THE EVE HYPOTHESIS

Excerpt from Paulos Milkias, Ethiopia (p31)

It was around the closing decades of the 20th century that Dr. Allan C. Wilson, considered to be the leading molecular evolutionist of the 20th century, introduced what is now known as the “Eve hypothesis.” The scientifi c work was funded by the Macarthur Foundation Fellowship, and the “Genius Award” was awarded to Wilson in 1986. His team collected mitochondrial DNA from 147 people from fi ve disparate geographic areas and then analyzed the DNA with restriction mapping. Using the study, the scientists proved that all the samples of human mitochondrial DNA stemmed from one woman who lived in Ethiopia about 200,000 years ago. Wilson published the results of the study in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, in which he presented empirical evidence that the most recent maternal ancestor of all living humans was a woman living in Ethiopia about 200,000 years ago. A second group of scientists using restriction mapping of mitochondrial DNA from 3,065 humans in different parts of the world also came to the same conclusion, attesting to the common origin of humans in Ethiopia.

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