Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Research Suggests One To Three Men Fathered Most Western Europeans 253

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-are-the-father dept.
Taco Cowboy writes "'While the distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroups in Africa took 12 thousand years to spread, those in Europe started from around 3rd millennium.' The speed of spread of the European haplogroups was totally astounding, to say the least. 'There was no R1b found in Europe before a Bell Beaker site from the 3rd millennium BC and today many Europeans (most in western Europe) belong to this haplogroup. 'We used coalescent simulations to investigate the range of demographic models most likely to produce the phylogenetic structures observed in Africa and Europe, assessing the starting and ending genetic effective population sizes, duration of the expansion, and time when expansion ended. The best-fitting models in Africa and Europe are very different. In Africa, the expansion took about 12 thousand years, ending very recently; it started from approximately 40 men and numbers expanded approximately 50-fold. In Europe, the expansion was much more rapid, taking only a few generations and occurring as soon as the major R1b lineage entered Europe; it started from just one to three men, whose numbers expanded more than a thousandfold.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Research Suggests One To Three Men Fathered Most Western Europeans

Comments Filter:
  • Proof! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:37AM (#45567893)

    This proves it! Noah and his sons have been found through genetics.

    What now atheists? You better hope it doesn't flood again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You jest, but you're actually closer than you think. Japheth was the son of Noah that moved north into Europe. Shem moved east. Ham moved south. All of them left roots in areas at the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

      Also, if you had read the Bible's account of the flood, you'd know that there won't be another flood. God concluded a "rainbow covenant" with Noah and his family, promising that he would never bring that kind of destruction on the earth again. All future destruction the Bible speaks of will be

      • Re:Proof! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @11:02AM (#45568037)

        That always struck me as a bit of an empty promise. God said he'd never destroy the world by flood - but he still has fire, massive tectonic activity, meteor impact, quantum vacuum collapse, wandering microsingularity, atmopheric poisoning, extreme heat...

      • Re:Proof! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @11:41AM (#45568263)

        Except that this gene is primarily found in Western Europeans [wikipedia.org] and is non-existent in Asians and other races on the planet. The flood that supposedly took out everyone on the planet would have left everyone sharing the same genetic code which is absolutely not the case here.

        • What. You think Noah looked throughout all of the ark? That was a pretty big boat. Cubits and cubits of horseshit, zebra shit, rotifera dung etc.

          I'll bet there were more than a few extra humans hiding away in that thing. And would they have stuck around once the ground dried up? Of course not. They would have high tailed it away from the rest of the group.

          Problem solved.

          • by lgw (121541)

            Didn't Sting make a song about that? Someone had to shovel all that manure, and Noah was the wealthiest man on Earth, wasn't going to be him!

      • by kilodelta (843627)
        Well, their god may have promised never to use floods again, recent evidence in the Philippines to the contrary. That said, there are numerous references to death by fire in the Bible. That's not going to leave much either.
    • Re:Proof! (Score:5, Funny)

      by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:53AM (#45567975) Journal

      So up to two sons of Noah's wife weren't actually his?

    • This proves it! Noah and his sons have been found through genetics.

      Isn't this really what this is all about? Not the research, but **why** the research is noteworthy...

      There are **alot** of people who believe the Torah, New Testament, etc not as litteral truth but as mythology which can represent truthful stories under a layer of abstraction.

      I don't believe science can prove OR disprove a god or buddah or FSM or anything beyond the natural world. Supernatural is unprovable scientifically by definition....**

      • Re: Noah (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScentCone (795499)
        The more interesting thing is the number of people who think "alot" is a word, perhaps being the opposite of "alittle."
        • by Arker (91948)

          I have not seen anyone writing 'alittle' or heard it spoken either. I rather suspect this actually has more to do with a/an being effectively a prefix in most spoken English, and perhaps also on analogy with 'another' which is comprehensible as 'an other.'

          • by Deadstick (535032)

            I rather suspect this actually has more to do with a/an being effectively a prefix in most spoken English

            I'd say it has a lot more to do with ignorance. Trying to apply uniform principles to a creole like English is like pushing on a rope.

        • I'm asking for some mods to get a handle on this...

          Is this post really being modded up to +4 Insightful b/c of a spelling correction?

          If so this is complete lunacy...

          Also, how do you know I didn't just mispell it...b/c I do that alot too

          • by ScentCone (795499)
            It's probably modded up because when someone makes an assertive post that categorizes other people and comments on the state of humanity and research and mythology in an authoritative tone while using extra keystrokes to emphasize the badly used non-word, it undermines the credibility of whatever point was rattling around in there somewhere. It's like lecturing a group of people about what they should be thinking about, but having walked into the room trailing toilet paper.
            • in an authoritative tone while using extra keystrokes to emphasize the badly used non-word, it undermines the credibility

              Hey I appreciate that you gave a real answer...

