Reply Fri 26 Jan, 2007 12:28 pm
Do we all share common ancestors? Feel free to explain whether based on beliefs or science or whatever. The more explanations the better.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jan, 2007 01:49 pm
Yes. All living things share the same ancestors.

Since I don't know which theories I am referring to I'll have to call this a belief, but I do think that there are many scientific theories that suggest this.
Very likely someone else here knows about these theories, and will give an answer shortly.
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Bartikus
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 12:36 pm
I meant do all humans share a common ancestor being the first modern humans. (male & female)

Are we all in a sense.....relatives? According to the Bible we are.....

What does science (evolution) say?
cello
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 12:49 pm
I read an article in a French magazine (I think they made a TV documentary in France) that shows that the first forms of "humans" came from Africa. These people walked all the way to Europe and so on. If I find back the article, I will post it here.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 01:47 pm
The most recent common ancestor to all humankind ain't an Adam - its an Eve. However, more recent than the Mitochondrial Eve - by some 90,000 years or so - is the common ancestor to all MALE humans; the Y-Chromosal Adam. Recent studies indicate a single individual commonly ancestral to all humans living today likely lived Less than 1000 Years Ago.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 03:38 pm
Timber, less than 1000 years ago? You're not serious......
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 04:25 pm
From the Yale press release linked above:
Quote:
... Those precise mathematical results showed that in a world obeying the simplified assumptions, the most recent common ancestor would have lived less than 1,000 years ago. He also introduced the "identical ancestors point," the most recent time -- less than 2,000 years ago in the simplified model -- when each person was an ancestor to all or ancestor to none of the people alive today.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 04:46 pm
Evolution is not my speciality (my science training is firmly in the realm of non-living (physics)).

That being said, I don't buy either of these propositions...

Evolution (as I understand it as a well-informed layman) happens gradually. I find it highly doubtful that there was a generation where you could say... everyone before this generation wasn't human, and everyone descended from this generation was human.

I find it even more difficult to believe that this one generation could be collapsed to one person (male or female) where you could say everyone descended from this one person was human and everone not descended from her (which would include her own parents) wasn't human.

What I could believe is that many subgroups of primates developed what we now consider human traits over hundreds and thousands of years... and that these primates would have mixed and mated over this time.

I would love to hear from someone with more education in biology than I.

But the idea there was an singular Eve (or Adam, or even Steve) seems to be illogical on the most basic level.

((I will also point out from the article that people in the future will not be descended from people who don't have children today... a simple mathematical counterexample to the fantastic claim this article is making).
timberlandko
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 05:15 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
I find it highly doubtful that there was a generation where you could say... everyone before this generation wasn't human, and everyone descended from this generation was human ...

... I find it even more difficult to believe that this one generation could be collapsed to one person (male or female) where you could say everyone descended from this one person was human and everone not descended from her (which would include her own parents) wasn't human.


That isn't what they're saying at all, ebrown; DNA research indicates that some 150,000 years ago, our entire current genetic makeup would have been present in a human female descended from earlier human females - a human female who would not have been alone in or unique to the population in which she lived, and some 60,000 years later, from a human male again not alone or unique to the population in which he lived, and likewise descendent from earlier human males. Both "first direct ancestors" were fully human, descended from humans, and represent statistical "bottleneck" points from which today we all descend. Going with the same idea, the Yale study is sorta anologous to that "six degrees of separation" thing; a comparatively few steps - statistically - would be required to tie everyone now alive to someone who lived only one or two millenia ago.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 05:38 pm
That is just a mathematical trick then, and not very satisfying in any mystical sense. The holder of this honor changes over time.

Let's say the current "most recent single anscestor" is a woman by the name of Ruasheru who died 151,235 years ago. Now let's say there was a woman named Anrreida who died 101,003 years ago who was the single anscestor of every one except for a small isolated Amazonian tribe who hasn't mated with anyone from Europe in the past 10,000 years (this is not at all unlikely).

Now as this tribe is infiltrated by modern culture and the people intermarry and die off (i.e. the kids become descended from Anrreida) the most recent single anscestor changes.

It is likely that this person who holds this honor (there is always at least one person who will meet the mathematical definitiont at any given time (actually it may be possible for there to be ties where two or more long dead women are equal holders of this honor)) is constantly changing... especially as it is now more likely for people of different mitachondrial lines to mate then ever before.

Every time a person dies, it is possible that this most recent single anscestor changes to a new long dead person.

I don't think this is much more than interesting mathematical diversion. I do think that there are people in isolated areas that are pretty genetically isolated... but other than that, people screw around a whole lot... and in a modern world where travel is easy, this means that the human gene pool is going to be pretty mixed up-- meaning our descendants will have more recent common anscestors then ever.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 05:43 pm
That's what has me puzzled. What about isolated groups? The aboriginals of Australia were isolated for something like 40,000 years before euros came.
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Jan, 2007 05:50 pm
Since this is in the religion thread... there are some Biblical scholars who believe that Adam and Eve were not the only humans created (as this obviously creates some problems with incest and genetic diversity).

