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Old 22nd November 2008, 06:27 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
Are you making the point Cro-Magnon evolved separately outside of Africa which supports the multiregional position?
You need to read the quote again:
Quote:
The term falls outside the usual naming conventions for early humans and is used in a general sense to describe the oldest modern people in Europe
What it says is that by definition Cro-Magnon is the term used in general for the oldest modern people (Homo sapiens, i.e. us) found in Europe.
They are not a species or a race. They are a grouping of fossils of Homo sapiens of a certain age (Upper Paleolithic) found in a certain location (Europe).
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Old 22nd November 2008, 06:43 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
One problem with the OoA theory is why are there no remains of Cro-Magnon found in Africa only in Europe and East Asia. Cro-Magnon is modern human. If he originated in Africa why have no grave sites been discovered on that continent?
Unnfortunately for your theory, Cro-Magnon is a cultural, not a biological distinction. As far as genetics is concerned, the Cro-Magnon are alive and well all over the planet today. It is a culture that was discerned by study of the caves in the Dordogne valley in France. Frankly it would be remarkable if it were definitively found in any place other than a well defined area.

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Until now I was disappointed with the direction of this “discussion”. Everything I know about the two theories indicates they are equal in standing before the scientific community. The Out-of-Africa theory is basically political, having its beginnings in University of Berkeley in California. It would not have been the first politically correct theory to have ever appeared, remember Lysenkoism?
Horseapples. It is not political, it did not have its roots at Berkeley. Lysenkoism was a product of the Soviet political system, not academia or science. Where ever do you find these things - among the dust bunnies?

If this controversy is really representative of the state of anthropology teaching today, then I think it needs to be classed right in there with phrenology therapeutic touch.

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Old 22nd November 2008, 06:44 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
You need to read the quote again:

What it says is that by definition Cro-Magnon is the term used in general for the oldest modern people (Homo sapiens, i.e. us) found in Europe.
They are not a species or a race. They are a grouping of fossils of Homo sapiens of a certain age (Upper Paleolithic) found in a certain location (Europe).
Why wouldn’t Cro-Magnons be a race if they were the earliest forms of Europeans? With the possible exception of the Neanderthals they were the first Europeans with larger skulls compared to the Europeans today.
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Old 22nd November 2008, 06:49 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Unnfortunately for your theory, Cro-Magnon is a cultural, not a biological distinction. As far as genetics is concerned, the Cro-Magnon are alive and well all over the planet today. It is a culture that was discerned by study of the caves in the Dordogne valley in France. Frankly it would be remarkable if it were definitively found in any place other than a well defined area.
Are you seriously suggesting the Black tribes of Africa today and the Chinese are descended from Cro-Magnons?
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Old 22nd November 2008, 07:06 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Would seem to be nothing bar their names.
Hey Darat! What happened to the rule "Argue the idea, not the person?" I think you could get a demerit.
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Old 22nd November 2008, 07:17 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
Are you seriously suggesting the Black tribes of Africa today and the Chinese are descended from Cro-Magnons?
What I am saying is that CroMagnon man is homo sapiens, as are we all - black tribes in Africa, Chinese, Aztecs, Laplanders, Hutus, Fijians, Australian abos, you name it. CroMagnons were one branch of homo sap. that alighted in southern Europe and the middle east, and developed their culture there. Their culture eventually died, although the people themselves may have descendants there today. They were probably in the process of paling out due to the less need for solar protection and more need to process vitamin D; indeed, they probably ran the whole color gamut depending on where individuals settled and for how long. They are, biologically, indistinguishable from all other homo sapiens as far as gene markers go, up to the point where they became isolated from other cultures, if that ever even happened.

CroMagnons are famous only because their culture was perhaps the first neolithic culture that was formally described, being as it was in Europe, and people tend to think they represent all modern man, but in truth they were one of the branches of modern man, not especially different from all the others.

BTW, I misnamed the peoples that likely most closely resemble our common ancestors - they are the San, not the Han, also known as BushmanWP or by their own name for themselves, the !Kung. They now live in southwestern Africa, in and around the Kalahari desert. That they are near the root is discerned by the fact that they have none of the markers that developed in other peoples after about 30,000 years ago; they have their own markers (mutations), of course.

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Old 22nd November 2008, 07:28 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
What I am saying is that CroMagnon man is homo sapiens, as are we all - black tribes in Africa, Chinese, Aztecs, Laplanders, Fijians, you name it. CroMagnons were one branch of homo sap. that alighted in southern Europe and the middle east, and developed their culture there. Their culture eventually died, although the people themselves may have descendants there today. They were probably in the process of paling out due to the less need for solar protection and more need to process vitamin D; indeed, they probably ran the whole color gamut depending on where individuals settled and for how long. They are, biologically, indistinguishable from all other homo sapiens as far as gene markers go, up to the point where they became isolated from other cultures, if that ever even happened.
If you took the skull of a Cro-Magnon and had a face artist to flesh it out and give us a likeness, do you think the face would be European, Asian or African?
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Old 22nd November 2008, 07:43 PM   #48
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That would greatly depend on what parameters the artist used to determine depth of skin tissue, wouldn't it? Or did you think facial reconstruction was magic of some kind, that would create the equivalent of a death mask from an individual where there is no population data on skin thickness at all?
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Old 22nd November 2008, 08:44 PM   #49
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Genetic diversity is greatest in Africa and decreases with distance from Africa. The least genetic diversity is in native tribes in South America. Adds greatly to the evidence of Out of Africa. This relates to native people, not transplants due to conquering and colonization...etc.

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Old 22nd November 2008, 09:11 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
If you took the skull of a Cro-Magnon and had a face artist to flesh it out and give us a likeness, do you think the face would be European, Asian or African?
Human.

