RoyG wrote:Shivji and others,
A very professional youtube video should be put together pooling together all the latest genetic, linguistic, archaeological, and historical research. I can talk to a relative of mine who made it big in the digital media industry. He currently puts together very polished advertisements for a particular US political party. It just so happens he is also interested in this debate.
It would also be much easier to circulate on twitter. Let me know what you think.
Great. All the best.
Primus wrote:johneeG wrote:Primus' saar,
I think your scepticism is misplaced. You should be first sceptical about out of africa theory itself. out of africa was first proposed by darwin himself. At the same time, out of asia was also proposed by some German. There is no proof to support out of africa theory as far as I understand, atleast there was none when darwin proposed it. It is just assumed to be true. The whole theory is based on speculation over speculation just like AIT.
The reference to east africa as origin seems to be based on bible.
As for the sceptic version you linked, he didn't give one good point relevant to the issue. His whole scepticism seems to be based on the site's other content. In short, he would believe it if mainstream media reports it.
JohneeG Ji, wouldn't you agree though that if somebody claims in one breath that the Sun revolves around the Earth and then claims humanity came out of India, you would be skeptical? Moreover, the website that 'debunks' OOA bases its conclusions on the work of the Russian chemist who has been thoroughly discredited by his own countrymen as per the reference I posted.
Granted, Darwin first proposed a single origin for humanity but it was all speculation until 1987 when the seminal paper by Cann et al was published.
You have, with respect not yet put forward any scientific evidence that modern humans did NOT come of Africa but instead came out of India as you claim. I have already said that there may well have been waves of humans going out of India to the rest of the world AFTER they had come there from Africa originally.
The question here is whether modern, homo sapiens sapiens came out of Africa originally or there was a 'multi-regional' evolution going on simultaneously OR if, as you claim India was the cradle of this particular 'civilization'. Even Priyadarshi himself admits humans entered India from Africa and then dispersed elsewhere.
I have, in my limited search, not found any credible evidence to support an Out of India theory for humanity.
Will post some more links to support the OOA belief. As I said, the likely scenario is a 'leaky replacement model'.
- If several claims are made by one entity, then validity of each claim has to be tested independently. Rightness of one claim doesn't make other claims right and wrongness of one claim doesn't make other claims wrong. Many websites and forums have several contents especially those which are not mainstream. All sites have their own agenda. We don't have to agree or disagree with all the content of any site. We use critical analysis to separate the right from wrong.
- Out of Africa was always popular from the time of Darwin himself. Cann only 'corrobarated' it once again.
About that Russian:
Here is the translation of the site you posted:
DNA demagoguery Anatoly Klyosov
January 13, 2015. TRV number 170, c. 1-2, "Science and Society"
EV Balanovskaya, SA Borinskaya, AP Buzhilova AV Dybo, LS Klein and others.
Category: Science and Society
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Fig. O. Feigel'man
Fig. O. Feigel'man
At last in late 2014 of the academic conference "ethnogenesis, ethnic and socio-political history, the genesis of the language and culture of Karachai-Balkar people" acted Doctor. chemical. Sciences Anatoly Klyosov, claiming that he created a new science that the formulas of chemical kinetics reconstructs the history of the peoples. This event caused a negative feedback scientists - anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, geneticists, linguists. Scientists are concerned not so much active propaganda A. Klyosov his pseudoscience as decreased immunity of the scientific community who has made an amateurish performance on the academic platform.
The new genealogy of a chemist
We are not surprised at the appearance of strange distortion of reality television stations issued for the achievements of science. However, the inclusion in the program of the academic conference report, treats the story of the peoples on the basis of methods of chemical kinetics contrary to the facts, firmly established by anthropologists, geneticists, linguists and historians - unacceptable event for the scientific community.
Speaker A. Klyosov known public statement in the film Mikhail Zadornov, the history of the Slavs has 9 thousand. Years and they came Scandinavians . We all know that movies can distort the words of the scientist and the need to look its publication in scientific journals. But in the case of A. Klyosov is problematic. He sets out his ideas mainly on the Internet, and books that do not have the neck scientific institution. Yes, in two journals, which are called scientific. The subjects first - "Bulletin of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy" ("Academy" was founded by himself) - wide: articles on genetics are combined with a breakdown of Veles book and analysis of climate change on the signs of the zodiac. The second magazine (Advances in Anthropology, chief editor A. Klyosov, published Scientifc Research Publishing) is not included in base recognized scientific journals, but included in the list of suspicious titles, earning the fee for the publication of anything.  Before hobbies human history A. Klyosov chemistry and I have worked in this specialty scientific articles and patents. Georgian Academy of Sciences even introduced him to his part in "Biochemistry." Perhaps, like Academician Fomenko, the famous mathematician, Anatoly Klyosov announced the desire to "restore order" in an alien science.
