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Adam gets his original birth date, finally

IANS  |  London 

Our male ancestor Adam walked the earth 9,000 years earlier than we thought.

In a pioneering work, researchers from University of Sheffield in England and University of Houston in the US found that our most common male ancestor walked the earth 209,000 years ago - earlier than scientists commonly thought.

Eran Elhaik from University of Sheffield and Dan Graur from University of Houston used conventional biological models to put Adam in his rightful place in evolutionary history.

The findings put Adam within the time frame of his other half Eve, the genetic maternal ancestor of mankind.

"We can say with some certainty that modern humans emerged in Africa a little over 200,000 years ago," Elhaik added.

It is also clear that there was no single Adam and Eve but rather groups of 'Adams' and 'Eves' living side by side and wandering together in our world, he added in the research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

They also debunked the discovery of the Y chromosome that supposedly predated humanity.

"This contradicts a recent study which had claimed the human Y chromosome originated in a different species through interbreeding which dates 'Adam' to be twice as old," said Elhaik.

"The question to what extend did our humans forbearers interbreed with their closest relatives is one of the hottest questions in anthropology that remains open," added Graur.

First Published: Thu, January 23 2014. 13:20 IST