              I know it doesn't matter but I know that my typing style can be grating, and I have been properly instructed in using the English language in print.

              I type this way because I choose to...I do it with intention. You don't have to believe me but I do have a reason....

              I'm trying to subvert the typical "point/counterpoint" babble that passes for

              • by Pulzar (81031) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @07:23PM (#45571073)

                I make my words a bit grating precisely for that reason. I *want* people to pay attention...I am not making the same point everyone else has made. I **DO** believe we can all agree and move forward and I have had some very interesting conversations this way.

                That doesn't make any sense. The conversation ended up being about spelling instead of your point, which is completely opposite from what you wanted it to be.

                You don't make your words "grating" by misspelling them, you make them irrelevant... unfortunately.

                Following that up with an argument that you did it on purpose certainly doesn't help your cause. It only leads it us even further astray from the topic.

        • by lennier (44736)

          The more interesting thing is the number of people who think "alot" is a word, perhaps being the opposite of "alittle."

          I like this alot [blogspot.co.nz].

      • by Rick Zeman (15628)

        This proves it! Noah and his sons have been found through genetics.

        Isn't this really what this is all about? Not the research, but **why** the research is noteworthy...

        There are **alot** of people who believe the Torah, New Testament, etc not as litteral truth but as mythology which can represent truthful stories under a layer of abstraction.

        The problem with that is the stories were presented as literal truth until proven otherwise and then they conveniently became mythology buried under abstraction.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Chas (5144)

      Luckily I'm not an atheist.

      I'm a lapsed Catholic (all of the guilt and none of the Sunday social commitments!) and a militant agnostic (I don't know AND NEITHER DO YOU DAMMIT!)

      • by PPH (736903)

        Luckily I'm not an atheist.

        Luckily I'm not Western European.

    • Now many bible stories probably have a source of truth to them... However I doubt they are rarely as grandiose as the stories make them out to be.

      However if a story in the Bible is shown to be true or false, it really doesn't but a final clinch in is their a god or not belief.

      Now did Noah build a massive boat. Or was a merchant, with a set of connecting rafts, and when a big flood came he got lucky, he had enough supplies to wait it out and get to a safe spot... Perhaps in Europe were there wasn't much po

      • Or perhaps older humans looked out over some vast ancient flood plain and realized it was a flood plain. A couple of nibbles off some fun mushrooms and a bag of fermented something or other and the prefrontal cortex goes wild....

      • Now many bible stories probably have a source of truth to them...

        Really? Care to name any, and any objective proof whatsoever that they have this "source of truth"? If not, you're just hand waving as much as the pope.

      • by lgw (121541)

        Now did Noah build a massive boat. Or was a merchant,

        Well, there seem to be multiple accounts of the boat-builder story, so I give it a lot of credibility. Every civilization has it's "preppers", it's survivalists, whether building boats or bunkers. With all of the survivalists, and all of the disasters afflicting mankind through the ages, eventually one of them was bound to get it right, and prepare for exactly the disaster that happened. A series of events so unexpected that we're still talking about it 10000 years later!

    • by dicobalt (1536225)
      The article makes claims that the world is more than 6000 years old. It actually tries to assert that people were around 70 thousand years ago. How crazy is that? This article can be further discredited because it uses things such as science, and math. Clearly the authors have an agenda.
    • by sjwt (161428)

      Lol, loving all the comments below taking this seriously..

      sure it would make sense if we had a passage reading "And 20,000 of the best bitches boarded the arc to keep Noah and his boys busy!" and "Gawd turned his back to all the fornication that he had outlawed"

      • Lol, loving all the comments below taking this seriously..

        sure it would make sense if we had a passage reading "And 20,000 of the best bitches boarded the arc to keep Noah and his boys busy!" and "Gawd turned his back to all the fornication that he had outlawed"

        nah the fornication laws came several hundred years later to mosses, gods last command to humanity before the flood was be fruitful and multiply so...

      • Lol, loving all the comments below taking this seriously..

        So you read from bottom to top, eh? Most people do it the other way round. Thus:

        'above' = previous/before;

        and

        'below' = upcoming/next.

        (Det var så lite, så!)

  • by JohnPerkins (243021) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:43AM (#45567919) Homepage

    ...your mother.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      According to science, we're all brothers (and sisters, and whatnot) descended from the same greatest grandmother, Mitochondrial Eve. So in that sense, it was your great (etc.) grandmother, and mine too. Burn?

      Finding out that most Europeans are descended from just a handful of people is not shocking, for a variety of reasons.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        According to science, we're all brothers (and sisters, and whatnot) descended from the same greatest grandmother, Mitochondrial Eve. So in that sense, it was your great (etc.) grandmother, and mine too. Burn?