Scientists and amateurs
Studies of the genetic diversity of humanity has been going on for almost a hundred years. Population genetics studies the gene pools of all new markers: blood groups, mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome, and now on the complete genome. These genetics have long been used as one of many sources, telling about human migration. Today, the analysis of their DNA has become available to everyone - it did more than a million people. Due to population genetics operating time each of them can trace their direct migration of genealogical lines (male and female) for thousands of years deep. This application is called genetics branch of Genetic Genealogy, although in Russia often called "DNA genealogy." She turned out to be a breeding ground for AA Klyosov. Using ready-made database and pulling from an extensive toolkit of population geneticists Y-chromosome (occasionally mtDNA), it adds to one of the methods of genetic dating of several formulas, usurps the term "DNA genealogy" and exploiting the ever increasing interest in genetic reconstruction of the history of peoples, announces all this "new science", and itself - its creator. 
As Slavs make arias
A. Klyosov uses techniques that can derive the origin of any population of any desired ancestors. Here's an example: "Eastern Slavs - the genus R1a1. Their descendants, across Europe and around the world, up to Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates - representatives of R1a1, descendants of the Slavs. Or Slav, which in this context is the same ". How to prove the origin of the Slavs from the Arabs? Easy - with the help of substitution of concepts: "In DNA genealogy" Eastern Slavs "- are members of an ancient family R1a1» . The genetic term "haplogroup" AA Klyosov substitute for social category of "race", putting in a biological sense. Was there a common ancestor kind of real or perceived, is entirely dependent on history and not on A. Klyosov. Therefore, rigid adherence AA Klyosov kind of biology - an attempt biologization social categories.
"Members of the genus R1a1 in the Balkans, who lived there 12 thousand. Years ago, after more than 200 generations took to the East European Plain, where 4.5 thousand. Years ago there was the ancestor of modern Russian and Ukrainian kind R1a1. Even after 500 years, 4 thousand. Years ago, they came to the southern Urals, even after 400 years, went to India, where now live about 100 million of their descendants, members of the same kind R1a1. Rod Aryans. Descendants of Slav or their next of kin ". In this entertaining "history" is used several times receiving substitution of terms. First, the term "Slavs", which has very definite linguistic and ethnological values arbitrarily interpreted as "ancient carriers of haplogroup R1a1", this ignores that haplogroup R1a1 were many other peoples. Then, when the settlement "kind R1a1" brought to India, biological carriers of haplogroup R1a1 carries the name of the language of the "Aryans", this ignores that the Aryan (Indo-Iranian) languages are divided into a couple of thousand years before the Russian and Ukrainian. Now we have to equate the end of a long migration to its beginning - and the eastern Slavs will arias (and the Arabs - the descendants of the Slavs).
A. Klyosov Formally, of course, recognizes that a lot of people haplogroup (what did he do with that fact?). Really - you draw them a picture of migrations based on this ideology throughout the existence of it is biological haplogroup Tagged really exist ethno-political or social community.
Such rigid linking biological and social parameters goes far beyond science.
How to make humanity from the Russian Plain
These methods can be used to refute anything, such as "exit" man from Africa. "The theory of human output in Africa is currently approved only as a tool to combat racism. For science, it has nothing to do ", says A. Klyosov. However, even the new data is not necessary - you can use the same genetic data that the world scientific community accepts as indisputable evidence of exit person from Africa. The trick is simple: explain the maximum genetic diversity in Africa is not out migrations and migrations to . No matter what the theory of "the set of inputs into Africa" is required abyss assumptions: for hundreds of thousands of have to go one by one targeted migration from Eurasia to Africa, and that many of the genetic lines of obligation in Africa, though crowded, but to survive, whereas in Eurasia These lines will AA Klyosov should disappear without a trace. In the writings of A. Klyosov the hypothesis that the Russian North - the ancestral home of Homo sapiens, "160 thousand. Years ago, people lived on the Russian plain, or in the north of the Russian Plain, and hence of his relatives went to the south, to Africa, arriving there after a long migration of about 140-120 thousand. years ago, ". Analysis of fantastic constructions AA Klyosov already given in the book archaeologist LS Klein  and anthropologists on the website "Human evolution" . At the same site contains gradually updated and detailed analysis of the genetic distortions, reasoned analysis for which there is no place .
The master of mimicry
The creator of the "new science" demonstrates not only the pressure of aggressive, but also an excellent ability to mimic academic standards, which sometimes leads to confusion not only viewers but also scientists. For example, in an article for a scientific audience surname geneticists M. Hammer, T. Karafet, L. Zhivotovsky listed among the forerunners of his "new science" , and in publications designed for lovers, genetics declared trash, into which the same most scientists .
