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Thread: Chinese Challenge to 'Out of Africa' Theory

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    Chinese Challenge to 'Out of Africa' Theory

    The discovery of an early human fossil in southern China may challenge the commonly held idea that modern humans originated out of Africa.
    Jin Changzhu and colleagues of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology in Beijing, announced to Chinese media last week that they have uncovered a 110,000-year-old putative Homo sapiens jawbone from a cave in southern China's Guangxi province.
    The mandible has a protruding chin like that of Homo sapiens, but the thickness of the jaw is indicative of more primitive hominins, suggesting that the fossil could derive from interbreeding.
    If confirmed, the finding would lend support to the "multiregional hypothesis". This says that modern humans descend from Homo sapiens coming out of Africa who then interbred with more primitive humans on other continents. In contrast, the prevailing "out of Africa" hypothesis holds that modern humans are the direct descendants of people who spread out of Africa to other continents around 100,000 years ago.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ca-theory.html

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    I had read about the "Multi regional Hypothesis" years ago. It was very controversial when first introduce, because one of the leading science journalist, who supported this theory, received criticism for being racist. In my opinion his writings were non-biased, with the open-mindedness of a good scientist & historian. His essays were grossly taken out of context. In my opinion the "Multi regional Hypothesis" has much more credibility than the "Out of Africa Hypothesis". I'm glad to see the "Multi regional Hypothesis" , brought back into the mainstream of Scientific thought. The BBC & the National Geographic Channels had also produced very high quality documentaries and articles on this subject.

    Multiregional Evolution

    In the same issue as Wilson and Cann presented the 'Out of Africa 2' or 'Eve Hypothesis' Alan G. Thorne and Milford H. Wolpoff argued the polygenic or multiregional side of the modern human origins debate. They maintain that there is no single recent dispersal for modern humans, that humans originated in Africa and then slowly developed their modern forms in every area of the Old World. They also argue that the molecular geneticists' view must be rejected because their reasoning is flawed. Here follows a summation of their arguments.

    According to the multiregional view, mtDNA is not our only source of evidence. Fossil remains and artifacts represent a much more reliable and a monumental body of evidence. Multiregional evolution traces all populations to humans first leaving Africa over 1 mya (now known to be about 1.8 mya). Today distinctive populations maintain physical differences. The features that distinguish Asians, Australian Aborigines and Europeans are said to have evolved over a long period where these peoples are found today.

    Complete Article:http://www.jqjacobs.net/anthro/paleo/multiregional.html
    Unknown to humans during the Stone Age, the brain was the center of their nervous system, including the center of emotions. A heart beat faster when one was excited, and among the many assumptions that was to endure was that the heart was the center of emotions.

    Humans had a six-layered brain, a brain at the inner-level with involuntary and automatic functions common to other creatures: breathing, sexual responses, vision, mobility, taste and smell functions. The outer part of the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex, was larger in humans than it was in those they had descended. About 100,000 years ago ancestors of humans had a brain weighing about one pound. In Humans this grew to three times that amount, a collection of a 100 billion neurons with as many as 10,000 connections that supplied humans with their cognitive skills.

    Complete Article:http://www.fsmitha.com/h1/brain.htm
    The Multiregional Continuity Model15 contends that after Homo erectus left Africa and dispersed into other portions of the Old World, regional populations slowly evolved into modern humans. This model contains the following components:

    • some level of gene flow between geographically separated populations prevented speciation, after the dispersal
    • all living humans derive from the species Homo erectus that left Africa nearly two million-years-ago
    • natural selection in regional populations, ever since their original dispersal, is responsible for the regional variants (sometimes called races) we see today
    • the emergence of Homo sapiens was not restricted to any one area, but was a phenomenon that occurred throughout the entire geographic range where humans lived.


    In contrast, the Out of Africa Model13 asserts that modern humans evolved relatively recently in Africa, migrated into Eurasia and replaced all populations which had descended from Homo erectus. Critical to this model are the following tenets:

    • ut of Africa theory: homo sapiens arose in Africa and migrated to other parts of the world to replace other hominid species, including homo erectus.
    • after Homo erectus migrated out of Africa the different populations became reproductively isolated, evolving independently, and in some cases like the Neanderthals, into separate species
    • Homo sapiens arose in one place, probably Africa (geographically this includes the Middle East)
    • Homo sapiens ultimately migrated out of Africa and replaced all other human populations, without interbreeding


    • modern human variation is a relatively recent phenomenon


    The multiregional view posits that genes from all human populations of the Old World flowed between different regions and by mixing together, contributed to what we see today as fully modern humans. The replacement hypothesis suggests that the genes in fully modern humans all came out of Africa. As these peoples migrated they replaced all other human populations with little or no interbreeding.

