Note: The below research results were actually released last year in March 2016 but I have not written about the results until today 🙂
Likely the most ardent supporter o the OOA Theory (Out of Africa) Professor Chris Stringer of the London Museum of Natural History appears to have thrown in the towel. This happened at the 5th Annual Meeting of the European Society for the Study of Human Evolution. Basically, what he’s now admitting is what many of us have known for a long while now and that is that the OOA is BADLY in need of revision.
This comes on the heels of a recent discovery of an Neanderthal ancestor that existed 300-400 kya (thousand years ago) in Spain. What this means is that the theorized divisions that took place between modern humans, Neanderthals, Denisovans, the Red Deer Cave People et al had to have taken place 400-500 kya and NOT 200 kya! What this means is that the ancestors of modern humans were already walking a path of their own apart from other archaic human species 100-400 kya!!
This throws the entire OOA theory into question (again). This discovery of a Neanderthal ancestor in Spain pushes back the origins of H. sapiens (modern humans). It also means as Stringer stated, that “…not only is the dating of the genesis of Homo sapiens is out by hundreds of thousands of years, but so too is the location this occurred is no longer secure.” In other words, not only is our dating of modern humans out of whack BUT so is the idea that everything began in Africa and migrated outward to conquer the world via “replacement.”
I’m sure this will cause great debate now over where and when various ancient human species arose. Finally! A breath of fresh air in the old dusty halls of academia!! Good God I was starting to suffocate, frankly!!
This is all in regards to researchers having found new fossil evidence in Spain including Denisovan remains and using genetics they have identified relatives of early Neanderthals dated at 430 kyr (thousand years old). Because of this early date of divergence of hominid species the date for such divergence must be pushed back to 550-750 kya. Prior to these discoveries 250 kya was consider the earliest possible date for when modern humans diverged to become a distinct species. Some researchers are now certain that further research may push back that divergence date even further. We shall see. The discoveries have been made at Spain’s “Pit of Bones” (Sima de los Huesos).
So what exactly was discovered that moved Stringer and others to finally admit that the OOA is in need of revision or scrapping altogether? 28 skeletons were found there actually 30 years ago! Yes believe it or not it has taken 30 years since the they were first found to develop technology with the capability to accurate analyze them and uncover their true origins!
No less than 7000 bones were used to extract DNA from and sequence it and those bones come from the earliest ancestor of Neanderthals known. Previous research showed mtDNA from these bones was somehow related to the Denisovans, a species first found in Siberia at Denisova Cave. But now new technology has allowed researchers to sequence Nuclear DNA and this has shown that the Denisovans were among the earliest Neanderthals!
This discovery adds more evidence to what some of us have been saying all along and that is that we did NOT all come out of Africa. In fact, I STRONGLY suspect that when the wash is done we will discover that ancient human ancestors didn’t migrate or come out of anywhere! They’ve always been everywhere!! And this also gives HUGE evidence for the Multi-regional Theory which is the theory that has opposed the OOA for a long, long time now. FANTASTIC that we are finally getting at some TRUTH!!