Mimicking in response to criticism, A. Klyosov writes: "The Slavs and Aryans belong to different epochs. It's like saying that Prince Vladimir was a Soviet. Even if we have among his descendants. In any scientific article, I do not have that Arias - are Slavs, and vice versa ".  In fact, just about the fact that the Slavs - this aria, A. Klyosov written several books (see. Above). A skilful populist A. Klyosov produces the expected results on the public consumption. Each AA Klyosov gives the desired interpretation of its history, while not disdaining and political conclusions. But those who are sincerely interested in the origin of its people, is unlikely to find in the constructions AA Klyosov their real ancestors.
"New Science", designed to "reformat views of the past," not only denies the results of genetics and anthropology, and linguistics and archeology. For example, rename the Proto-Indo-European language in Proto-Slavic (with the same success can be called Teutonic, but the audience is not the same). Language imposed tight biological context: if two people have the same haplogroup, their languages are required to consist of kinship: "In DNA genealogy Aryans and Slavs (at least from one-half to three-quarters of the Slavs) are one and the same family, who had a total ancestor, and the languages they are obliged to diverge from a common root "[12, p. 35]. So why now the linguistics? Tested several people in a commercial company - and soon "can be classified in a different language," according to AA Klyosov [12, p. 83].
No less decisively crushes A. Klyosov and eternal problem of archeology - the relation of ethnic communities and material culture. According to the "new science", each ethnic group is associated with "their" main haplogroup. So we just have to find for each haplogroup circuit changing the time of archaeological cultures, "Attributes Arkaima ... in fact, it refers to the expected haplogroup R1a» . If the community is not appropriate, it should be invented: for carriers of haplogroup «R1b» consonance created Phantom - the ancient people "erbiny."
Especially densely fantasies chemist genealogist full of his books. One - in collaboration with the inventor of the "rusantropa" (Pithecanthropus and contemporary at the same time ancestors of the Russian) AA Tyunyaevym, which the RAN Commission to Combat Pseudoscience describes the three most famous pseudo-scientists. Another book - co-authored by amateur authors from Vladivostok, many years proving that the Great are the oldest people in the world. She, like other non-scientific "achievements" AA Klyosov, advertises humorist M. Zadornov. The scientific world of his DNA genealogy rejects. It does not help even the State Prize received for achievements in chemistry. Do not save and claimed at different sites rank of professor at Harvard. Query to Harvard shows that AA Klyosov was once a «visiting professor» (position, to put it mildly, does not correspond to the Russian "Professor"). And because AA Klyosov has to announce the entire list: "Let's be honest, even though I do not like to rattle regalia. But they - an objective reality. You are comparing someone? I - Academician of the World Academy, initiated by Einstein, academician of the National Academy, winner of various awards, including the USSR State Prize for Science and Technology, the author of hundreds of jobs, most of which he wrote, without co-authors, an author of over twenty books on different languages, doctors and professors to thirty years of age, and who you are to me (implicitly) competes? Some N? (Names omitted for ethical reasons. - Ed.) That is so mad that I called "pseudoscientist"? Who do not understand the basics of what they say? Which is a complete crap, mediocrity? ". Such lists of relevant plans and New Vasyukovskogo scale  in the "priorities DNA genealogy" includes, among other things, to achieve a "decision of the Government of the Russian Federation to support the new direction of DNA genealogy at the level of Federation" .
To sum up: the "new science" AA Klyosov de facto is not a scientific concept and can not therefore be the subject of scientific debate. This parascientific concept, unfortunately, is not harmless. Signs of language and culture is not transmitted as haplogroups or color, these are two different mechanisms. Phantoms A. Klyosov in which biological mixed with social - populist tool for managing hazardous and hidden forces. Its packaging in fashionable pseudo-scientific form flattering layman their accessibility and attract readers, the national political ambitions which does not meet the scientific world. In an effort to gain notoriety not only on the internet, A. Klyosov straightforwardly seeks political issues of the day, including a Ukrainian and a map , based prove to be popular, if not the science, the teleideologiey and TV propaganda. Dilettantism on television the scientific community can only comment, but amateurism on the academic podium invalid.
EV Balanovskaya (geneticist, Doctor. Biol. Sciences, prof.)
SA Borinskaya (geneticist, Doctor. Biol. Sciences)
AP Buzhilova (anthropologist, corresponding member. Russian Academy of Sciences)
V. Volkov (genealogy)
MM Gerasimov (anthropologist, PhD. Ist. Sciences)
EZ Godin (anthropologist Doctor. Biol. Sciences, prof.)
