Health

Adam's end was never in the cards

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanFeb 24, 2012 12:23 PM

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There has been a lot of talk in the media about a new paper which reports that the Y chromosome is not deteriorating, as had been previously inferred from the data. In the 2004 Bryan Sykes wrote Adam's Curse: A Future Without Men which used this model as a framing device (and naturally elicited great general interest). You can read some earliercritiques at Gene Expression Classic. I never paid attention to this debate in the details because it seemed ludicrous on the face of it. Bryan Sykes' was predicting the extinction of males in ~100,000 years. Right, we just happen to be living right before the genomic Götterdämmerung. I don't think so. Sometimes absurd results which fly in the face of plain history and robust theory are profoundly insightful. But most of the time they're just false leads.

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