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Thread: Human Multiple Origins Theory?

  1. #1 Human Multiple Origins Theory? 
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    I don’t understand what is meant by ‘human’ when theories of multiple human origins are posited. I thought ‘human’ was defined by ‘our’ DNA? Our DNA defines human?

    What is regarded as ‘human’ in these multiple origins ideas?


    (And why is this question never asked?)


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    in this case "human" probably is a short-hand stand-in for "hominid" or anything in our part of the evolutionary tree


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Also, hybridisation is eminently possible between closely related species (dog-wolf-coyote, ornage-grapefruit etc) and the multiple-origins theories all suggest that earlier homo (Genus) had divided into enough sub-species for them to be given separate names (Java Man, Neanderthal Man etc) but may still have been capable of hybridising with the 'latest' humans to come out of Africa. They claim that this is the only way to explain distinctive features in, say, modern Chinese skeletons that seem to reflect those in Java Man (or Peking Man) skeletons but not in the anatomically modern Homo sapiens sapiens that came out of Africa in the wave of 50,000BC (or thereabouts).

    Whilst interesting, and possibly backed up by our knowledge of other current species (the domestic cow, for instance, represents a single inter-breedable species but the Indian Zebu forms show clear signs of having been domesticated independently of the European cows, while the African domesticates are either Zebu imports or a separate independent domestication from a similar-looking wild ancestor), I still find it a bit of a hard one to swallow. But that's not a good scientific argument.
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  5. #4  
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    ...."hominid" or anything in our part of the evolutionary tree

    If so, then any talk of 'multiple' human origins is a bit of a lie.


    I still don't have a sense of what the people who says this, really mean.

    They say 'human', with some gusto.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    you don't happen to be referring to the multiregional hypothesis which says H.sapiens evolved in parallel from local pre-sapiens populations across europe, asia and africa ?

    if so, then this theory is now considered less likely in its original form as (1) it contradicts what we know about how species form and (2) DNA analysis seems to be incompatible with a pre-200,000 YA origin

    a watered-down version, proclaiming some admixture between H.sapiens and more ancient branches of Homo is still around, but the genetic integrity of H.sapiens as a species appears to be intact
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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