    To understand this controversy, the anatomical, archaeological, and genetic evidence needs to be evaluated.

    Anatomical evidence

    Sometime prior to 1 million years ago early hominids, sometimes referred to as Homo ergaster, exited Africa and dispersed into other parts of the Old World. Living in disparate geographical areas their morphology became diversified through the processes of genetic drift and natural selection.

    • In Asia these hominids evolved into Peking Man and Java Man, collectively referred to as Homo erectus.
    • In Europe and western Asia they evolved into the Neanderthals.

    Complete Article:http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/johanson.html
    The Conventional Theory of Human Evolution

    Mainstream evolutionary theory has it that man's ancestors were arboreal apes who descended from the trees in Africa and took up a quite different existence on the savannahs. Among other adaptations, this led to man's ancestors adopting an upright posture to allow them to see greater distances to spot prey and predators. This view of man's development is generally accepted by the scientific establishment and is rarely questioned from within.

    An Alternative Theory

    A British scientist named Sir Alister Hardy presented an alternative theory in March, 1960. He presented it to a meeting of the British Sub Aqua Club in Brighton, which might seem odd, but the title of the talk was 'Aquatic Man - Past, Present and Future'. Hardy's most interesting ideas were firmly rooted in man's aquatic past. His view was that man had certainly originated in trees, but had gone directly to an almost amphibious existence, wading and swimming in rivers, lakes or the ocean.

    Complete Article:http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A730531

    Discoveries Breathe New Life into Human Origins Debate
    Jennifer Mapes for
    National Geographic News
    January 11, 2001

    For the past 15 years, a debate has been raging between scientists studying the origins of man, an argument that reaches to the very core of what it is to be human. Two recent anthropological studies support the theory that modern humans emerged from both African and regional sources—but the debate is far from over.

    Where did humans come from? With the help of modern science, this deceptively simple question has brought about myriad debates regarding the origin of modern humanity. The two strongest origin theories seem incompatible, yet each continues to return evidence backing their own theory.
    “There’s always alternative explanations [to new evidence],” said John Relethford, a professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Oneonta. “It gets really confusing and complicated.”

    On one side: scientists who claim modern humans arose from a single “cradle of civilization” in Africa. On the other: those who say modern humans evolved everywhere, as populations mixed and advantageous genes spread.

    The most recent discoveries fall on the side of those who argue the latter. The two studies, published separately by Australian and U.S. scientists, examine two types of evidence: DNA and anatomical. Both studies, say the scientists, show that modern humans could not have evolved from a single African source.

    Complete Article:http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...11origins.html

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    I believe multiregional has been around as long or longer than OOA, and was in vogue beforehand. In any case, it's interesting that Neanderthal artifacts and remains, who are the closest relative to humans, have been found about everywhere EXCEPT for Africa.

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    Origins

    Her is some interesting info from a book called Archaeology, The Definitive Guide, by Barnes and Noble books. 2003. There are 2 types of Homo Sapiens, the modern type and the older type called "Archaic" Homo Sapiens. Hominid fossils dating to between 800,000 and 200,000 years ago have been assigned to various species of "archaic" Homo Sapiens. Including Homo antecessor, which some view as the ancestor of both the Neanderthals and modern Homo sapiens. Some researcher argue for the "Out of Africa" theory based on genetic studies and others argue that modern humans evolved "multi-regionally",in many parts of Asia and Europe. But they all agree that hominids left Africa for the 1st time nearly 2 million years ago. Although early modern Homo sapiens may have modern looking bones, fully modern humans did not appear until about 40,000 years ago. That is when art, ritual and symbolism "explodes" into the archaeological record for the 1st time. Even then, humans continued to be the wandering hunter-gatherers that they had been for all of their history. Based on all that I have read, I would have to agree with the "multi-regional" theory.

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