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'Out of Africa' theory in doubt

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Brooke
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« on: April 22, 2007, 04:31:10 am »

'Out of Africa' theory in doubt
03/04/2007 09:45  - (SA)   


 
Man's 2m-year mystery solved
 
Human ancestors unearthed
 
Idaltu, father of us all?
 


Chicago - The ancient remains of an early modern human found in Beijing suggests the "Out of Africa" theory of the dispersal of humans may be more complex than first thought, a study released on Monday said.

The fossilised remains date to 38 000 to 42 000 years ago, making it the oldest modern human skeleton from eastern Eurasia, and one of the oldest modern humans from the region, the authors of the paper said.

The specimen is basically a modern human, but with a few archaic characteristics in the teeth and hand bone.

The discovery casts further doubt on the longstanding "Out of Africa" theory which holds that when modern Homo sapiens spread eastwards from sub-Saharan Africa to Eurasia about 65 000 to 25 000 years ago, they simply replaced the native late archaic humans, said anthropologist Erik Trinkaus.

"The evidence has been steadily growing for some time with respect to western Eurasia to show that these modern humans interbred with local archaic humans as they spread," said Trinkaus.

"We haven't had good fossil data from eastern Eurasia to indicate whether the same thing was happening there. But this fossil, which is the first from China to be securely dated to this time period, proves that this interbreeding went on there too."

The fossils were recovered from the Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, near Beijing, China in 2003.

Researchers say it should yield further clues about the transition from archaic to modern humans in eastern Eurasia.

"The discovery promises to provide relevant palaeontological data for our understanding of the emergence of modern humans in eastern Asia," added Trinkaus, a professor of anthropology at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and was co-authored by Trinkaus and Hong Shang, a colleague in the same department at Washington University and a scholar at the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


http://www.news24.com/News24/Technology/News/0,,2-13-1443_2093158,00.html
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Brooke
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 04:33:17 am »

Man's 2m-year mystery solved
12/01/2006 16:23  - (SA)   

 
 

 Wits anthropologist Lee Berger holds a replica of part of the Taung child's skull. He claims it was killed by a bird similar to the eagle, left. (Denis Farrell, AP)
 
 
Wits anthropologist Lee Berger holds a replica of part of the Taung child's skull. He claims it was killed by a bird similar to the eagle, left. (Denis Farrell, AP)
 
 
Johannesburg - An American researcher said on Thursday his investigation into the death nearly two million years ago of an ape-man shows human ancestors were hunted by birds.

Lee Berger, a paleo-anthropologist at Johannesburg's University of Witwatersrand, said: "These types of discoveries give us real insight into the past lives of these human ancestors, the world in which they lived and the things they feared."

He was presenting his conclusions about a mystery that has been debated since the remains of the possible human ancestor known as the Taung child were discovered in 1924.

The Taung child's discovery led to the search for human origins in Africa, instead of in Asia or Europe as once theorised.

Researchers regard the fossil of the ape-man, or australopethicus africanus, as evidence of the "missing link" in human evolution.

A large predatory bird

Researchers had speculated the Taung child was killed by a leopard or saber-toothed feline.

But, 10 years ago, Berger and fellow researcher Ron Clarke submitted the theory the hunter was a large predatory bird.

This was based on the fact most of the other fossils found at the same site were small monkeys that showed signs of having been killed by a predatory bird.

Berger and Clarke had been unable to show damage on the child's skull that could have been done by a bird until now.

Five months ago, Berger read an Ohio State University study of the hunting abilities of modern eagles in West Africa, believed similar to predatory birds of the Taung child's era.

The Ohio State study determined that eagles would swoop down, pierce monkey skulls with their thumb-like back talons, then hover while their prey died before returning to tear at the skull.

Examination of thousands of monkey remains produced a pattern of damage done by birds, including holes and ragged cuts in the shallow bones behind the eye sockets.

Berger went back to the Taung skull, and found traces of the ragged cuts behind the eye sockets.

Research reviewed by others

He said none of the researchers, who had been debating for decades how the child died, had noticed the eye-socket damage before.

Berger concluded that man's ancestors had to survive not just being hunted from the ground, but from the air.

Such discoveries are "key to understanding why we humans today view the world they way we do", he said.

