A new study by the Uppsala University et. al. has pushed the emergence of modern humans back to at least 300 kya and possibly even to 350 kya. Funny how not so long ago we used to think our species emerged 100 kya, then 200 kya, and now 300-350 kya isn’t it? Frankly, I think even newer research will soon push our emergence back even further! You can read the whole story at the link below.
Artistic bust of Peking Man
So consider this in perspective………. Homo erectus is believed to have went extinct around 143 kya so if modern humans emerged 300-350 kya then that means that these two species COEXISTED for at least 100-150 thousand years! And there was a time when H. erectus, modern humans, Heidelbergensis, and Neanderthals coexisted! And you don’t think all of these human species interbred? Think again LOL!!
Regarding Neanderthals two new studies have emerged. One suggests Neanderthal-Denisovans almost disappeared after separating from modern humans and that find challenges the conventional theory about all three species! Another study has revealed diet may be the blame for the Neanderthals demise in contrast to the diet of modern humans which enabled us to survive. Perhaps. I’m sure diet was important just as it is today but, again, I assert that the Neanderthals didn’t go extinct at all. They interbred with modern humans and produced viable offspring hybrids! In my mind what appears to have happened is (borrowing a line from Star Trek) modern humans came along and for all other species resistance was futile! These other species didn’t go extinct. We had sex with them and produced hybrid offspring capable of breeding and producing more hybrids! And that’s how we mods became the Mutt People we are today!!! Sorry…no pure races left and no pure human species left (if there was ever) and there hasn’t been for a long time. Want personal proof? Research your own ancestry and it will become as clear as day to you. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
A new look at archaic human DNA by the University of Utah has come to some interesting and “revolutionary” findings but sadly what they have found doesn’t fit at all with the status quo so it’s being ignored. However, I STRONGLY suspect that what the U of U has found is closer to the TRUTH in terms of the human evolution story than what we have now!
Using a new method for analyzing DNA sequence data researchers at the University of Utah have reconstructed the early history of archaic humans and it contradicts what we believe to be so for modern humans (H. sapiens), Neanderthals, and Denisovans. One thing they discovered quickly was that Neanderthal and Denisovan populations almost went extinct but 300 generations later the Neanderthal population grew to TENS OF THOUSANDS of individuals living in segregated populations, that is, they mainly lived apart from Denisovans and modern humans.
“This hypothesis is against conventional wisdom, but IT MAKES MORE SENSE that the conventional wisdom,” said Alan Rogers who is a professor of Anthropology and lead author of the study. And indeed it does!! The conventional wisdom holds the view that Neanderthal numbers were small when modern humans came upon the scene…somewhere around 1000 individuals. But this study shows that that number grossly underestimates the Neanderthal population at the time. The team calculated that Neanderthals and Denisovans separated around 744 kya which is much earlier than conventional wisdom holds. The study also questions the conventional wisdom that Neanderthal populations only amounted to about 1000 individuals and that the REAL Neanderthal population may have numbered in the tens of thousands!! Continue Reading
Most fossil remains of ancient human ancestors have been found in East Africa in the Rift Valley and that area was once dotted by volcanoes. Volcanic ash killed these ancestors, buried them, and preserved them but that is not the case when it comes to Eurasia and that is ONE reason why we don’t find the amount of ancient human remains like that found in East Africa. That said, however, there have been some ancient remains found and I want to focus on those found in China in this post.
