How old is “Adam Y chromosome”?

In early 2014, Mendez and colleague announced the identification of a Y chromosome haplotype (the A00 lineage) that is the most ancient Y chromosome (commonly termed “Adam Y chromosome”). The authors estimated its age at 338,000 years, at odds with all previous estimates in the literature and over a 100,000 years older than the earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans. In a series of three papers, we demonstrated that the age estimate was reached through inadequate statistical and analytical methods, both of which contributed to its inflation. Our analysis indicated that the A00 lineage was derived from all the other lineages 208,000 years ago. A minority of the authors responded to our paper and defended their results, to which we published a reply. You may find our original paper (EJHG), response to Mendez and colleagues (EJHG), and complete response (arXiv) in these links. For brevity, we posted a YouTube video that summarize our results.

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