Really, MaGZ, your racism is just too transparent. With the amount of error that that technique has, plus the general variability of today's homo sap, plus the total inability to be able to assure that the skin color, hair color and type, general fleshiness, and amount of face hair and details like epicanthal folds are correct, I would think it could be any of the above, plus perhaps noble American Indian and Easter Island long ear. Besides, if homo sap can handle variability in 50,000 years that includes Cheddar Man and homo floresensis as possibilities, it could look totally alien (though I doubt that).

People who do what you mention for a living do a lot of cultural research to back up their reconstructions. They know what the geenral person's cutural brothers look like, as well as what's in style and what isn't. That is all part of their reconstructions. In the cases where those brothers can't be consulted, the results are very iffy in the details that are important to you, apparently.

Tell me - here is a Neandertal reconstruction - if you didn't know that, to what "race" would you attribute it?
http://www.peabody.yale.edu/exhibits...anderthal.html

Looks like a marine to me Hey - not while I have glasses on!!! Ouch!!

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Old 22nd November 2008, 09:33 PM   #51
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If people had bothered to read the well-written Wikipedia article linked to earlier in this debate, they would have found the following very relevant piece of information:
Quote:
An older theory is Polygenic evolution, a multiple origins theory in which the different human populations or races had independent origins and evolved in isolation from each other. It was held by many scholars of the 19th century such as Haeckel and Klaatsch. Polygenism is sometimes mistaken for Multiregional evolution, because they are both hypotheses of evolution within a single species. However, Polygenic evolution depends on isolation of populations while Multiregional evolution requires population interactions and interbreeding so that genetic changes can spread throughout the human range, especially when they are promoted by natural selection. According to the Multiregional hypothesis, geographic differences between human populations are the results of climatic variation, isolation by distance, sexual selection, and historical accidents (genetic drift).
What MaGZ -- and some other people here -- are talking about is Polygenic evolution, not multiregional evolution. Multiregional evolution has evidence to support it as a theory, as does the Out of Africa theory. The polygenic theory, on the other hand, has pretty much no evidence to support it, and is pretty much used only by bigots to support their arguments that people of different races should be divided up, and not allowed to intermix.

The key difference between the two theories (I mean multiregional and polygenic) lays in how one looks at modern humans. The multiregional theory holds that modern humans are a result of hybridization between two or three different groups of pre-human groups. That is, groups such as the cro-magnons and neanderthals initially existed in different geographical regions (after leaving Africa, and taking different evolutionary directions). Later, when these groups came together, there was a lot of fighting, and also some breeding (they had reached a point where there were definite genetic differences, but not so much that it rendered them genetically incompatible). This led to a hybridized form of the homo genus, that eventually became modern man. This new hybridized form outcompeted its predecessors, and eventually dominated.

The polygenic theory, by contrast, holds that after leaving Africa, hominids evolved into two more 'races' (the whites and the asians, evolving from the original blacks), and that these 'races' are distinct from each other. It is also often used to justify arguments that whites and asians are superior to blacks, since they represent a later (and therefore better) stage in human evolution. And those who support the polygenic theory are almost universally opposed to interbreeding of these 'races' (as, I believe, MaGZ is).

While I don't claim to be an expert on these things, I do follow it on a more casual basis, and although there is some evidence to support the multiregional theory, the Out of Africa theory seems to me to make by far the most sense. The number one reason for this is that if modern humans had evolved after leaving Africa, then it would have been necessary for those later, more modern humans to return to Africa, and defeat their predecessors there, also. But all genetic studies I've seen give no indication of any such thing happening.

What I could potentially see happening, would be that hybridization with cro-magnons and neanderthals did happen, at least to a limited degree. That cro-magnons, neanderthals, and homo sapiens evolved as different branches, and that when homo sapiens emerged from Africa, the genetic drift was not so far apart that it didn't allow for at least some interbreeding. However, that interbreeding was fairly limited, and the homosapiens genes still dominated overall. Thus, in some populations, there may be an actual genetic link to neanderthals/cro-magnons. So far as I can tell, this particular theory would account for pretty much all the genetic information that we've found, and would explain the apparent rift between the studies quoted by each side.

Now, in regard to the question of political correctness, I personally agree that the preponderance of evidence seems to be on the side of the Out of Africa theory. However, the fact is that any study that seeks to find evidence that human 'races' may, in fact, have evolved along different lines will face phenomenal political pressure. Even if strong evidence were found to support such a theory, people would cry out against it, and scientists who sought to study it would be condemned.

And now, for the flip side of this.

The vast majority of research done in regards to the multiregional theory of human evolution is done in China, and a few other Asian countries. In those countries, not only is the idea of races evolving separately more acceptable, it is actually more desirable. The Chinese in particular lay claim to this theory as justification for their power...that they were the original inhabitants, and all other Asians derived from them. Lots of money is given to scientists who seek to do further study on this theory, while evidence that is contrary to their desires is generally ignored or suppressed.

I've even met a number of Chinese who tend towards a rather bizarre polygenic theory. This theory holds that blacks appeared first, in Africa; some of them left Africa, moving north, and evolved into Caucasians; and then some of those Caucasians moved East, and evolved into Asians. By their theory, Asians are the latest (and therefore 'best') stage in human evolution; Caucasians a close second; and blacks a very distant third. This theory is also used as justification as to why Asians can breed with Caucasians, but not with blacks...because the genetic offspring of an asian/black mix would have too many genetic problems, more likely to be deformed or sterile. Whites are more 'fortunate' in this regard...being the intermediary form, they can mix with both groups.

