Source:Book of Mormon and DNA Studies:Gospel Topics:These events may severely reduce or totally eliminate certain genetic profiles

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Table of Contents

Gospel Topics: "These events may severely reduce or totally eliminate certain genetic profiles"

"Book of Mormon and DNA Studies," Gospel Topics on LDS.org:

Population bottleneck is the loss of genetic variation that occurs when a natural disaster, epidemic disease, massive war, or other calamity results in the death of a substantial part of a population. These events may severely reduce or totally eliminate certain genetic profiles. In such cases, a population may regain genetic diversity over time through mutation, but much of the diversity that previously existed is irretrievably lost.

In addition to the catastrophic war at the end of the Book of Mormon, the European conquest of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries touched off just such a cataclysmic chain of events. As a result of war and the spread of disease, many Native American groups experienced devastating population losses.22 One molecular anthropologist observed that the conquest “squeezed the entire Amerindian population through a genetic bottleneck.” He concluded, “This population reduction has forever altered the genetics of the surviving groups, thus complicating any attempts at reconstructing the pre-Columbian genetic structure of most New World groups.”[1]

Notes

  1. "Book of Mormon and DNA Studies," Gospel Topics on LDS.org (31 January 2014)