Descent of Man
In this lecture, beginners can familiarize themselves with basic information and terms used to describe the evolution of humanity beginning with the origin of primates through the comings and goings of Genus Homo.
Main Human Evolution Links
Some of the best links for learning about how we descended. Uses these links and post your questions and views about areas not covered.
The prevailing view, known as the "Out of Africa" theory, holds that modern humans evolved from a common Homo erectus ancestor in Africa. Homo sapiens then left Africa and spread across the world, displacing other hominid species such as Neanderthals.
The competing theory, called "regional continuity," contends that Homo erectus came out of Africa and modern humans evolved from Homo erectus in several different places - what are now Africa, Europe and Asia - with interbreeding between the regions.
Ape-man ate termites
Jan 16, 2001 BBC News
Backwell said: "It is showing us that these robust ape-men had the cognitive ability to select for a particular type of bone. It wasn't opportunistic."
A herd of clones from nature
This can show that small isolated groups of humans could survive. eg: Europeans.
Songbird shows how evolution works
This can show the role of communication. As groups of humans change their communication skills over time this affects their mating choices. This can bring changes in appearences because of the limited gene pool utilized. This also brings about different ethnic groups. The genes that could best adapt to a given environment would be the dominant genes.
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Out of Africa: The Real Eve 1
Can Mungo Man challenge evolution theory?
- Thursday, February 20, 2003
New Age For Mungo Man, New Human History
- The Real Eve: Out of Africa DVD
From the Mitochondrial genetic research presented in the Real Eve documentary, they stated that the earliest Australians left East Africa around seventy-five thousand years ago, and they made the journey to Australia via the costal regions and islets along the way when sea levels were much lower. They further stated that several groups of Africans made this journey afterwards to comprise the Aboriginal people in Australia. The ocean levels rose, and as such they were isolate for a long time.
- Where We Come From
Recent advances in genetics are starting to illuminate the wanderings of early humans.
February 9, 2000
Australian National University scientists reported yesterday their dating studies estimated the skeleton at between 56,000 and 68,000 years old and the sediment it is buried in at between 59,000 and 63,000 years. Research leader Dr Alan Thorne interpreted the dates to argue that humans migrated to Australia in two separate waves.
The research can stimulate the global debate over the development of modern human variation, when sea travel began, and when people first in Australia.
"The Out of Africa idea has long been disputed by Dr Alan Thorne, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University's research school of Pacific and Asian studies. Thorne, along with Professor Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan, has championed what is known as the "multi-region" theory.
The two theories
The Lake Mungo 3 skeleton, described as a ''gracile'' human form, is interpreted by Dr Thorne as an example of a strain of humans which migrated from east Asia more than 60,000 years ago. He believes a later migration - maybe as recent as 25,000 years ago - occurred of people with ''robust'' skeletal form who probably originated in south-east Asia. According to Dr Thorne, these two tribes interbred, giving rise to Australian Aborigines.
The two scientists agree with the Out of Africa theory that Homo erectus began in Africa about 2 million years ago, and emigrated. But from here their theory differs. They think Homo sapiens did not evolve solely in Africa but simultaneously in Africa, Europe, North Asia and South-East Asia."
While many archeologists and anthropologists disagree with Dr Thorne's views on the implications of the new LM3 dates, some also dispute the accuracy of those dates.
Professor Jim Bowler, of the University of Melbourne discovered the skeleton in 1974 and stated that the results of three sophisticated dating techniques used to arrive at the 56,000-68,000 year estimate range do not agree with his interpretation of the field evidence available at the burial site.
Dr Bowler says, it is most unlikely for sediments and skeletal remains to be the same age. The common experience is for the human remains to be younger than the earth in which they were buried. An agreed age for LM3 may take a few more years to achieve. Agreement on where his ancestors came from will take much longer.
While there may be some disagreement over where the major differences in humans evolved there is common agreement that humans were first in Africa. More on the origins of the Aborigines
Aborigines Link: JoyZine - Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime Legends
- Human Migration Theory Disputed Jan 15, 2001 AP Science Writer
- Anthropologists defend out-of-Africa theory Jan 15, 2001 CNN
- The Mungo Man mystery. Penny Fannin reports Jan 13, 2001 SMH Au
- Study disputes theory of human migration Jan 12, 2001 CNN
- New Fossil Study Rejects "Eve Theory" And Supports Diverse Ancestry Of Modern Humans Jan 12, 2001 Science Daily
- Did We Come Out of Africa? Studies Collide Jan 12, 2001 National Geographic
- Study: Neanderthals Live Within Us Jan 12, 2001 FOX News
- How did early humans spread out? Jan 11, 2001 MSNBC
- New Clues Dispute 'Single Wave' Ancient Migration Theory Jan 11, 2001 FOX News
- Discoveries Breathe New Life into Human Origins Debate Jan 11, 2001 NG
- Mungo Man could be African: scientists Jan 10, 2001 SMH Au
- Fossil Finder Disputes Age, Backs Evolution Claim Jan 10, 2001 CNN
- Mungo Man challenges evolution theory Jan 9, 2001 BBC
- Genetic study roots humans in Africa Dec 6, 2000 BBC
- Archaeologists Team Up with Population Geneticists… Nov 27, 2000
- Scientists Rough Out Humanity's 50,000-Year-Old Story Nov 14, 2000
- Early human skull remains in the Republic of Georgia May 11, 2000
- Fossil find could rewrite human history Dec 10, 1998 BBC
- New discovery pushes back human history Aug 17, 1995 CNN
- More Anthropology in the news
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