Talk:Anatomically modern human

Active discussions


SourcesEdit

I added {sources}. Before 2 links confirming existence of "sloped forehead" (with misleading elaboration) and sic "eyebrow". The links pointed to:

  1. "Naked woman"
  2. Encarta : Human evolution

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.16.176.166 (talk) 07:17, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

refEdit

Norton and Gao, ʺBone Surface Modification Studies: Taphonomic Perspectives from Middle‐Late Pleistocene Xujiayao, Chinaʺ ::...whether Xujiayao can be considered a slightly earlier precursor to other evidence in East Asia of early access to concentrated protein and fat resources (e.g., Zhoukoudian Upper Cave). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.16.183.158 (talk) 21:21, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Hublin et al., ʺA Re‐assessment of the Jebel Irhoud (Morocco) Mousterian Adult Cranial Remainsʺ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.16.183.158 (talk) 20:58, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.03.005 Initial excavation and dating of Ngalue Cave: A Middle Stone Age site along the Niassa Rift, Mozambique . Ngalue is one of the few directly-dated Pleistocene sites located along the biogeographical corridor for modern human dispersals —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.16.183.158 (talk) 11:18, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Multiregional materialEdit

Multiregionalism is a minority position, and we need not introduce in detail information in this article. We can provide a link and a brief explanation, but that is all that is required per WP:UNDUE. Wapondaponda (talk) 06:15, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your suggestion that admin action may be needed soon. If IP 76.16.1xx.xxx/Xook1kai Choa6aur is unable to edit in clear English, without pushing a POV, and without editing warring, then they shouldn't edit at all. Fences&Windows 21:58, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

User:Xook1kai Choa6aur's range of IPs have been blocked for a week because of continued disruption, I have undid all his edits because the user is trying to introduce Multiregional Evolution in almost every anthropological article. The debate over Mulitregionalism need not take place in this article, but in the multiregional article itself. Wapondaponda (talk) 04:43, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Out of Africa versus MultiregionalismEdit

Oldest homosapien fossil in the world NOT from Africa: A discovery by Professor Avi Gopher as well as Dr Ran Barkai of the Institute of Archeology, both from Tel Aviv University, was made public in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and suggest that modern man did not originate in Africa as previously believed, but in the Middle East. Eight human-like teeth were found in the Qesem cave close to Rosh Ha’Ayin - roughly 10 miles from Israel’s Ben-Gurion international airport. They are roughly 400,000 years old and are therefore from the Middle Pleistocene Age, which if of human origin will make them the earliest remains of homo sapiens yet discovered anywhere in the world. The size and shape of the teeth are very similar to those of modern man. Source: Did first humans come out of Middle East and not Africa? Israeli discovery forces scientists to re-examine evolution of modern man. Author: Matthew Kalman. The Daily Mail. 28 December 2010 - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1341973/Did-humans-come-Middle-East-Africa-Scientists-forced-write-evolution-modern-man.html Anybody here have thoughts on whether this should be included in the article, or not? --197.229.68.167 (talk) 18:36, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

I see from various reverts and tagging that the section on the Origin of Modern Humans needs discussion. I'll just give some recent versions...

There are two competing models that describe the origin of contemporary and recent humans. The mainstream view, known as the recent African origin model, holds that all existing human populations are descended from anatomically modern humans who lived in Africa 50-60kya. This model is supported by multiple and independent lines of evidence, such as the fossil record and genetics. The other theory known as the multiregional hypothesis, is held by a minority of scientists. According to the multiregional model, the various human populations around the world evolved from local archaic hominids such as homo erectus. The multiregional model posits that human populations achieved anatomical modernity independently, by convergent evolution.

— Muntuwandi version

As it is usually presented, there are two major competing models on this subject - Recent African origin and Multiregional evolution. The debate concerns the relative amount of replacement or interbreeding which occurred in areas outside of Africa, when waves of humans (or human ancestors) left it to colonize other areas. It should be kept in mind that extreme versions of these models would not be mainstream. For example the existence and importance of these waves is generally accepted, while the possibility of inter-breeding between recent African arrivals and their more local contemporaries at various stages of prehistory is not particularly controversial. The controversy is generally about specific periods and specific proposals for periods of such interbreeding.

— my version

There are two major competing models on this subject: Recent African origin and Multiregional evolution.

— 76.16.183.158 a blocked user

I think there is some conflict between my understanding and Muntuwandi's. I am saying that multiregionalism does not always depend upon convergent evolution, but that it more often proposes inter-breeding. Indeed I'd say that claiming convergent evolution as the main cause is pretty rare and extreme and that many MRH supporters would even accept that African immigrants were a major source of genes? What's more, most OOA supporters can also accept some level of inter breeding may have happened. But I have not gone looking for sources. I thought it better to call for comments here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 12:03, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I am not particular about prose, as long as RAO is mentioned as the mainstream hypothesis. So far, from the literature I have encountered, RAO is the leading hypothesis, and each year new information seems to support it. Multiregionalism has been hit hard, knocked down, but is not dead yet. Patchy fossil record of human evolution consists of something like 200 individuals, most of which are incomplete fossils. This patchiness leaves open the possibility for several alternative scenarios. Direct evidence of MRH is either non-existent or controversial. But based on the hypothesis that absence of evidence does not imply evidence of absence, the multiregional hypothesis is kept alive. The link you posted about Hammer illustrates this. He may be a brilliant scientist, but he is in the minority with multiregionalism. He tried to link haplogroup DE with multiregionalism, which has now been debunked. Now he is looking for other markers but has not been successful. In any case, this is not the article to argue RAO vs MRH. AMH exist today regardless of which model, and this article should describe who they are, and when they first appear in the fossil record. These two theories can briefly be mentioned, but they should not hold this article hostage. Maybe an article can be created that compares the two theories and addresses the strengths and weaknesses of each. Lastly this article is not necessarily in great shape so it could do with some work. Wapondaponda (talk) 16:14, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Andrew, I don't like your version. It's unsourced, and it editorialises. "It should be kept in mind" is not the kind of phrasing we should use. An "extreme" version of Out of Africa with no admixture with H. erectus or Neanderthals is the mainstream. The possibility of up to 20% of the nuclear genome being from archaic populations is still out there, but is looking less and less likely. The classic multiregional hypothesis is dead; the debate is now Out of Africa or Out of Africa + admixture. Fences&Windows 23:51, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Just as there is an active market for conspiracy theories, there is an active market for fringe theories. Tens of thousands of genetic sequencing after the discovery of Mitochondrial Eve, and not a single uniparental sequence has been discovered that supports any form of Multiregional Evolution. School textbooks now cite the RAO which indicates high level of acceptance. Mulitregional evolution exists as a theoretical possibility, because the AMH are a young species at 200kya, whereas subspecies in the wild that have been genetically isolated for longer periods are still capable of interbreeding. Because of the short period since the divergence of AMH lineages from the archaics, it could mean that there were interfertile. However since AMH and homo Neanderthelensis shared the same habitat for up to 10,000 years in Europe, one would expect that there were ample opportunities for interbreeding. Yet no such uncontroversial evidence exists and no archaic lineages have been detected in Europe. Despite such a long period of co-existence the two species/subspecies maintained their distinctive morphologies. Many interesting suggestions have been proposed regarding the apparent failure to interbreed, AMH have small pelvis and some suggest a different pattern of giving birth [1]. This means conception would have been possible, but there could have been complications at birth. I have heard suggestions regarding the fusing of the two chromosomes found in the Chimpanzee genome. If this occurred recently it could have lead to reproductive isolation. As the RAO is supported by Y-chromosome, mtDNA, autosomal and paleoanthropology, this user, Xook1kai who is trying to make multregionalism seem mainstream, is POV pushing. Wapondaponda (talk) 01:00, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I'll put it this way. Over the years I've had some correspondence with people on these topics, and the paragraph I wrote is therefore indeed based on personal experience, and is unsourced for the time being. Now, that can happen in a specialist field on Wikipedia, but sourcing itself is something you can work on later if you are right to begin with, and everyone working on the subject knows it. So the wall we have hit is that you two think/say that you really believe that OOA and MRH people believe in what I say are extreme caricatures a la New York Times. I guess I can either stick a lot of time into this to find some sort of quote, or else ask you guys whether you are really sure of yourselves. Do you have any source showing that "mainstream" is split between two groups of idiot extremists? I'll bet you do not.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 19:40, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