I'd like to stress that this latter does not represent the beliefs of the majority of Chinese; but it is common enough (I'd say perhaps 5% of the population) to merit comment.
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Old 22nd November 2008, 09:55 PM   #52
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Here's a relevant article regarding Chinese research on this stuff (provided by Grunion in an other, unrelated discussion).
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Old 22nd November 2008, 10:51 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
The key difference between the two theories (I mean multiregional and polygenic) lays in how one looks at modern humans. The multiregional theory holds that modern humans are a result of hybridization between two or three different groups of pre-human groups. That is, groups such as the cro-magnons and neanderthals initially existed in different geographical regions (after leaving Africa, and taking different evolutionary directions). Later, when these groups came together, there was a lot of fighting, and also some breeding (they had reached a point where there were definite genetic differences, but not so much that it rendered them genetically incompatible). This led to a hybridized form of the homo genus, that eventually became modern man. This new hybridized form outcompeted its predecessors, and eventually dominated.
OK, I'd be very interested to hear what genetic data supports this. When the initial studies were done to find out if any Neandertal markers exist in modern Europeans, the bets were running at least 50/50 for finding some, just as you suggest here. When the matching showed zero markers in common, that was pretty conclusive. Has anything changed that, or does this version of the multiregional hypothesis predate genetic testing?

Quote:
The polygenic theory, by contrast, holds that after leaving Africa, hominids evolved into two more 'races' (the whites and the asians, evolving from the original blacks), and that these 'races' are distinct from each other. It is also often used to justify arguments that whites and asians are superior to blacks, since they represent a later (and therefore better) stage in human evolution. And those who support the polygenic theory are almost universally opposed to interbreeding of these 'races' (as, I believe, MaGZ is).
The first question here is what is meant by "race"? Obviously, they are still the same species, as all humans can, and do, interbreed quite well, regardless of what races they may belong to. Does it mean variety, in the common canine sense? If so, then it wouldn't seem to carry the cache the proponents are hoping for.

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...although there is some evidence to support the multiregional theory...
Can you cite me some? I'd appreciate it. I see one find in China that US and Chinese scientists contend says there is the possibility of Neandertal interbreeding in China 40,00 years ago, but that's based on a single jaw bone. Sounds like traces of the Leakey/Johansen spat before gene evidence was available. OTOH, there is an article the rules out sapiens/habilis interbreeding. And so it goes.

Quote:
...the Out of Africa theory seems to me to make by far the most sense. The number one reason for this is that if modern humans had evolved after leaving Africa, then it would have been necessary for those later, more modern humans to return to Africa, and defeat their predecessors there, also. But all genetic studies I've seen give no indication of any such thing happening.

What I could potentially see happening, would be that hybridization with cro-magnons and neanderthals did happen, at least to a limited degree. That cro-magnons, neanderthals, and homo sapiens evolved as different branches, and that when homo sapiens emerged from Africa, the genetic drift was not so far apart that it didn't allow for at least some interbreeding.
This would require that homo neadertalensis is, in fact, homo sapiens neandertalensis, which in turn requires that homo sapiens made it to specieshood sooner than currently believed, and it also ignores the genetic evidence. By definition they cannot interbreed with viable issue if they are of different species.

Quote:
However, that interbreeding was fairly limited, and the homosapiens genes still dominated overall. Thus, in some populations, there may be an actual genetic link to neanderthals/cro-magnons. So far as I can tell, this particular theory would account for pretty much all the genetic information that we've found, and would explain the apparent rift between the studies quoted by each side.
Can you expand on how this accounts uniquely for "all the genetic information that we've found"? How can it do so in the face of the Neandertal DNA typing studies?

Quote:
The vast majority of research done in regards to the multiregional theory of human evolution is done in China, and a few other Asian countries. In those countries, not only is the idea of races evolving separately more acceptable, it is actually more desirable. The Chinese in particular lay claim to this theory as justification for their power...that they were the original inhabitants, and all other Asians derived from them.
I hope they don't find that they all come from Cambodian stock, or Han, or at least a dozen other groups the Mandarin look down upon. Yum.

Quote:
I've even met a number of Chinese who tend towards a rather bizarre polygenic theory. This theory holds that blacks appeared first, in Africa; some of them left Africa, moving north, and evolved into Caucasians; and then some of those Caucasians moved East, and evolved into Asians. By their theory, Asians are the latest (and therefore 'best') stage in human evolution; Caucasians a close second; and blacks a very distant third. This theory is also used as justification as to why Asians can breed with Caucasians, but not with blacks...because the genetic offspring of an asian/black mix would have too many genetic problems, more likely to be deformed or sterile. Whites are more 'fortunate' in this regard...being the intermediary form, they can mix with both groups.
That theory is beneath contempt. Prove the superiority, I say. It is openly disproved by the number of children fathered by American blacks in Viet Nam, though I imagine they have excuses for that.

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Old 22nd November 2008, 11:31 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Can you cite me some? I'd appreciate it. I see one find in China that US and Chinese scientists contend says there is the possibility of Neandertal interbreeding in China 40,00 years ago, but that's based on a single jaw bone. Sounds like traces of the Leakey/Johansen spat before gene evidence was available. OTOH, there is an article the rules out sapiens/habilis interbreeding. And so it goes.
Quite frankly, after the Wikipedia article about this has been linked to twice, that lists various studies and evidence used to support this hypothesis, I don't quite understand why you're asking me to cite more. I'm not saying that I agree with them...but either you're not even bothering to read the links already being supplied (in which case, why should I supply more), or you first have to demonstrate why the arguments in that article are not valid.

As I said, I personally tend strongly towards the Out of Africa theory; but that doesn't mean that I'll automatically discount any/all information that contradicts that. The Wikipedia article provides a number of arguments that can at least be interpreted to support the multiregional theory; to dismiss them, one must demonstrate either how A) the data itself is wrong, or B) there are alternative explanations that fit with the Out of Africa theory.
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Old 22nd November 2008, 11:39 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
This would require that homo neadertalensis is, in fact, homo sapiens neandertalensis, which in turn requires that homo sapiens made it to specieshood sooner than currently believed, and it also ignores the genetic evidence. By definition they cannot interbreed with viable issue if they are of different species.
That is true.

