“…There is a major change underway in how we understand “out of Africa”. I don’t think the traditional framing of “out of Africa” is very effective anymore, as leaving Africa is a tiny event, repeated many times over the last several hundred thousand years.
In the context of other discoveries, I think that “modern human” has lost much of the meaning it may once have had.
The big questions concern what was happening inside Africa, where many genetically diverse populations existed and interacted. How many ancestral populations gave rise to the growing population of modern humans after 100,000 years ago? How many African-derived people were involved in mixture with Neanderthals 250,000 years ago, or 120,000 years ago? Did African-derived humans make it to China, or to Java, before 100,000 years ago?
Those are open questions, with some evidence pointing toward faster, more widespread dispersal, more mixture, and repeated genetic replacements.”
This is a quote from Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks, University of Wisconsin-Madison, from one of his recent blog posts (see link below) and it is nothing short of astounding because supporters of the OOA theory are now being forced to modify the theory and the way we understand it and much of the change now taking place with this theory come from a recently discovered jawbone from the Misliya Cave in Israel. This jawbone is the oldest known human remains found outside of Africa. It proves that humans, Homo sapiens, came out of Africa far earlier than thought! The jawbone has been dated between 177-194 kyr.
The jawbone is from a young adult found in Misliya Cave on Mt Carmel, Israel on the western slopes. Blades and stone tools were also found and appear to be rather sophisticated. Several hearths and burned animal bones were also found. The teeth are modern in size and do NOT resemble Neanderthal teeth. The bone morphology does NOT resemble European Neanderthals either.
Being hailed as possible evidence for the earliest human remains found outside of Africa Dr Hawks is NOT so sure about that because he’s not sure the jawbone belongs to Homo sapiens. In fact, he suspects it might be from an individual who was a HYBRID with a Neanderthal style body! Hawks says the discovery raises more questions than it gives us answers.
Hawks no longer thinks the traditional framing of the OOA is effective any longer and I’d say AMEN to that. In his post he asks the question as to just what ancient human ancestors were doing inside Africa. He says growing evidence is pointing to faster, more widespread dispersal, more MIXTURES (hybridization), and repeated genetic replacements!!
Well I’m glad to see Dr Hawks getting onboard!! As I’ve said before on this blog I think MOST of what we are looking at when it comes to human fossil remains are evidence of HYBRIDS and various species of ancient human ancestors coexisting. I think there was a LOT OF MIXTURE (interbreeding) between these various species and that modern humans today are the HYBRID RESULT of that interbreeding!! Glad to see I’m NOT the only one that thinks so! Now if we can just begin to weed out those skulls of prehistoric apes we are calling human ancestors we’ll be on the RIGHT track! As for the OOA in light of GROWING NEW EVIDENCE it is going to have to be modified or it will no longer be relevant!!!