Topic ID #12241 - posted 6/8/2011 7:11 AM

Site hints at Asian roots for human genus

Jennifer Palmer

Site hints at Asian roots for human genus
New finds in Caucasus suggest non-African origin for ancient Homo species
By Bruce Bower
Web edition : Monday, June 6th, 2011

Early members of the genus Homo, possibly direct ancestors of people today, may have evolved in Asia and then gone to Africa, not vice versa as many scientists have assumed.

Most paleoanthropologists have favored an African origin for the potential human ancestor Homo erectus. But new evidence shows the species occupied a West Asian site called Dmanisi from 1.85 million to 1.77 million years ago, at the same time or slightly before the earliest evidence of this humanlike species in Africa, say geologist Reid Ferring of the University of North Texas in Denton and his colleagues.

The new Dmanisi discoveries point to an Asian homeland for H. erectus, the scientists propose online June 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more here.

Post ID#18778 - replied 6/8/2011 11:01 AM


"Hmm, we've searched everywhere for early H. erectus in Africa, but cant find any earlier than those found in west Asia. Must be they evolved there first, then came here!"


Until it is proven that absence of evidence truly is evidence of absence Occum's razor prevails.

Seems to me to be a lot of putting the cart before the horse in paleoanth.

Post ID#18781 - replied 6/9/2011 7:50 AM


I'm not certain if "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence." is appropriate here considering its not really paleontological in nature. I think one can always use Washburns Law "The less we know about the fossil record the more confidently we can speak about it!" more appropriately here. 

Until now all the evidence was pointing towards Africa as being the origin for H. Erectus so the supporters of that hypothesis taught that and perpetrated that idea to where it became accepted pretty much all around. Now though we do know more about the fossil record with this recent discovery to where paleontologist can start speaking confidently about the latest hypothesis. 

This is very similar to the Clovis first argument where some people still hold onto that idea even thought there are more and more sites being uncovered which predate Clovis throughout the Americas.


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