Re: Date for Last Common Ancestor?

Stephen Barnard (
Sun, 11 Aug 1996 14:33:25 -0800

T&B Schmal wrote:
> I am interested in bracketing the dates for the last common ancestor of
> humankind. Would a good guess be somewhere between "Eve" and the
> appearance of modern man - say, between 200 and 50 Kya? It seems to me
> that dates outside this range would be impossible.
> Is this on track and can this range be narrowed? Suggestions welcomed.
> Tom Schmal
> Whatever we see or feel or do is the effect
> of whatever we have seen or felt or done.

The attribute of being "the last common ancestor of humankind" has a
very peculiar property. That person can only be identified long after
the fact, and the identity and date of that person is liable to be
changed radically at any time. For example, if a new disease were to
decimate the world's human population, with only say 10% of the people
surviving because of an inherited resistance, then the date of the last
common ancestor would probably be moved forward in time considerably.

Steve Barnard