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Humans Evolved From a Single Origin In Africa

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the 6,000-skulls dept.

Biotech 461

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Researchers at the University of Cambridge have combined studies of global human genetic variations with skull measurements worldwide to show conclusively the validity of the single origin hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis contended that different populations independently evolved from Homo erectus to Home sapiens in different areas. The lead researcher explains, 'The origin of anatomically modern humans has been the focus of much heated debate. Our genetic research shows the further modern humans have migrated from Africa, the more genetic diversity has been lost within a population. However, some have used skull data to argue that modern humans originated in multiple spots around the world. We have combined our genetic data with new measurements of a large sample of skulls to show definitively that modern humans originated from a single area in Sub-saharan Africa.' The article abstract is available from Nature."

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Not so fast (5, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914697)

It looks like this research is already being torn to pieces [msn.com] :

"John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says the paper is mistaken. A major flaw is that the current research is largely based on skull variability. "You can't find the origin of people by measuring the variability of their skulls," Hawks said.

"Differences in skull features are related to genetics, and genetic variation depends on how much mixing occurs with other populations. "The main problem with the paper is that it takes some assumptions from genetics papers of 10 to 15 years ago that we now know are wrong," Hawks said.

"Other scenarios, besides the single-origin theory, could account for the link between distance and skull variability. "Africa is ecologically diverse, and cranial variation is a function of environments," he said. In environments supporting hardy foods such as roots, people would need bigger jaw muscles, and thus larger areas for muscle attachments.

"Also, correcting for climate is not a good idea, according to Hawks. "The most important feature that is related to climate is skull size. So by correcting for climate, they are subtracting a major component of variability," he said.

"In his own research, Hawks is finding that natural selection has led to changes in thousands of genes during only the past few thousand years.

"I'm really thinking just the opposite of this paper," Hawks said. "There are differences in the skull between populations, including their variability, but it is mostly due to very recent effects and not the origin of modern humans."

"At the end of the day, a resolution to the "Out of Africa" debate may be impossible, he said. Most of the evidence can be interpreted as supporting both human-origins theories. "It's really hard to find observations that distinguish the two," Hawks said.

"The multiregional idea is identical to the recent African origin idea, except for its prediction that Europeans and Asians were part of the single population of origin and didn't become extinct."

Re:Not so fast (0, Flamebait)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914881)

This whole "everybody came from Africa" talk is bullshit! If everybody came from Africa, why isn't everybody black? It is all part of a plot by the man to keep a brother down.

Re:Not so fast (0, Redundant)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915031)

You got to be the dumbest person I have ever met. Was that really a serious question?

1. Dark pigmentation is a protection against the sun.
2. When people migrate north were the sun is weaker, over time, the need for sun protection disappears and people lose the pigmentation, hence becoming lighter.

Re:Not so fast (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915117)

Can you prove that?
Does a black man gradually become lighter over the years?

Re:Not so fast (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915171)

Yes. Michael Jackson is a good candidate to support this theory.

Re:Not so fast (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915215)

It's completely irrelevant, but yes, most dark-skinned people do in fact decrease melanin if they don't get sun exposure.

Your willful attempt to confuse evolution and Lamarckism would earn you a spot on my foes list if you weren't an AC.

Umm... what does that have to do with anything? (0, Redundant)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915161)

What does that have to do with anything I said in the original submission or my OP?

Oops, nevermind :) (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915265)

Damn Slashdot formatting made it look like you replied to my original post.

Re:Not so fast (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915175)

lol. you have the nerve to call someone dumb.

if you still don't get it - WHOOOOOOOOSH.

heh. dummy.

Re:Not so fast (3, Interesting)

notasheep (220779) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915381)

"1. Dark pigmentation is a protection against the sun.
2. When people migrate north were the sun is weaker, over time, the need for sun protection disappears and people lose the pigmentation, hence becoming lighter."

Close, but not quite right. Sun + skin = creation of vitamin D, very important to the human body. Dark-skinned people created less vitamin D in this manner than light-skinned people, but also have better protection from the sun. A good trade-off in equatorial plains regions. As people migrated north they had less exposure to sun and therefore had less natural vitamin D so the sun-blocking benefits of dark skin became a negative to their survival. Lighter-skinned people could create more vitamin D in the northern regions so that became a plus for their survival - so skin became lighter over time in those regions. (Lighter-skinned people lived longer to reproduce.)