Berger's research has been reviewed by others and is due to appear in the February edition of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 04:39:44 am »

This is an old article, but provided confrmation for the Out of Africa theory:

Idaltu, father of us all?
11/06/2003 10:48  - (SA)

 



Paris - Scientists believe they have found our oldest immediate ancestors, a finding that sheds fresh light on Homo sapiens' rise out of Africa and conquest of the globe.

The skulls of two adults and a child, found in 1997 in the Middle Awash area of central Ethiopia, have been carbon-dated to between 154 000 and 160 000 years old, around 50 000 years earlier than the previous oldest finds of Homo sapiens.

That provides solid proof for the "Out of Africa" theory and confirms that the enigmatic hominids known as Neanderthals were not our distant parents, the authors say.

The fossils "provide crucial evidence on the location, timing and contextual circumstances of the emergence of Homo sapiens," they report on Thursday in Nature, the British weekly science journal.

"They... represent the probably immediate ancestors of anatomically modern humans. Their anatomy and antiquity constitute strong evidence of modern-human emergence in Africa."

Pieced together from fossilised fragments in an agonisingly long game of 3-D jigsaw puzzles, the skulls have deep faces and long, rugged cases that enclosed large brains.

Homo sapiens idaltu

They resemble modern crania in the face, top of the skull and brain capacity, which at around 1 450 cubic centimetres compares with anatomically modern man's average today of between 1 350 and 1 400 cc.

Those similarities, but also subtle differences in skull characteristics, mean that the fossils are a member of Homo sapiens yet, like us, they are also a subspecies of it.

The finds have been dubbed Homo sapiens idaltu ("idaltu" meaning "elder" in the Afar language of Ethiopia).

Anatomically modern man - a subspecies called Homo sapiens sapiens - gradually emerged from Homo sapiens idaltu, his body shaped by diet and other evolutionary forces, the authors suggest.

The earliest remains of Homo sapiens sapiens, found in South Africa, Ethiopia and the Middle East, have been dated to around 100 000 years ago.

The study's leaders were Tim White and Clark Howell, who are professors of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, and Giday WoldeGabriel, a geologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico.

Evidence

They argue the discovery is a much-wanted chunk of evidence in a heated 25-year debate.

Molecular studies, based on the evolutionary changes in DNA over a long period, have suggested that modern humans appeared on the scene around 150 000 years ago in eastern Africa.

They then migrated to other regions, starting with the Middle East and then heading northwards and westwards into Europe and eastwards into Asia, eventually crossing into the Americas via Alaska.

Critics laughed at the idea that a tiny population of humans living on a subsistence diet could migrate and survive such distances, and questioned assumptions about the gene flow and mutation rate.

They especially targeted the theory's biggest weakness - the lack of good fossil evidence to support it.

Their alternative was a "multiregional" model, in which modern humans arose in different parts of Africa and Europe at roughly the same time, emerging from the local population of hominids.

In the case of Europe, that would have meant that Homo sapiens sprung out of the Neanderthals, who showed up around 400 000 years ago but then puzzlingly disappeared around 30 000 years ago.

No 'neanderthal' stage

Did the Neanderthals disappear because they had evolved into or interbred with modern humans, as some have suggested?

No, not if the Idaltu fossils are any indication.

"They show that near humans had evolved in Africa long before the European Neanderthals disappeared," says Howell. "They thereby demonstrate conclusively that there was never a 'neanderthal' stage in human evolution."

If Idaltu has now condemned the Neanderthals to an unsuccessful branch of human evolution, there remain many questions.

One of them: fine, precise cuts on the skulls inflicted by a stone tool, which suggests that, after their death, the two adults and the child were stripped of their faces, muscles and other tissues, and their skulls were repeatedly handled, leaving a deep polish on their sides.

Could this have been some funeral ritual, an early form of ancestral worship?

Or could it have been more macabre - was our earliest known ancestor a cannibal?

Middle Awash has been a treasure trove of human fossils, including the ape-like hominid Ardipithecus, dated up to 5.8 million years old, and Australopithecus garhi, around 2.5 million years old.

The Idaltu fossils came from the village of Herto, on the floor of the Afar rift valley, near the shore of what was a shallow, freshwater lake.


http://www.news24.com/News24/Technology/News/0,,2-13-1443_1372081,00.html
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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2007, 04:41:58 am »

Skull sheds light on Neanderthals
23/04/2002 11:02  - (SA)

 
 
Maggie Fox


Washington - A Neanderthal who lived and died with a hole in his skull provides the first scientific evidence that these early humans used tools to attack one another, researchers said on Monday.