So, a question for you. It is more than adequately demonstrated by our many breeds of dogs, for example, that it is quite possible for a single species to have bone structures, muscular structures, skin/eye/hair, etc., that are all very different from each other. In fact, were dogs extinct today, and we were studying 1 million year old fossils of poodles, pugs, and st. bernards, I rather suspect that we'd classify them as entirely different species. At this level, it is the genetic structure that defines a species, not its physical appearance.

The physical differences between various species of dogs -- both internal and external -- are, in many ways, quite a bit greater than the differences between cro-magnons and neanderthals.

Is our classification of them based on different physical appearance? Differing cultural patterns? Or actual genetic study that demonstrates they were, in fact, genetically incompatible?

Again, I admit to being an amateur in this field; and if such genetic information exists, I'd be glad to see links to it so that I myself could look at it in greater detail. But if it cannot be demonstrated -- at a genetic level -- that cro-magnons and neanderthals were in fact too genetically divergent to be able to interbreed, then I don't see how we can state categorically that it was impossible, simply because we have, based on physical appearances, designated them as being separate species.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 01:35 AM   #56
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#20 Shadron

Very interesting read. I endorse TA's saing that it should be nominated.

The thing that I find difficult to get my head round is the chronology of it all. The haplo blood groups and the genetic evidence - yes, no problem there (because I have read the trustworthy words of AndyBlackard on GH forum for several years), but is there any analogy you can think of to provide a firm framework on which to fix the chronology in my mind?! Thinking of historical time, say, about 9/10,000 years during which time things look pretty stable, I find it very difficult to understand how, only 15/25,000 years prior to that, we all came out of Africa again. How did they make the journeys in such an apparently short time? AndyBlackard says that there were peoples in the Americas after the first OOA but that no evidence has been found to indicate that any of them remained when the later imgration took place. This all makes logical sense, but I'd love to be able to understand better.

Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
If he originated in Africa why have no grave sites been discovered on that continent?
In a recent New Scientist, there was an article about the lack of neolithic graves in UK and new research suggests that they are probably in Doggerland, i.e. under the bed of the North Sea. So maybe a similar type of reason accounts for your question.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 02:35 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
homo floresensisWP seems to have good coverage on this fossil. Still lots of controversy about it. There was a NOVA program on it last spring, but unforunately it is not one of the ones available for viewing (copyright issues). It would think that either theory covers it, and the fact that it could be either homo sapiens or any other variety - though, Australopithecus is a stretch; it went extinct in Africa at least 2.5 million years ago; having a tiny branch last until 18,000 years ago on Flores all on its lonesome is very likely.

There are also other dwarf human finds in the Pacific: see this article: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2...l#previouspost, which cites a paper. He says they are definitely homo sapiens.
Australopithecus isn't much of a stretch at all, other than geographically. The leg, pelvis and wrist bones of Floresiensis match up much better with Australopithecus than Homo. However, the same applies (to different parts of the body) to Homo. The shoulder area seems rather Erectus-like, and the brain has more in common with Homo than Australopithecus.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conten.../317/5845/1743
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...92259a3d7502ef
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/sep/21/2
http://www.newscientist.com/article/...t-species.html
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/7/2513.abstract
http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...argument_x.htm

ETA: Incidentally, there is about as much chance Floresiensis is the same species as us as there is that Chimpanzees are the same species as us. The differences are just far too great over far too much area for them to be merely diseased Saipens.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 03:07 AM   #58
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As far back as Homo Habilis, people have been walking, breeding, using tools, and eating meat. H. Erectus really liked walking, really put thought into tools, and have been found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. This is all agreed upon. My point is, all they had to do back then was eat meat, make tools, and roam around. Sure, some might settle down, but it isn't hard to imagine a lot of wondering.
Meeting other groups is bound to happen, mating as well, and then more wondering. By this time, the had no maps or compasses, so they probably did a whole lot of walking in circles, but the point is they went there, back, and probably there again, and probably rather quickly, because... what else is there to do? With a larger brain, comes a larger imagination.
Certainly, when groups reached certain areas, they could have settled. Environmental impacts could have altered their appearance... but the wondering still happened. There was nothing else to do!
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Old 23rd November 2008, 03:41 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
That is true.

So, a question for you. It is more than adequately demonstrated by our many breeds of dogs, for example, that it is quite possible for a single species to have bone structures, muscular structures, skin/eye/hair, etc., that are all very different from each other. In fact, were dogs extinct today, and we were studying 1 million year old fossils of poodles, pugs, and st. bernards, I rather suspect that we'd classify them as entirely different species. At this level, it is the genetic structure that defines a species, not its physical appearance.
That's absolutely correct, and I thought about it when I wrote it - just because Johansen and Leakey et al said that's what they are, how do we really know? All they had was bones to go on, fossilized at that. And the answer is, because of the great controversies surrounding the naming and placing on he family tree, I don't think they had a real clue either.

In fact, I don't think that even DNA evidence gives us that clue. If it should happen that a chromosome count fails (as it does between homo and the other great apres), I would say that that probably makes an absolute break. A great difference in one chromosome in gene placement would probably kill any offspring in he womb, or quickly after birth. Other than that, who can tell?

Even among animals living today I don't know of a definitive test beyond, "Let's try it and see." That says that there has been a lot of hand waving going on. I did cite that a great many people thought there would be Neandertal markers in modern European DNA, but it was not demonstrated. That would indicate that within the anthro community there is no evidence of when speciation is a fact and when it is not, except by observation. They can tell when it has not been possible, which appears to be the case in sapiens/neandertalensis.

So you caught me out there hand waving as well. I admit it, and I'll try not to do it again.

PS - I found a very good (long) work on speciation at speciesWP. The requirement that species must be able to interbreed with viable offspring is known as Ernst Mayr's definition.