At least according to most programs I've caught on the Discovery Channel.

Re:Not so fast (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914891)

Not so fast
Wtf, nvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) (parent poster) submitted this fucking story! Do you purposely look for stories that you can debunk then submit them and debunk them in the first post? Does this do something for you, IPU?

Re:Not so fast (4, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914965)

Isn't it possible that after submitting this article he found out more information?
How exactly do you submit a retraction for a slash article?

I would rather have Unicorn posting his own update than having someone ripping the original to pieces.

His(her/it) actions are commendable in my book.

Re:Not so fast (2, Funny)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914975)

It's fine, they just forgot that this single origin's name is Adam PRAISE THE LORD

Re:Not so fast (5, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915081)

Hehehe. Actually I was reading up on the story and found the alternate analysis from the multi-source evolutionist, but it was already too late because I submitted the comment, so I figured I'd just post the additional information I found ASAP.

It looks like my OP is going to be modded -1 Troll anyways, since some people seem to think that there are only 2 theories: Evolution and Creationism, and that if I'm saying "Not so fast", I must be spouting creationist nonsense.

Hilarity ensues.

Re:Not so fast (3, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914895)

Just FYI, Hawks has an interesting blog at http://www.johnhawks.net/weblog [johnhawks.net]

I think it's down right now, but I'd recommend it!

Re:Not so fast (5, Funny)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915041)

1) Submit story to slashdot you know is already debunked.
2) Get first post on said story noting the debunking.
3) ...
4) Profit? Karma?

Re:Not so fast (3, Informative)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915113)

See my explanation here [slashdot.org] . My submission was accepted and posted in record time.

Re:Not so fast (1)

IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915181)

That's what I actually thought happened, it's just not as entertaining. Carry on.

Re:Not so fast (2, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915153)

Can more variation in Africa really prove anything beyond ... more variation in Africa? Consider: There are more tribal cultures, more languages, more language families, more diverse environmental niches. When you look at a globe rather than our typical equatorial-land-cheating map projections, Africa is a huge place. But does the existence of more variations on a theme in a particular space prove that it was the location of the original of the theme?

An opposite argument is possible. Let's say you had butterflies everyplace but Africa, with each (sub)species displaying designs that worked best for camouflage/mate selection/whatever in its home territory. Over time many of these (sub)species reach Africa. Because it's a large, ecologically diverse space, a considerable number of them find successful niches. The subsequent conclusion that the range of different butterfly designs in Africa proves their ultimate origin there would be exactly wrong in this scenario.

Re:Not so fast (5, Informative)

ihuntrocks (870257) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915213)

I wouldn't quite consider what Mr. Hawks is doing to be "tearing the research to pieces". Mr. Hawks is a researcher with a competing viewpoint. Furthermore, the viewpoint that is expressed (and this may be largely due to the interviewer, and may not be the fault of Mr. Hawks in all fairness) doesn't give much in the way of evidence to support his viewpoint (note "I'm really thinking just the opposite of this paper," is about as strong as it gets in the article. www.johnhawks.net has a bit more). Mr. Hawks seems to be carrying on the research of his doctoral advisor, Milford Wolpoff, who strongly advocates the multiregional idea. It seems here that we have a researcher who started with a conclusion and is trying to find data to support it, rather than starting with a hypothesis, gathering data, and forming a conclusion (some things can work backward...science isn't one of them). Mr. Hawks seems to be a little ruffled now that someone has published research (which went the right way up the scientific method) which doesn't seem to jive with his view. If you want a great overview of evolution explained in a great manner, grab some books by Stephen Jay Gould (or read up at http://www.stephenjaygould.org./ [www.stephenjaygould.org] By far, one of the greatest in the field of Paleontology (co-developer of the idea of Punctuated Equilibrium, which is quite important to this discussion. A shame that Mr. Hawks doesn't seem to be very familiar with this concept). More than worth the read for anyone interested in the subject.

Re:Not so fast (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915413)

EVOLVED being the operative word...
EVOLVED from blacks...
Into more ADVANCED races...

