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Thread: Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says (CNN.com)

  1. #1

    Humans nearly wiped out 70,000 years ago, study says (CNN.com)

    [QUOTE=CNN.com]WASHINGTON (AP) -- Human beings may have had a brush with extinction 70,000 years ago, an extensive genetic study suggests.

    The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

    The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated that the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age.

    "This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history," said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence.

    "Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

    Wells is director of the Genographic Project, launched in 2005 to study anthropology using genetics. The report was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

    Studies using mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through mothers, have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

    The migrations of humans out of Africa to populate the rest of the world appear to have begun about 60,000 years ago, but little has been known about humans between Eve and that dispersal.

    The new study looks at the mitochondrial DNA of the Khoi and San people in South Africa, who appear to have diverged from other people between 90,000 and 150,000 years ago.

    The researchers led by Doron Behar of Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, and Saharon Rosset of IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and Tel Aviv University concluded that humans separated into small populations before the Stone Age, when they came back together and began to increase in numbers and spread to other areas.

    Eastern Africa experienced a series of severe droughts between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago, and researchers said this climatological shift may have contributed to the population changes, dividing into small, isolated groups that developed independently.

    Paleontologist Meave Leakey, a Genographic adviser, asked, "Who would have thought that as recently as 70,000 years ago, extremes of climate had reduced our population to such small numbers that we were on the very edge of extinction?"

    Today, more than 6.6 billion people inhabit the globe, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    The research was funded by the National Geographic Society, IBM, the Waitt Family Foundation, the Seaver Family Foundation, Family Tree DNA and Arizona Research Labs.[/QUOTE]

    I found this article interesting, and thought others may as well.

  2. #2
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    Malarky. Don't you know humans weren't around then.

    Read The Book, man. ;)

  3. #3
    Scientists also said the Coelacanth became extint 65 million years ago. So I don't put much faith in what these people say.

  4. #4
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    It was the flood, 'Fish...the flood. :cool:

  5. #5
    Wow... this is finally getting some mass-media attention. The discussion concerning when and what caused the bottleneck has been around for decades. Major papers were being written on it in the '90s. I remember reading many of the papers when I was an undergrad from '98-02.

    Some of the authors argued over a quick catastrophic event that reduced us to about 1,000 or less families or whether the neck was long and we were reduced to less than a couple thousand individuals roaming sub-Sarahan Africa.

    Anyway... if anyone is interesting in reading up on it... use bottleneck, humans(or homo sapiens) and population as a keyword in your google searches. Some good stuff should come up.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2515346]I found this article interesting, and thought others may as well.[/QUOTE]

    Very interesting, thanks for posting it

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2515346]I found this article interesting, and thought others may as well.[/QUOTE]


    Do you know the history of this? A few years ago, scientists set out to prove, though mitochondrial DNA, that the human races have separate lineages and that we have been around for time period commensurate with the estimates guessed in the theory of evolution.

    The scientists ran the test, found only one lineage and that humans were around for much less time ............ closer to 100,000 years. The scientists, knowing this to be impossible, reran the tests. This time they came to conclusions like the ones yuo found interesting.

    Now one theory is clearly theirs; in fact, evolutionists are quick to point out that the one race or lineage does not prove that there has ever been only one race of humans. Most likely, they say, the other races were unfit to survive and died off) despite having no concrete evidence to this effect.

    Another interpretation could just as easily be that all of humanity did descend from one progenitor (mitochondrial Eve) and that humans have only inhabited the earth for something in the order of tens of thousands of years ......... notions any objective observor would say better fit the Biblical world view.

    But the truth is, as we have said many times over, the way you interpret this info has much to do with your personal world view, baisses and faith as anything else. Christians have touted the findings of this study for years not so mnuch as "proof" of Eve as much as for further evidence of the inconsistencies of evolutionary theory.

    I wonder......... do you think if as much time, $$$ and effort was put into supporting the notion of special creation just how "facts" would be spun the other way and how much stronger the public case for creationism might look:).

  8. #8
    Btw, I loved the brook trout last week. Salvelinus fontanalis........ I catch wild wones locally in t he Cramans River. Caught one that pushed 8 pounds on the Leaf River in Northern Quebec once.

    Last Thursday on the Beaverkill fishing Cairns Pool, I saw an awesome and HUGE bobcat scaling the side of a mountain down to the river. He looked like spiderman hugging the rocks. Then he bounced up 30 ft in 3 or 4 jumps. Spectacular! And I caught a ton of brown trout to 18 inches! What creation (but I think the hatchery truck had something to do with so many fish caught :D:D:D).

  9. #9
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    If there was only 2000 of us left that means we are ****ing our cousins and ****, this is almost as bad as the Adam and Eve story.

    I watched something on this a few months back on the History Channel.

  10. #10
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    There they go again telling us what earths weather was 130,000 years ago, when they cant even predict whats going to happen next week . These scientists have a real good imagination. They actully gave the droughts a 45,000 year window

    Thanks for the article Warfish.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=finlee17;2515626]Wow... this is finally getting some mass-media attention. The discussion concerning when and what caused the bottleneck has been around for decades. Major papers were being written on it in the '90s. I remember reading many of the papers when I was an undergrad from '98-02.

    Some of the authors argued over a quick catastrophic event that reduced us to about 1,000 or less families or whether the neck was long and we were reduced to less than a couple thousand individuals roaming sub-Sarahan Africa.

    Anyway... if anyone is interesting in reading up on it... use bottleneck, humans(or homo sapiens) and population as a keyword in your google searches. Some good stuff should come up.[/QUOTE]

    Most recently I've heard the theory that it was a super volcano explosion that caused the bottleneck..