        Finding out that most Europeans are descended from just a handful of people is not shocking, for a variety of reasons.

        Yes, yes, yes, my family tree needs some serious pruning. I'm kinda busy at the moment, though...

  • by jovius (974690) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @10:58AM (#45568003)

    Must have been quite a night!

  • SO.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The truth comes out. Most of you are a bunch of inbred bastards.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Explains the preponderance of recessive traits like blond hair, blue eyes and fair skin. You people need to get out more.

      • by Arker (91948)

        While in some cases you can spot such visual clues, in others you cannot. For instance, most people would assume that Australian aborigines are closely related to some African people. In fact their closest relatives are native Americans and east Asians.

        Fair complexion was heavily selected for in certain climates before the advent of cheap and reliable supplies of vitamin D.

  • Dang modern science, guys, they found us! It'll only be a matter of time before they round us up. I mean, it's not like you all should be GRATEFUL to your elders but NO

  • * Bell Beaker site mentioned in summary but not in quoted article.
    * Summary says R1b entered after 3rd millienium BC. Quoted article says the European expansion took place roughly 12000 years ago:

    In Europe, the expansion was very rapid, taking only approximately 325 (50 to 600) years and ending approximately 12 (6 to 14) KYA,...

    No mystery there. The last glacial period ended about 12000 years ago, turning much of Europe from a hard place to live to a much easier place to live. People moved in and expanded greatly.

    • by lennier (44736)

      The last glacial period ended about 12000 years ago, turning much of Europe from a hard place to live to a much easier place to live. People moved in and expanded greatly.

      With all the good eating, I'm sure they did. Their population also probably increased as well.

  • The mystery of the origin of the Indo-Europeans may be solved within the next 2 years [discovermagazine.com], and yes I know Discover is not a peer reviewed journal.

    The timeframe is correct for the supposed origin of indo europeans in Europe.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Origins of Indo-Europeans within Europe, or introduction of Indo-Europeans to Europe? Last I checked, the current reigning hypothesis was that Indo-Europeans originated near the Caucuses, and spread remarkably rapidly in several directions, probably aided by their successful domestication of the horse and the development of horse-drawn wheeled vehicles such as chariots.

  • Going back far enough you only have one man and one woman that are the basis for Homo Sapiens.

    But they may never have met - the lineages for males and females have been on different paths. All the variations we see are from mutations, and maybe in some cases DNA exchange through viruses.

  • Doubt it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chalnoth (1334923) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @12:49PM (#45568699)

    The problem with claiming that all Europeans came from a small number of people based upon a Y-chromosome study is that such a study, by design, misses many men who failed to leave male descendants. If, for example, I have four children, but they are all daughters, then my Y chromosome dies with me, even though many other of my genes will still live on in my daughters (in aggregate, if I had four children, around 94% of my genes would survive into the next generation).

    This means that over time, we lose the Y chromosomes of many ancestral men just due to random chance. Those 1-3 men might well have been traveling in a group of 200 or so, and Europeans may still carry many genes from many of the other men in that group. But because the other members of the group didn't leave behind Y chromosomes, we don't see them in a Y-chromosome analysis.

    The study seems to have found good evidence that Europeans are all descended from a small group, but 1-3 men seems to be stretching it.

    • Re:Doubt it. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Arker (91948) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @01:43PM (#45569099) Homepage

      Sure, that's exactly why Y-DNA is useful. It's not a problem that a lot of Y gets lost along the way, as long as this happens uniformly you still wind up with a good sample. The prehistoric group that bore these genes was obviously larger than 1-3 men, but it may well have been a few dozen closely related men, so the ones that left no YDNA are still effectively represented by a cousin who did.

      (The same thing happens with MDNA as well - a woman who has only sons disappears from that readout and wont be part of either the male or female sample here - but more than likely a close relative of hers will.)

  • ...milkmen. Housewives choice, and all that.

  • ... I guess it's safe to say incest is the best when you keep in Europe?

  • by Alomex (148003) on Sunday December 01, 2013 @09:39PM (#45571783) Homepage

    I love it how the press reports this result as if the family tree had a single root.

    A family tree has two parents, four grandparents eight grandparents, etc. Out of the 2^n ancestors in the n-generation, two branches standout, one the fully male one carrying the Y chromosome and the other the fully maternal line, carrying mitochondrial DNA. There are good mathematical reasons why such lines come to be dominated by a few individuals over the centuries if not millenia yet the press makes it sound like Warren Beatty was alive 100K years ago fathering each and every one of us. As someone else pointed out, if somehow I became Will Chamberlain and happened to father 10K daughters but no male offspring, the Y chromosome line would makes it look like I ws never there though in practice I'd be the (grand) daddy of half of New York within a few generations.

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

Working...