The Origins Of Mankind: Was There An African Eve?
Archaeogenetics is a fascinating science. Accepted current research suggests that every human being on earth is descended in an unbroken line, traced through their mothers in a genetic system called matrilineal descent, from one woman who lived in western Africa some 200,000 years ago. She was given the rather catchy nickname, ‘Mitochondrial Eve’, after her genetic lineage and biblical counterpart.
Unlike her counterpart, however, no one suggests that she was the only woman who lived at the time.
The human population numbered in the tens of thousands back then. Other women alive no doubt passed on their lineage to people living today who carry their genes. But at some point, in the long human history since then, each of their lines of descent failed to generate a reproducing female, thus breaking the mitochondrial line. In order for the genes carrying this mitochondrial material to continue into the future, the offspring of these women had to, at some point, mate with the descendants of Mitochondrial Eve, the proposed African matriarch of everyone. Mutations have occurred, obviously. People share different color skin and eyes, for instance. But according to the Out of Africa theory, every person alive on Planet Earth today is, in one sense, African beneath the surface.