Newsletter of the Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory

Issue 25 · Summer 1995

Adam Comes to Eve's Aid

The truest complement to mtDNA and its matrilineal descent is the Y chromosome and its patrilineal descent. Three geneticists, Robert Dorit (Yale), Nobel-laureate William Gilbert (Harvard) and Hiroshi Akashi (Chicago), examining a segment of the male chromosome, found little genetic variation among 38 males from many 'racial' and geographical origins and concluded that their common origin was quite recent, say 270,000 years ago. The data were drawn from 'cheek scrapings and hair follicles.

However, Milford Wolpoff of Michigan said the Adam study and the Eve study were quite different and no conclusions should be drawn. Conversely we might add that nothing about the Adam study should be seen as supportive to multi-regional theory, just as in the case of the Eve study.

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(c) 1996 Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory