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Thread: Did Prehistoric Man came from Africa?

  1. #1 Did Prehistoric Man came from Africa? 
    Forum Freshman youdiehard's Avatar
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    I believe that the ancestors of man came from the area near Northwest India.


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    It's believed actually that man came first (as almost all life on the planet did) from the Fertile Crescent
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent


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    It kind of depends on how prehistoric you are talking, here.
    :-)
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    It's a misunderstanding. When the earth was one single continent, man did in fact mostly live in what we now call Africa. That's largely why there are so many fossils to be found there.

    The reason our earliest ancestors that can be identified as "closely human" existed in that region is because of the climate. Africa today is essentially a husk of what a super-continent was, so you can imagine that resources were abundant. Given Africa's untapped resources, that's quite a large supply.
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    It's a misunderstanding. When the earth was one single continent, man did in fact mostly live in what we now call Africa.
    I don't think you would call our ancestors "man" that far back. The oldest evidence of pre-human Australopithecus is only in the order of 3M years old. At that time, the world did not look much different from today.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangaea
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_(Australopithecus)

    Apart from that, I fail to see how that's a misunderstanding. The archaeological evidence we currently have points to a region on the continent we now call Africa as the cradle of (modern) humans.

    The reason our earliest ancestors that can be identified as "closely human" existed in that region is because of the climate. Africa today is essentially a husk of what a super-continent was, so you can imagine that resources were abundant. Given Africa's untapped resources, that's quite a large supply.
    I am trying to image what type of resources you are referring to. What resource that is still untapped today could have been of interest for the life-styles of Australopithecus or early Homo Sapiens? Climate is important, fauna and flora are important, but beyond that... ?

    It's believed actually that man came first (as almost all life on the planet did) from the Fertile Crescent
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent
    The Fertile Crescent is generally seen as one of the origins of civilization (in particular agriculture and farming), aside from East Asia. It's safe to say all Western civilization has it's origin in the Fertile Crescent (around modern-day Iraq). That doesn't mean Homo Sapiens first appeared there (and certainly not "almost all life on the planet"), unless you believe in creation.
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  7. #6 Re: Did Prehistoric Man came from Africa? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra
    Quote Originally Posted by youdiehard
    I believe that the ancestors of man came from the area near Northwest India.
    maybe.... maybe.... maybe.... maybe.... maybe...
    Huh? But god only created the world 3000 years ago didn't he?
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  8. #7 Re: Did Prehistoric Man came from Africa? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Huh? But god only created the world 3000 years ago didn't he?
    give him some credit ! it was 6000 years ago !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Im affraid for every bit of credit I give theists, they surpass with a new level of stupidy and ignorance.
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    Please cease and desist your continual sniping at theists. Many top scientists, including Nobel laureates, have been theists.
    If you wish to condemn as unscientific the views of fundamentalist religious types who deny the reality of evolution, or claim the world is 6000 years old, you will have my full support. However, blanket condemnation of theists merely shows yourself as being either thoughtlessly indiscriminate, or willfully ignorant. Both conditions are correctable with due care and attention.
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    Good stuff Ophiolite. I am not religious in any way, but I can't understand why some scientific types regard the demolition of religion as a crusade. I have no doubt that the likes of Richard Dawkins are good blokes, but haven't they something more urgent and interesting to attend to than swiping at religion?
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    Theres no crusades here. Im merely outlining my experience, that every bit of credit I've given to the theists I've met, has been met with a suspension of logic at the drop a hat, because it doesn't suit their programming.

    If you know of a different type Ophilite, please share your revelation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Theres no crusades here. Im merely outlining my experience, that every bit of credit I've given to the theists I've met, has been met with a suspension of logic at the drop a hat, because it doesn't suit their programming.

    If you know of a different type Ophilite, please share your revelation.
    I think you've been hanging around too many creationists and fundies.

    edit: who (which group) is considered to be the first man?

    sorry if the question is a bit stupid...I'm not well-educated in the history of man.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

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    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    who (which group) is considered to be the first man?
    i don't think that any group of modern humans can lay claim to being somehow nearer to the origin of Homo sapiens as a species than another
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    I suppose that civilization started in Africa. Compared to all nations, Africa is less affected by the climate. Many thought of Africa as a desert but it's actually a place full of forests and the like. Our ancestors survived from ice age because they stayed in Africa. Correct me if i'm wrong.

    The first creature to walk on two feet is Lucy. And then, there came the Paranthropus Robustus, 1st creature to make technology and so on.
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    This discussions suffers from a lack of good old data: why Northwest India, why the fertile crescent? What evidence is there?

