Humanity on the Brink: Genomic Research Unearths Startling Decline in Human Ancestor Populations

High Extinction Risk of Our Ancestor

The core formula of our new inference method is shown. The image depicts a cliff painting, illustrating the population of human ancestor pull together to survive the unknown danger in the darkness during the ancient severe bottleneck. Credit: Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health, CAS

A new genomic model indicates a significant bottleneck in human ancestor populations between 800,000 and 900,000 years ago, aligning with the era of the last common ancestor of Denisovans, Neanderthals, and modern Homo sapiens. Further archaeological evidence is needed for validation.

Between 800,000 and 900,000 years ago, a significant crash occurred in the population of our human ancestors according to a new study. In the research, Wangjie Hu and colleagues present a compelling genomic model, indicating that a mere 1280 breeding individuals existed during the transition from the early to middle Pleistocene. This population bottleneck endured for about 117,000 years.

At the outset of the bottleneck, the ancestral population experienced a staggering 98.7% decline. The decline correlates with climatic changes characterized by extended glaciations, lowered marine surface temperatures, and likely prolonged droughts across Africa and Eurasia.

Introducing the Coalescence Model

Hu and his team pioneered a coalescence model, a tool designed to explore the divergence between gene lineages and estimate past population sizes. They employed this model to study the genomic sequences from 3,154 individuals across 10 African and 40 non-African populations. Their analysis showed a distinct bottleneck in all African populations. However, the bottleneck’s evidence was subtler in the 40 non-African populations. Hu and his team state that the ancient “bottleneck was directly found in all 10 African populations, but only a weak signal of the existence of such was detected in all 40 non-African populations.”

Relation to Last Common Ancestor

This proposed bottleneck aligns with the time period many experts believe the last common ancestor of Denisovans, Neanderthals, and modern Homo sapiens lived. However, Nick Ashton and Chris Stringer, in a related perspective, argue the need to test the bottleneck theory against tangible archaeological and fossil human evidence.

“If, as seems likely, humans were widespread inside and outside of Africa in the period between about 800-900,000 years BP … whatever caused the inferred bottleneck was limited in its effects on the wider non-sapiens lineage populations, or any effects were short-lived,” the Perspective authors add.

For more on this research, see Humanity’s Near-Extinction Event Revealed.


“Genomic inference of a severe human bottleneck during the Early to Middle Pleistocene transition” by Wangjie Hu, Ziqian Hao, Pengyuan Du, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi, Jialong Cui, Yun-Xin Fu, Yi-Hsuan Pan and Haipeng Li, 31 August 2023, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.abq7487

“Did our ancestors nearly die out? Genetic analyses suggest an ancient human population crash 900,000 years ago” by Nick Ashton and Chris Stringer, 31 August 2023, Science.
DOI: 10.1126/science.adj9484

28 Comments on "Humanity on the Brink: Genomic Research Unearths Startling Decline in Human Ancestor Populations"

  1. I find it laughable that anyone believes they can even begin to estimate the worldwide population of a kind so many thousands of years ago.

    I find it even more laughable that anyone would believe them.

    • And exactly how is this all verifiable? It’s still all conjecture. It’s like theoretical anthropology? A lot of folks will demonize faith, but this scenario mentioned in the article would take a limitless leap of faith to even consider it semi factual.

    • One needs a true foundation of science, to speak it clearly, and irrelevant sound bites attempting to be clever, is not useful.

    • It’s called genomic inference. You look at the distribution of specific tracer genes in populations, and run a simulation that shows how that distribution could have occurred. That simulation can suggest input parameters, such as population size and bottleneck length, that would result in the distribution of the tracer genes.

    • Yet, they say it is science? I wonder; that is the style of wild, adventurous speculation we often encounter in modern journalism. My guess is that the effort is more to monetize such outlandish opinion.

  2. Ramsey Elias Jammal | September 12, 2023 at 1:21 am | Reply

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  3. Ramsey Elias Jammal | September 12, 2023 at 1:24 am | Reply

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  4. I find this very interesting and there is a lot we can learn from DNA. My first thought is that this ‘extinction event’ might have been the worldwide flood described in the bible. If that were the case might also expect DNA to point to 3 common female ancestors for all women?