And the height of evolution is the white race. You know - the 'evil' white race who invented just about everything that the modern world takes for granted.
Blacks have had tens of thousands of years head start over us 'evil' whites, yet still they can't even compete when they invade OUR countries. Aren't we lucky to have them here?

What about future cross breading? (2, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914707)

I am wondering if this information may or may not discount the theory the Homosapians and Neanderthalls in Europe may have cross breaded?

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

cliffiecee (136220) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914753)

Mmmm, breaded Neanderthalls >

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914929)

Deep-fried, on a stick, covered in cheese? Now you're making me hungry!

Re:What about future cross breading? (2, Funny)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915095)

That's why Neaderthals became extinct, they were eaten.

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914763)

I know this is offtopic, but the following lyrics played in my head when I read this:

Does it bother me at all
My rival is neanderthal, it makes me think
Perhaps I need a drink

Iq is no problem here
We wont be playing scrabble for her hand I fear
I need that beer

-Sting, Seven Days

Cheers!

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

Uthic (931553) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914773)

Hm probably not, I doubt they even had the wherewithal to make bread,let alone trade it!

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914823)

One must never discount those wild Ice-Age parties, where beer-goggling can lead to more than just a little shame. ("Dude, you slept outside your own species!? WTF were you thinking?! I TOLD you not to eat the worm! Didn't I? Didn't I? But NooooOOOOooo... you just had to!")

After all, condoms hadn't even been invented yet, y'know?

/P

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915461)

After all, condoms hadn't even been invented yet, y'know?

No I don't know. Plastics weren't invented until the 1800s and 1900s, but there were condoms made from organic materials before then. Said organic materials aren't likely to be preserved in the archaeological record of 30,000 years ago, so we can't tell if they had condoms back then.

Re:What about future cross breading? (5, Funny)

mothrafokker (885654) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914845)

I think it's highly believable that they traded various recipes for rolls, pastries, and other breads.

Re:What about future cross breading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914913)

As breadedness goes, I've often wondered whether we want to know where those yeasts and molds come from. Is Brie _Neanderthal_ toe jam?

Re:What about future cross breading? (2, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914981)

Homosapians? I know it's just a spelling error, but as everyone knows, apians are bees. So, let me ask you a question:

Are you attracted to gay bees?

Disclaimer: I realize that not everyone here watched SNL in the early 80s. If you didn't, I'm sorry you don't get the joke -- but I don't mean to offend any gays or bee fetishists.

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915407)

Are you talking about gay (bee fetishists) or (gay bee) fetishists?

Re:What about future cross breading? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915023)

I am wondering if this information may or may not discount the theory the Homosapians and Neanderthalls in Europe may have cross breaded?


Whether H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis interbred to result in H. sapiens sapiens or whether, OTOH, H. sapiens sapiens evolved from H. sapiens alone before, after, or while the latter displaced H. neanderthalensis in Europe is somewhat irrelevant to the question of whether H. sapiens had a single origin in Africa.

It might be relevant to the question of whether H. sapiens sapiens had a single origin, which would be a different question. (A subspecies without a single origin would seem to be less surprising; a species with multiple origins would be, AFAIK, rather unusual.)

Do this mean... (-1, Flamebait)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914717)

we all brothas n sistas and I could call y'all 'nigger'? Stop hatin' on Michael Richards yo!!

Cheers!

Re:Do this mean... (0, Troll)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914803)

Just replying to state that I am not trying to be racist and that this was just a feeble attempt at humor. I don't see why this ought to be offensive, but since it is modded flamebait, I thought I'd clear the air.

Cheers!

mod grandparent up (0, Troll)

fyoder (857358) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915219)

If I had mod points, I would mod your original post up as underrated. Sadly, Slashdot is getting as mindlessly touchy as Digg.

Re:Do this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914971)

we all brothas n sistas
No. It means we all descended from an erect homo. Some of us have apparently evolved more than you have since then.

erect homo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915227)

Please rephrase, this gives me a very unpleasant image

Hate Speech!! I have alerted the ACLJOO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915035)

Your joke is not the ha-ha jokerman!

Heresy committed! It is clearly the human rights abuse and a possibly the war crime! Fascist, colonial warmonger of destruction! You r the xenohomophobejangoracist oppressor of all da indigenous peoples!

You have committed verbal assault, sprinkled liberally with thought-invoked racialist genocide! Quick, some1 notify the ADLCLU soldiers! Punishment forthcoming! Southpark style "Apologize" sessions and entry to state-sponsored re-education campz! We must make you chant the mantra! We must make you wholeheartedly believe the falsenesses! "Diversity is Strength"..."War is Peace"...you know the rest

Re:Hate Speech!! I have alerted the ACLJOO! (0, Troll)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915115)

Actually, I had in mind the south park episode with Randy using the 'N-word' when I said this :)

Cheers!

Re:Do this mean... (0, Troll)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915077)

Porch Monkey 4 life... It's okay, We're takin' it back...

Oh really? (1, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914725)

I would like to summarize all the following concise and logical refuations from the Intelligent Design Proponents:

"NUH-UH!"

They're clearly right. This proof of human evolutionary origins only has 6,000 empty skulls worth of evidence; Intelligent Design has many many more empty skulls than that.

Re:Oh really? (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914841)

None of those posts appeared yet. Why invoke them? For karma?

The sooner they are relegated to obscurity, the better -- then most people will consider them the crackpots that they are. Giving them attention before they even appear doesn't help.

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914963)

Yup, in fact Slashdot is the only place where I ever read about intelligent design. Then again I live in Europe.

Re:Oh really? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914847)

Which version of Intelligent Design?
There are many different Intelligent Design "Theories" or beleafs. Some of the more liberal have All the science works out and humans did come from ape like creatures over millions of years, the only difference is they replace the word Random with Controlled by a higher being or a God. Needless to say a person of faith would normally not attribute anything as completly random but controlled in some way by a God or higher beeing. But in terms of science it is OK to say it is random because God cannot be proven or disproven thus making him a bad varable to use in science. So the point is just because someone has faith and says they beleave in intelegent Design you shouldn't assume they are dumb don't follow the science and doesn't know what is going on, sure there are some people who do fit that but there are others who actually follow the science and agree with the evidence, but just figure the Random Element used for the calculation in science is actually controlled by a higher force.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914947)

There are many different Intelligent Design "Theories" or beleafs.

beleafs in trees....

Re:Oh really? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914899)

What I find most surprising about ID and /. is that it is always first mentioned, and mostly tossed about, by those who obviously disagree (to put it mildly).

Re:Oh really? (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915143)

probably because the posters want to be comedians. in my experience, the people i know who believe in ID tend to be more naive than those who do not believe in ID. believers take for granted something that the large amount of evidence points away from. ID is a social issue, and pointing out social flaws (for lack of a better word) is the meat of comedy.

Re:Oh really? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915201)

Good point. /.ers -- including myself -- are all struggling comedians. As my buddy used to say to a bad joke, "there's a 1000 comedians out of work, and you're trying to be funny...."

As far as someone who doesn't see things my way being naive: I must say, my friend, though must be young, for I am old, and I have learned I know nothing except for the fact that all I once knew was nothing more than me thinking the other person knew less....

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915439)

Thats a good point.

As far as ID proponents being more naive it's the opposite. Being a skeptic is easy, especially when its' the side dodging all of the slander. whats the benefit in knowing something when all your going to do with it is tell people how stupid they are?

troll troll troll flamebait troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915065)

Remember, kids, it's only a troll and/or flamebait if you disagree with it.

I'm from Kansas (5, Funny)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914729)

Humans were designed in single origin in heaven.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:I'm from Kansas (4, Funny)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914759)

And it happened about 5000 years ago...I will stand by that from one edge of the earth to the other.

Re:I'm from Kansas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914853)

> And it happened about 5000 years ago...I will stand by that from one edge of the earth to the other.

Teach the Controversy! I'm from Montana, and I don't care how flat it looks to you, I say the world is bowl-shaped!

LISTEN UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915305)

So, uh, that "Bible" thing that I put out, a while back? Yeah, it's a bunch of nonsense. Instead of "My given truth", I basically "guided" some wackos over the years to fill it with a bunch of contradictory odds and ends.... Why? Well, duh -- to test you.

Once you all get your heads on straight, we can move on with the plans I've had in mind.... Can, uh -- can you hurry it up a bit?