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Old 23rd November 2008, 04:11 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
The thing that I find difficult to get my head round is the chronology of it all. The haplo blood groups and the genetic evidence - yes, no problem there (because I have read the trustworthy words of AndyBlackard on GH forum for several years), but is there any analogy you can think of to provide a firm framework on which to fix the chronology in my mind?! Thinking of historical time, say, about 9/10,000 years during which time things look pretty stable, I find it very difficult to understand how, only 15/25,000 years prior to that, we all came out of Africa again. How did they make the journeys in such an apparently short time? AndyBlackard says that there were peoples in the Americas after the first OOA but that no evidence has been found to indicate that any of them remained when the later imgration took place. This all makes logical sense, but I'd love to be able to understand better.
The timeline, according to Wells, is this:

200,000 BCE First spreading of pre-humans out of Africa.
100,000 BCE Genesis of Sapiens in Africa.
50,000 BCE First spreading of sapiens out of Africa.
40,000 BCE Sapiens reaches Australia. Another branch reaches Central Asia, stopped there by the glaciers to he north.
30,000 BCE Spreading east and west, sapiens from central Asia spread as far as Europe and China.
20,000 BCE Following the ice retreat to he north, Asians cross the Bering strait on the land bridge there. They are held up in Alaska by the graciers. They may have been able to get through in small numbers just about this time.
12,000 BCE the glaciers open up an interior corridor in Canada and sapiens quickly file through and colonize all the way to Tierrra del Fuego.

The controlling factor in Africa seems to be the ice age. When deep in the cycle, Africa is mostly desert (particularly North). Water in general is hard to come by world wide, as it has been sucked into ice. Animals, Homo along with the others, suffers species recession. It also lowers sea level. When the ice backs off, Africa greens up significantly; even the Sahara is reduced to patches. That being said, there are lots of questions that occur to me - what of the seashore beaches? what of he Nile Valley corridor? Is there a critical number that need to escape as a band to be successful?

Oh, for just a few more lifetimes to study all this and learn!!!

I don't know if this answers your question (limited by my understanding, of course) - I didn't understand the part about 15-25Kyrs. I do know there is archaeological evidence for man in the Americas circa 25kyrs BCE. I don' know what to make of it alogether. Some say they made it there before the ice corridor closed; some say they used boats to skirt the glaciers across the Atlantic from Europe. The Folsom point people are fighting a rear guard action over that - see the statements about it embedded in the timeline in the link above to the Bradshaw home page.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 04:19 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Damien Evans View Post
Australopithecus isn't much of a stretch at all, other than geographically. The leg, pelvis and wrist bones of Floresiensis match up much better with Australopithecus than Homo. However, the same applies (to different parts of the body) to Homo. The shoulder area seems rather Erectus-like, and the brain has more in common with Homo than Australopithecus.

ETA: Incidentally, there is about as much chance Floresiensis is the same species as us as there is that Chimpanzees are the same species as us. The differences are just far too great over far too much area for them to be merely diseased Saipens.
Well, Damien, I guess the bigs are gonna have to duke it out before we're going to know. I suppose it is possible that the species lifetime could be extended from 500,000 years to 3 million by this single find. Also, there are scientists that agree with what you find personally incredulous.

I also don't much like the disease concept, but at my distance from the evidence it is as much emotion on my part as it is logic. You can certainly go with a Lucy lookalike; you seem to have studied it more than I have. By all means, come on in a tell us what you know.

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Old 23rd November 2008, 04:57 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
Quite frankly, after the Wikipedia article about this has been linked to twice, that lists various studies and evidence used to support this hypothesis, I don't quite understand why you're asking me to cite more. I'm not saying that I agree with them...but either you're not even bothering to read the links already being supplied (in which case, why should I supply more), or you first have to demonstrate why the arguments in that article are not valid.

As I said, I personally tend strongly towards the Out of Africa theory; but that doesn't mean that I'll automatically discount any/all information that contradicts that. The Wikipedia article provides a number of arguments that can at least be interpreted to support the multiregional theory; to dismiss them, one must demonstrate either how A) the data itself is wrong, or B) there are alternative explanations that fit with the Out of Africa theory.
The wiki article seems to be saying that homo erectus, having migrated out of Africa and settled the whole of Europe, Asia and Africa, then evolved into homo sapiens regionally, commonly supported by exchanges of peoples laterally so that all the populations evolved into essentially the same species. If it were not for the population sharing going on, they would have then each progressed in a different manner and resulted in different sepcies of man, one different one in each region.

The first thing that occurs to me is - has this sort of thing been hypothesized or observed for any other animal than homo? Why would it work for us, and only for us? Lions, tigers and elephants, to name three, obviously were not able to keep their species in line when they existed both in Africa and Asia. Why us?

Second - it seems that a rather lot of mixing would be required to keep the regions all in line - that is, keeping them all in lockstep species-wise. Some are rather isolated - is this fact reflected in the results? The actual results seem to good o be true.

Originally Posted by Ingcold
As far back as Homo Habilis, people have been walking, breeding, using tools, and eating meat. H. Erectus really liked walking, really put thought into tools, and have been found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. This is all agreed upon. My point is, all they had to do back then was eat meat, make tools, and roam around. Sure, some might settle down, but it isn't hard to imagine a lot of wondering.

...

There was nothing else to do!
They migrated both with and against food availability gradients out of boredom? My impression was that the hunter-gatherer style of living was always rather strenuous.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 05:10 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
They migrated both with and against food availability gradients out of boredom? My impression was that the hunter-gatherer style of living was always rather strenuous.
With the emergence of fire came time at night to sit around with the group and reflect upon the day. They could have thought about travel, and some males, or females could have moved to a neighboring tribe.
They didn't have maps and couldn't tell how far it would be to the next meal. Some probably died a terrible death in the middle of a desert, I agree.
Life of hunters and gathers probably sucked more than sitting around on a computer discussing the actions, but their brains were getting bigger. They were getting curious about the world and taking risks. They were using their brains more and more. Replicating tools, hunting, using fire, breeding, and walking.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:14 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
What three basic races?
Home erectus, homo sapiens neanderthalis and homo sapiens sapiens would be my guess.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:17 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
Well, Damien, I guess the bigs are gonna have to duke it out before we're going to know. I suppose it is possible that the species lifetime could be extended from 500,000 years to 3 million by this single find. Also, there are scientists that agree with what you find personally incredulous.