NA Dubova (anthropologist Doctor. Ist. Sciences)
AV Dybo (linguist, Corresponding Member. Russian Academy of Sciences)
LM Yepiskoposyan (geneticist, Doctor. Biol. Sciences, prof.)
A. Kassian (linguist, PhD. Filol. Sciences)
VF Kashibadze (anthropologist Doctor. Biol. Sciences)
LS Klein (archaeologist, doctor. Ist. Sciences, prof.)
AG Kozintsev (anthropologist Doctor. Ist. Sciences. Prof.)
OL Kurbatov (geneticist, Doctor. Biol. Sciences)
NV Markina (science journalist, PhD. Biol. Sciences)
DV Pezhemskiy (anthropologist, PhD. Biol. Sciences)
IV Carriers (anthropologist Doctor. Biol. Sciences)
A. Sokolov (editor of the portal "Human evolution")
EY Tetushkin (geneticist, PhD. Biol. Sciences)
VI Khartanovich (anthropologist, PhD. Ist. Sciences)
JK Net (anthropologist Doctor. Ist. Sciences)
VA Shnirelman (ethnologist, doctor. Ist. Sciences)
Yu Yusupov (ethnologist, PhD. Ist. Sciences)
LT Yablonsky (archaeologist, doctor. Ist. Sciences, prof.)
Here is the wiki page of Anatoly Klyosov
Anatole A. Klyosov is a US scientist (since 1990) born in the Kaliningrad region of Russia on 20 November 1946. He is now living in Newton, Massachusetts. He is known for his work in physical chemistry, enzyme catalysis, biomedical sciences, industrial biochemistry, and mathematical/statistical/ computer application on DNA genealogy studies. In Russia, he held one of the top scientific recognitions, being awarded the USSR State Prize in Science and Technology (1984).
From 2000 to 2013, he was senior Vice President and then (from 2006) Chief Scientist of Pro-Pharmaceuticals and then Galectin Therapeutics, a public company in the Boston area, from 1996 to 2000, he was vice president of research and development for Kadant Composites, Inc., a subsidiary of Kadant, Inc., where he directed a laboratory specializing in biochemistry, microbiology and polymer engineering. From 1990 to 1998, Dr. Klyosov was visiting professor of biochemistry at the Center for Biochemical and Biophysical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. From 1981 to 1990, he was professor and head of the Carbohydrates Research Laboratory at the A.N. Bach Institute of Biochemistry, USSR Academy of Sciences. Currently he is Emeritus Founder and Chief Scientist of Galectin Therapeutics and a member of Scientific Advisory Board. MIR International is his Massachusetts consulting company which he owns since October 1991, currently specializing in composite materials and DNA genealogy (two separate divisions). He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science (since 1989), and Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia (since 2014).
Wikipedia is as mainstream as anyone can get. He has received some state award from Russia. He was a professor in Harvard. So, he is clearly a well-respected academician who has written a paper along with someone else saying that Non-africans don't have african genes. I don't see what exactly was debunked by this bunch who are attacking their compatriot because he is opposing their pet theories. This is similar to how any attempts to undistort the Indian history are met by a bunch of commie historians acting as roadblocks.
Anyway, as for the Out of Africa theory itself:
This is a really long but quite exhaustive article on this whole issue. It doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with it. But, it explains how the whole thing came to be.
The Demise of Mitochondrial Eve
Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D.
© 2003 Apologetics Press, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Reproduced by Permission from Apologetics Press
On the first day of 1987, a scientific “discovery” seized the attention of the popular press. The original scientific article that caused all the commotion—“Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution”—appeared in the January 1, 1987 issue of Nature, and was authored by Rebecca Cann, Mark Stoneking, and Allan C. Wilson (see Cann, et al., 1987). These three scientists announced that they had “proven” that all modern human beings can trace their ancestry back to a single woman who lived 200,000 years ago in Africa. This one woman was nicknamed “Eve” (a.k.a., “mitochondrial Eve”)—much to the media’s delight. An article in the January 26, 1987 issue of Time magazine bore the headline, “Everyone’s Genealogical Mother: Biologists Speculate that ‘Eve’ Lived in Sub-Saharan Africa” (Lemonick, 1987). A year later, that “speculation” became a major Newsweek production titled, “The Search for Adam and Eve” (Tierney, et al., 1988). The provocative front cover presented a snake, tree, and a nude African couple in a “Garden of Eden” type setting. The biblical-story imagery was reinforced by showing the woman offering an apple to the man.
