother.The research compared 30 DNA polymorphisms from 14 populations around the world, in contrast to earlier mtDNA samples that were sampled in small numbers earlier[1]. [3]

Results[edit | edit source]

Both of the genealogies are dated back to around the same time, approximately 156 000 years ago – which is around the same time it was believed that modern humans spread out from Africa. Though the amount was small, it did point to a convincing hypothesis that modern human populations did in fact originate from Africa; our testing of the larger group of 30 DNA polymorphisms also supports this date and location. The data suggests the same maternal ancestry.[1].

Is it possible that there is evidence against Mitochondrial eve that just hasn't been discovered yet? This suggests that sufficient research and analysis has not been conducted yet and the result of this isn't enough to form a strong opinion one way or the other if Mitochondrial Eve is correct. Perhaps data from an earlier date in other locations has not been identified yet. Cyabl420 (talk) 02:11, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
It is possible that the sample of mtDNA is too small to accurately see its existence. The nuclear genome shows that mtDNA may exist in populations outside of Africa. Nzurg (talk) 02:33, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ayala,F. (1995). The Myth of Eve: Molecular Biology and Human Origins. Science, New Series.Vol. 270,No. 5244,1930-1936. Retrieved November 16, 2010 from
  2. Robert, S. B. (1995, Dec 21). Genetic adam and eve hold key to ancestry. Edmonton Journal, pp. 7-F.7. Retrieved from
  3. Jack Miller, T. S. (1990, Feb 19). Theory of 'eve' in 200,000 B.C. under attack. Toronto Star, pp. 2-A2. Retrieved from