All modern humans descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, scientists say.
Scientists surveyed the genetic “bar codes” of five million animals – including humans – from 100,000 different species and deduced that we sprang from a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race.
These bar codes, or snippets of DNA that reside outside the nuclei of living cells, suggest that it’s not just people who came from a single pair of beings, but nine out of every 10 animal species as well, Daily Mail reports.
The research was led by Senior Research Associate Mark Stoeckle and Research Associate David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Stoeckle and Thaler concluded that 90 per cent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250,000 years ago – throwing into doubt the patterns of human evolution.
“This conclusion is very surprising and I fought against it as hard as I could, ” Thaler admitted
The new report was published in Human Evolution.
Stoeckle and Thaler mined “big data” insights from the world’s fast-growing genetic databases and reviewed a large literature in evolutionary theory, including Darwin.
Stoeckle said: “At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom.”
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