"sourcing itself is something you can work on later if you are right to begin with". Ha! Off-the-top-of-the-head content additions from what you've learned over the years is not how to go about editing articles. Use sources, it's that simple. You can call those like Chris Stringer who argue for Out of Africa "idiot extremists", but it won't get you anywhere. It's a perfectly reasonable position to doubt admixture, and this debate has been thrashed out with XC on the talk page of Multiregional hypothesis for months, with many reliable sources given. You'll have to forgive me for not tolerating more unsourced opinionated editing. Fences&Windows 01:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but this is not a constructive answer, because you seem to be losing track of what we are really talking about.
  • Asking people to source things which everyone already knows are obvious is just being tendentious. If you are saying that what I have written is not obvious then fine, I have already accepted that we should discuss. But please do not use cite rules as a replacement for discussion.
  • Your remark about what I supposedly think of Chris Stringer is un-called for. What I described as extremist is not Chris Stringer, but the implied theories which you and Muntuwandi have described. I've explicitly said that I doubt the people involved would be so extreme, and said that the types of wording you and Muntuwandi are implying we need seems like a caricature.
  • You say it is a perfectly reasonable argument to doubt "admixture", and that is of course true. But the question we are discussing is to define what level of doubt of which admixture. I've already mentioned to Muntuwandi a few times that the whole approach of referring to "out of africa" without defining what you mean makes all discussion vague, because everyone believes in "out of africa" at some level. Adding the word "recent" does not get rid of the problem, because it is still too vague to imply any disagreement with my wording compared to Muntuwandi's.
  • Both you and Muntuwandi seem to be responding to me as if I am questioning the OOA theory which is not at all what this discussion is about. The question is how to define OAA and MRH in an accurate way.
Can I please ask you to address the subject at hand. To remind you of the wordings you are saying are wrong, here they are...
  • The debate concerns the relative amount of replacement or interbreeding which occurred in areas outside of Africa, when waves of humans (or human ancestors) left it to colonize other areas. True or false?
  • The existence and importance of these waves is generally accepted. In other words MRH people do not generally dispute that they occurred and were important. True or false? (Muntuwandi's wording strongly implies the opposite.)
  • The possibility of inter-breeding between recent African arrivals and their more local contemporaries at various stages of prehistory is not particularly controversial. True or false?
  • The controversy is generally about specific periods and specific proposals for periods of such interbreeding. True or false?
Could you go through these, which are the real wordings being discussed?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:11, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Just to extract the one relevant comment PDeiteker below: "MREH is obsolete phraseology, I don't know anyone who supports the pre-1998 version of these theories, the debate largely lies between mostly-out of Africa and Strictly Out of [Subsaharan Africa] I would be careful not to use multiregionalism as it has a specific historic connotation (see Hawks and Wolpoff 2000 and earlier writing)." This is pretty much the same point I am making about how the wording for this Wikipedia article should be.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 06:14, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Philosophical perspective on the argumentEdit

Which, is about as useful as philosophical perspective on why the stock market crashed, or anything else. Posit 1. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Posit 2. From what I have seen there is no bonafida evidence so far to support the claims of folks like Thorne and Wolpoff. I have examined in some detail the HLA, which tends to preserve diversity looking for signs of regional admixture and I have not seen any. I particularly focused on two haplotypes of MX1, Hap4 and Hap5, which offered the best evidence up to that point of admixture, I found only signs (in HLA) of a small population that reached Asia by a succession of serial assymetric migrations. For several loci the number of alleles noted in India was about 3/4ths that noted in Africa, and those noted in SE Asia about 1/2 that of India, and in the places where the admixture was supposed to have occurred, diversity was at a minimum.

From the X chromosome there is PDHA1 which while very old TMRCA is not outside the expectation and the root for the unique Eurasian branch was in the baka of Africa (Many regions of Africa now believe to be the site of human expansion were not tested)
Hey et al (2007) in her recent publication drives the point home in that they believed they had a haplotype of regional asia origin of great age, until they increased the sample size in Tanzania and.
Hammer, in not have going through that level of testing believes he has found a locus. Sampling is the primary factor that is unresolved in most evidence in claim of MREH (albeit now a trace amount tolerable).
MX1, that locus that had a TMRCA of 5 million years, as it turned out was under regional selection and selective forces were drafting new mutations to higher frequencies. Apes and chimps had no variation either intraspecific or intergeneric, but humans had a number.
The overwhelming majority of 'neutral' loci appear to TMRCA within a population size of 11,000 to 12,000 individuals according to both Takahata and Shaffner. (See Shaffner 2005 - referenced in mitochondrial eve)

-The null hypothesis (that I assume) is that the evidence in support of OoA is strong enough that the alternative, humans evolved primarily multiregionally over periods of 100s of 1000s of years can be rejected. And at present there does not appear to be significant support for MREH 'light' or mostly 'Out-of-Africa' based on the quality of studies completed to date. -The places were MREH claim evidence of gradual evolution from robust archaics to gracile humans are places by HLA where one least likely expected regional evolution, for example in China there is are unexpected dearths of diversity, by mtDNA, HLA and other loci. The same is also true in Indonesia, in places the HLA-A24 was close to fixation, or did fix and was recently diluted.

