Are we all related?

According to researchers Peter Ralph and Graham Coop, who applied DNA-based evidence to confirm the mathematical theory that everyone on Earth is related, the answer is yes.

Remember the theory that concluded that we all share ONE common Ancestor? It may not be so farfetched after all: "The fact that everyone has two parents means that the number of ancestors for each individual doubles every generation," Peter Ralph said. "By using basic mathematics, we can calculate that ten generations ago each individual had a thousand ancestors, and 20 generations ago they had a million and so on."

"But when we get to 40 generations ago, in the time of Charlemagne, we arrive at a trillion ancestors and that is a problem because we now have more ancestors than there were people. Thus one can deduce that a lot of those ancestors must be the same person."

This research also revealed that while Europeans living closer to one another were also more closely related, people in Eastern Europe tended to have more shared ancestors than Western Europeans. Ultimately, by analyzing the number of common ancestors in a particular area, Ralph and Coop might be able to determine migration patterns, including the numbers of people involved.

The good news is that we may be finally able to solve long-standing questions in various areas, including history, archaeology, linguistics and ecology.