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Humans nearly wiped out

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posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 01:58 PM

...70,000 years ago.

The human population at that time was reduced to small isolated groups in Africa, apparently because of drought, according to an analysis released Thursday.

The report notes that a separate study by researchers at Stanford University estimated the number of early humans may have shrunk as low as 2,000 before numbers began to expand again in the early Stone Age.

"Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA."

Eastern Africa experienced a series of severe droughts between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago, and researchers said this climatological shift may have contributed to the population changes, dividing into small, isolated groups that developed independently.

This doesnt sound too good for us
what if something like this happens again.. are we powerless to stop it?

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by Daniem

That explains our idiotic and greedy ways of life... we're all freaking cousins.
Sorry for the joking.

It sounds interesting. But 2.000 sounds like a few to create diversity in the species. Does anyone know the "minimum" amount of subjects in order to avoid bad reproduction?

To be honest I'm not surprised if this was the case and I won't be surprised if it happens again. Surrender to nature. We are not special. We're just cogs in this great engine called earth.

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:18 PM

Originally posted by flice
Does anyone know the "minimum" amount of subjects in order to avoid bad reproduction?

(sarcastically... ) Two. According to the bible thumpers. (incest... yuck...)

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by Divinorumus

Yeah I never got that. They would have had to commit incest, Isn't that a sin or something???

posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by flice

Does anyone know the "minimum" amount of subjects in order to avoid bad reproduction?

I do remember some tests that were done a few years back on this subject with fruit flies. The result was that the number required was surprisingly low. Apparently, genetics tends to mutate fairly quickly when faced with a low breeding population. There was no technical explanation advanced at that time, but I'm sure more research has been done since.


posted on Apr, 26 2008 @ 01:43 AM
The only thing I found kind of strange about the study is they listed a vague drought description as the reason for this happening. A little research could have turned up the Toba eruption in Indonesia which was a supervolcanic eruption which affected the global climate dramatically. Some of the estimates from this eruption which occurred 74,000 years ago are staggering. The global climate cooled 5-6 degrees Celcius and created a volcanic winter that lasted 6 years. This launched the planet into an Ice Age which could have caused drought in areas of Africa and probably pushed early humanity to the brink.

Toba Eruption

An interesting thought I had after reading the article deals with the expansion of humanity across the globe around 60,000 years ago.

Previous studies using mitochondrial DNA — which is passed down through mothers — have traced modern humans to a single "mitochondrial Eve," who lived in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

The migrations of humans out of Africa to populate the rest of the world appear to have begun about 60,000 years ago, but little has been known about humans between Eve and that dispersal.

What if the migration had already begun sometime from 200,000- 75,000 years ago and humanity had expanded into Europe and other areas of Asia. Then the Toba Eruption creates a major Ice Age and the only populations able to survive were in Africa, where the only thing that saved them was the warmth of the equator. With so little known about that time period it will be interesting to see if the fossil record continues to shed light on this hypothesis.

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