Scientists Find All Humans Descend from One Couple That Lived 200,000 Years Ago

Not your typical Adam and Eve story.

A new, revolutionary scientific study has discovered that all modern humans were spawned from a single couple, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Furthermore, researchers also found that 9 out of 10 animal species also descend from one specific couple, according to a new study published by scientists from the University of Basel (Switzerland) and Rockefeller University (NY, USA).

By surveying the genetic barcodes of more than five million animals–as well as humans–from 100,00 different species inhabiting Earth, scientists concluded that we ‘spawned’ from a  single pair of adults after a ‘catastrophic event’ nearly drove the human race to extinction, some 200,000 years ago,

The so-called genetic barcodes or DNA snippets that result outside the nuclei of living cells seem to indicate that not only humans originate from one specific couple, but as many as nine out of ten animal species as well.

As noted in the study, ample evidence supports the theory that most species, be it a bird or a moth, or a fish, like modern humans, arose very recently and have not had enough time to develop a lot of genetic diversity.

In fact, the 0.1% average genetic diversity within humanity today corresponds to the divergence of modern humans as a distinct species about 100,000 – 200,000 years ago – not very long in evolutionary terms.

The same is likely true of over 90% of species on Earth today.

Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay.
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay.

“DNA barcoding” is a quick, simple technique to identify species reliably through a short DNA sequence from a particular region of an organism.

According to Senior Research Associate Mark Stoeckle and Research Associate David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland, as much as ninety percent of all animal species that exist today on Earth can be traced back to parents that seemingly all started giving birth at about the same time, some 250,000 years ago, causing us to reconsider established patterns of human and animal evolution.

“This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could, Thaler explained.

“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,” said Stoeckle.

A Catastrophic Event?

The discoveries made by Stoeckle and Thaler raise a number of new questions. What predates the couple from which the remaining humans today came into existence?

What forced the human race to start over in such a relatively short period of time? And what does this mean for religion?

Did the human race really restart after a cataclysmic event on Earth? Or is there a possibility that we have an inbuilt reset button that causes us to restart every once in a while as a species?

According to the Daily Mail, the new find suggests the possibility for an “inbuilt human evolutionary process wherein we break down and die out, leaving the need to start from scratch.”

As it turns out, we humans are surprisingly similar to one another, but also to other species.

As explained by Jesse Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment at The Rockefeller University, “If a Martian landed on Earth and met a flock of pigeons and a crowd of humans, one would not seem more diverse than the other according to the basic measure of mitochondrial DNA.”

In the new study published in Human Evolution, scientists analyzed the ‘mitochondrial DNA’ which is what mothers pass down from one generation to another, and found that there is an ‘absence of human exceptionalism.’

“Our approach combines DNA barcodes, which are broad but not deep, from the entire animal kingdom with more detailed sequence information available for the entire mitochondrial genome of modern humans and a few other species. We analyzed DNA barcode sequences from thousands of modern humans in the same way as those from other animal species,” says Dr. Thaler.

“One might have thought that, due to their high population numbers and wide geographic distribution, humans might have led to greater genetic diversity than other animal species,” he adds.

“At least for mitochondrial DNA, humans turn out to be low to average in genetic diversity.”

“Experts have interpreted low genetic variation among living humans as a result of our recent expansion from a small population in which a sequence from one mother became the ancestor for all modern human mitochondrial sequences,” says Dr. Thaler.

“Our paper strengthens the argument that the low variation in the mitochondrial DNA of modern humans also explains the similar low variation found in over 90% of living animal species – we all likely originated by similar processes and most animal species are likely young.”

To make their discovery, scientists used massive data from the world’s fastest-growing biological databases, as well as literature in evolutionary theory, including Darwin’s.

The study has already been misinterpreted in a number of religious circles which point towards Aam and Even, and how the Bible is right.

However, the scientific paper does not suggest that humans came into existence in some sort of miraculous way, but that our species is forced to reconstruct itself more often than we thought.

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