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Thread: Out of Africa wrong? Human ancestors white?

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    Senior Member Scoob's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Out of Africa wrong? Human ancestors white?

    Consider this: A well known principle in evolutionary is that Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny.

    In other words, the growth of an organism will retrace the evolutionary steps of its ancestors. Per Haeckel and many others. So a developing baby will go through stages where it displays adult features of previous evolutionary forms, in sequence from oldest to most recent.

    If modern humans are descended from "Black Africans" as trendy scientists have been insisting for the past few decades, then why don't little white babies or little asian babies look black?

    In fact, white babies tend to have epicanthic folds, fat faces, soft light head hair (which often darkens with age), low-bridged noses, hairless body, scant facial hair, etc.

    (during an even earlier stage of fetal growth, human babies have a "cowl" or full-body hair that later is shed before the baby is born, except in rare cases).

    In the USA, many mixed-race black babies are born light, then get permanently darker as they mature, if they go in the sunlight. I've heard that more purely African black babies are born black.

    There is evidence that humans haven't been in Africa for quite some time (look up the Endogenous C Retrovirus Marker, which is a marker shared by all African primates, but no Eurasian or New World primates - it indicates a viral plague that affected primates in the last million years or so).

    I can't think of a complete list of paedomorphic traits, but I'd like to see one, and would love to know if there is any racial variation of these traits. I know that many black babies don't have a "baby face" at all.

    Also, babies are smarter than adults: they learn faster, etc. (They just have far less experience and refinement due to that). Is it possible that humans are descended from people smarter than us, or maybe as smart as our current best and brightest? Cro-Magnons had bigger brain cases than living humans. Maybe humans that racialists of old considered "primitive" are not un-evolved, but somehow evolved in a different direction ("degenerated" from the point of view of older type)?

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    Senior Member Scoob's Avatar
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    More ideas on this:

    No one really knows what archaic humans really looked like: all we have is a scant few skeletons to draw very tentative conclusions from. For all we know, they were covered in feathers (although I do not suggest that).

    I'm not a biologist, but from what I know about fetal development, it's clear to me that at least in *some* cases, ontogeny does recapitulate phylogeny. As I said before: the cowl that appears on humans in the last few months of fetal development serves no purpose in the womb. It's just a vestige of a previous evolutionary stage.

    You should look into the endogenous c retrovirus marker in primates. It is compelling evidence that humans did NOT evolve (recently) in Africa. As you might know, a viral plague can leave a genetic mark on the population it infects (virus change DNA in hosts). There is such a marker that is found in all African primates (including Great Apes and monkeys). No such marker is found in New World monkeys, Asian apes or monkeys, or humans. This was discovered by a Japanese scientist, and has been ignored by Western science, which is enamored of the Out of Africa tale of Leakey et al.

    Asian and Russian scientists actually have quite a bit of evidence that human evolution took part on the Eurasian continent, and not in Africa. I find the anatomical continuity from Chinese Homo Erectus fossils to modern Asian populations quite compelling evidence that there is a genetic continuity as well.

    (I also consider it possible that both Out of Africa and Out of Asia models of human evolution could be right, including the "killer sapiens" stuff, to a certain extent. Maybe humans evolved in Eurasia, to be partially conquered by and to interbreed with a wave of humans from Africa in more recent times).

    The best evidence that humans did in fact emerge as a species in Africa is that Africa has the most human genetic diversity of any area. But I also think these DNA studies need to be pursued more and comprehensively and more fully in depth to draw anything but tentative conclusions.

    I would still like to know *which* black babies are born lighter, and which (if any) are not. If there was a doctor on this forum, or an embryologist, they would know. PC-ized textbooks tend to leave things like this out.

    As for trendiness: scientists are not immune to emotional attachment to the paradigms they work in. Thomas S. Kuhn explained this well enough. Out of Africa is the paradigm of the day, in the West at least. It's no coincidence that this trend is coterminous with the political enshrinement of African-descended humans.

    Personally, I think the two pieces of compelling evidence I discussed above (if they are accepted) require anyone with a scientific attitude to reject the fundamental truth of the Out of Africa hypothesis as it currently stands. Perhaps some of it is somewhat true, but it cannot be the whole, sole truth. Not possible.

    The evidence of human fetal and child development is a very physical (unlike DNA studies or fossil finds) indication that the idea of humans developing on hot African savannas is absurd and impossible. I'll add the fact that human young are chubby, unlike puppies, kittens, or foals.

    Some alternate non-scientific ideas that might point the way to a better paradigm are the many Eurasian folktales of people coming from an area in the North. Chubby, stout bodies, light coloration, epicanthic folds, flattened nose, are all cold adaptations. In fact, the most neotenous populations of modern humans are in the north of Eurasia.

    (However, interestingly, Khoisan are also very neotenous, at least in facial features. Some scientists have designated them as most representative of early humans.)

    If humans really evolved on African savannas, you'd expect infant humans to look more like a baby giraffe or an adult Masai: tall, lanky, with some adaptation to the hot savanna sun. But we see none of that. (Consider that chimp babies are not chubby, fat-faced, almond eyed, or light colored - but humans are for some reason). The fact that no one mentions these things tells me that there is a lack of clear, comparative, objective thinking on this subject. Rather I think there is an emotional attachment to an "African Eve" fairy tale that is a mix of political correctness that is somehow mixed with the Garden of Eden story (which actually is not about a savanna environment at all).

