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Adam, Eve, and Human Genetic Diversity


Has modern genetics disproven the idea of Adam and Eve? Could two individuals carry within them enough genetic variation to be the sole ancestors of today’s diverse human population? Theoretical and empirical studies of genetic bottlenecks show that large diverse populations can be descended from a single couple. Commonly-used methods of reconstructing past human population sizes would not point to a single couple bottleneck even if it were true. There are a range of historical scenarios by which a single couple could be the sole progenitors of present day human genetic diversity.