A word of explanation is in order. For decades, evolutionists had been trying to determine the specific geographical origin of humans—whether we all came from one specific locale, or whether there were many small pockets of people placed around the globe. When they set out to determine the specific geographical origin of humans, a curious piece of data came to light. As they considered various human populations, Africans seemed to show much more genetic variation than non-Africans (i.e., Asians, Europeans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, et al.). According to molecular biologists, this increased variability is the result of African populations being older, thus, having had more time to accumulate mutations and diverge from one another. This assumption led some researchers to postulate that Africa was the ancient “cradle of civilization” from which all of humanity had emerged.
The genetic material (DNA) in a cell’s nucleus controls the functions of the cell, bringing in nutrients from the body and making hormones, proteins, and other chemicals. Outside the nucleus is an area known as the cytoplasmic matrix (generally referred to simply as the cytoplasm), which contains, among other things, tiny bean-shaped organelles known as mitochondria. These often are described as the “energy factories” of the cell.
Mitochondria contain their own DNA, which they use to make certain proteins; the DNA in the nucleus oversees production of the rest of the proteins necessary for life and its functions. However, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was thought to be special for two reasons. First, it is short and relatively simple in comparison to the DNA found within the nucleus, containing only thirty-seven genes instead of the 70,000+ genes located in the nuclear DNA. This makes it relatively easy to analyze. Second, unlike nuclear DNA, which each person inherits in a jumbled form from both parents, mitochondrial DNA was thought to be passed on only through the mother’s line (more about this later). Working from the assumption that mtDNA is passed to the progeny only by the mother, Dr. Cann and her coworkers believed that each new cell should contain copies of only the egg’s mitochondria. In trying to draw the human family tree, therefore, researchers took a special interest in these minute strands of genetic code. What they really were interested in, of course, was the variations in mitochondrial DNA from one group of people to another.
Although our mtDNA should be, in theory at least, the same as our mother’s mtDNA, small changes (or mutations) in the genetic code can, and do, arise. On rare occasions, mutations are serious enough to do harm. More frequently, however, the mutations have no effect on the proper functioning of either the DNA or the mitochondria. In such cases, the mutational changes will be preserved and carried on to succeeding generations.
Theoretically, if scientists could look farther and farther into the past, they would find that the number of women who contributed the modern varieties of mitochondrial DNA gets less and less until, finally, we arrive at one “original” mother. She, then, would be the only woman out of all the women living in her day to have a daughter in every generation till the present. Coming forward in time, we would see that the mtDNA varieties found within her female contemporaries were gradually eliminated as their daughters did not have children, had only sons, or had daughters who did not have daughters. This does not mean, of course, that we would look like this putative ancestral mother; rather, it means only that we would have gotten our mitochondrial DNA from her.
To find this woman, researchers compared the different varieties of mtDNA in the human family. Since mtDNA occurs in fairly small quantities, and since the researchers wanted as large a sample as possible from each person, they decided to use human placentas as their source of the mtDNA. So, Rebecca Cann and her colleagues selected 145 pregnant women and two cell lines representing the five major geographic regions: 20 Africans, 34 Asians, 46 Caucasians, 21 aboriginal Australians, and 26 aboriginal New Guineans (Cann, et al., 1987, 325:32). All placentas from the first three groups came from babies born in American hospitals. Only two of the 20 Africans were born in Africa.
After analyzing a portion of the mtDNA in the cells of each placenta, they found that the differences “grouped” the samples by region. In other words, Asians were more like each other than they were like Europeans, people from New Guinea were more like each other than they were like people from Australia, and so on.
Next, they saw two major branches from in their computer-generated tree of recent human evolution. Seven African individuals formed one distinct branch, which started lower on the trunk than the other four. This was because the differences among these individuals were much greater than the differences between other individuals and other groups. More differences mean more mutations, and hence more time to accumulate those changes. If the Africans have more differences, then their lineage must be older than all the others. The second major branch bore the non-African groups and, significantly, a scattering of the remaining thirteen Africans in the sample. To the researchers, the presence of Africans among non-Africans meant an African common ancestor for the non-African branches, which, likewise, meant an African common ancestor for both branches. The nickname “Eve” stuck to this hypothetical common ancestral mother, and later, then, fired the media’s imagination.
Having concluded that the African group was the oldest, Dr. Cann and her colleagues wanted to find out just how old the group might be. To do this, they used what is known as a “molecular clock” that, in this case, was based on mutations in the mtDNA. The rate at which the clock ticked was determined from the accumulation of changes over a given period of time. As we note below in our discussion of the so-called molecular clock, if the assumption was made that there was one mutation every 1,000 years, and if scientists found a difference of 10 mutations between us and our ancient hypothetical ancestor, they then could infer that that ancestor lived 10,000 years ago.