However, the HLA is not entirely one-sided. If we accept that the mode of human origins was in subequitorial east Africa, there are at least 2 alleles found in Africa that appear not to have come from that region as far as we know. Tishkoff points out, in congruence with studies of Neandertals of current that European Neandertals unlikely contributed to humans, but contribution from N. Africa may have been possible and these hominids may have been contiguous with Eurasian hominids of Late Archaic Homo Sapiens morphology (e.g. Morrocan and Levantine hominids c.135-250 kya). In addition the HLA-B48 and a few other allelegroups are not observed in Africa, and the precise mechanism of how these evolved from african alleles is not clear. The problem with these is that they are nodal in areas were recent presence of asiatic hominids is not clear, there might have been introduction from Zoukoudian hominids of N. China. What the evidence is telling us, is if there was genetic contribution from outside of these core regions in SSA, that it probably occurred between hominid populations that are not popular topics (e.g. Neandertals, Flores dwarf hominid, Sumatran homo erectus, etc) of discussion . IOW, it is probably a good idea to completely ignore the pundits and fantasy intermixing scenarios of popular science and look specifically at the molecular patterns and regional evidence for nodes of diversity.

Another factor, we really don't have a good grip on how chromosomes evolve, as Hawks and other point out there is alot of wiggle room for alternative explanations. HLA for instance is not supported by other studies of fast evolving genes on very long haplotypes, spurts of evolution on hunks of chromosome with rather perplexing findings. The molecular clock and the haplotype clock do not always behave as we expect.

There is a piece of evidence that is missing from these gene stories, if the HLA preserves diversity, and if Neanderthals and Humans intermixed the we would expect, highly, that HLA alleles would be preserved in Humans (particularly N. Iberia), I have been waiting on this proclaimed Neanderthal genome to see if there might be something. I don't expect alot, based on mtDNA and a few other loci I expect that maybe a handful of intermixing events occurred, the same being true with Asia. Millions of people in Europe have been typed by HLA. So its not likely to escape the surveys already known. (HLA being one of those regional survival traits that would have benefited transmission from Neanderthals to humans).

Muntuwandi should keep an open mind, and although he is probably right a number of assumptions based on absence of evidence or ignorance of evidence (such as the Moroccan hominids) have been allowed in the literature. The same types of oversights were made in prelude to the mtDNA studies by Allan Wilson, therefore one should be aware of the faults of the past as not to repeat the same faults in the future. These oversights may be tolerant of intermediate theories of admixture. And also we have to consider the robust morphology and deviant skull morphology of early archaics. I should point out also that some of the hominids or Early Archaic period that fall outside of Anatomically modern human range (by the most recent studies) exhibit burial rituals, art, etc exhibiting complex social behavior, and it is not exactly clear why regional hominids disappeared, or what the human advantage was, we should not predispose one belief over another, or pretend that we know these answers or lead others to believe that the answers are certain'.PB666 yap 03:04, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

BTW. MREH is obsolete phraseology, I don't know anyone who supports the pre-1998 version of these theories, the debate largely lies between mostly-out of Africa and Strictly Out of [Subsaharan Africa] I would be careful not to use multiregionalism as it has a specific historic connotation (see Hawks and Wolpoff 2000 and earlier writing).

I agree that the debate right now is between mostly out of Africa and strictly out of Africa. Multiregionalism has undergone its own evolution. It began with Polygenism in the 19th century that posited completely independent origins of the continental populations. When this became untenable, it morphed into Classic multiregionalism, in which Erectus left Africa 2.5 million years ago, and then separately evolved into homo sapiens 5 different times in 5 different continents. Due to the biological and behavioral similarity of modern humans, this version was no longer acceptable. It was then replaced by multiregional origin but with gene flow. That is erectus still left Africa 2.5 million years ago, but there was continuous gene flow between the continents to ensure genetic uniformity. With the advent of mtDNA and y-chromosome sequencing, this theory became untenable. Multiregionalist tried to poke holes in uniparental inheritance citing the possibility of Paternal mtDNA transmission. However the possibility of paternal transmission was proved to be unlikely and RAO still stood, so much so that paternal transmision is not even considered in contemporary mtDNA studies. OOA was corroborated by y-Chromosome and nuclear markers. The current incarnation of multiregionalism involves limited admixture, or introgression. Almost any genetic variant that is not found in Africa is a potential candidate for archaic admixture, so we expect to hear numerous claims that such an such a marker is indicative of admixture. Because of recombination, I believe dating nuclear markers is less certain. In any case, variants not found in Africa could be explained either as having arose after the OOA, or alternatively that there was already genetic differentiation in Africa prior to OOA, and that OOA migrants simply carried some of the diversity that wasn't present in other regions of Africa.

What has always been interesting are the motivations behind "multiregional" related theories. A number of them include

  1. Some scientists have invested their whole careers in proving multiregional evolution. They are not going to admit that a lifetime's work was wrong. This has happened before such as with the adherents of the earth centered universe.
  2. Ethnic pride and identity, I had previously posted a thread here. Since ethnic groups generally believe that they have always lived in the same region, genetic studies that say an ethnic group came from somewhere else are likely to cause confusion. It is the case with the official position of the Chinese government which supports an independent origin of the Chinese people and that they are descended from Peking Man and not from Africa, though genetic studies by Jin Li have contradicted this.
  3. Dissent. Some scientists may feel they are being swept by a tidal wave of OOA mania. Almost all theories start as minority position, sun centered galaxy evolution. So it is worth having some people challenge OOA
  4. If AMH replaced archaics, then it could have been by genocide. Though in Europe, it seems AMH and Neanderthal's range overlapped. Neanderthals are even thought to have acquired some technologies from AMH such as the Châtelperronian. However, according to Richard Klein, analysis of sediments in caves show an abrupt transition from Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic. Almost as in Neanderthals were in the cave one day, and Cro-Magnon's the next. The point is that the notion that humans committed genocide is somewhat disturbing. It would be much more noble if humans simply absorbed the Neanderthals.

I can sympathize with points 3 and 4, but it should be pointed out that none of these reasons are scientific reasons to suppport multiregionalism. Wapondaponda (talk) 09:24, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

my new attempt to write the OOA v MRH sectionEdit

In my new version I have combined my version and Muntuwandi's, removing redundant bits of course, and:-

  • I have removed my sentence which F&W thought looked too editorial.
  • I have removed Muntuwandi wording stating that all MRH theorists believe modern humans descend directly from homo erectus and became similar through convergent evolution.
  • I have removed Muntuwandi claims that mainstream theory is specific about ALL modern human genetic material having left Africa after 60kya.
  • I have removed Muntuwandi wording implying that MRH theorists still deny the importance of OOA dispersals totally.

