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Age of the oldest known Homo sapiens from eastern Africa (nature.com)
51 points by bryanrasmussen 8 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments


This is an incredibly outdated view. There's no conflict between the strong multiregional hypothesis and SRO because the strong multiregional hypothesis is completely dead. To quote wiki [1]:

    Outside of China, the Multiregional hypothesis has limited support, held only by a small number of paleoanthropologists.
What remains is largely a debate over when and how human evolution occurred within Africa. The classical view is that there's some singular population where H. sapiens evolved and spread from. In that view, we just have to sort out the chronologies and it'll work out. Opposing that is the relatively newer 'weak' or 'african' multiregionalism depending on who's talking. It argues that humans evolved as structured populations across Africa before leaving. It's a lot nicer conceptually and goes much farther to explaining the confusing apparent chronologies, but it requires revisiting a lot of prior work and assumptions. [2] is a good overview.

It's important to emphasize that these latter two aren't diametrically opposed and most paleoanthropologists are somewhere along the spectrum of both.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiregional_origin_of_modern...

[2] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2018.05.005

> because the strong multiregional hypothesis is completely dead.

If you do a Google Books search of the cited quote, you'll find that A) the cited sentence doesn't actually support your assertion, and B) the surrounding context (shockingly left out of the wiki) basically says that the hypothesis is mainstream science.

"It needs to be noted, however, that this is a minority view among paleoanthropologists, most of whom support the African replacement model. This of course does not mean that [guys who support strong multiregional hypothesis] are incorrect, and they do raise some interesting points."

So while I'm wide open to the idea that this hypothesis is dead, the actual cited sources basically says that it's mainstream science. And given that the parent comment's only real assertion was that...

> [the article] starts looking alot like the rest of politicized "science"

...I've got to say--your comment does more to strengthen this assertion than to rebut it.

Did we read the same passage? The editor called wolpoff and caspari "minority views" and "provocative" in the book they were contributing to! In an academic work, that's excoriating. Moreover, that's from a book in 2013, not a cutting edge work. Here's what how it's phrased in more recent papers:

    [1] Genetic studies have repeatedly falsified classic multiregionalism. However, various aspects have returned under different guises, for example, refs. 1,2, and thus it requires repeating: genetic data do not support an origin of Eurasian peoples primarily from locally evolving Homo populations over the past one to two million years, with a limited contribution from later African arrivals.

    [2] In the 1980s and 1990s, much of paleoanthropology was focused on whether modern humans originated across the Old World (Multiregionalism) or exclusively within Africa (Out of Africa). With the resolution of this question [1] — current consensus has modern humans originating in Africa — attention has now turned to discussion of what was happening within the continent before modern humans expanded their range globally...

    [3] Therefore, models for the origin of our species, H. sapiens, have moved away from the confrontation of two extreme antagonistic points of view: (1) the Multiregional Model of modern human origins implying the gradual evolution of global archaic hominin populations towards a modern human morphology over the course of the last 2 million years;9,10 and (2) the hypothesis of a unique Out of Africa event...

It's very, very dead.

[1] https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-019-0992-1

[2] https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2018.10.003

[3] https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11213-w

This doesn't have basically anything to do with the linked article. This study suggests that the oldest known Homo Sapiens fossils in Africa are even older than previously thought, which gels with other evidence. Here's the abstract:

"Efforts to date the oldest modern human fossils in eastern Africa, from Omo-Kibish and Herto in Ethiopia, have drawn on a variety of chronometric evidence, including 40Ar/39Ar ages of stratigraphically associated tuffs. The ages that are generally reported for these fossils are around 197 thousand years (kyr) for the Kibish Omo I, and around 160–155 kyr for the Herto hominins. However, the stratigraphic relationships and tephra correlations that underpin these estimates have been challenged. Here we report geochemical analyses that link the Kamoya’s Hominid Site (KHS) Tuff, which conclusively overlies the member of the Omo-Kibish Formation that contains Omo I, with a major explosive eruption of Shala volcano in the Main Ethiopian Rift. By dating the proximal deposits of this eruption, we obtain a new minimum age for the Omo fossils of 233 ± 22 kyr. Contrary to previous arguments, we also show that the KHS Tuff does not correlate with another widespread tephra layer, the Waidedo Vitric Tuff, and therefore cannot anchor a minimum age for the Herto fossils. Shifting the age of the oldest known Homo sapiens fossils in eastern Africa to before around 200 thousand years ago is consistent with independent evidence for greater antiquity of the modern human lineage."

The African origin of Homo sapiens is pretty well established these days.

That's how science has always been. People bet on hypothesis and try to prove the validity of the hypothesis. It's hilarious how much shit talking has gone on between scientists since the 1700s. Science "battles" aren't new

True. Even scientists don't "follow the science". They get emotionally involved with a hypothesis, and then try to hammer the evidence to fit it.

Could this battle be settled through genetic analysis ? There have been large-scale populations sampling. Would it be possible to backtrace and reveal how say there is a very ancient asian source in Sapiens' makeup ?

Mitochondrial Eve https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Adam

on edit: to clarify, these do not go far enough back to show the asked for source, so it seems unlikely that that would happen.

Hasn't there been genetic research that proved single origin? Read it a few years ago.

This seems to be case. Google Jebel Irhoud to learn more.

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