The researchers looked in two places for their figures. First, they compared mtDNA from humans with that from chimpanzees, and then used paleontology and additional molecular data to determine the age of the supposed common ancestor. This (and similar calculations on other species) revealed a mutation rate in the range of 2% to 4% per million years. Second, they compared the groups in their study that were close geographically, and took the age of the common ancestor from estimated times of settlement as indicated by anthropology and archaeology. Again, 2% to 4% every million years seemed reasonable to them.
Since the common mitochondrial ancestor diverged from all others by 0.57%, she must have lived sometime between approximately 140,000 (0.57 ÷ 4 × 1,000,000) and 290,000 (0.57 ÷ 2 × 1,000,000) years ago. The figure of 200,000 was chosen as a suitable round number.
The results obtained from analysis of mitochondrial DNA eventually led to what is known in evolutionary circles as the “Out of Africa” theory. This is the idea that the descendants of mitochondrial Eve were the only ones to colonize Africa and the rest of the world, supplanting all other hominid populations in the process. Many (though not all) evolutionists claim that such an interpretation is in accord with archaeological, paleontological, and other genetic data (see Stringer and Andrews, 1988; for an opposing viewpoint, see the written debate in the April 1992 issue of Scientific American).
While many evolutionists have accepted the mitochondrial DNA tree, they differ widely in their views regarding both the source of the nuclear DNA and the “humanity” of Eve. Some believe that Eve contributed all the nuclear DNA, in addition to the mitochondrial DNA. Some believe she was an “archaic” Homo sapiens, while others believe she was fully human. The exact interpretation is hotly debated because mitochondrial DNA is “something of a passenger in the genetic processes that lead to the formation of new species: it therefore neither contributes to the formation of a new species nor reveals anything about what actually happened” (Lewin, 1987, 238:24).
The Demise of Mitochondrial Eve
Things change rapidly in science. What is popular one day, is not the next. Theories come, and theories go. And so it is with mitochondrial Eve. She once was in vogue as “the woman of the moment,” so to speak. Now, she has become virtually the “crazy aunt in the attic” that no one wants to admit even exists.
But it was not forbidden fruit that caused her demise this time around. The “passing” of one of evolution’s most familiar icons is due to new scientific facts that have surfaced since her introduction in 1987. If humans received mitochondrial DNA only from their mothers, then researchers could “map” a family tree using that information. And, if the mutations affecting mtDNA had indeed occurred at constant rates, then the mtDNA could serve as a molecular clock for timing evolutionary events and reconstructing the evolutionary history of extant species. It is the “ifs” in these two sentences that are the problem.
Mitochondrial Eve is alleged to have lived in Africa at the beginning of the Upper Pleistocene period (between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago). She has been described as the most-recent common ancestor of all humans on Earth today, with respect to matrilineal descent. The validity of these assertions, however, is dependent upon two critically important assumptions: (1) that mtDNA is, in fact, derived exclusively from the mother; and (2) that the mutation rates associated with mtDNA have remained constant over time. However, we now know that both of these assumptions are wrong!
First, let us examine the assumption that mtDNA is derived solely from the mother. In response to a paper that appeared in Science in 1999, anthropologist Henry Harpending of the University of Utah lamented: “There is a cottage industry of making gene trees in anthropology and then interpreting them. This paper will invalidate most of that” (as quoted in Strauss, 1999, 286:2436). Just as women thought they were getting their fair shake in science, the tables turned. As one study noted:
Women have struggled to gain equality in society, but biologists have long thought that females wield absolute power in a sphere far from the public eye: in the mitochondria, cellular organelles whose DNA is thought to pass intact from mother to child with no paternal influence. On page 2524 however, a study by Philip Awadalla of the University of Edinburgh and Adam Eyre-Walker and John Maynard Smith of the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K. finds signs of mixing between maternal and paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in humans and chimpanzees. Because biologists have used mtDNA as a tool to trace human ancestry and relationships, the finding has implications for everything from the identification of bodies to the existence of a “mitochondrial Eve” 200,000 years ago (Strauss, 286:2436, emphasis added).
One year later, researchers made this startling admission:
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is generally assumed to be inherited exclusively from the mother…. Several recent papers, however, have suggested that elements of mtDNA may sometimes be inherited from the father. This hypothesis is based on evidence that mtDNA may undergo recombination. If this does occur, maternal mtDNA in the egg must cross over with homologous sequences in a different DNA molecule; paternal mtDNA seems the most likely candidate…. If mtDNA can recombine, irrespective of the mechanism, there are important implications for mtDNA evolution and for phylogenetic studies that use mtDNA (Morris and Mightowlers, 2000, 355:1290, emphasis added).
