Believe it or not, every man alive today can trace his DNA roots to one man who lived approximately 135,000 years ago, new research in the Journal Science suggests. And that one “Adam” must have shared the planet with Eve who would be the mother of all people alive today. Scientists have just completed an analysis of the male sex Y chromosome, to date. Early research had suggested that men’s most recent common ancestor lived just 50,000 to 60,000 years ago.
Molecular genetics are quite provocative, however, and recent analysis of mitochondrial DNA (which provides insight into the origin of the maternal lineage) indicates that humanity actually traces back to a single ancestral sequence that could be interpreted as a single woman. Likewise, characterization of Y-chromosomal DNA (which provides insight into the origin of the paternal lineage) indicates that all men trace their origin back to a single ancestral sequence that could be interpreted as a single man. What’s astounding is that although these results harmonize with the biblical account of human origins, and fully suggest that Adam and Eve really existed and are genetically linked to all of humanity – there’s a shocking twist. Because scientists believe that while Adam & Eve’s existence overlapped in time, “Adam” and “Eve” probably didn’t even live near each other, let alone get it on and mate with one other another. Melissa Wilson Sayres, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley who was a key member of the study put it succinctly, “Those two people didn’t know each other.”
Researchers now believe that modern humans left Africa between 60,000 and 200,000 years ago, and that “Eve’ likely emerged from East Africa. The Y chromosome is passed down identically from father to son, so mutations, whereas DNA from the mitochondria, the energy powerhouse of the cell, is carried inside the egg, so only women pass it on to their children which reveals the maternal lineage to an ancient Eve.
Hammer, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Arizona who was not involved in the study pointed out that the human genome contains tiny snippets of DNA from many other ancestors and sequencing Y chromosomes from nearly 2,000 other men pinpoint precisely where in East Africa these ancient humans lived.
“It’s very exciting,” Wilson Sayres explained, “As we get more populations across the world, we can start to understand exactly where we came from physically.”
However, Dr. Fazale Rana, in Reasons to Believe wrote that, “even though the genetic data traces humanity’s origin back to a single woman and man, evolutionary biologists are quick to assert that mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were not the first humans. Rather, according to them, many “Eves” and “Adams” existed.7 Accordingly, mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam were the lucky ones whose genetic material just happened to survive. The genetic lines of the other first humans were lost over time.”