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Age of bloodlines

  1. Apr 26, 2007 #1
    i've had a few people remark on how 'ancient' they thought someone was and this got me to think if everyone who exists today going back 1000 years has 1048576 relatives wouldn't most people be related and wouldn't unique physical characteristics be from inbreeding?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2007 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Up until about 1650, almost all people lived and died within a 50 mile radius of their birthplace. That means people 1000 years ago reproduced in what is called a small breeding population. There was gene flow of course, from other populations.

    Now, most of the people in North and South America, and Australia have mixed heritages from populations world-wide. Which means those breeding populations have nearly world-wide scope instead of a 50 mile radius. For example, ~50 Spanish families settled in New Mexico during the 1600's. Most of the men married local pueblo indian women. Now, most of the Spanish folks here from old families have a large percent of their genetic heritage from the Pueblo peoples. This is what gene flow means.

    So you can imagine what human genetics are like throughout the Americas and Australia.

    I don't think we are anywhere near as "inbred" as you might imagine.
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