    • Riiight… Let’s grasp at any straw to validate a collection of fairy tales by stone age goat herders, ignoring everything else that contradicts it – like the time frame, lack of similar bottlenecks in other species, Noah not being there to build an ark, etc etc. You godtards are really funny.

    • The real event that is the basis for the flood myth occurred about 8,000 years ago. The Bosporos strait between the Mediterranean and Black Seas was previously a very narrow land bridge. when it broke, water rushed into the Black Sea, doubling its size and converting it from fresh to brackish. The whole world was not flooded. Of course that is impossible/

  5. Jfc, stop the moronic desperate flailing about trying to correlate a declined population with your bible thumping entitlement that this is evidence of the biblical flood, which is more proof your pathetic excuse of a religion is now reinforced.
    If you have even an iota of a brain, you would already know the mitochondrial dna can be traced nearly infinitely backward.
    There is clear evidence other populations existed at the time.
    If you are genuinely interested and can set aside your stupid self entitlement to laziness, a simple google search pulls up a feast of information on this and you, in particular, John P Sorg, can find the answer to any question your slow brain could eventually formulate. That is if you can crawl beyond the stage of erroneous belief that any information you are too lazy to look for yourself has to be dumped in a blender and pulverized to the point and injected in liquid form into your substandard intellect.

    • We all Ava bad day once in a while. But you ava bad attitude, appalling manners, and one or two untreated (possibly undiagnosed) personality disorders. But do not despair, Ava. There is hope. You don’t need to spend the rest of your life shrieking at strangers on the internet and hating on people simply because they believe weird things. It’s unkind and it’s got to be exhausting for you. Go to the Landover Baptist website or watch the first season of Mr Deity on YouTube. It might soothe your militant heathen soul.
      From One Unholier Than Thou

    • Be careful with your judgements & your ferral insults.

    • Wow

    • Geez What a b*tch!

  6. Study of old ways | September 12, 2023 at 7:39 am | Reply

    John, John, oh dear John… don’t force a religion upon people… ya see John i bet you if traced back far enough are part of the indo European and if so then you may want to Google search their ancient religion… your god is no where in there. Your god was created by the Romans during the days of the Roman empire the true religion is animalistic. The proof is there just type it in. What you call pagan or devil worship your denying the reality of who you truly are go back to the days of tribal before the bronze age and Roman empire didn’t come until the iron age.

  7. “…when two-thirds of the world believes that there is still available magic.”

  8. It almost sounds like there was a global flood and only a few survivors to restart humanity…

  9. Let us sit quietly and calmly for a moment and consider some verifiable facts. There is no Neanderthal DNA in the African descendants.There is no African DNA in Neanderthals. I have at most 2% Neanderthal DNA and 1% Denisovan DNA. About 1% African Dna. The Homo Sapiens, Neanderthal and Denisovan had different Dna parts . If they all came from the one Anticestor how did the difference in the 4 Dna’s come about? Droughts and floods did in ancient times cause populations to be confined to areas for long periods of time and not be able to migrate far and wide. There are settlement ruins being uncovered in the Sahara where thousands of years ago peopled lived and flourished until climate and winds changed. They migrated toward the Nile and Egypt was settled complete with laws,knowledge and survival. The present line we know as Homo Sapien has a XY chromosome in in which the male Y is growing smaller. The female has XX chromosomes. Perhaps in thousands of years or less than a million we will be extinct and another lifeform will be dominant. This is science not man made religion and until we accept that we are a product of the Cosmos with all it’s wonders that we cannot comprehend will we know we are on an endless trail of life. You will not get off the boat so learn and stop the nonsense.

  10. Just passing thru | September 12, 2023 at 6:31 pm | Reply

    Impossible for God.he who made the circle AROUND the 🌎.wher wher you..

  11. Do I believe any or all of this? At first blush, certainly not. As a scientist who is also a Christian i have a lot of thinking to do. But wow, it’s really interesting to think about. God’s way bigger than we will ever understand, but we have been given tools and intellect to explore the unknown.

  12. I am intrigued with these studies. Our ability to understand is so limited is why we parish. Faith is believing/trusting in the unknown. Creating our own opinions and understanding is growth.

  13. What if humans started off after a monkey ate something poisonous?

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