Later.
Big G

Re:I'm from Kansas (1)

Vulva R. Thompson, P (1060828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915401)

And it happened about 5000 years ago...I will stand by that from one edge of the earth to the other.

Actually it's 6000 years old.

Oh wait a sec...you're one of those 'Even More Young Earthers' aren't you?

Re:I'm from Kansas (2, Insightful)

mathmatt (851301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914991)

Another fix:
Homo erectus = Adam
Home sapiens = Eve

Re:I'm from Kansas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915131)

The Gods Hate Kansas [amazon.com]

"A startling story of science at war with alien life-forms."

well that's just great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914771)

This means we're all just a bunch of god damn spear chuckers. No wonder the world is so messed up.

One source for all life (3, Interesting)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914791)

A bit off-topic, I know, but what often puzzles me is that all living things basically work with the same chemistry. All have DNA, and there are many proteins that are physically very similar between different species, even between animals and plants. This leads me to conclude that all life must have come form one ancestor that materialized somewhere on the planet. But the earth is a big place. To me it seems very unlikely that life hasn't occurred in more than one place and more than one time. So how is it possible that all life, on a chemical level, is more or less the same?

Re:One source for all life (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914861)

Actually, I thought that some life forms only had RNA at best...

(and if we find life somewhere off-planet, all bets are off, yo...)

/P

Re:One source for all life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914943)

open minded questions allowing all possible answers allows for two real possibilities.

1. Aliens matter, life landed here and continued to take over.
2. God(s) put us here.

Re:One source for all life (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914955)

Survival of the fittest.

Perhaps one day, when life started out, there were many different types of bacterial lifeforms. Turns out that only a handful managed to stay alive in the ever-changing environment. Some of those just happened to have the bad luck of being wiped out by a meteor shower. And one of few remaining ones was a bloodthirsty killer that ate the few remaining other species; we decended from that guy.

Perhaps something completely different happenned. The chances of a lifeform being succesful in it's environment is likely something so small, the number of digits would overflow this comment box. Just count yourself lucky you were born from the odd chance that one lifeform did manage to survive.

Re:One source for all life (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914961)

- Life might be hard to bootstrap: something that occurs once every billion year per galaxy.
- Even if life reoccurs at a different time, one type is likely to be vastly superior and outcompete the other.

Re:One source for all life (2, Interesting)

E++99 (880734) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915229)

- Life might be hard to bootstrap: something that occurs once every billion year per galaxy.

Highly unlikely, given that life appeared on earth virtually the instant (geologically) that there was solid ground and liquid water.

- Even if life reoccurs at a different time, one type is likely to be vastly superior and outcompete the other.

That doesn't seem to be the case. Bacteria, for example, are biologically vastly superior to humans, and out-compete humans in most measurable ways, but we (for the most part) have no trouble surviving as a species alongside them. The incredibly vast number of species on the planet argues against the idea that out-competed species, are as a rule, eliminated.

Re:One source for all life (2, Insightful)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914969)

Don't forget that you're only seeing the survivors. It's possible that several variations of primeval life did arise, but one variation out-competed the others, or was the sole survivor of some catastrophe. The fossil record, fragmentary as it is, has numerous examples of whole species groups going extinct, and there's no reason to imagine that life was any less challenging or competitive before it could form fossils.

Re:One source for all life (2, Informative)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915009)

This is a widely accepted theory, but you are wrong about all life using DNA: some virii and bacteria are still relying on RNA.

Re:One source for all life (1)

Scaba (183684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915075)

And you are wrong about the plural form of "virus." It's "viruses."

Re:One source for all life (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915015)

Who the hell knows where life started (besides the ID crowd, haha)? In terms of evolution, however, there is no real need to have multiple origins; starting with a simple enough organism, they can split and diverge countless times to provide the sort of diversity we see today, and that common starting point would provide you your chemical homogeneity.

On the other hand, conditions on the pre-life earth were wildly different from the ones we have now. There could have been a number of different species, and only ones that could adapt to the emerging environment could have survived...They would all have been extremely simple, so that's not impossible.

Or, considering that most things here consume other things from here, a chemical similarity could be absolutely required for existence in the current environment, in order to survive the conditions, and to be able to eat anything.

