Many popular science articles cite high sequence conservation of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome among living people as evidence that all humans are descended from a single male and single female human ancestor.

Is sequence evidence necessary to make this assertion, or does it follow tautologically from the definition of speciation? What would a speciation pedigree look like for a species that does not pass through a single-individual bottleneck?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you give an example of an article making this claim? The way you are describing it is not an accurate representation of what mitochrondrial Eve or Y chromosome Adam means. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 3 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @J-- Why are you talking about speciation while dealing with a single species? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jul 3 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ @J-- It will be true for any non-recombining sequence (which is the case of mtDNA and most of the Y chromosome) that all individual living at some point in time will coalesce into a single individual, yes. This is predicted by coalescent theory and is a rather intuitive consequence of any pedigree. Evidence is still good to confirm our theory though and evidence is mainly about dating the common ancestor rather than anything else. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jul 3 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Do all living humans literally descend from one ape? $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jul 3 at 20:17

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