VIDEO: Dr. Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University, one of the two scientists to author the new study concluding all human life descends from two individuals, gives a presenation on the history of DNA barcoding [Nov. 7, 2011].
A scientific study has prompted speculation that all modern humans could have descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
Stoeckle and Thaler, the scientists who headed the study, concluded that ninety percent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250 thousand years ago – throwing into doubt the patterns of human evolution.
‘This conclusion is very surprising,’ Thaler admitted, ‘and I fought against it as hard as I could.’
The new report from experts at the Rockefeller University along with from the University of Basel published the extraordinary findings in Human Evolution.
The research was led by Senior Research Associate Mark Stoeckle and Research Associate David Thaler of the University of Basel, Switzerland.
They mined ‘big data’ insights from the world’s fast-growing genetic databases and reviewed a large literature in evolutionary theory, including Darwin.
Dr Stoeckle said: ‘At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom.’
The conclusions throw up considerable mystery as to why the need for human life to start again was needed such a relatively short time ago, especially since the last known extinction we know of was during the time of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.