Reflections on Our Ancient Past

Africa, ancient past, BIO-Complexity, bottleneck, coalescence, de novo creation, Denisovans, DNA, genetic diversity, Homo erectus, Human Origins, methodological naturalism, Neanderthals, Ola Hössjer, population genetics
This past October, Ola Hössjer and I published a paper, “A Single-Couple Human Origin Is Possible.” Writing in the journal BIO-Complexity, we described a model that used standard population genetics methods but refined in a new way to permit calculation of larger data arrays deeper in time. Using this model we were able to demonstrate that an initial couple could indeed give rise to the modern human population. That paper discussed the possibility of a first couple, but it did not distinguish between two alternatives. The single couple could have had a de novo origin, meaning to start from the beginning. This alternative is one most scientists choose to ignore since it does not fit with methodological naturalism (MN), the philosophical position that only “natural” explanations are allowed in science.…
Read More