H/T to JR Bentley for sending us this research article………..
It would be an understatement to say that there are problems with the Out-of-Africa (OOA) theory and finally new research and reanalysis of prior research is attempting to correct some of those problems but what is being found is that the OOA may be absolutely WRONG to begin with. This becomes especially obvious when genetic evidence is looked at. In fact, WORLD science is now leaving the OOA theory behind and a Chinese research team is advancing an out-of-ASIA theory for modern human origins based on Y-DNA & mtDNA evidence and, thus, they are reviving the Multiregional Theory for human evolution based on autosomal evidence. The field of genetic research is becoming more precise and I think that is fantastic because it is now beginning to give us a new picture of human evolution and migration patterns!! Finally, we are getting some real concrete proof of what was and what was NOT.
The latest research by Chinese geneticists suggests that about 2 mya the first split occurred in modern human autosomes. Further, they’ve uncovered genetic evidence of Y and mtDNA having originated in East Asia and dispersing outward from East Asia via HYBRIDIZATION by archaic human ancestors!! This research strongly suggests a EURASIAN origin rather than an African origin for ancient human ancestors!! The primary research team is being led by Shi Huang who is a US educated and trained geneticist.
Huang’s research confirms genetic diversity is highest in Africans and lowest in Amerindians. His team also confirms Africans & Amerindians are genetically most divergent from each other. Africans are found to be closer to each other than they are to other groups and that New world sub-populations are more distinct from each other than other continental groups. Further, they’ve also found that Amerindians have the world’s highest values of intergroup diversity.
The findings of this research are currently under peer review and the team argues that African genetic diversity is NOT a function of greater age of African hominins but is a product of selection! This is supported by data showing increased African diversity in the study. Yuan uses autosomal molecular divergence dates as evidence for multiregional evolution. That date is derived from estimated molecular divergence between autosomes of major human groups to have taken place 1.96–1.91 mya which is consistent with paleobiological evidence for a Homo (human) migration out of Africa 2 myr.
Yuan and his team now believe that there were two OOA migrations. One was made by H erectus some 2 mya and the second was by ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans 1.5 mya. Further, they argue that Africa was colonized from Eurasians via a coastal route. They assert an OOA coastal migration doesn’t make sense because African mtDNA lineages were NEVER found in the Andaman Islands, coastal SE Asia, or the Sahul (Australia). In fact, all of the lineages from those areas were ASIAN not African!
There have been long standing problems with mtDNA and Y-DNA phylogenies. For instance, the most widely shared alleles are most frequent in non-Africans even though they are deemed as having originated in Africa! Also, African specific alleles are NOT found outside of Africa. Yuan notes this and effectively puts the nail in the coffin of the OOA theory!!
This study shows that EAST ASIA not Africa is the epicenter of modern human dispersal involving 2 separate waves going westward toward Europe and Africa and eastward towards Sahul (Australia) and across the Bering Strait to the New World (Americas). Additionally, the Bluefish Caves discovery in northern Yukon makes it clear that the Americas were populated long before we thought. This makes far more sense with the Out of Asia theory than the OOA because the Americas are closer to epicenter of modern human dispersal (Asia) than to Africa. As a result of this study some of the findings suggest that an out of America migration may be looming large behind Yuan’s out of Asia theory.
Also there is the matter of shovel shaped incisors. Shovel shaped incisors have a lower frequency in African fossils compared to a higher frequency in Chinese fossils. This suggest that shovel shaped teeth could only have originated in East Asia and that its presence in some Africans is due to migration from Asia INTO Africa NOT out of Africa!! However, shovel shaped teeth are found MORE in Amerindians and this suggests an earlier pre-East Asian origin perhaps in the Americas!!!
So what is my take on all this?
I think this piece of research is FANTASTIC and much CLOSER to the TRUTH about human origins than the out of Africa theory! I think hybridization played a MAJOR ROLE in the evolution and expansion of ancient human ancestors ACROSS THE GLOBE including the AMERICAS!!! In the past I’ve suggested that true human origins may have originated in the Americas which may really be the OLD not the new world. And I’ve also suggested that we find no fossil evidence of this because out in the field we aren’t digging far enough down yet. I REALLY think we need to DIG DEEPER for that evidence. And then, too, there are those reported lithic finds in the Americas including those found at the Calico Hills site. I myself have found what I’m certain are Oldowan choppers and scrapers and other people have found them too in the Americas. These are NOT geofacts but ARE artifacts in my opinion. There is only one way they could be here and that is if the Americas are the place of origin for our ancient ancestors OR America was populated by our ancient ancestors long, long before we think.
Genetics is helping us to arrive at the TRUTH of our origins void of any political agenda and, frankly, I think the OOA is plagued by political agendas. When we look back at the history of paleoanthropology we find that originally the search for ancient man was focused in East Asia not Africa. Then very old fossils were found in Africa and East Asia was forgotten. Additionally, Africa’s environment is far more conducive to fossil formation and preservation that is the environment of East Asia. That’s why we find many more hominin fossils in Africa and that’s also why we find fewer hominin fossils in East Asia. Now genetics is filling in the gap and we are being pushed to revamp our theories and correct our errors so that we might come to a truer picture of the TRUTH OF HUMAN ORIGINS and in my mind that is FANTASTIC!!
Finally, I do NOT think there was any one single place for human origins such as Africa, Asia, or a Garden of Eden! I think there were several places of human origin (multiregional) and several different species (breeds) of ancient humans coexisted and INTERBRED FREQUENTLY producing viable hybrid offspring. And IF you look at us today you can SEE that hybridization in our own selves!!
Global paleoanthropologists are beginning to paint a new picture of human origins. Sadly, their American and European are lagging behind perhaps spending too much time writing papers and not doing enough field research. We can hold onto our beloved OOA theory or we can move on as the rest of the world is doing. Lagging behind only makes us look more ridiculous in the face of new evidence especially in terms of genetic evidence! It’s time to GET BACK TO WORK and get away from our ivory towers!!!!