There are also rather obscure passages in the Bible... including one about the "Sons of God" mating with the "daughters of Man" that have provided some interesting interepretations. (I was studying for the Christian ministry in my misguided youth).

But anyway, if the Bible were scientifically accurate... the bottleneck would have been Noah and his family... not Adam and Eve. This at least widens the genetic pool a bit. Still there is nothing that says that God didn't create more people in the time of Noah to make a viable population.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 08:36 am
Sorry, but I could not find back the article.

Instinctively, though, I would say that we do not share common ancestors. However, it would be nice and cosy to feel we are the same big family.

It seems to me if we have the same ancestors, we would speak the same language, assuming that language is the thing that differentiates us from animals. It is understandable that humans living in different areas have different face/body characteristics, we eat different foods, but why different languages?

Do white and black bears speak different languages too? Do monkeys living in India speak differently from those in China? Is there scientific evidence that the bears and monkeys have the same ancestors? How about the different kinds of fish? Do whales and tunas have the same ancestors?

If we have the same ancestors, which place on the Earth would they originate from? How did they manage to go to places it would take us a whole day by plane nowadays to reach? How did they know there was something on the other side? How were they so courageous even to make the trip "abroad", with all those big animals around?

Are the peoples that we are nowadays of different ages, by that I mean, are African people considered an "older" race than European people, for example? Or are we all the "same age"?

I can go on and on forever, but I will stop here, for now. Very Happy
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 09:15 am
Cello,

i think it is clear that if we go back far enough we share the same ancestors. it seems very likely that humans developed in one location (possibly Africa). The point i was making is that it seems unlikely there was one individual ancestor (i.e. Eve), but that there was a group, or perhaps several groups of primate that interacted, in one geographic area that over a long period of time evolved in the humans seems likely. i don't see any other way it could have happened. i think these primates would qualify as 'common ancestors'.

The idea of 'older race' is pure nonsense.

Let's assume that humanity started in Africa. Modern Europeans have developed over hundreds of thousands of years since then. Modern Asians have developed over hundreds of thousands of years since then. Modern Africans have developed over hundreds of thousands of years since then.

Modern Africans have had the same hundreds of thousands of years to develop as any other race-- and during this time the environment and climate have changed as much in Africa as much as anywhere. During this time all races have changed and adapted to their enivronments. To imply that Africans are closer to the original humans than any other race is not just offensive, it is illogical.
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 09:57 am
Ebrown

It seems more logical to me too that the ancestors of the human race could be a group or many groups than just a man and a woman, although I would tend to think they would be dispersed over the different areas on the planet, rather than originating from Africa (because of the difficulties of travelling).

The reason I was questioning, as an example only, if African people are an "older" race, is because there are many writings that we humans seem to have come from Africa. Thus my reasoning that Africans would be "older", in terms of age (longetivity) and not in terms of being primitive humans. This was not meant in any way to be offensive. On the contrary, if anything, I would tend to think that by being older, they would be more developed as humans since they have lived longer than other races. I hope this clarifies things. Smile
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 11:52 am
Cello,

So your theory is that one group of humans developed from one group of primates in Africa. And a complete different group of humans developed from a completely different group of humans in some other part of the world (say Asia) at a completely different time (i.e. later).

But you posit that the African humans and the Asian humans, although they have different ancestors and different times and different environments would somehow develop identically-- i.e. they would be genetically identical enough that they could have sex and produce children together.

Do I understand your theory correctly?
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cello
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Jan, 2007 01:50 pm
Ebrown

I think that it is more likely that there were many groups of peoples (e.g. African, Chinese, etc.) who existed, not at different times, but more likely at the same time. Meaning that they were put on Earth at the same time.

When I think of the animals, for example, the tigers or the elephants, they used to exist in various parts. Yet, did they migrate from an original area to another? How could they have crossed the oceans? Or look at the trees, for example. Trees cannot walk, yet they exist everywhere.

Humans, in my mind, are not different from plants or animals, which were put on Earth like us. We are just a different species, and within our human species, there are different sub-species (i.e. African, Chinese, etc.). It is as if there were "human seeds" (much like we say plant seeds) that were thrown on Earth, and poof, we humans appeared everywhere, in much lesser quantity than we are now, of course.

As I said, this is my instinctive feeling. Very primitive, I would say.
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AugustineBrother
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Aug, 2016 04:18 pm
@ebrown p,
Maybe you are a scientist but none I've known would have used the word 'illogical' to describe a matter of data. And surely you are aware that evolution in almost all modern forms is far far far more 'illogical" than that by claiming that all living things come from the one root of the Tree of Life.

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CVeigh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Aug, 2016 11:51 am
@Bartikus,
Evolution apes [ sorry for the pun ] the Bible on this point. The belief that there is only the one tree of life for plants, animals, and humans is crazy.
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