    Quote Originally Posted by ehL
    I suppose that civilization started in Africa. Compared to all nations, Africa is less affected by the climate. Many thought of Africa as a desert but it's actually a place full of forests and the like. Our ancestors survived from ice age because they stayed in Africa. Correct me if i'm wrong.
    If I'm not mistaken the predecessors of modern man already lived in Europe during the last glacial maximum of the present-day Ice Age (~110,000-12,000 before present). The fact that there was a glacial maximum could itself have been the reason that humans found a niche in Europe, they had the tools to survive the cold while many competing animals did not.
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    If I'm not mistaken the predecessors of modern man already lived in Europe during the last glacial maximum of the present-day Ice Age (~110,000-12,000 before present). The fact that there was a glacial maximum could itself have been the reason that humans found a niche in Europe, they had the tools to survive the cold while many competing animals did not.
    Was this when humans migrated to other parts of the globe like Australia and the americas? I think the sea level was much lower as alot of the water was tied up in ice and glaciers would also have provide a means to do so.
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  18. #17  
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    It's believed actually that man came first (as almost all life on the planet did) from the Fertile Crescent
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fertile_Crescent
    The Fertile Crescent is generally seen as one of the origins of civilization (in particular agriculture and farming), aside from East Asia. It's safe to say all Western civilization has it's origin in the Fertile Crescent (around modern-day Iraq). That doesn't mean Homo Sapiens first appeared there (and certainly not "almost all life on the planet"), unless you believe in creation.[/quote]

    Oh yeah. I stand corrected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    The oldest evidence of pre-human Australopithecus is only in the order of 3M years old.
    Australopithecus is just one species of human along a timeline that consists of The Homos (such as Homo Erectus and Homo Sapien), The Australopithecenes (such as Australopithecus Afarensis and Australopithecus Africanus) and the Ardipthecus (such as Ardipthecus Ramidus and Ardipthecus Kadabba) the oldest of which is thought to have lived up to 6 million years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardipithecus

    The oldest Australopithecene is thought to have lived as far back as 4 million years ago.

    I'm not too sure what came before Ardipthecus though but I'm sure that there is some type of creature that did.
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    I found an even older genus of humans called Sahelanthropus Tchadensis though the find is still being questioned as so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sahelanthropus_tchadensis It is thought to have lived about 7 million years ago and is thought to have been the splitting point between prehistoric apes and prehistoric humans.

    The previous oldest known ancestor to modern humans was Orrorin tugenensis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orrorin_tugenensis and is again thought to have lived over 6 million years ago.
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  21. #20 Getting back on topic, then off again! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    If I'm not mistaken the predecessors of modern man already lived in Europe during the last glacial maximum of the present-day Ice Age (~110,000-12,000 before present). The fact that there was a glacial maximum could itself have been the reason that humans found a niche in Europe, they had the tools to survive the cold while many competing animals did not.
    If I am not mistaken (probably am....) the Neanderthal were the first humaniod species in what is now Europe. Recent finds have proven they were as far west as Spain, and as far east as modern day Turkey. Our distant cousins were around for 100,000 years before homosapiens made their appearance (again, I could be off with the dates).

    So, if we are talking about OUR direct ancestors, the archeological proof says we started in Africa, then slowly spread north and westward, slowly taking over from the Neanderthals. Farming, the greatest invention (imho) started in the fertile crescent.

    Did homosapiens exterminate our competitors, or as some believe, climate change, the current inter-glacial period, killed Neanderthals off ? They were built for the cold, which was great during the various ice ages of Europe before H-sapiens moved in.

    I have much to learn about anthropology. My main focus for years has been medieval Britain, but for the past year or so, I've been focussed on pre-Roman, particularly the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age.

    Can anyone hazard a guess what has caught my interest (hint: started about 3000 BP).
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehL
    I suppose that civilization started in Africa. Compared to all nations, Africa is less affected by the climate. Many thought of Africa as a desert but it's actually a place full of forests and the like. Our ancestors survived from ice age because they stayed in Africa. Correct me if i'm wrong.

    The first creature to walk on two feet is Lucy. And then, there came the Paranthropus Robustus, 1st creature to make technology and so on.
    Africa use to be quite a lot more fertile than it is today. There is fossil evidence of vegetation in that area of the world that isn't associated with a desert climate. The loss of the vegetation directly led to our ancestors going bipedal. Since they couldn't live in the trees as much they had to make due on the ground and in caves.

    It is also believed that there were two emmigrations out of Africa during human evolution. The first I believe is thought of as to have died out but I think differently. I believe that the first was what was later be the lighter skinned humans of today. When our dark skinned ancestors moved out of Africa and into Europe there was Vitamin D defficiencies throughout the population because there wasn't as much sunlight available for the body to produce the vitamin naturally. This directly affected the skin tone to lighter skin so our ancestors could takje in more Vitamin D from the sun and there wouldn't be so many deficencies. That is the reason why a lot of our foods as well as our milk is usually fortified with Vitamin D.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I believe that the first was what was later be the lighter skinned humans of today. When our dark skinned ancestors moved out of Africa and into Europe there was Vitamin D defficiencies throughout the population because there wasn't as much sunlight available for the body to produce the vitamin naturally. This directly affected the skin tone to lighter skin so our ancestors could takje in more Vitamin D from the sun and there wouldn't be so many deficencies. That is the reason why a lot of our foods as well as our milk is usually fortified with Vitamin D.
    Hi Bum, nice to see a fellow Canuck here.

    I'd like to comment on your dark-skin theory: melanin (the pigment in our skin) was not needed in climes where the sun was not as intense, so when our ancestors moved north, there was no need for this defensive mechanism. As far as a vitamin D deficiency, I don't think there is any archeological proof of this. There was plenty of sunlight, as there is today, away from Africa, so what would lead to a lack of D ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark
    Quote Originally Posted by BumFluff
    I believe that the first was what was later be the lighter skinned humans of today. When our dark skinned ancestors moved out of Africa and into Europe there was Vitamin D defficiencies throughout the population because there wasn't as much sunlight available for the body to produce the vitamin naturally. This directly affected the skin tone to lighter skin so our ancestors could takje in more Vitamin D from the sun and there wouldn't be so many deficencies. That is the reason why a lot of our foods as well as our milk is usually fortified with Vitamin D.
    Hi Bum, nice to see a fellow Canuck here.

    I'd like to comment on your dark-skin theory: melanin (the pigment in our skin) was not needed in climes where the sun was not as intense, so when our ancestors moved north, there was no need for this defensive mechanism. As far as a vitamin D deficiency, I don't think there is any archeological proof of this. There was plenty of sunlight, as there is today, away from Africa, so what would lead to a lack of D ?
    As hominids migrated outside of the tropics, varying degrees of depigmentation evolved in order to permit UVB-induced synthesis of previtamin D3. The lighter color of female skin may be required to permit synthesis of the relatively higher amounts of vitamin D3necessary during pregnancy and lactation

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...29b8fc1ca9dd00

    "The common assumption has been that with the fortification of milk, instituted in the United States in the 1930s, and casual exposure to sunshine, most people get all the vitamin D they need. But a small resurgence of rickets in the last few years, particularly among African-American children, has caught the health-care community off guard. As studies have probed the issue, it has become clear that vitamin D deficiency (usually defined as blood levels of less than 15 ng/mL [or nanograms/milliliter]) and insufficiency (less than 20 ng/mL,) are far more widespread than researchers had expected. The elderly, who often receive little sun, are at particular risk, as are African Americans and other dark-skinned people, since skin pigmentation, which protects against damage by UV rays, also interferes with vitamin D production.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2105560/

    Basically, our skin pigmentation is a result of our environment, our culture and the amount of direct sunlight we get.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark
    There was plenty of sunlight, as there is today
    Wait. How do you know that?

    I'm in Vancouver and can tell you yearly sunlight does fluctuate wildly. This year, nobody's even trying to grow tomatoes. A little tweak here or there will hugely alter cloud cover.

    We might be able to check tree phenotype. Diffuse (overcast) light should encourage jumbled, indiscriminate growth, while hard sunlight favours well-oriented peripheral leaves, and heavier branching to south. Also growth rates on north or south slopes would vary more with direct sun.
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    I'd say the main problem with trying to guess where Sapiens evolved is that we humans have a pretty easy time migrating in geologically short periods of time. It doesn't sound like it when numbers like 50,000 or 100,000 years BP are being thrown around, but 1,000 years is a pretty long time for us.


    Still, if the earliest bones are being found in Africa, then Africa is the most likely place. If you're going for India, remember that a lot of its southern coast line used to be further inland. At least I'm pretty sure it was.

    I'm always comfortable with the theory that a lot of the best archaeology is currently underwater.
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    The oldest "human" fossils have been found in Africa, by human I mead man itself and it's many ancestors. Evidence leads us towards Africa, but it only takes one error to prove anything wrong.
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  28. #27 Re: Getting back on topic, then off again! 
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark
    Can anyone hazard a guess what has caught my interest (hint: started about 3000 BP).
    Stonehenge, eh?

    Just don't get Garry Denke started on it. Every so often we have an iruption on his favoured board...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If I'm not mistaken the predecessors of modern man already lived in Europe during the last glacial maximum of the present-day Ice Age (~110,000-12,000 before present). The fact that there was a glacial maximum could itself have been the reason that humans found a niche in Europe, they had the tools to survive the cold while many competing animals did not.
    Was this when humans migrated to other parts of the globe like Australia and the americas? I think the sea level was much lower as alot of the water was tied up in ice and glaciers would also have provide a means to do so.
    Yeah, I think a lot of archaeologists cringe at the idea humanity might have begun in an area of land currently underwater, because that would make the question entirely unapproachable.

    Still, humanity's predecessors migrating to places like Australia and the pacific islands, would only be sufficient explanation for the presence of Homo Sapiens on those islands, if you're willing to believe that Sapiens could separately and independently evolve in multiple places during the same time frame.

    Really, in order to explain Sapiens being found on those islands and continents, instead of proto-humans (which aren't found alive in any of those places), we either have to accept that people were navigating the oceans after the ice age (so their people must have discovered, and then lost deep sea travel technology), or accept that Sapiens was alive and well during the ice age.
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