Friday, April 15, 2011

Every Human is Related?!

I know...everyone has heard that at various points in the last say million years of human evolution, there were bottlenecks that shrank the population down to near extinction. But what if I were to tell you that everyone's common ancestor died not a few hundred thousand years ago, but most likely less than a thousand years!

This was the core of a curious article in IO9. You can do the family tree thing, but it really comes down to simple math. You had two parents (one hopes) and each of your parents had two. See? Each generation or your number of ancestors doubles every 25 years.

From the article:
  • If you take this back just 1,000 years, you'll find that you have well over 500 billion ancestors in a single generation. Considering there's fewer than seven billion people on this planet - and even that is far, far more than any other point in human history - there's something seriously wrong here. The solution, of course, is that you don't have 500 billion distinct ancestors, but rather a much, much smaller number of ancestors reappear over and over and over again in your family tree.
  • A person born in England during the late 40s say, would have 60,000 ancestors when America was discovered. 95% would have been unique individuals. Twenty generations would net 600,000 ancestors, and now 33% are duplicates. Going back to the 1300s and have had 3.5 million - 30 percent real, 70 percent duplicates.
  • The maximum number of "real" ancestors occurs around 1200 AD - 2 million, some 80 percent of the population of England.
So as you can see, less than 1000 years ago everyone claiming European ancestry that is alive today had for all intents and purposes... Now, going back even 200 more years brings up numbers that exceeded the population at the time and it fast approaches a number of all the people who have ever lived.... Since even 800 years ago gives us a duplicate of over 70% then a 1000 years gives you for all intents and purposes 100% common ancestors.

don't say it! nope....unuh don't

Catch many more interesting fact in the complete article at IO9 here


Rosehippi said...

You and my baby brother would get along famously... I can see the endless debate and what if's from here in patent blasts of fact mania. Very Interesting.
But how to get through to The rest of the world that they are beating up family members... Considering the state of Human Relations in this world today.

Beam Me Up said...

See, I knew you would take that in a totally new direction....

He aint heavy, he!!!!