Comments welcome. Sourcing discussion welcome, but separate. (Neither version was sourced.)--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:29, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

  1. Regarding convergent evolution, Carlton Coon is quoted as stating that "Homo Erectus evolved into Homo sapiens not once but five times" [2]. So I think we have a citation for that.
  2. Yes the mainstream theory is replacement with no admixture, the minority is replacement with minute admixture. In Out of Africa and the Evolution of Human Behavior, paleoanthropologist Richard Klein states, "As presently revealed, the Chinese fossil record is perhaps the biggest impediment to unqualified acceptance of Out of Africa, but it is actually not so much contradictory as it is poorly known." In other words, we are close to unqualified acceptance. Here are two recent papers from supporters of admixture.[3], [4]. Relethford is bullish on admixture, whereas Weaver is more realistic stating in the conclusion "Taken together, these lines of evidence support an Out-of-Africa model of modern human origins, although not necessarily complete replacement of nonmodern Eurasians."
  • As I have mentioned above, MRH has undergone evolution, depending on which incarnation that exists the statement that MRH deny the importance of OOA is sometimes correct. Wapondaponda (talk) 09:51, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
1. You obviously can not cite Carlton Coon who died in 1981 according to his Wiki article as a typical example of a certain group's position current debate. What is known now is completely different to what was known then.
2. More generally you have to keep in mind that the wording you had insisted on treated ALL opposition to the "recent OOA" mainstream as being a monolithic block of people who all take most extreme position. That is obviously nonsense as your own words now show. Why did you want to have wording in this article which disagrees with what you now admit is your understanding of the truth? Personally I think arguing with real people is better than obsessing about straw men of your own creation.
Can you please remark on any problems you see in my new wording?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:16, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

" The mainstream view, known as the recent African origin model, holds that all or most modern human genetic diversity around the world can be traced back to the first anatomically modern humans to leave Africa. This model is supported by multiple and independent lines of evidence, such as the fossil record and genetics.

Critics of this view are often bracketed together as holding a "multiregional hypothesis". Such critics argue that older non African genetic lineages may have survived in various parts of the world through inter-breeding with anatomically modern humans. According to strong versions of the multiregional model, which are increasingly unpopular, the various human populations around the world today will have surviving genetic material which goes back even as far as early hominids such as homo erectus. More commonly, admixture with much later archaic homo sapiens, such as Neanderthals is proposed. "

Popular opinions and consensi opinions in anthropology have frequently been wrong. The profession itself, until late, has been decidedly a-statistical. The fossil evidence for Out of Africa has problems, Early Archaics and the first moderns in Europe do not present a classical picture of how humans evolved. We see signs of modernicity in Africa, Australia (LM3 [Which, btw I have placed under Mungo Lake remains and redone the page with references]) and liujiang. Whether or not Huerto, Skhul V,Jebel Irhoud, the Osis, Romanian hominid and a scattering of what-not finds indicate that the path of evolution was either not simple, or that the us of homo sapiens sapiens (as on the page, and as popularly used) is not correct.

With key word on admixture is significance. Since the genetic evidence would find it difficult to rule out insignificent contribution, the argument that lies at the core of the debate is whether there was significant enough contribution that we would see a rapid change of traits. This has been the focus of MREH, they tend to focus on traits such as FoxP2 and other Selectable loci, and the problem is that they are so frequently intent on showing regional evolution that the almost completely ignore what is going on in core regions of Africa. THe concept here is that one interbreeding event could be significant if it passed genes by selective sweep, the problem is that selective sweeps that occur quickly carry alot of accesory DNA in haplotypes.PB666 yap 13:59, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Good point I think.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 14:59, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
It is such a relief to be able to debate this sensibly using sources! Thank you, and apologies for being blunt earlier. The comparison between the previous discourse with XC and this current debate is striking. Btw, Multiregional hypothesis is a mess. There's a shedload of sources I put together at User:Fences and windows/Multiregional. Fences&Windows 02:37, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Multiregionalist tried to poke holes in uniparental inheritance citing the possibility of Paternal mtDNA transmission. However the possibility of paternal transmission was proved to be unlikely and RAO still stood, so much so that paternal transmision is not even considered in contemporary mtDNA studies. OOA was corroborated by y-Chromosome and nuclear markers. The current incarnation of multiregionalism involves limited admixture, or introgression. Almost any genetic variant that is not found in Africa is a potential candidate for archaic admixture, so we expect to hear numerous claims that such an such a marker is indicative of admixture. Because of recombination, I believe dating nuclear markers is less certain. In any case, variants not found in Africa could be explained either as having arose after the OOA, or alternatively that there was already genetic differentiation in Africa prior to OOA, and that OOA migrants simply carried some of the diversity that wasn't present in other regions of Africa.

What has always been interesting are the motivations behind "multiregional" related theories. A number of them include

  1. Some scientists have invested their whole careers in proving multiregional evolution. They are not going to admit that a lifetime's work was wrong. This has happened before such as with the adherents of the earth centered universe.
  2. Ethnic pride and identity, I had previously posted a thread here. Since ethnic groups generally believe that they have always lived in the same region, genetic studies that say an ethnic group came from somewhere else are likely to cause confusion. It is the case with the official position of the Chinese government which supports an independent origin of the Chinese people and that they are descended from Peking Man and not from Africa, though genetic studies by Jin Li have contradicted this.
  3. Dissent. Some scientists may feel they are being swept by a tidal wave of OOA mania. Almost all theories start as minority position, sun centered galaxy evolution. So it is worth having some people challenge OOA
  4. If AMH replaced archaics, then it could have been by genocide. Though in Europe, it seems AMH and Neanderthal's range overlapped. Neanderthals are even thought to have acquired some technologies from AMH such as the Châtelperronian. However, according to Richard Klein, analysis of sediments in caves show an abrupt transition from Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic. Almost as in Neanderthals were in the cave one day, and Cro-Magnon's the next. The point is that the notion that humans committed genocide is somewhat disturbing. It would be much more noble if humans simply absorbed the Neanderthals.

I can sympathize with points 3 and 4, but it should be pointed out that none of these reasons are scientific reasons to suppport multiregionalism. Wapondaponda (talk) 09:24, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of being scientific, the strength of any particular argument has no specific connection to the intentions of a particular person presenting it. I also ignore people when they demand I should not agree with an ex sock puppeteering "Afrocentrist" (i.e. what you are accused of being). Arguments which try to win by irrelevant associations are "rhetorical" in the bad sense, and indeed in classical times the idea was that clever lads would learn these tricks in order to avoid being mislead by them, not to use them. Bad intentions can deceive you and make you make mistakes, and that is what is bad. So just avoid being silly and then you can often ignore bad (normally only half bad) intentions.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 20:09, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

On the issue of mtDNA, while I am still working on it please see Mitochondrial Eve page. The principle issue of time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) is Population size. The recent effective TMRCA limits the population size of females, see graph on that page, that population size is actually a maximum size constraint. Principally the problem concerns the dealing with selection as a consequence of adaptive evolution and apparent selection as a consequence of founder effects. There is argument, the dust has not settled, however progress over the last 2 years indicates where the population size inflection occurred, and therefore began to reduce the probability of fixation. We then need a model for population size growth, and then to model fixation under that growth to arrive at population size. I can almost guarantee you that within a decade they will be talking about female population sizes average of 2500 individuals effective. Population size and place of MRCA go hand in hand, very small populations sizes are regional, very big population sizes are global, it is hard to justify a population size of 2500 individuals over 4 continental regions (Australia as Sundraland). The allowance of paternal transmission of mtDNA would effectively reduce population by 50% since the male to female ratio currently argued is 1:2. The smaller the population size at the TMRCA, the smaller the geographic region that contained the majority of individuals.

You should note the rather stepwise progression new studies have made. First Tishkoff defines selection (whereas Ingman failed to note selection, IMHO a rather large oversight), then defines selection as lowest in Tanzania, then defines the level of branching in Tanzania as high but does not elaborate much into whether this is a core region. Bahir then defines admixture in the Khosians, identifies to two oldest branches and then claims that Khosian branched (splite the effectively interbreeding population, therefore there may be an inflection from lowest population size between 192kya and 140kya and an upward inflection after 140kya) in two. We still do not know what the effective sizes are but likely they will be more than the effective size before the split. Hey defines that 'mulitregional' studies may fail to obtain the correct assessment if increased sampling not done in certain areas of Africa, Chad and Tanzania. So the little arrows are pointing to subequitorial east Africa as the place of split. In fact the only lineage that does not show a notable pattern of selection is the protoL1->L5 lineage which is found in two tribes in Tanzania this discrepant pattern should only be evident around the core area in which humans emmerged, since the place would be interior to selection as a consequence of founder effects, and since there was no migration, at least one adaptive selective pressure is removed (effectively killing two current explanations for selection, the third is cultural change). However, no one is saying any of this at present in the literature, only the arguments are made and these differences are mentioned. By the phraseology Tishkoff is using discussing fervent admixture in North Admixture (and thus limiting the need for exoAfrican admixture via classic multiregional scenarios) she is setting up the arguments for future studies and results.

So to the point Muntuwandi - A philosophic consideration of what is NPOV and where it should stand. Why are these authors tip-toeing up to an inevitability (in the words of Takahata). What happened here is that Wilson caught physical anthropology with their 'pants down', and some authors like Klien and others were really pulling this OoA argument to extremes, humans evolved in Africa and only left 40,000 years ago. Thorne is probably the best example of 'screw your theory, it can't be true' thinking, and rightly so, LM3 was dated with carbon dating as many were aware there are major pitfalls in carbon dating of charcoal - Heated charcoal absorbes dissolved organic material (thats why its used in aquaria), and tiny amounts of contaminants will screws up dating, collagen dating is accurate, but amounts are not suitable for ages over 20,000 years. 2 studies found that LM3 could not be 30 kya, more likely between 40 and 80 kya, and it defined Klienistic logic. Paabo on the other hand, up until recent has supported Mostly OoA but continues to pull these really late dates that contrast achaeological finds. So the physical anthropologist retorted by doing their own molecular studies, many misguided by a poor understanding of ploidy, almost no consideration of population sampling criteria, and many focused on selectable sites. None the less, these studies on X-chromosome illustrated larger population sizes and thus greater TMRCAs. The problem with Klien and Wells is that Y-chromosome and mtDNA so starkly disagree, considering the big-bang of mtDNA, that Y chromosome could have been treated as a selective sweep, therefore unless you consider its molecular clock in error (i.e. throw it out) it could have randomly expanded from anywhere, and so it makes no difference if it is in Africa or Europe or whatever, it more or less expanded from a place where the density was higher. Therefore unless they fix the Y clock, its only the mtDNA and the relevant X-linked loci. Given the sampling issues Takahata basically suggest that all X-linked loci fall under the blanket of recent african origins (inevitable because either the loci will be further typed, or because these early studies will be replaced). And Shaffner has done the correct analysis of X-linked showing it fits broadly the pattern suggested by mtDNA on population size and origins. This does not rule out contribution from beyond the core region however, to do that we need really big studies covering large areas of Africa.

This is why the 'enlightened' authors on mtDNA are approaching the issue methodically and stepwise, because of the grand mistakes of extremes in the past Wolpoffian idealogy versus Klienistic idealogy in which non-pluralistic approaches eventually reached incorrect conclusions. I think NPOV compels us to keep the argument within the bounds of prudent use of science and data.

Shaffner is completely right, these pundits should really be focused on the neutral inter-hotspot regions of the X-chromosome that are not within selectable loci (such as genes). But these studies unfortunately are not progressing because there is alot interest of the evolution of Y chromosome, which has problems described above. Yes X is difficult to interpret, yes it requires more sampling and bigger study sizes, but it is comprised of Morgans of DNA, and RY region no-one examines so. . . . . Real scientist and publicist do not give a hoot about the official line of the Chinese government and most molecular anthropologist could not care what Wolpoff or Thorne believe, the critical issue is that critical physical anthropologist had some difficultly with the extreme arguments of OoA, that these authors had glossed over important finds (I come from a MolAntro perspective and I had alot of difficulty, both in what they were saying and the conclusion- e.g. that language appeared overnight and spread with the Y chromosome): -LM3, a burial custom like modern aboriginals, a gracile individual or 40 to 60kya. That is a long way from Africa, and cultural evidence in Australia suggest human occupation as early as 46 kya. -Liu Jiang dated between ~70 and 150 kya has cranial facial morphology with a 20kya speciment found in Ryukyu chain of 19kya which has morphological similarities to the first americans. -Almost completely ignored the fact that Levantine Early Moderns were present greater than 70kya and now apparently 125-135kya.

Many of these pundits either on TV or lectures to the media would completely ignore these finds and discuss migrations as if these finds did not exist (Wells is an example). In defense of Thorne he was beat down because he proposed and origin with Australia that his colleagues disputed (regional) and therefore they beat up his datings. Despite what they say, I still think the techniques they are use have variances depending on types of soils and latent heat in those soils and Thorne's dating may be more accurate. In fact all the techniques overlap in the 50-55 kya range. Had Thorne not dragged MREH into the equations there may be broader acceptance of increased dates for LM3. So that is the point here, to build consensus and avoid that which causes debate on what should be included.

What we don't want to do here is take the position of one of the firey-eye anthropologist battling out their point of view by pushing their most fragile data to the forefront. For NPOV to succeed one has to focus on robust data sets (such as Shaffners and Takahata, and physical anthropological equivilants). Also, from my point of veiw, while it seems highly unlikely that Neandertals contributed to humans in any significant way (based on the current data set), there is substantial uncertainty in the data set that allows a variety of theories of admixture if we take less concern about who and more concern about where, when and how much.

I can give an example: Suppose Tishkoff and Bahir's regions are essentially correct, then who was living in the rest of Africa, by morphology Morrocan, Early SQ-levant and Heurto-idaltu may be one species, but was this species limited to Africa or the levant (look for example at Romania), If neanderthals speciated 160kya, did they not intermix with Neandertals before this? And if they intermixed before this but after humans and Neanderthals split is this not Neanderthal DNA? Might there have been pre-waves out of Africa that explain early finds (India, SQ) etc, or might Narmada represent an extension of these Late African hominids. The gray zone between Neanderthals and SSA Humans and Eastern Asiatic Erectus is quite large and unexplored, molecular anthropology is not tooled to the point it can reject these admixing with humans. Tishkoff's little hint is something that should be taken with some levity. Or to state another way, despite a refining PMRCA in Africa, it is possible that wandering males from other groups intermixed into the core region, since the TMRCA for Y is much later than this it doesn't provide any evidence, ergo we must be looking at other genomic regions, like X-linked studies, HLA, etc. Nor will a specifically unique Neandertal genomes provide much information if no-evidence is seen, because genes could flow and dilute over distances and recombine into new variants as they diffused. IOW, NPOV should realize the current limitations of the data in drawing evidence and conclusions.PB666 yap 16:47, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Adding a definition to what is NeanderthalEdit

Should Neandertals be treated separately from human or other archaics. I have quoted from a section of Science magazine and will elaborate, however needless to say I have not seen but a few pieces of this Neandertal genome, I expect, given Paabos mia culpa on contamination that they are being striat-up on what they are saying, but precedence has shown me caveot emptor.