Artistic bust of Peking Man
Peking Man (aka: Beijing Man) was actually pieced together from fossil remains of several different individuals found at the Dragon Bone Hill site in Zhoukoudian near Beijing, China. It is an Eurasian H. erectus. It has prominent brow ridges, a saggital keel, an occipital bun, and a protruding upper jaw (prognathism) but no chin. These are all primitive features but its cranial capacity is about 1075 cc. The teeth and arm bones are almost indistinguishable from those of modern man! Also there is evidence of tool use was found nearby. Peking Man is estimated to be 500-300 kyr (thousand years old) which is older than Kabwe Man of Africa also known as “Broken Hill Man” and “Rhodesian Man.” The original skull of Peking Man was lost in WW2. There is also evidence of fire use at site as well as evidence of tool use and manufacturing. These were flaked stone tools and they also show he was right-handed. (according to Howells 1948, pg 49 et al). Continue Reading
It is believed that Neanderthals in the Altai Mountains (Denisova Cave) interbreed with Denisovans and a mystery species or as some call it a “ghost species” of hominin. There is also the enigma of Population Y which I’ve blogged about before. Now comes a new “ghost species.” In saliva samples researchers have found hints of a ghost species of archaic humans that may have passed on genetic material to ancestors of people living today in sub-Saharan Africa! And, this latest research adds evidence to a growing body of evidence that suggests interbreeding between different archaic human species was far more common than previously thought
It’s long been known that Neanderthals in the Altai Mountains interbred with the Denisovans and some “ghost species” of hominin but now this new evidence also suggests that humans in sub-Saharan Africa also interbred with archaic human species! It’s beginning to look like it was “sex with anything even remotely human!” was the call of the time!! We thought such interbreeding between human species was the exception but growing evidence is now suggesting just the opposite is true. In fact, it may have been the NORM rather than the exception! Continue Reading
And it is beginning to appear that it was FREQUENT and not rare!!
Archaic admixture with modern humans is believed to have take place via interbreeding between modern humans
Dali Man Skull, China
and archaic humans such as Neanderthals, Denisovans, and possibly others. And I would certainly add Homo erectus.
Neanderthal DNA accounts for between 1-4% of the Eurasian genome in modern humans. However, this admixture is uncommon or nonexistent in the genomes of Sub-Saharan Africans. In Oceanians, Southeast Asians we find Denisovan DNA admixture. In Melanesian people we find 4-6% Denisovan DNA in their genomes.
African populations have a genetic contribution from a now extinct archaic African hominin in their genomes. Fossils, especially ancient human ancestor fossils, are rare because certain conditions must be present for fossils to form. Most species that die simply rot but every now and then the conditions are right and fossils form. In African environments there is a rapid decay of fossils and this makes it very difficult to compare modern human admixture to archaic African hominins such as H. ergaster and H. habilis et al. Further, about 2% genetic material found in some Sub-Saharan African populations entered the human genome about 35-40 kya. This was added by interbreeding with archaic human species (ancient human ancestors). Evidence for this suggests that this interbreeding mostly took place in CENTRAL Africa and NOT Eastern Africa as we would expect! In terms of geologic time 35-40 kya is NOT a long time. Continue Reading
Altai Mountains, SW Siberia, Russia
The First Fossil Evidence of the Denisovans
Several posts have been made on this blog regarding the Denisovans and what I want to do in this post is to begin to make some possible connections between the Denisovans and other hominids along with considering some possibilities. Denisova Cave is located in the Altai Mountains in Southwestern Siberia, Russia and this was the site where the first evidence of the Denisovans was discovered in 2010. This cave was originally investigated in the 1970’s by a Russian anthropologist by the name of Nikolai Ovodov looking for fossil remains of canids (dogs, wolves, jackals, dingoes, etc.). In 2008 the cave was once again investigated by the Russian Academy of Sciences. That exploration was led by Michael Shunkov and also involved other Russian scientists. It was this 2008 investigative team that found the first evidence of the Denisovans which consisted of a finger bone believed to be from a juvenile hominin that came to be known as the “X woman.” Associated artifacts found in the cave included a bracelet found at the same level as the finger bone which was dated at around 40 kyr (thousand years old) using radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope dating. Since 2008 other investigations in the cave have established that hominins occupied the cave at various times as far back as 125 kya (thousand years ago) and possibly longer. Continue Reading