, also known as a forefather
or a forebear
is a parent
) the parent of an antecedent (i.e., a grandparent
, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent and so forth). Ancestor
is "any person from whom one is descended. In law the person from whom an estate has been inherited."
Two individuals have a genetic
relationship if one is the ancestor of the other or if they share a common ancestor. In evolutionary
theory, species which share an evolutionary ancestor are said to be of common descent
. However, this concept of ancestry does not apply to some bacteria
and other organisms capable of horizontal gene transfer
. Some research suggests that the average person has twice as many female ancestors as male ancestors. This might have been due to the past prevalence of polygynous relations and female hypergamy
Assuming that all of an individual's ancestors are otherwise unrelated to each other, that individual has 2n
ancestors in the n
th generation before her/him and a total of 2g+1
− 2 ancestors in the g
generations before him/her. In practice, however, it is clear that most ancestors of humans (and any other species) are multiply related (see pedigree collapse
). Consider n
= 40: the human species is more than 40 generations old, yet the number 240
, approximately 1012
or one trillion, dwarfs the number of humans who have ever lived
Some cultures confer reverence to ancestors, both living and dead; in contrast, some more youth-oriented cultural contexts display less veneration of elders. In other cultural contexts, some people seek providence[further explanation needed]
from their deceased ancestors; this practice is sometimes known as ancestor worship
or, more accurately, ancestor veneration
- ^ "Thesaurus results for FOREFATHER". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved 2020-04-07.
- ^ Websters New World Dictionary. Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company.
- ^ Tierney, John (5 September 2007). "The Missing Men in Your Family Tree". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
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Last edited on 29 March 2021, at 06:49
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