I also don't much like the disease concept, but at my distance from the evidence it is as much emotion on my part as it is logic. You can certainly go with a Lucy lookalike; you seem to have studied it more than I have. By all means, come on in a tell us what you know.
I don't know about that. All I've done is 1 year of uni, and read ten or fifteen books on the subject (human evolution that is). I find it all fascinating, but I don't pretend to any huge knowledge of the subject as a whole.


Oh, and I think you mean genus lifetime, not species. As far as I know no-one is arguing that Floresensis is the same species as africanus or afarensis.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:18 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by skeptigirl View Post
How absurd to think the "Out of Africa" theory is simply more PC. The overwhelming evidence is genetic and it matches archaeological evidence and linguistic evolution evidence as well.

OoA all the way, also the oldest evidenec of agriculture is in northa frica at 60,000 BP.

language is a little stranger, proto Arayan came out of Turkey. I don't know about other language groups.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:18 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
...snip...
They migrated both with and against food availability gradients out of boredom? My impression was that the hunter-gatherer style of living was always rather strenuous.
So was mine.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:23 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
If people had bothered to read the well-written Wikipedia article linked to earlier in this debate, they would have found the following very relevant piece of information:

What MaGZ -- and some other people here -- are talking about is Polygenic evolution, not multiregional evolution. Multiregional evolution has evidence to support it as a theory, as does the Out of Africa theory. The polygenic theory, on the other hand, has pretty much no evidence to support it, and is pretty much used only by bigots to support their arguments that people of different races should be divided up, and not allowed to intermix.

The key difference between the two theories (I mean multiregional and polygenic) lays in how one looks at modern humans. The multiregional theory holds that modern humans are a result of hybridization between two or three different groups of pre-human groups. That is, groups such as the cro-magnons and neanderthals initially existed in different geographical regions (after leaving Africa, and taking different evolutionary directions). Later, when these groups came together, there was a lot of fighting, and also some breeding (they had reached a point where there were definite genetic differences, but not so much that it rendered them genetically incompatible). This led to a hybridized form of the homo genus, that eventually became modern man. This new hybridized form outcompeted its predecessors, and eventually dominated.

The polygenic theory, by contrast, holds that after leaving Africa, hominids evolved into two more 'races' (the whites and the asians, evolving from the original blacks), and that these 'races' are distinct from each other. It is also often used to justify arguments that whites and asians are superior to blacks, since they represent a later (and therefore better) stage in human evolution. And those who support the polygenic theory are almost universally opposed to interbreeding of these 'races' (as, I believe, MaGZ is).

While I don't claim to be an expert on these things, I do follow it on a more casual basis, and although there is some evidence to support the multiregional theory, the Out of Africa theory seems to me to make by far the most sense. The number one reason for this is that if modern humans had evolved after leaving Africa, then it would have been necessary for those later, more modern humans to return to Africa, and defeat their predecessors there, also. But all genetic studies I've seen give no indication of any such thing happening.

What I could potentially see happening, would be that hybridization with cro-magnons and neanderthals did happen, at least to a limited degree. That cro-magnons, neanderthals, and homo sapiens evolved as different branches, and that when homo sapiens emerged from Africa, the genetic drift was not so far apart that it didn't allow for at least some interbreeding. However, that interbreeding was fairly limited, and the homosapiens genes still dominated overall. Thus, in some populations, there may be an actual genetic link to neanderthals/cro-magnons. So far as I can tell, this particular theory would account for pretty much all the genetic information that we've found, and would explain the apparent rift between the studies quoted by each side.

Now, in regard to the question of political correctness, I personally agree that the preponderance of evidence seems to be on the side of the Out of Africa theory. However, the fact is that any study that seeks to find evidence that human 'races' may, in fact, have evolved along different lines will face phenomenal political pressure. Even if strong evidence were found to support such a theory, people would cry out against it, and scientists who sought to study it would be condemned.

And now, for the flip side of this.

The vast majority of research done in regards to the multiregional theory of human evolution is done in China, and a few other Asian countries. In those countries, not only is the idea of races evolving separately more acceptable, it is actually more desirable. The Chinese in particular lay claim to this theory as justification for their power...that they were the original inhabitants, and all other Asians derived from them. Lots of money is given to scientists who seek to do further study on this theory, while evidence that is contrary to their desires is generally ignored or suppressed.

I've even met a number of Chinese who tend towards a rather bizarre polygenic theory. This theory holds that blacks appeared first, in Africa; some of them left Africa, moving north, and evolved into Caucasians; and then some of those Caucasians moved East, and evolved into Asians. By their theory, Asians are the latest (and therefore 'best') stage in human evolution; Caucasians a close second; and blacks a very distant third. This theory is also used as justification as to why Asians can breed with Caucasians, but not with blacks...because the genetic offspring of an asian/black mix would have too many genetic problems, more likely to be deformed or sterile. Whites are more 'fortunate' in this regard...being the intermediary form, they can mix with both groups.