Science 13 February 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5916, pp. 866 - 871 DOI: 10.1126/science.323.5916.866 NEANDERTAL GENOMICS: Tales of a Prehistoric Human Genome Elizabeth Pennisi*

" Pääbo shared some of the DNA from these bones with Rubin[(Science, 17 November 2006, p. 1113)],

. . . . . But a few observers noted that the two groups, working from the same Neandertal bone, reported different results. "The first time we looked at the two data sets, it was quite clear to us that there were large discrepancies," Rubin recalls. For example, his group had concluded that there was no sign of modern human DNA infiltrating the Neandertal genome, whereas Pääbo's data at that time suggested that our ancestors had intermingled with Neandertals.""Eleven months later, Jeffrey Wall and Sung Kim of UC San Francisco sounded an alarm. They had reanalyzed both groups' data and recalculated the divergence date of the two species. Rubin's data suggested a final split at about 325,000 years ago, which roughly concurs with fossil evidence, but Pääbo's results gave a date of only 35,000 years ago. Wall and Kim also noticed that the sequenced fragments Pääbo's group reported were relatively long, as might be expected from modern rather than ancient DNA (http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2007/829/4)."

Since about 2000 to this point Paabo was a member of the mostly OoA camp. Although Paabo had written a paper, believed to be directed at Adcock's adventure on how to do ancient DNA correctly. I also detected errors in his mtDNA sequence of feldhofer 1 and the new genomic sequence lacks these two errors. I have been a critic of Paabo for many years, his methods and his analysis, etc.

"Pääbo was also finding problems with the early results. His team changed its opinion on interbreeding in May 2007 and eventually realized that 11% of their sample was modern human DNA, as they reported in the 8 August 2008 issue of Cell. "Contamination was indeed an issue," Pääbo says."

Not to mention the admittion in New York Times about the large assumptions they made in dating the FOXP2 gene. They had been doing research in an intellectual cloud for a time not really back checking the reality of what was going on in Archaeology. The first signs of neandertal homo heidlebergensis started about 350 kya, but now it appears they had reached Iberia ~600 to 700kya if not earlier. Again Paabo data was a major tenat in the argument of very recent African origins. They placed exit times from Africa at 52 kya and TMRCA as 150,000 years ago.

"So Pääbo and colleagues, including postdoc Richard "Ed" Green, who has spearheaded the Neandertal effort, continued to improve their procedures. They did more of the sample preparation in a clean room to minimize exposure to modern human DNA. They also began adding 4-base tags . . . ."

"One of the first results was a surprise: The indeterminate shards of bone turned out to be from two females. So this first genome carries no information on Neandertals'Y chromosome, although the group is now deciphering DNA from additional samples that may include a male."

"And with Pääbo, they found that the FOXP2 gene, which has been linked to language ability, is the same in modern humans and in Neandertals (Science, 26 October 2007, p. 546.) Subsequent work suggested that the FOXP2 finding might be due to contamination, but the new genome indicates that the Croatian Neandertals had the same modern human FOXP2 variant, bolstering the notion that Neandertals may have had some linguistic facility."

Again, why we should take a cautious approach with literature that is not substantiated by multiple authors.

"Did they or didn't they? Everyone is eager to learn more about the perennial question of whether Neandertals and modern humans interbred. So far, early analysis of the complete nuclear genome shows no sign of admixture, says Pääbo. Working with David Reich of Harvard University and Jim Mullikin from the National Human Genome Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland, the team has compared about one-third of the Neandertal data with sequence from an African and from a European. If Neandertals and ancient Europeans had mixed genes, their genomes should resemble each other more than African and Neandertal genomes do. Thus far, the team has found no contributions by Neandertals to modern humans. "

The primary issue is that with single or double pass sequences, posthumous artifact will look like a species defining variant. One can only really draw conclusions over areas that have been hit 3 or more times so that these artifacts can be detected and masked.

This is where the Neandertal versus human admixture argument stands at the moment. Whatever other evidence people think they have, I would argue that we need to be very careful because what appears to be a regional TMRCA could be the result of FOXP2-like sequence conservation. Also this genomic information with the new techniques is not published and the sequences as to yet are not on-line.

Bottom Line: I have to reiterate the point, its all about technique, and the robustness of the data gathering and interpretation techniques. As we can see above both have presented failure in which a person trying to earnestly interpret his own data comes to one conclusion and then switches conclusion, I think for Paabo this is the 2nd switch. NPOV should reflect the interrogative nature of sceince in review of methods and drawing conclusions based on review. The central concern is not to present something that will be a matter of hot debate when the next better publication comes out. The core of what is presented as evidence should represent the most solid science (which at this point would be what defined humans and what are the possibilities concerning morphologies that are spread widely) followed by ideas that lean more to a strict interpretation and why, and those that lean toward a mostly OoA and why. For the sake of fairness in the argument we should treat Neandertals separately from other Archaic homo sapiens, this allows us to separate that theory which is on the edge of being disproven (that humans and Neandertals interbred) while leaving open other possibilities.PB666 yap

Comment Disclaimers: I read through the first section on this issue, but only skimmed this more recent section. I believe in the multiregional hypothesis, though not in Polygenism, which is what Mutuwandi's description actually describes. I also have cupped incisors, a small occipital bun, and lingual tuberosities on my canines, which are archaic human traits not found in the east African fossils of anatomically modern humans from the African early modern human population thought to be the founder population by "out of Africa" proponents.

Let me summarize the views:

  • Polygenism: modern humans evolved only from archaic humans in their respective regions, with no interbreeding, since they are separate species. This view is no longer scientifically tenable, since it's demonstrable that all modern human populations are interfertile; however, it a popular view in the 19th century. I don't think it needs to be mentioned in the article, but I think it needs to be kept in mind to understand the other two views.
  • Recent African replacement: Homo sapiens evolved in east Africa within the past 200,000 or so years, and spread to become the only human species in the world. Since it was a different species from all the archaic forms, such as Homo neanderthalensis, it replaced those species without interbreeding. This is the scientific theory that is often described as "out of Africa" by the press.
  • Multiregional evolution: All archaic and modern human forms are subpopulations of a single species, including - note the different nomenclature - Homo sapiens sapiens, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens erectus. According to this theory, there should be both regional genetic continuity and lateral interregional genetic transfers. The mitochondrial Eve data is an example of lateral gene transfer. By this theory, we still probably came out of Africa, but around 2,000,000 years ago rather than 200,000.

