Fun Thought Experiment


Less is more. Stay pure. Stay poor.
I have heard that anyone of European decent is related to Charlemagne. I always figured he was super prolific, procreating with everyone or a part of some crazy ravaging like the Mongolians.

However the other day I was talking with my mother in-law, who was in town for a Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) meeting. It is a pseudo-pretentious (for some) organization, for people who trace back a relative involved in the American Revolution. Her grandfather 7 generations back was in the war. I said, well everyone has two parents, who have two parents, etc. Thus you have 128 (2**7) direct relatives who could have been in the war. So your odds are higher than you may think

Given this, I started to think hey if Charlemagne lived in the 700s then we are 1300 years apart and if every 20 years our ancestors procreated, then we come from:
3.689349e+19 people from 700s. Funny thing we don't have that many people right now, so we must imagine some inbreeding. My wife said Charlemagne had about 18 kids. So if you go the other way (forward in time) you can get a huge number as well, but not everyone procreates. Though you know everyone has two parents, but some branches must overlap.

I figure there is an algorithm out there for this but the idea is pretty interesting to think about without reference materials. You would imagine his heirs were more likely to survive given affluence, etc. This would be interesting to see graphically.

Any thoughts??