Or, it could just be that our chemical composition is the most efficient, and natural selection drives species inevitably toward it.

It's unquestionable that all life here is from a common pool. The difference between a human and everything else on the planet isn't all that large in terms of DNA.

Re:One source for all life (2, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915243)

To me it seems very unlikely that life hasn't occurred in more than one place and more than one time. So how is it possible that all life, on a chemical level, is more or less the same?
Maybe because there's only one chemical formula for life to exist, so that no matter where it arises, it's always the same chemical formula.

Re:One source for all life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915269)

A bit off-topic, I know, but what often puzzles me is that all living things basically work with the same chemistry. All have DNA, and there are many proteins that are physically very similar between different species, even between animals and plants. This leads me to conclude that all life must have come form one ancestor that materialized somewhere on the planet. But the earth is a big place. To me it seems very unlikely that life hasn't occurred in more than one place and more than one time. So how is it possible that all life, on a chemical level, is more or less the same?
Sure, that's what the TSA [wikipedia.org] would want you to believe!

Re:One source for all life (1)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915299)

The limits on the expansion of one life form are:

1) How fast it can move

2) Other life forms

In the absence of other life forms, the first life form would expand its geographic range as fast as it could move. That would be slow, they being single-celled organisms, but lighting speed by evolutionary time. By the time something else might have become life, there was already life around that had had time to evolve into a decent level of fitness for the environment, and so outcompeted the newcomers.

Finally (3, Funny)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914799)

This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from primates, were created by God, or both. Case closed!

Re:Finally (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914951)

Actually, this proves that humans came to earth from Golgafrincham just like the great anthropologist Dr. Douglas Adams postulated. His only error was that he believed they landed in Britain rather than in Africa.

Re:Finally (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915177)

This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from pirates, were created by His Noodly Appendage, or both. Case closed!
All hail the flying spaghetti monster!

Re:Finally (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915373)

if you look at it, religion only gives an overview on what could have and might have happened. Evolution explains more details. I am not saying one way or the other is right, we just have gaps in both theories and until we have a time machine, we will never know.

Re:Finally (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915429)

This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from pirates, were created by God, or both. Case closed!
I much prefer my original misreading of your comment, as above. Being evolved from pirates would explain a lot about life, me hearties.

Confusing Creationists (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914831)

I'm pretty sure these sort of ideas are thought up just to piss off creationists: "Hey guess what, we've found scientific evidence that the human race actually could have started from a single couple like Adam and Eve, but guess what? They were black".

Probably not "negroes" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915101)

They were probably khoisan" [google.com]

What were (formerly?) called caucasian, mongoloid and negroid probably evolved from them.

I know it's hard to fit into your leftist racialist view of the world, but deal with it.

Only confusing the stupid ones (4, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915343)

Adam and Eve were black? Next you'll be telling us that Jesus was Jewish!

Seriously, though, the creationists I respect go to the Bible/Koran/Talmud and say "God created the heavens and the earth" then go to a science textbook to figure out how he did it.

"Mutant monkeys escape from Africa" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19914937)

Headline of 10PM news, July 19, 85,000 BC.

wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19914987)

Thats like saying Snape kills Hagrid and Voldemort kills Hermione

Re:wow (1)

killproc (518431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915179)


Totally uncool...

Black African's Genetic Stock is Overvalued (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915091)

Let me get this straight. Without the white man the nigger wouldn't have got beyond the shores of Africa or raised his miserable existance higher than picking fruit of a tree? Sounds about right. If thousands of years of evolution couldn't kick start blacks above carrying plates of food in restaurants and wiggling their fat mamma asses on street corners I can't see affirmative action as doing much to kick-start their biology out of the stone age.

If the black man was any tech stock they would've gone down the tubes after the civil rights .com boom. The only thing keeping their stock afloat is government subsidy and a market deliberately regulated in their favour. Fast forward a couple of years and why shouldn't they go down like all the bad airlines that folded? Let's face it, they're not performing, they never will, so better knock them off the main share index and back to unlisted securities.

Bring back slavery. All is forgiven.