I'd like to stress that this latter does not represent the beliefs of the majority of Chinese; but it is common enough (I'd say perhaps 5% of the population) to merit comment.
Thanks for the informative post. However, it would seem under the Multiregional theory that it would be unnecessary for Asians or Europeans to have moved back into Africa and become the Black population we have there today. This seems to be one of your objections. If modern Asians and Europeans evolved separately from pre-humans then modern Africans could have done the same.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:23 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
You need to read the quote again:

What it says is that by definition Cro-Magnon is the term used in general for the oldest modern people (Homo sapiens, i.e. us) found in Europe.
They are not a species or a race. They are a grouping of fossils of Homo sapiens of a certain age (Upper Paleolithic) found in a certain location (Europe).
Just to add to this the best evidence for gracile archaic homosapeins sapiens, as opposed to a more homa sapiens neanderthalis is in of all places Israel, there ate layers judges to be around 150,000 BP there are skeltons that show the following characteristics
-no brow ridges
-cranial vault
-no occipital bulge

Now the dates are sort of muddled and there may be better contenders but the appearance of gracile archaic homo sapiens sapiens in this area would support an OoA variation with homo sapiens xxxxxx coming from africa and the derivation of gracile homo sapiens sapiens as being very close to africa but undertermined ( i am also most twenty years out of date)
Agriculture certainly comes from africa by dating again
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:24 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
Why wouldn’t Cro-Magnons be a race if they were the earliest forms of Europeans? With the possible exception of the Neanderthals they were the first Europeans with larger skulls compared to the Europeans today.
because they are an artifact of Victorian prejudice and bias?
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:29 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
Are you seriously suggesting the Black tribes of Africa today and the Chinese are descended from Cro-Magnons?

here is the deal MaGZ,

Cro-Magnon are a set pool of archaic homo sapiens sapiens, but they are not the original source of homo sapiens sapiens, the oldest version of archaic gracile homo sapiens sapiens are found in the middle east and the north africa area.

The european archaic gracile homo sapiens sapiens are not the oldest found, nor did they invent all the tools of the 'magdelenian revolution', the issue with the Victorians stating that culture came from europe is most likely wrong, it has more to do with the date of preservation and window for preservation of wood, bone and plant/animal tools. There is good evidence for all the tool kits being in existance prior to the alleged development of 'cro-magnon' And most of 'culture' consistently appears first in africa.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:33 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
If you took the skull of a Cro-Magnon and had a face artist to flesh it out and give us a likeness, do you think the face would be European, Asian or African?
Too many unknows to tell.

If I told the artist to base it upon Khe-San features you would call it european, even though they live in south africa.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:37 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
The timeline, according to Wells, is this:

200,000 BCE First spreading of pre-humans out of Africa.
100,000 BCE Genesis of Sapiens in Africa.
50,000 BCE First spreading of sapiens out of Africa.
40,000 BCE Sapiens reaches Australia. Another branch reaches Central Asia, stopped there by the glaciers to he north.
30,000 BCE Spreading east and west, sapiens from central Asia spread as far as Europe and China.
20,000 BCE Following the ice retreat to he north, Asians cross the Bering strait on the land bridge there. They are held up in Alaska by the graciers. They may have been able to get through in small numbers just about this time.
12,000 BCE the glaciers open up an interior corridor in Canada and sapiens quickly file through and colonize all the way to Tierrra del Fuego.

The controlling factor in Africa seems to be the ice age. When deep in the cycle, Africa is mostly desert (particularly North). Water in general is hard to come by world wide, as it has been sucked into ice.
Hi this runs counter to what i was taught twenty years ago, everything else is in total agreement.

I will have to research, in the glaciations, temperatures drop, precipitation increase, is what I was taught. I will have to look it up and see what current thinking is.
Quote:
Animals, Homo along with the others, suffers species recession. It also lowers sea level. When the ice backs off, Africa greens up significantly; even the Sahara is reduced to patches. That being said, there are lots of questions that occur to me - what of the seashore beaches? what of he Nile Valley corridor? Is there a critical number that need to escape as a band to be successful?

Oh, for just a few more lifetimes to study all this and learn!!!

I don't know if this answers your question (limited by my understanding, of course) - I didn't understand the part about 15-25Kyrs. I do know there is archaeological evidence for man in the Americas circa 25kyrs BCE. I don' know what to make of it alogether. Some say they made it there before the ice corridor closed; some say they used boats to skirt the glaciers across the Atlantic from Europe. The Folsom point people are fighting a rear guard action over that - see the statements about it embedded in the timeline in the link above to the Bradshaw home page.
ETA: I looked around and it does appear that the current model shows a large desert in most of north africa, so what my teacher taught was out of date.

However the biomes near the glacial fronts were richer than we might imagine, they were cold in the winter but received a lot more sun than comparable modern biomes.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:38 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
That is true.

So, a question for you. It is more than adequately demonstrated by our many breeds of dogs, for example, that it is quite possible for a single species to have bone structures, muscular structures, skin/eye/hair, etc., that are all very different from each other. In fact, were dogs extinct today, and we were studying 1 million year old fossils of poodles, pugs, and st. bernards, I rather suspect that we'd classify them as entirely different species. At this level, it is the genetic structure that defines a species, not its physical appearance.

The physical differences between various species of dogs -- both internal and external -- are, in many ways, quite a bit greater than the differences between cro-magnons and neanderthals.

Is our classification of them based on different physical appearance? Differing cultural patterns? Or actual genetic study that demonstrates they were, in fact, genetically incompatible?

Again, I admit to being an amateur in this field; and if such genetic information exists, I'd be glad to see links to it so that I myself could look at it in greater detail. But if it cannot be demonstrated -- at a genetic level -- that cro-magnons and neanderthals were in fact too genetically divergent to be able to interbreed, then I don't see how we can state categorically that it was impossible, simply because we have, based on physical appearances, designated them as being separate species.
Neandertal-Cro-Magnon Hybrid?
http://www.archaeology.org/online/news/neanderkid.html
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Old 23rd November 2008, 06:51 AM   #75
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
Thanks for the informative post. However, it would seem under the Multiregional theory that it would be unnecessary for Asians or Europeans to have moved back into Africa and become the Black population we have there today. This seems to be one of your objections. If modern Asians and Europeans evolved separately from pre-humans then modern Africans could have done the same.

the only problem is this is not what the genetic show, sorry, homo sapiens sapiens is one species. It did not evolve seperately from different pools of proto humans.

