Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A Critique of Simulating the mitochondrial dna inheritance

(Review Paper) Cited in Controversies in Science/Was there a mitochondrial Eve?/A Critique of Simulating the mitochondrial dna inheritance

African Elderly Woman: Image courtesy of

All living individuals originate from a same common ancestor edit

The Coalescence Theory is a model of population genetics. It traces the alleles of genes of numerous beings of a population to a single copy. This copy is also known as the most recent common ancestor. Inheritance relationships from alleles are referred to as a gene genealogy. Ultimately gene genealogy is also known as the coalescent(thus calling it The Coalescence Theory) meaning the understanding of statistical properties under different assumptions forms.

The Coalescence Theory has proven that genetic behavior has a common ancestor from one original mother dated back around 200,000 years ago. Through the rigorous study of mtDNA, it is mathematically proven to show organisms are maternally transmitted and have common genetic behavior. Essentially, humans have mutated from one being to the next carrying the same gene through each generation[1].

Methods edit

The Monte Carlo technique was used to simulate the "Eve Effect" which studied aging and other genetic features of evolving populations. The Monte Carlo technique is a computational algorithm that simulates various scenarios and possible outcomes. This technique is especially logical for this experiment as different DNA samples have been compared to support various results thus supporting the Mitochondrial Eve theory[1].

The Monte Carlo computational algorithm was used to simulate scenarios and outcomes. But, as this algorithm was designed by man, and we have no concrete evidence of exactly how / when / where we evolved from we cannot say for sure that there was not an error or miscalculation. It is almost like putting together a huge puzzle of identical shaped pieces with no idea what it is supposed to be. How do you know when you’ve got it right? Cgree973 (talk) 02:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
The comparison between DNA samples is not the only factor that must be considered when determining when and how our ancestors arrived. We must also take into account the physical characteristics of the bones. We cannot neglect that fact that skulls and other bones show important characteristics that can also lead us to a specific answer about when our ancestors came to be. Bmina836 (talk) 02:04, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
Although the Monte Carlo technique sounds good in theory, the fact of the matter is that it is a computational algorithm which is based on a computer program. There are always various errors when dealing with man-made technology. The physical appearance of mutated skulls throughout generations are undeniably true in the fact that there is no human error present.Lbora286 (talk) 02:16, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Results edit

The Monte Carlo technique studied how the inherited mtDNA's mutations spread within an evolving population. The purpose of the method is to verify that mutations trace back to a common ancestor. After 8,000 generations, according to the simulation in the experiment as shown in figure 2, the mitochondrial correlation for a single mutation would all be similar. Therefore, this confirms the Mitochondrial Eve Theory[1].

120-200 thousand years ago humans evolved from a small African population[1].

The genetic study of different sexual and autosomal chromosomes has been researched. Which provides more chances to check how valid the models of human evolution are based on mtDNA.

References edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 De Oliviera, P., M., C., De Oliviera, S., M., Radomski, J., P. (2001). Simulating the mitochondrial DNA inheritance. Theory in Biosciences, 120(2), 77-86. doi: 10.1007/s12064-001-0008-x Retrieved from