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
A recent study earlier this month by the Max PLanck Institute for the Science of Human History reports that Neanderthals received a genetic contribution from Africa by hominins who were closely related to modern humans more than 220 kya. The study obtained mtDNA (inherited from our mothers) from the femur bone of a prehistoric European hominin in an effort to resolve what appears to be our complicated relationship with Neanderthals. The genetic data has now given us a timeline for a possible migration out of Africa that took place after Neanderthal ancestors arrived in Europe and suggests Neanderthals were more closely related to modern humans than any other hominin species. What this means is that there may have been a migration out of Africa of hominins 220 kya.
What the study suggest is that after the Neanderthals arrived in Europe there was another migration out of Africa and those people interbred with the Neanderthals in Europe leaving their genetic marker in the Neanderthals mtDNA and these hominins appear to be closely related to modern humans. In addition, although likely this took place 220 kya it could have taken place as far back as 470 kya and may NOT have been a one time event either! 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
Neanderthal-Modern Human comparison
New research conducted by Australian National University and the University of Sidney is providing a new window into the transition between Neanderthals to H. sapiens. Excavating in a cave in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic researchers have developed a timeline of evidence from 10 sediment layers spanning 28-50 kya. This is the period when it is generally believed that modern human ancestors first arrived in Europe.
20,000 animal bones have been recovered at the site along with stone tools, weapons, and an engraved bone bead believed to be the oldest of its kind every found in Central Europe. Dr. Duncan Wright (ANU) believes this project is highly important because it is providing some evidence for modern human activity in the area. During this time modern human ancestors were moving into the area and, I think, interbreeding with Neanderthals at least to some extent. Continue Reading
Irhoud Skull 1 notice the large brow ridge
In 1961 the bones & skeleton were determined to be Neanderthal hunters. Neanderthals are not Homo sapiens, however. “the oldest Homo sapiens ever found in Africa or elsewhere.” Seriously? But Neanderthals are not H. sapiens! Of course after the OOA was debunked last month with the discovery of a Neanderthal ancestor in Spain I suppose they had to come up with something (anything) to place the OOA back on it throne? So I take it that now we class Neanderthals as H. sapiens? And what about that little 3% Neanderthal DNA in modern humans? Sticky little point, no? Oh yes and something had to be done to dethrone the recent find near San Diego in the Americas too 🙂
“It’s the face of people you cross in the street today…” really? You mean back in 1961 they couldn’t tell the difference between a Neanderthal face and a H. sapien face?
“….the 300,000-year-old braincases—the part of the skull that houses the brain—are elongated in shape and accommodate a larger cerebellum…” Homo erectus had an elongated skull but I notice this is not mentioned at all and some had brains as big or slightly bigger than ours!
So are we now to date modern humans at 300 kyr rather than 200 kyr? Are we to now include Neanderthals as H. sapiens? I’m willing to bet they found some sort of Neanderthal-Erectus hybrid but they aren’t about to admit that for God’s sake!!! Continue Reading
The “Neo” specimen skull (Homo naledi)
Rising Star Cave is the site in South Africa excavated by Dr Lee Berger and his team. It was here that they found a new species of ancient human called Homo naledi. Now another chamber in the cave has been unearthed and yielded even more fossil bone evidence and this newest discovery has yielded a skull “wonderfully complete.”
It is believed H. naledi shared the landscape with early modern humans and probably other hominin species as well between 226-335 thousand years ago. Dr John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the research leaders and he says this newest discovery adds more evidence that the cave system was being used by H. naledi to cache their dead. The new chamber has been named the Lesedi Chamber. So far 130 bone pieces have been found in the new chamber. One skeleton is said to be remarkably complete and is being named “Neo.” Continue Reading