In 2002, a study was conducted that concluded:
Nevertheless, even a single validated example of paternal mtDNA transmission suggests that the interpretation of inheritance patterns in other kindreds thought to have mitochondrial disease should not be based on the dogmatic assumption of absolute maternal inheritance of mtDNA…. The unusual case described by Schwartz and Vissing is more than a mere curiosity (Williams, 2002, 347:611, emphasis added).
And now we know that these are more than small “fractional” amounts of mtDNA coming from fathers. The August 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine contained the results of one study, which concluded:
Mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is thought to be strictly maternally inherited…. Very small amounts of paternally inherited mtDNA have been detected by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in mice after several generations of interspecific backcrosses…. We report the case of a 28-year-old man with mitochondrial myopathy due to a novel 2-bp mtDNA deletion…. We determined that the mtDNA harboring the mutation was paternal in origin and accounted for 90 percent of the patient’s muscle mtDNA (Schwartz and Vissing, 2002, 347:576, emphasis added).
Ninety percent! And all this time, evolutionists have been selectively shaping our family tree using what was alleged to be only maternal mtDNA!
As scientists have begun to comprehend the fact, and significance, of the “death” of mitochondrial Eve, many have found themselves searching for alternatives that can help them maintain their current beliefs regarding human origins. But this recombination ability in mtDNA makes the entire discussion a moot point. As Strauss noted:
Such recombination could be a blow for researchers who have used mtDNA to trace human evolutionary history and migrations. They have assumed that the mtDNA descends only through the mother, so they could draw a single evolutionary tree of maternal descent—all the way back to an African “mitochondrial Eve,” for example. But “with recombination there is no single tree,” notes Harpending. Instead, different parts of the molecule have different histories. Thus, “there’s not one woman to whom we can trace our mitochondria,” says Eyre-Walker (1999, 286:2436, emphasis added).
Our thoughts on the matter exactly.
The Molecular Clock—Dating Mitochondrial Ancestors
Second, let us examine the assumption that the mutations affecting mtDNA did indeed occur at constant rates. The researchers who made the initial announcement about Eve not only gave a location for this amazing female, but also proposed the time period during which she was supposed to have lived. However, in order for the mtDNA theory to be of any practical use, those scientists had to assume that random mutations in the DNA occurred at documented, steady rates. For example, if they speculated that there was one mutation every 1,000 years, and they found a difference of 10 mutations between us and our ancient hypothetical ancestor, they then could infer that that ancestor lived 10,000 years ago. Scientists—who used this concept to determine the age of mitochondrial Eve—refer to this proposed mutation rate as a “molecular clock.” One group of researchers described the process as follows:
The hypothesis of the molecular clock of evolution emerged from early observations that the number of amino acid replacements in a given protein appeared to change linearly with time. Indeed, if proteins (and genes) evolve at constant rates they could serve as molecular clocks for timing evolutionary events and reconstructing the evolutionary history of extant species (Rodriguez-Trelles, et al., 2001, 98:11405, parenthetical item in orig.).
It sounds good in theory, but the actual facts tell an entirely different story. As these same researchers went on to admit:
The neutrality theory predicts that the rate of neutral molecular evolution is constant over time, and thus that there is a molecular clock for timing evolutionary events. It has been observed that the variance of the rate of evolution is generally larger than expected according to the neutrality theory, which has raised the question of how reliable the molecular clock is or, indeed, whether there is a molecular clock at all…. The observations are inconsistent with the predictions made by various subsidiary hypotheses proposed to account for the overdispersion of the molecular clock (98:11405, emphasis added).
Another study that was published in 2002 pointed out a built-in, natural bias for older ages that result from use of the molecular clock. The researchers who carried out the study noted:
There is presently a conflict between fossil- and molecular-based evolutionary time scales. Molecular approaches for dating the branches of the tree of life frequently lead to substantially deeper times of divergence than those inferred by paleontologists…. Here we show that molecular time estimates suffer from a methodological handicap, namely that they are asymmetrically bounded random variables, constrained by a nonelastic boundary at the lower end, but not at the higher end of the distribution. This introduces a bias toward an overestimation of time since divergence, which becomes greater as the length of the molecular sequence and the rate of evolution decrease…. Despite the booming amount of sequence information, molecular timing of evolutionary events has continued to yield conspicuously deeper dates than indicated by the stratigraphic data. Increasingly, the discrepancies between molecular and paleontological estimates are ascribed to deficiencies of the fossil record, while sequence-based time tables gain credit. Yet, we have identified a fundamental flaw of molecular dating methods, which leads to dates that are systematically biased towards substantial overestimation of evolutionary times (Rodriguez-Trelles, et al., 2002, 98:8112,8114, emphasis added).
