Sometimes random thoughts pop into my head. Here is one that disturbed me a bit.
- all people have two parents.
- so 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, and the pattern continues
- so I can calculate my total number of ancestors using algebra. 2^X (two to the x power) where X is the number of generations.
So if I assume generations are 30 years apart and I wanted to go back 1,500 years, I could calculate my number of ancestors by 2^50. (two to the 50th power). That's over 1,000,000,000,000,000 people.
The problem with that is there were not that many people on Earth then (or now for that matter)
Kinda freaky right?!? Lots of distant cousins having kids!
Am I thinking about this right?
If this is anywhere in the neighborhood of right, how would you calculate the probably of:
1. Any given two people being related.
2. Everyone on this board being related.
If you were to subscribe to the concept that it all started with the equivalent of Adam and Eve (even if you don't subscribe to the religious aspects), then it would indeed seem 100% likely that we are all related.
Maybe this is a spatial problem?
For example, If I live in international falls MN, there is a lower probability that I'm related to someone in Nogales Mexico relative to Winnipeg Canada.
If that's the case, highway intersection, tourism, and airport hubs, and language barriers matter.
Based on that, it might be possible that it's more likely I'm related to everyone reading this message than I am to a random person is some isolated tribe of indeginous people in the Amazon / African desert / abegerinese (sp?) / (insert another "A" word here) people?
Its counter intuitive that is more likely I'm related to a random group than another single individual...
The more I think about this, the more complex it becomes.