The remains add to other clues that Neanderthals, a dead-end species of pre-human who colonised Europe, nursed their sick and thus had strong social ties, the researchers say.

The 36 000-year-old skeleton was found in southern France years ago, but a study using recent techniques such as CT scans show the skull was crushed but healed.

"During computer-assisted reconstruction of the skull, we detected a healed fracture in the cranial vault," the researchers, led by Christopher Zollikofer of the University of Zurich, wrote in Tuesday's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This bony scar bears direct evidence for the impact of a sharp implement," they added.

Erik Trinkaus, a Neanderthal expert at Washington University in St Louis, said the findings did not surprise him, but added they provided important scientific support for theories about how Neanderthals behaved.

"All social mammals squabble," Trinkaus, who edited the study, said. "The one lesson that we have is that the stakes increase markedly when you have serious weaponry available."

Neanderthals were once characterised as grunting, shuffling cave-dwellers, but in recent years a picture has emerged of a more complex being who was extremely successful, surviving the Ice Ages for millenniums before finally being out-competed by Cro-Magnons.

Evidence of mercy

"It's another piece of evidence that in the light of serious injury or other serious kinds of problems, these people were taking care of each other," Trinkaus said.

Zollikofer said the adult Neanderthal, probably a male, did not seem to have died of his wound. "Considering that bone healing is visible only two to three weeks after a traumatic event, it can be concluded that the individual survived the injury for at least some months," his team wrote.

In 1982, Trinkaus reported on the skeleton of a Neanderthal in present-day Israel who seemed to have survived being stabbed in the ribs, and last year he reported on the jaw of a pre-human whose teeth were all rotted out.

Surviving on a hunter-gatherer diet with rotted teeth would have been extremely difficult, unless there was help.

"When we published that, a number of people said, 'Right on - of course they were taking care of each other,"' Trinkaus said, but he added a few scientists questioned the evidence.

Scientists have also recently found that Neanderthals and early modern humans, often called Cro-Magnons, must have lived side by side.

The skeleton described in Monday's paper was found at St Cesaire in France, a site noted for the discovery of stone tools that were made in a more modern style as opposed to the clumsier tools made by Neanderthals for most of their history.

Scientists do not know if the Neanderthals evolved their tool-making abilities or perhaps learned from their modern neighbours.

The tool that broke this particular Neanderthal's crown may have been more modern, Zollikofer's team said. It had a sharp edge, like an axe, and the angle of attack suggests it was hafted - attached to a handle.
http://www.news24.com/News24/Archive/0,,2-1659_1171935,00.html
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2007, 12:11:14 am »

There is far more potent evidence to discredit the "Out of Africa" theory.

The first one that comes to mind is the modern human bones that were found in Macoupin, Illinois.
They were found in the 1860's, in a coal bed with two feet of slate above them about 100' underground. The coal itself was dated to be at youngest 286 million years old. And at oldest 320 million years old.

Tends to make one wonder what exactly we pay archeologists to do. Accept new evidence and change theory to accomodate the new facts, or throw out anything that is out of the norm, or would "rock the boat". Right now for the most part archeologists are just toeing the line. Who cares about evidence anyway, lets talk about tenure (sarcastic to say the least Grin). When people are actually willing to recieve new facts and change the agreed upon past, I feel the world will be a very different place. Unfortunately, I feel that is a long way off.

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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2007, 10:43:12 am »

P878:1, 79:0.1

Asia is the homeland of the human race. It was on a southern peninsula of this continent that Andon and Fonta were born; in the highlands of what is now Afghanistan, their descendant Badonan founded a primitive center of culture that persisted for over one-half million years. Here at this eastern focus of the human race the Sangik peoples differentiated from the Andonic stock, and Asia was their first home, their first hunting ground, their first battlefield. Southwestern Asia witnessed the successive civilizations of Dalamatians, Nodites, Adamites, and Andites, and from these regions the potentials of modern civilization spread to the world.

http://urantiabook.org/newbook/ub/ppr079_0.html#P079_0_1
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2007, 02:31:42 pm »

According to the basic information of the major myths of this world - such as the Indian, Chineese, Tibetan, Meso-American and Eurasian mythologies; the cradle of human-kind was located around "The Top of The World" - i.e. the North Pole.