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2516056]Do you know the history of this? A few years ago, scientists set out to prove, though mitochondrial DNA, that the human races have separate lineages and that we have been around for time period commensurate with the estimates guessed in the theory of evolution.

    The scientists ran the test, found only one lineage and that humans were around for much less time ............ closer to 100,000 years. The scientists, knowing this to be impossible, reran the tests. This time they came to conclusions like the ones yuo found interesting.

    Now one theory is clearly theirs; in fact, evolutionists are quick to point out that the one race or lineage does not prove that there has ever been only one race of humans. Most likely, they say, the other races were unfit to survive and died off) despite having no concrete evidence to this effect.

    Another interpretation could just as easily be that all of humanity did descend from one progenitor (mitochondrial Eve) and that humans have only inhabited the earth for something in the order of tens of thousands of years ......... notions any objective observor would say better fit the Biblical world view.

    But the truth is, as we have said many times over, the way you interpret this info has much to do with your personal world view, baisses and faith as anything else. Christians have touted the findings of this study for years not so mnuch as "proof" of Eve as much as for further evidence of the inconsistencies of evolutionary theory.

    I wonder......... do you think if as much time, $$$ and effort was put into supporting the notion of special creation just how "facts" would be spun the other way and how much stronger the public case for creationism might look:).[/QUOTE]
    I don't think the above it accurate. My understanding is that segments of the hiuman genome that mutate at a fairly reliable rate point to a date about 130k years ago as the "genesis"

  13. #13
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    sounds like another drought is in order

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=CTM;2516325]Most recently I've heard the theory that it was a super volcano explosion that caused the bottleneck..[/QUOTE]

    That has been the strongest theory to date... which I assume, you are referring to the Toba Volcano just south of Cambodia ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory[/url]).

    That eruption did change much of the Afro-Asian biotic community from the ash fall and volcanic winter. Additionally, around this time period, apes and chimpanzees suffered a small and not so extreme bottle neck… largely because they were on the west side of the North-South Mountain range that is in central Africa.

    At the time, I believe the human range was east Africa and the Middle East. Remember, we migrated out of Africa via the Nile. So, as humans followed the Nile they would have been dumped into the area of modern day Jordan and Israel. Migrations into Asia would have gone along the coast into India and then into southeastern Asia. When the Toba volcano eruption went off, most of our geographic range (Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula) were within the kill zone. Any humans that may have gotten into parts of India and closer to the volcano in SE Asia were most likely killed off (along with their genetic diversity) immediately from the eruption. Within the Middle East, humans would have had to deal with the effects of volcanic ash and the winter almost immediately. Most of the surviving individuals would have been found refuge in the least impacted area… which was east Africa, where we originally evolved as a species.

    The severity of the Toba bottleneck was very hard on humans and for their survival they had to adapt quickly. They were using fire already and were most likely using clothing, which got them through the initial stages. I would go into some detail here about the adaptations... but I don't want to bore you. However, this event most likely heightened our interest, obsession, and need in technological advances. Which, when the climate favored it, assisted us in our explosion out of Africa and the rest is history.
    Last edited by finlee17; 04-29-2008 at 11:31 PM.

  15. #15
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    Yup...that's the one. Couldn't remember the name and was too lazy to search :)

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=CTM;2516412]I don't think the above it accurate. My understanding is that segments of the hiuman genome that mutate at a fairly reliable rate point to a date about 130k years ago as the "genesis"[/QUOTE]

    I couldn't tell you what the present accepted date is or even if such an accepted date exists at all. What I can say is that the first study produced a date that was earlier than the researchers thought it would be. Because that date did not fit the model, they did the test a second time. According to this study, they estimated 70,000 years.

    Along the smae lines, mathematical researchers have computed population studies that show that if humanity existed as long ago as 200,000 years or so, the present day earth population would far exceed present numbers. Who knows, if such a disaster really did come close to wiping out humanity, it would skew everything. But if it didn't...................

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2516722]I couldn't tell you what the present accepted date is or even if such an accepted date exists at all. What I can say is that the first study produced a date that was earlier than the researchers thought it would be. Because that date did not fit the model, they did the test a second time. According to this study, they estimated 70,000 years.

    Along the smae lines, mathematical researchers have computed population studies that show that if humanity existed as long ago as 200,000 years or so, the present day earth population would far exceed present numbers. Who knows, if such a disaster really did come close to wiping out humanity, it would skew everything. But if it didn't...................[/QUOTE]

    It's too late to research, but I'm fairly certain the Mitochondrial DNA points to 1 thing, and genetic mutations another. The only logical explanation for the discrepency being the bottle neck.

    The time frame of this also coincides with the super volcano explosion described above..

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=CTM;2516736]It's too late to research, but I'm fairly certain the Mitochondrial DNA points to 1 thing, and genetic mutations another. The only logical explanation for the discrepency being the bottle neck.

    The time frame of this also coincides with the super volcano explosion described above..[/QUOTE]


    Actually, there are other explanations, too.

    1) Humans were around before this, there was a gigantic volcanic exposion and the bottleneck.

    2) Humans were not around before this and they arrived fully formed at this time.

    3) Any volcanic explosion that might have happened did not effect humanity as perceived. Humanity only ascended to this form at a time close to 70,000 BC and the two events are in no way connected.

    4) Giant alien hamsters planted the life on earth at this time.


    Well, maybe the hamsters aren't logical:). But recent evidence suggests Warfish could be on to something ...............

  19. #19
    Was one of Al Gore's relatives around back then?

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