When you can show the genetic markers of your theory, then I might agree with it.

However it is currently not supported by the adta. If your theory was correct there would be considerable genetic vairation amongst the 'races', and there is not.

If you were correct then the australian genetic population would show significant variation from the european, it does not.

Thh variation with your races is higher than the level of variation between your races. therefore, your theory is not supported by teh data.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 07:07 AM   #76
MaGZ
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
here is the deal MaGZ,

Cro-Magnon are a set pool of archaic homo sapiens sapiens, but they are not the original source of homo sapiens sapiens, the oldest version of archaic gracile homo sapiens sapiens are found in the middle east and the north africa area.

The european archaic gracile homo sapiens sapiens are not the oldest found, nor did they invent all the tools of the 'magdelenian revolution', the issue with the Victorians stating that culture came from europe is most likely wrong, it has more to do with the date of preservation and window for preservation of wood, bone and plant/animal tools. There is good evidence for all the tool kits being in existance prior to the alleged development of 'cro-magnon' And most of 'culture' consistently appears first in africa.
Could you give me a comparison of the ‘culture’ of Cro-Magnon with the ‘culture’ of his African counterpart which lived during the same period? I doubt they really compare.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 07:24 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
the only problem is this is not what the genetic show, sorry, homo sapiens sapiens is one species. It did not evolve seperately from different pools of proto humans.

When you can show the genetic markers of your theory, then I might agree with it.

However it is currently not supported by the adta. If your theory was correct there would be considerable genetic vairation amongst the 'races', and there is not.

If you were correct then the australian genetic population would show significant variation from the european, it does not.

Thh variation with your races is higher than the level of variation between your races. therefore, your theory is not supported by teh data.
I would argue there is considerable genetic difference among the races. Compare the northern European with a Hottentot side by side. Both human, but one could argue the differences are so great they could be considered separate species.

Please don’t come back and say the only differences between humans and chimpanzees is 1% of the DNA.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 07:47 AM   #78
Damien Evans
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Originally Posted by shadron View Post
The timeline, according to Wells, is this:

200,000 BCE First spreading of pre-humans out of Africa.
100,000 BCE Genesis of Sapiens in Africa.
50,000 BCE First spreading of sapiens out of Africa.
40,000 BCE Sapiens reaches Australia. Another branch reaches Central Asia, stopped there by the glaciers to he north.
30,000 BCE Spreading east and west, sapiens from central Asia spread as far as Europe and China.
20,000 BCE Following the ice retreat to he north, Asians cross the Bering strait on the land bridge there. They are held up in Alaska by the graciers. They may have been able to get through in small numbers just about this time.
12,000 BCE the glaciers open up an interior corridor in Canada and sapiens quickly file through and colonize all the way to Tierrra del Fuego.

The controlling factor in Africa seems to be the ice age. When deep in the cycle, Africa is mostly desert (particularly North). Water in general is hard to come by world wide, as it has been sucked into ice. Animals, Homo along with the others, suffers species recession. It also lowers sea level. When the ice backs off, Africa greens up significantly; even the Sahara is reduced to patches. That being said, there are lots of questions that occur to me - what of the seashore beaches? what of he Nile Valley corridor? Is there a critical number that need to escape as a band to be successful?

Oh, for just a few more lifetimes to study all this and learn!!!

I don't know if this answers your question (limited by my understanding, of course) - I didn't understand the part about 15-25Kyrs. I do know there is archaeological evidence for man in the Americas circa 25kyrs BCE. I don' know what to make of it alogether. Some say they made it there before the ice corridor closed; some say they used boats to skirt the glaciers across the Atlantic from Europe. The Folsom point people are fighting a rear guard action over that - see the statements about it embedded in the timeline in the link above to the Bradshaw home page.
I'd update that to:

1.8 MYA First spreading of pre-humans out of Africa. (Georgicus)
150,000 BCE Genesis of Sapiens in Africa.
80,000 BCE First spreading of sapiens out of Africa. (Israel and surrounds)
60,000 BCE Sapiens reaches Australia. Another branch reaches Central Asia, stopped there by the glaciers to the north.
45,000 BCE Spreading east and west, sapiens from central Asia spread as far as Europe and China, and displace existing Homo species.
20,000 BCE Following the ice retreat to he north, Asians cross the Bering strait on the land bridge there. They are held up in Alaska by the graciers. They may have been able to get through in small numbers just about this time.
12,000 BCE the glaciers open up an interior corridor in Canada and sapiens quickly file through and colonize all the way to Tierrra del Fuego.


Incidentally there is a little evidence of an Erectus like creature living in southern Australia until about 10,000 years ago, when presumably it was finally driven to extinction. No one seems all that interested in finally determining the matter one way or the other though. These are the only cites I could find, and I admit they are not completely convincing:

http://www.canovan.com/HumanOrigin/kow/kowswamp.htm


Upon further reading it would seem that these so called Erectus specimens are actually just larger than normal modern humans.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 07:49 AM   #79
Damien Evans
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Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
I would argue there is considerable genetic difference among the races. Compare the northern European with a Hottentot side by side. Both human, but one could argue the differences are so great they could be considered separate species.

Please don’t come back and say the only differences between humans and chimpanzees is 1% of the DNA.
Yes, indeed, one could. But they'd be wrong.
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Old 23rd November 2008, 07:49 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
However the biomes near the glacial fronts were richer than we might imagine, they were cold in the winter but received a lot more sun than comparable modern biomes.
Yeah - Real lakefront property, with reflected sunlight. Really nice if the glacier is stable or receding.

I viewed a web page last year (can't fnd it now) that showed the Great Lakes configuration over the last 20,000 years, the changes were extreme - some of them appeared repeatedly, and then shrank away; sometimes they drained to tthe south, later to the northeast. Michigan and Great Slave Lakes were especially variable, sometimes landlocked, sometimes not. They didn't settle into anything like their current shape until about the time of the Romans.
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