#i8c.t8olltalk.com (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915211)

in jocks or chaps NIGGER ASSOCIATION series of interna7 Incompatibilities open platform, to survive at all code.' Don't not anymore. It's dying. Everyone OF AMERICA) is the

Now we know where to look for.... (1)

metoc (224422) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915231)

the spaceship that brought the first humans to earth. Or was it god? It's been so long.

So we've been wrong all along...? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915241)

Have we been wrong all along by addressing non-white/Hispanic or Indian Americans as "Americans of African decent?" It appears we'll all have roots in Africa. In any case those "black" Americans look more brown than black to me.

A more accurate description should be "brown Americans". How about that?

Serious question here... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915257)

If man evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? NO ONE HAS THE ANSWER!

Re:Serious question here... (1)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915339)

Evolution doesn't have a goal.

There were monkeys, and then some monkeys went into a new habitat (grasslands) and evolved into humans. The monkeys who stayed in the jungle remained monkeys. Later on, some humans returned to the jungle but didn't wipe out the monkeys because their population didn't expand to that point.

Re:Serious question here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915351)

kill yourself now. thank you.

Interesting evolution... (1)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915263)

The alternative hypothesis contended that different populations independently evolved from Homo erectus to Home sapiens in different areas.
(emphasis mine)

So the alternative theory is that different populations individually evolved into a race of agoraphobes? Makes sense...

Um, why is this even in question? (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915287)

I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV. But my understanding of the way evolution worked is that you need a breeding population sharing common mutations and traits in order to lock in evolutionary traits. The old textbook example for regular speciation within a main population a fertile jungle valley split in two by a great river. Species A was once on both sides of the river and populations could interbreed if presented the opportunity. But given enough isolation, and especially if any environmental factors differ on one side or the other, a Species B can emerge. When the changes are minor, one could refer to the changed one as a sub-species. If the changes become very pronounced, such that interbreeding is difficult or rarely results in viable offspring, then you could say that second population constitutes a new species.

Given that two identical populations can drift away from the ability to interbreed through nothing more than isolation, how likely would it be that one species, scattered across many environments, could independently evolve into a new species whose members could interbreed? That seems a bit off!

I do think that hybrid species are pretty cool, even though they don't occur too often in nature. We had the polar/kodiak hybrid shot a year or so back. Zoos also have many examples of lygers, tylons, etc. Wolves and domestic dogs can interbreed, the same goes with cyotes and jackals as well. It does make one wonder how far humans could drift apart if several populations were isolated for 20,000 years. I wonder if they'd all still look alike except for different bumpy foreheads?

Being a Christian, I agree (-1, Flamebait)

alta (1263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915323)

Yup, single origin.

I don't quite agree with the location though. I was more of the opinion that it was from somewhere that's currently known as Iraq. Between a couple of the rivers there. Not somewhere I'd want to visit right now, but hopefully we can re-chrtianize the area (yeah right!)

I don't agree with the timeline that a lot purport, but it's open for interpretation. Unless you're Catholic. ;)

Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam (1)

xmedar (55856) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915331)

I thought this had been settled, see Mitochondrial Eve [wikipedia.org] and Y-chromosomal Adam [wikipedia.org] what's next PhD grants for theorising why the sky is blue?

Yes! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915347)

Now my wife can tell everyone she's married to a black man!

At least wait for the ID people to post ... (2, Interesting)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915363)

... before you start bashing them, okay? I believe in intelligent design, but I don't see that this post has much to do with it. Those of us who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis obviously don't believe that humans came from multiple sources, we believe all humans descended from one couple. However, even if you could conclusively prove that all humanity came from one population - that doesn't disprove evolution (which is probably why you didn't immediately get the ID crowd all posting "see! see! we were right!". In fact, I'd think that even from an evolutionists POV, the chance of a species evolving independently from multiple populations is low.

Now if someone said they'd proven that humans couldn't have evolved from one population, I might be inclined to look at their findings more closely.

Copy and Paste the Article here, please (1)

BayaWeaver (1048744) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915405)

If you have full access perhaps you can paste the text here? I'd just like to read the text for now. Don't need the diagrams and pictures, if any. It's a Letter, so it isn't very long.

Define 'humans' please... (1)

12357bd (686909) | more than 7 years ago | (#19915441)

All is good and right, but... Define 'humans' please...

Linus is right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19915447)

I am with Linus on this one. GPLv3 is not needed.
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