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    I like the multiregional hypothesis that Coon suggested. Flat noses aren't a cold adaption. Long noses are. Long noses warm the air so as not to adversely effect the brain (as cold temperatures do) and moisten the air for the lungs.

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    Senior Member Scoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    I like the multiregional hypothesis that Coon suggested. Flat noses aren't a cold adaption. Long noses are. Long noses warm the air so as not to adversely effect the brain (as cold temperatures do) and moisten the air for the lungs.
    Yeah, I know, I'd forgotten about that and have since corrected my post. Oops. Thanks for pointing that out. It's got to do with the surface area / volume ratio of the nasal cavity, I think.

    Milford Wolpoff has elaborated a Multiregional model of human evolution that is more current than Coon's, and he demonstrates lots of regional continuity in various regions.

    Another related idea that I didn't mention before is that someone has suggested that females, being more neotenous than males, show where a species is coming from, and males where it is going. If this is true: human females have more body fat than males, lighter coloration, etc.

    I think all these observations are sort of circumstantial in lieu of better genetic or fossil evidence, but it's interesting and compelling nonetheless.

    I think human ancestors might have been smarter or more advanced in some ways than modern humans. This is attested to by myths found around the world of "Golden Ages" and the like.

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoob
    Milford Wolpoff has elaborated a Multiregional model of human evolution that is more current than Coon's, and he demonstrates lots of regional continuity in various regions.

    Perhaps you could do a synopsis of it like I did for Coon's book here.

    Also, just to demonstrate how sensitive the brain is to cold, I think everyone has had "brainfreeze" from eating ice cream or something else cold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    Perhaps you could do a synopsis of it like I did for Coon's book here.

    Also, just to demonstrate how sensitive the brain is to cold, I think everyone has had "brainfreeze" from eating ice cream or something else cold.
    See Wolpoff's book "Race and Human Evolution"

    In a nutshell: Multiregionalism says that humans had a common ancestor somewhere in the Old World, then spread out to Europe, Asia, Africa and then started local adaptation. This happened while humans were Homo Erectus. There was continuous gene flow between these populations, and all groups became Homo Sapiens and shared Sapiens traits thru gene flow. Wolpoff gives lots of examples of regional continuity in the fossil evidence, which I find extremely compelling.

    Here's the Amazon review

    There are two widely held scientific theories concerning the origin of the human species. One posits a single cradle, generally thought to be in Africa, in which Homo sapiens originated. This dominant theory is assisted by its charismatic spokesmodel Eve, a fictitious personification of a DNA strain that some scientists argue indicates a unique source for the Earth's human population. The other, decidedly less popular theory is known as multiregionalism. Multiregionalists argue that populations may have originated in Africa, but these populations migrated to distant regions where the human species developed and took on different characteristics, known to scientists as biological diversity but more conventionally referred to as different races. This divide is obviously controversial, and it is not always the steady eye of science that influences which model is deemed correct (or at least politically correct). After all, one model promises a scientific verification of our common humanity, the other, interpreted too loosely, could result in a scientific rationale that hardens concepts of racial difference.
    Anthropological researchers (and husband and wife) Milford Wolpoff and Rachel Caspari have written Race and Human Evolution as an accessible introduction to the debates over the origins of the human species that makes a careful and detailed case for multiregionalism. Much of the authors' effort is directed at separating their scientifically sound position from the racist legacy of earlier theories of polygenism, which argued that races were genetically isolated. They also mount compelling arguments that the "single source of humanity" camp has succeeded thanks to good marketing rather than hard or conclusive data. Their book proves not only an interesting introduction to anthropological debates, it also reflects the way a scientific thesis is formulated, developed, and defended in the media-savvy late 20th century.

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    Senior Member cosmocreator's Avatar
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    One of the fetal traits that I find particularly interesting, is that all human fetuses and even primates have a long narrow nose. Only Europids retain it after birth. It must be very old.

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    Senior Member Scoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    One of the fetal traits that I find particularly interesting, is that all human fetuses and even primates have a long narrow nose. Only Europids retain it after birth. It must be very old.
    Very interesting. I've never heard a physical anthropologist really address this kind of thing, fetal traits and what they might indicate.

    It's possibly human evolution is nothing like what they think it is (based on scant few fossilized bones they've found - all of which could be dumped in one single coffin). If it largely took place somewhere like Siberia, it could be buried under permafrost. All I noticed is that infant features do not point to a recent evolutionary sojourn in Africa common to all humans. If there was, babies would probably show it in their phenotypes!

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    Scoob,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this. I find it very interesting to say the least and it's refreshing to think of other options beyond the current, modern, PC paradigm. I'm not yet versed enough in archaic human origins to comment myself. However, I serched the catalog of the local university library and found the book by Wolpoff. I promptly checked it out and will begin reading it tonight. I am excited to read more modern multiregional theories than one normally finds in 'outdated' physical anthropology textbooks.

    cheers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocreator
    I like the multiregional hypothesis that Coon suggested. Flat noses aren't a cold adaption. Long noses are. Long noses warm the air so as not to adversely effect the brain (as cold temperatures do) and moisten the air for the lungs.
    Hmm, this wouldn't explain why UP noses are shorter than Med ones or Lapp or Eskimo noses, who live in extremly cold temperatures, even shorter than UP's. In fact Meds have the longest ones and Eskimoes the shortest.

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