Until approximately 1997, we did not have good empirical measures of mutation rates in humans. However, that situation greatly improved when geneticists were able to analyze DNA from individuals with well-established family trees going back several generations. One study found that mutation rates in mitochondrial DNA were eighteen times higher than previous estimates (see Parsons, et al., 1997).
Science writer Ann Gibbons authored an article for the January 2, 1998 issue of Science titled “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” the subheading of which read as follows: “Mitochondrial DNA appears to mutate much faster than expected, prompting new DNA forensics procedures and raising troubling questions about the dating of evolutionary events.” In that article, she discussed the new data which showed that the mutation rates used to obtain mitochondrial Eve’s age no longer could be considered valid, and concluded:
Regardless of the cause, evolutionists are most concerned about the effect of a faster mutation rate. For example, researchers have calculated that “mitochondrial Eve”—the woman whose mtDNA was ancestral to that in all living people—lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa. Using the new clock, she would be a mere 6,000 years old (1998: 279:29, emphasis added).
Gibbons quickly went on to note, of course, that “no one thinks that’s the case,” (279:29). She concluded her article by discussing the fact that many test results are (to use her exact word) “inconclusive.” She then noted: “And, for now, so are some of the evolutionary results gained by using the mtDNA clock” (279:29).
We now know that the two key assumptions behind the data used to establish the existence of “mitochondrial Eve” are not just flawed, but wrong. The assumption that mitochondrial DNA is passed down only by the mother is completely incorrect (it also can be passed on by the father). And, the mutation rates used so calibrate the so-called “molecular clock” are now known to have been in error. (To use the words of Rodriguez-Trelles and his coworkers, the method contains a “fundamental flaw.”)
Philip Awadalla and his coworkers noted in Science: “Many inferences about the pattern and tempo of human evolution and mtDNA evolution have been based on the assumption of clonal inheritance. There inferences will now have to be reconsidered” (1999, 286:2525). However, rather than merely “reconsidering” their theory and attempting to revamp it accordingly, evolutionists need to admit, honestly and forthrightly, that “mitochondrial Eve,” as it turns out, has existed only in their minds, not in the facts of the real world. Science works by analyzing the data and forming hypotheses based on those data. Science is not supposed to massage the data until they fit a certain preconceived hypothesis. All of the conclusions that have been drawn from research on mitochondrial Eve via the molecular clock must now be discarded as unreliable. A funeral and interment are in order for mitochondrial Eve.
Awadalla Philip, Adam Eyre-Walker, and John Maynard Smith (1999), “Linkage Disequilibrium and Recombination in Hominid Mitochondrial DNA,” Science, 286:2524-2525, December 24.
Cann, Rebecca L., Mark Stoneking, and Allan C. Wilson (1987), “Mitochondrial DNA and Human Evolution,” Nature, 325:31-36, January 1.
Gibbons, Ann (1998), “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” Science, 279:28-29, January 2.
Lemonick, Michael D. (1987), “Everyone’s Genealogical Mother,” Time, p. 66, January 26.
Lewin, Roger (1987), “The Unmasking of Mitochondrial Eve,” Science, 238:24-26, October 2.
Morris, Andrew A. M., and Robert N. Lightowlers (2000), “Can Paternal mtDNA be Inherited?,” The Lancet, 355:1290-1291, April 15.
Parsons, Thomas J., et al. (1997), “A High Observed Substitution Rate in the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region,” Nature Genetics, 15:363.
Rodriguez-Trelles, Francisco, Rosa Tarrio, and Francisco J. Ayala (2001), “Erratic Overdispersion of Three molecular Clocks: GPDH, SOD, and XDH,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98:11405-11410, September 25.
Rodriguez-Trelles, Francisco, Rosa Tarrio, and Francisco J. Ayala (2002), “A Methodological Bias Toward Overestimation of Molecular Evolutionary Time Scales,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99:8112-8115, June 11.
Schwartz, Marianne and John Vissing (2002), “Paternal Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA,” New England Journal of Medicine, 347:576-580, August 22.
Strauss, Evelyn (1999), “mtDNA Shows Signs of Paternal Influence,” Science, 286:2436, December 24.
Stringer, C.B. and P. Andrews (1988), “Genetic and Fossil Evidence for the Origin of Modern Humans,” Science, 239:1263-1268, March 11.
Tierney, John, Lynda Wright, and Karen Springen (1988), “The Search for Adam and Eve,” Newsweek, pp. 46-52, January 11.
Williams, R. Sanders (2002), “Another Surprise from the Mitochondrial Genome,” New England Journal of Medicine, 347:609-611, August 22.
This is an anti-evolution site. But, this article itself seems to be pretty rigorously researched with references and all.