Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I come from a long line of inbreeders.
May 10, 2001 7:30 PM   Subscribe

I come from a long line of inbreeders. No more laughing at them there bills from the hills! It seems all us white folk are related to only 50 frisky ancestors!
posted by srboisvert (14 comments total)

 
so if inbreeding increases the rate of degenerative recombinations of gametes and sterility...i beg the question are we less than our ancestors cro-magnon/neanderthal?

Of course this makes sense, any Bible-toting biologist will say, view adam and eve as the male and female isolated population of these 50 ancestors of you and i. The founder effect at its best?
posted by wantwit at 9:49 PM on May 10, 2001


Geez, I can't believe I'm related to all these people. Ugh.
posted by Loudmax at 10:22 PM on May 10, 2001


Hey Loudmax, can I borrow some money? Come on man, we're relatives..
posted by zempf at 10:26 PM on May 10, 2001


Smile.
posted by pracowity at 11:01 PM on May 10, 2001


50 ancestors? What utter nonsense!

In 60,000 years with an average generation time of 25 years that's 2,400 generations. I would have had 2^2400 ancestors alive back then.

That's 30 billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion ancestors, Bud, don't try and tell me any of those were inbreeders!
posted by lagado at 11:04 PM on May 10, 2001


wantwit, you could point those Bible-toting biologists to Steven Den Beste's essay on Noah's Y Chromosome.
posted by lia at 11:23 PM on May 10, 2001


Smiles everyone, smiles!

BEWARE: bad music, but great teeth. [esc]
posted by donkeysuck at 12:17 AM on May 11, 2001


This explains why we (white people) all look alike....
posted by chiheisen at 1:08 AM on May 11, 2001


lia, sounds like a bottleneck effect to me. population genetics and all that.
posted by wantwit at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2001


> I would have had 2^2400 ancestors alive back then.

That's right! Since each of us had two parents, the human population must be shrinking by half each generation. At this rate it won't be long before there's only one single individual left alive. (Like it or not, that individual will be at least one third Chinese.)
posted by jfuller at 9:24 AM on May 11, 2001


linked article writeth:

> Scientists previously believed that the 500 million people
> that live in Europe today are ancestors of about 10,000
> people who left Africa around 100,000 years ago.

Genetics be damned, we got serious problems with the arrow of time here.
posted by jfuller at 9:29 AM on May 11, 2001


I'm having a bit of trouble working it out, but is 50 people really that much of a worry? I'm thinking that if you planned properly, you could avoid any breeding that was closer than fourth cousins. I don't think I'm conceptualizing the problem very well, however, and while I could work it out in time, there must be someone here who knows offhand.
posted by anapestic at 9:36 AM on May 11, 2001


> is 50 people really that much of a worry?

All they've done is identify (or claim to identify) a small founder population. Europe hasn't been in a plastic bag since paleolithic times; there's been lots of population exchange and outbreeding since then.
posted by jfuller at 10:05 AM on May 11, 2001


fullers right. there's evidence of cross migrations (of humanoids) ... i suppose the idea is if "people" traveled from africa to europe and the americas what would keep people from going back?
posted by wantwit at 3:10 PM on May 11, 2001


« Older Massachusetts' acting governor Jane Swift (R) is b...  |  Lost or broken CD case? Rippe... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments