I’ve been reading up on the ‘bottleneck’ of the human species, seemingly around 70,000 years and had a few questions, as the information seems to be somewhat contradictory, so I’d appreciate the wisdom of the millions to clear up my confusion.
Prof. Wikipedia states that after the Toba eruption the total number of human individuals on the planet was around 15,000. In the article on the Toba eruption reduced the population to “…to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs”
I find in the bottleneck article that an alternate theory is that “…in sub-Saharan Africa numbers could have dropped at times as low as 2,000, for perhaps as long as 100,000 years, before numbers began to expand again in the Late Stone Age”
Some quick questions on this event;
- Am I right in assuming that every single person after about 70,000 B.C. is descended from one of these ~15,000 individuals concentrated in Africa? There were no ‘pockets’ elsewhere?
- On the back of this; how much credence is given to the idea that humans, in their infancy, were a few thousand casualties away from extinction? I note that the words ‘suggested’ and ‘postulated’ bandied about a bit, so how sure are we?
- How close were we to our extinction? How many more casualties would have doomed us?
- How different as a species would we be if more had survived? Since as a result we’re all, to an extent, quite…well, inbred. More people would have reduced this, I’m guessing.
Thanks for any light shed! Apologies for the many (probably obtuse) questions.