Eve [Heb.,=life], in the Bible, the first woman, wife of Adam and the mother of Cain, Abel, and Seth. Fashioned from Adam's rib, she was beguiled by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. Eve then tempted Adam to eat, whereupon they were banished from the Garden of Eden. See also Lilith.
Eve, in genetics, popular term for a theoretical female ancestor of all living people, also known as mitochondrial Eve. In 1987 biochemist Allan C. Wilson proposed that all living human beings had inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from a single woman. Using statistical and computer analysis of mtDNA—which is almost always inherited by a child from the mother—from people of various ethnic groups and assuming a slow, constant rate of genetic mutation, Wilson concluded that the oldest mtDNA was African and that every person's mtDNA stemmed from one woman who lived about 200,000 years ago. (He did not suggest that this woman was the only female ancestor alive 200,000 years ago.)

Critics questioned the appropriateness of the mtDNA samples used in the study and argued that computer analysis of the data was flawed and that Wilson's conclusions were not supported by the fossil record. A further study using more diverse mtDNA samples and supporting Wilson's theory was published in 1991, but other computer analyses of mtDNA samples have indicated that several different "family trees" can be constructed from the same data and that the order in which samples are analyzed by the computer program affects the results.

A 1995 study supported the idea that modern humans originate from a single source by identifying identical stretches of DNA on the Y chromosomes of a sample of men taken from different racial and geographical groups worldwide. This study looked at the zinc finger y, or ZFY, gene, a gene that is passed only from father to son, and concluded that humans evolved from a common ancestor (i.e., a small group) around 270,000 years ago. More recently, Spencer Wells, in The Journey of Man (2002), has argued that all men are descended from a single African man who lived 60,000 years ago.

Those who argue against the Eve, or "out-of-Africa," hypothesis, are led by Dr. Milford Wolpoff and support an alternate hypothesis known as "regional continuity." It contends that human evolution was a much slower process (covering a million or more years) that occurred simultaneously in many areas of the Old World after the migration of Homo erectus, the species generally recognized as immediately preceding Homo sapiens, from Africa.

Eve may refer to:



The day before, or the evening before, a holiday, such as:





  • Ève, Oise, a commune in the Oise département of France
  • The Maternal Order of St. Eve (a Montana church)

Fictional characters

Computers and programming

  • Groupee Community, an online community formerly known as Eve
  • EVE (text editor), a text editor provided with the VMS operating system
  • Eve, a multimedia CD-ROM game created in association with and featuring the music of Peter Gabriel
  • EVE Electronic Vintage Ensemble : a software synthesizer in AU and VST format



Film and television


See also

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