The works of Porf. William F. Warren, "Paradise Found" of 1896 is still the best analyzis around, when it comes to understanding the congruential information from the myths of origin - as found in the ancient cultures of Asia,  Europe and Meso-America.

As the geological science grew up during 19th century Warren got the understanding that this "North Pole" once was ice-free and tropical. Thus there have been a real alternative to the "Out of Africa-theory" in existance for more than a century already. However un-noticed it may have been since it was overshaddowed by the entusiastic discoverers of the Rift Valley... 
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2007, 02:41:50 pm »

Boreas,

sorry to burst your bubble,  but they are all wrong and so is Lor Bock.

The Urantia account is correct as well as quite meticulously detailed and quite substantiated.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
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Harmony is the speech of Havona.

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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2007, 05:12:29 pm »

The emerging fate of the Neandertals

For nearly a century, anthropologists have been debating the relationship of Neandertals to modern humans. Central to the debate is whether Neandertals contributed directly or indirectly to the ancestry of the early modern humans that succeeded them.

As this discussion has intensified in the past decades, it has become the central research focus of Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. Trinkaus has examined the earliest modern humans in Europe, including specimens in Romania, Czech Republic and France. Those specimens, in Trinkaus' opinion, have shown obvious Neandertal ancestry.

In an article appearing the week of April 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trinkaus has brought together the available data, which shows that early modern humans did exhibit evidence of Neandertal traits.

"When you look at all of the well dated and diagnostic early modern European fossils, there is a persistent presence of anatomical features that were present among the Neandertals but absent from the earlier African modern humans," Trinkaus said. "Early modern Europeans reflect both their predominant African early modern human ancestry and a substantial degree of admixture between those early modern humans and the indigenous Neandertals."

This analysis, along with a number of considerations of human genetics, argues that the fate of the Neandertals was to be absorbed into modern human groups. Just as importantly, it also says that the behavioral difference between the groups were small. They saw each other as social equals.

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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2007, 05:14:34 pm »

Majeston,

Warren a bubble?

How is that substantiated?
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2007, 11:59:40 pm »

Boreas,

I haven't read Warren and it's a quite acceptable theory that the north pole was once more tropical. 

But,  to propose that the cradle of civilization began there is a fantasy.
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
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Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2007, 09:49:01 pm »

W-H-Y ?
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2007, 10:35:51 pm »

Why?
Because  Smiley

C'mon Boreasi  you've already shown yourself to be a very intelligent guy and you've read enough

to know the truth.  What is preventing you from accepting reality for what it is,  at least in this circumstance?
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2007, 09:40:32 pm »

Why?
Because  Smiley

C'mon Boreasi  you've already shown yourself to be a very intelligent guy and you've read enough
to know the truth.  What is preventing you from accepting reality for what it is,  at least in this circumstance?

No - you common Maestro. Please get hold of Warrens book and then you'll surely see the ancient rosegarden  . I do not disregard your recent quotes from Urantia, quite the contrary. But you need to check on the genius of Warren, too - and you'll see that the combination of sources making a even more valid and comprehensible map to our ancient origins...  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2007, 10:24:19 pm »

Respected Boreas,

I don't doubt the genius of Warren if you say it is so.  I trust you on that.

The two though can not both be right.  Either the cradle of civilization was Southwest Asia or it was the "top of the world".

It can't be both.  I know you favor the "top of the world"  stuff because of your orientation and lean towards proofs

that Finland;  Iceland;  Greenland etc were the roots of evolution.

Warren could even be taken for some source material in the Ubook;  I don't know.  Many people were

as that's how revelation is done.  Perhaps you could even find some material that was used,  but it certainly was not

the polar regions as the cradle of civilization.  Man did not migrate south from the polar region,  he migrated north to

the polar region,  and it was good that he did;  they escaped all the terror that was developing in the med and europe.

But,  then again,  the red man went en' mass over the Bearing land bridge and were isolated in the Americas for a long time(85,000 years)

and what good did it do them?  Smiley
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"melody has power a whole world to transform."
Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits.
Harmony is the speech of Havona.

http://mercy.urantia.org/papers/paper44.html
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