The fundamental difference between recent African replacement and multiregional evolution is whether anatomically modern humans are a new species. If they are, then the recent "out of Africa" exodus should not have interbred with preexisting archaic humans when they left Africa any more than they would have interbred with orangutans when they reached southeast Asia - in other words, the interbreeding should have been so small that no signal should be visible in the genetic record. That may seem extreme, but it's to be kept in mind that that's exactly what the mitochondrial DNA show. According to multiregional evolution, there should have been a substantial amount of interbreeding - autosomal DNA should look different from mitochondrial DNA, with identifiable haplogroups traceable to archaic humans. The 1-4% excess neanderthal contribution to nonafricans is actually strong evidence for the multiregional hypothesis, given the very low neanderthal population density compared to tropical African humans - it's comparable to what one would expect from perfect mixing - and the recent denisovan find is even stronger evidence, since it shows a lateral gene transfer that does not involve Africa as either a source or a sink.

At any rate, I'm going to make a few small edits to the section that I think will better represent multiregional evolution, but you might want to keep the above in mind if you want to further improve the section. Note that I'm not convinced that this page even needs to worry about either theory. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Warren Dew (talkcontribs) 07:41, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

FocusEdit

Since this article is entitled "Anatomically modern humans" the focus of this article should be anatomy. The idea is if someone were to encounter fossilized bones of some hominid creature, how could they go about identifying the species to which those bones belonged. The content in this article should enable someone to positively identify modern humans or rule out modern humans.Though human anatomy varies significantly, the content should reflect the common anatomical features found in all contemporary human populations whether they are African , Asian, Australian, European or Native American. How modernity was achieved is secondary to identification of modernity. It would only become very relevant if hominid fossils were found that were showed clear evidence of interbreeding between moderns and Archaics, of which such evidence has yet to be found. Another issue is that references to classical multiregionalism propounded by Carleton Coon have been deleted. However when it comes to the question of anatomical modernity, the two contemporary theories, "strictly out of Africa" and "mostly out of Africa" don't really differ. Both theories suggest that Anatomical modernity arose in Africa. Mostly out of Africa suggests that modern humans and archaics interbred, but interbreeding did not affect anatomical modernity since non-Africans are still "modern". In other words if the Neanderthals had significantly interbred with Europeans, then Europeans would still have wide pelvises and conical shaped chests like the Neanderthals, instead of narrow pelvises and cylindrical chests like other humans. So the distinction should be between strictly out of Africa and classical multiregionalism.Wapondaponda (talk) 17:01, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Good logic, bad thinking. Anatomically Modern Human has no objective unit of quantitation, such as observed with molecular genetic instances. Lets look at two critical instances, LM3 and Liujiang and also Coobool creek. LM3, which is anatomically modern human was proclaimed by Thorne as to be evidence for regional admixture, simply due to his dating and the contemporary claims of when humans left Africa. Liujiang which has three possible dates (67kya, 114kya and 153kya) also was claimed to be an example of multiregionalism despite the fact the skull is considered anatomically modern, again based on dates. Coobool creek is at the margin of anatomically modern human or archaic origin, much younger in its date but argued this is evidence of Multiregionalism. Modern is a measurement of time, except that we have no idea when modern came into existence or precisely where based on morphology itself (BTW, the is a very common problem in paleoanthropology). Anatomically modernicity in Asia is approximate to that in Africa, therefore the argument of where anatomically modern came from is assummed to be africa based on genetics.
Australonegroid morphology spread throughout the world, mostly evident before the neolithic, after the neolithic there has been substantive replacement from agrarian areas to non-agrarian areas.
It is assumed that australonegroid morphology originated in Africa, however from the period before humans left Africa, there is very little evidence of australonegroid morphology in Africa, there is substantive evidence for Archaic Homo sapiens in Africa (Jebel erhoud, Huerto, bodo, kabwe 1) even klaisis river shows evidence of primative traits less rare in humans.
Population size matters, and the construct of population size suggests that at 2500 to 10,000 effective individuals prior to expansion out of Africa, and the rate of postumous preservation in equitorial Africa, that human fossils are not evident or scientist are not actively search where AMH originated.
IOW most of the current argument on modernicity in morphology stems from molecular genetics as a surrogate for anatomical concerns.
Humans need not assume any given character of admixture with other morphotypes once admixture occurs selection and drift occur, and in particular, the lessor contributor (we can assume beyond all reasonable doubt that if exists would be Neanderthal) traits can easily be lost, and may actually merge into probabilities for convergent evolution. Therefore that argument has no ground, regional differences could be the result of admixture, convergent evolution or novel evolution. The only way, morphologically, we can sort the difference is to have a good fossil/time record and a vast array of traits under condsideration. Trinkhaus argues this did occur between Archaics and Humans, however we have no convincing evidence in the molecular genetic record. The molecular genetic record has generally proved itself correct, indicating the futility of relying too heavy on the morphological record.
Let me reiterate the point, as one moves away from core arrays of sub-Saharan Africa, the potential (i.e. the allowable probability or allowable numbers of admixture) drop, by the time one reaches Somalia that probability is already low, as one approaches India the probability is tiny. In evolution however astronomically low probabilities have to be measured against geological time, and random mutation rates rapid enough that over 10,000 or 100,000 years the impossible migrates to the possible, and the probable migrates to certainty. Here is the cruxed of the argument, there is no barrier between humans mating with other species, notably hominids, however no cross progeny are observed between humans and a closely related species. This implies that a formal barrier between species formed. There is a probability however, that has humans migrated from core species areas into areas habitated by other species that the formal barriers (molecular) dropped (mutated, recombined, whatever) allowing chance mating events to occur that were productive. Along geological time frames we cannot assume that the barrier was infinite. Our ability to detect makes certain assumptions about population size, drift, and selectability. The ability for humans to cross that barrier may depend precise issues of speciation and complex selection patterns among humans and regional hominids.
This issue of Anatomically modern is not either simple or strait-forward, it combines data and logics from several fields, depending on the weight given to any one authority tilts one direction or the other.PB666 yap 18:33, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Homo sapiens articlesEdit

