Oh...one other thing I guess would be important to note. If these individuals that were selected were sampled from every country to diversify the genetics to select from, would the 16,250 number be sufficient enought to prevent the "kissin cousin" issue?
I thought I read in Popular Science many years ago that the minimum population needed for a "generation ship" was like 15,000. As I said this was many years ago...so please correct me if I'm wrong.
Thanks in advance for your help.
There is no clear consensus on what the minimum viable population for humans might be. For example, there is a lot of evidence that there were far fewer than 15,000 humans left alive on the planet after the Toba catastrophe. Hell, there is one theory that North America was colonized by as few as 70 people, originally, though I would take that claim with a massive grain of salt.
And careful genetic screening and the use of a sperm bank could significantly reduce the effects/dangers of inbreeding (read this
). Indeed, estimates of population size for animals have trended downwards in recent years among conservationists due to increased knowledge of genetics, demographics, and various environmental factors. Here
is a good study on the subject (though it focuses on non-humans).