Friday, May 19, 2023

New African Ancestral DNA Identified

Thirty years ago it was thought that humans descended from an African Adam and Eve. Then it was proved that human inherited DNA from European Neanderthals and Asian Denosivans. However it was still assumed that there was just one African line to our ancestry.

The NY Times reports:

Scientists have revealed a surprisingly complex origin of our species, rejecting the long-held argument that modern humans arose from one place in Africa during one period in time.

By analyzing the genomes of 290 living people, researchers concluded that modern humans descended from at least two populations that coexisted in Africa for a million years before merging in several independent events across the continent. The findings were published on Wednesday in Nature.

“There is no single birthplace,” said Eleanor Scerri, an evolutionary archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Geoarchaeology in Jena, Germany, who was not involved in the new study. “It really puts a nail in the coffin of that idea.”
Actually, that nail was hammered in ten years ago, when the Neanderthal and Denosivan DNA was discovered.
Paleoanthropologists and geneticists have found evidence pointing to Africa as the origin of our species. The oldest fossils that may belong to modern humans, dating back as far as 300,000 years, have been unearthed there. So were the oldest stone tools used by our ancestors.

Human DNA also points to Africa.

No, there were no modern humans 300k years ago. Maybe 40k years ago when Neanderthals interbred with African, or the dawn of civilization 10k years go, or maybe the dawn of the modern age about 1k years ago.
The researchers concluded that as far back as a million years ago, the ancestors of our species existed in two distinct populations. Dr. Henn and her colleagues call them Stem1 and Stem2. ...

The researchers compared these Africans’ DNA with the genome of a person from Britain. They also looked at the genome of a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal found in Croatia. Previous research had found that modern humans and Neanderthals shared a common ancestor that lived 600,000 years ago. Neanderthals expanded across Europe and Asia, interbred with modern humans coming out of Africa, and then became extinct about 40,000 years ago.

The Neanderthals are no more extinct than Stem1 and Stem2.

Here is the Nature research article.

It is weird how these article are always talking about human origins as being in Africa, and only Africans being called modern humans. Much of the research actually shows the opposite.

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