How big was the human population bottleneck? Another staple of theology refuted.

Picture 1 autosomal data

Picture 1 autosomal data

One Comment

  1. Bernard Leikind
    Posted September 18, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Prof. Coyne,

    I see the local population minimum around 3 m years ago, and I see the minimum around 20,000 or 30,000 years ago.

    I see three minimums. Why is the broad minimum around 300,000 or 500,000 years ago not worthy of discussion?

    It looks to be at a lower population and to have lasted about as many years as the 3 m year minimum.

    The horizontal axis is logarithmic. Hence the apparently broad minimum around 500,000 years ago and the apparently shorter one at 3 million years ago are roughly the same duration and the same number of generations.

    Each of the older bottlenecks lasted many more generations than the recent one. The logarithmic scale distorts this aspect.

    You refer to the graph as if it had one value, the effective population, but there are six lines. Does each line have its own effective population, which you combine as a single average?


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