the article homo sapiens redirects to humans. Homo sapiens sapiens redirects to Anatomically modern humans. There is also a disambiguation page Homo sapiens (disambiguation). Somehow there may be a need to untangle these articles. Should homo sapiens redirect to human, or should it have its own article. Since homo sapiens is more of a biological phenomenom and human is a socialogical, philosphical and political one as well. Any ideas?. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:01, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Unless someone is proposing to write such an article is the best implied solution to make homo sapiens redirect to the disambiguation page? This leaves it up to a reader to decide what aspect they are most interested.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:39, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
The terminology Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neandertalensis, unfortunately, are still used in the literature. Ian Tattarsal goes after this in the recent issue 'Out of Africa' in PNAS. To this point archaic homo sapiens is more or less derived homo ergastor which have not been classified, according to Rightmire (same issue of PNAS) these can be classified into homo rhodesiensis or hiedelbergensis, and in addition the North African/Levantine may also be grouped together. Should we create pages based on material that will dissolve - That page would mearly be an explanation of literary precedences and why, for example how homo sapiens sapiens was used before 2009 because we did not know several things or because argument from ignorance was a common phenomena. The wording of the page would have to be very delicate as to not drawn conclusions that are not substantial.
In addition, we can guess at the fate of North African hominids c.200,000 years ago, but we are not certain their lineages went extinct in the strict sense.PB666 yap 23:03, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
In modern science, there is no black and white line between species. They merge into each other and are not fixed. If you want to consider another tricky one, what about the oft mentioned homo sapiens idaltu? The way it is described it appears to be homo sapiens sapiens, or not? The key to keeping sane is to remember that chrono species merge into each other and are NOT clearly distinct.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 08:22, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Not quite, the theory of punctuated equilibrium states otherwise. Wapondaponda (talk) 10:39, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
No I do not believe it does. It could perhaps be argued that there are SOMETIMES RELATIVELY clear species breaks, but I would say that such an argument would be either irrelevant to the point I am making above, or else wrong.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 11:28, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
In many instances finds are presented in a certain context, such as being an intermediate between X and Y until other finds are uncovered. Homo [sapiens] idaltu is clearly more modern than archaics, but the problem is that it shares many traits with other archaic hominids of the period and later. Homo idaltu could go any direction, it could be an offshoot of early moderns or it could be something else. I avoid making the mistake of drawing conclusions based on single studies or the conclusions of those studies, instead it is better to wait until many critical investigators have had a chance to review the information. In addition Idaltu came from Gona Ethiopia, which is just a hop and skip from Arabia, if humans expanded from Gona then human presence would be much earlier in S. Arabia and Levant. Whereas the genetics show a link between the click speaking peoples of S. and S.E. Africa as the most probable region of expansion (excluding extrapolative theories into Angola). We have pretty good genetic information about Ethiopia, which restricts theories bulging into this region, we have not so good information on Angola and the Congo, which is tolerant of bulges into that region. Skeletal morphology has been haphazardly applied to species boundaries, this has been revealed by the molecular genetics, and when molecular genetic theories are put forth morphologist suddenly detect the signals that align morphology to molecular genetics, and there is very little statistics in a sample size of 1.

I would strongly suggest here, with regard to the topic at hand, that everyone read the literature of AMH morphology from 5 years and before and compare it with the literature published in the last 5 years, including literature published just recently. In doing this you will see there is some dependency of morphological criteria on molecular genetics. I would point out we have no molecular genetic understanding of Levantine Neandertals or any Archaic (other than the specific Neandertal). Consequently theories are somewhat still open to multiple interpretations. Molecular anthropology needs morphological anchors, and morphological studies are somewhat dependent on molecular genetics to determine what is a trait suite, what is convergent evolution and what is descent by common ancestry.

What is a speciesEdit

The ideal of a biological species has been defined several times. I need to point out however there are different logical constructs depending on the data one has.

  1. Species are frequently referred to as populations, represents interbreeding and potentially interbreeding individuals in real time (extant).
  2. Species are frequently tentatively identified based on morphology or use (Canis lupus, canis latrans, canis familiaris) An excellent example of complicity is that the Australian dingo could be classified as Canis lupus familiaris dingo given its proposed ancestry, but has been traditionally referred to as Canis dingo. The taxonomy browser refers to it as Canis lupus dingo.
  3. Formally defined by genetic or physiological barriers (such as exist between horses and donkeys), IOW they can intebreed, but they cannot produce viable cross progeny, which cannot be overcome outside of a laboratory. In some case outside of molecular cloning technology, two populations cannot exchange information.

Within the last context we have leaky barriers. For example [Tigon|male Tigons] are sterile, but ligers have produced offspring; for ligers there appear to be a host of health problems that would shorten their lives.

In the backdrop of having no evidence of the fate of hybrids in humans past we do not know the rules. The aspect of gray zones in species boundaries comes from the prospect however that over time species boundaries (such as a geographic restriction may fail) allowing inter-fertility between two isolated sub-populations (an example would be the Bantu expansion into southern Africa and the mixing of mtDNA from L0d and L0k with other L1 and L0 lineages, Behar 2009). Another example is the spread on Ethnic sub-Saharan Africans into Native American populations (N. S.America, Honduras, Louisiana). If any of these can occur then a formal barrier is not warranted. The future prospect between extant and extinct species however has been terminated by their extinction.

Neandertal Human IssueEdit

The case for Neanderthals-Human barrier.

  1. Neanderthals are now extinct, therefore tests for inter-fertility or future hybridization are not possible.
  2. Humans and Neanderthals coexisted over the range of geographic barriers from Siberia to Iberia within the last glacial period up to < 26kya in Iberia, the initial contact between humans and Neanderthals began about 40kya and therefore they overlapped at least 14,000 years.
  3. Human males tend not to have a problem exchanging gametes with other females from disperse populations when given a chance.
  4. This would indicate we should see Neanderthal mtDNA within the European population, of course local population drops, such as might have occurred during the LGM in Iberia might have cause the loss. OTOH it appears currently that several mtDNA lines survived the LGM in Iberia. Along with HLA, and other genetic markers.
  5. Therefore if Humans and Neanderthals mixed we expect to see a stronger signal of relationship in two areas which show strong West Atlantic relationships, Ireland and N. Iberia.
  6. Paabo and Hublin have basically stated this is not the case. There is no evidence. If we assume that the population of Neanderthals and Humans in the region for the 14,000 (500+ generations) year period and that the populations of either was 3000 individuals then it approximates fertile hybrids were formed at a frequency of less than [single selection probability genomic detection limit]/1,000,000 limit matings or there was an infertility barrier. I would posit that it was an infertility barrier.

I have not seen their data from which they are making these claims, however they claim they have 60% of the N genome sequenced, some areas as many as 6 times. With these high hit areas, provided they have done adequate chimpanzee on gorilla sequence for the same areas they should be able to determine sites derived in human and not in Neanderthal (the reverse derived in Neanderthal but not in human can be the result of sequencing errors). They should have sufficient enough information to place the low limit. They have sequenced however one Croatian which shows very close genetic relationship with most other European Neandertals. It does not rule out gene flow into Neandertals within Central Asia, however it appears to rule out gene flow from Neandertals into humans. We would have to know what they are using as their basis (HapMap for example) 7. If we are calling 'white' as intermixing and 'black' as a formal divide, then in terms of grey zones, the color is very close to, if not, 'black'.

Alternative hypothesis. 1. Hublin and Paabo show that inter-fertility may have continued to about 350ky. Morphological evidence in the form of Petralona appears to support gene flow from Africa after the establishment of the Sima de los Huecos population 600 kya (85% percent of what defines about Homo heidelbergensis comes from this cave system) the earliest find at Atapuerca cave system (in which SdlH is a part) is from 800 kya but its' origin (Africa versus Asia) is disputed. (Again I have not had a chance to see their data or go over it) 2. North Africa populations appear most similar to Bodo and Kabwe 1, which means it is either a 3rd species (formal) or an intermediate between Homo sapiens and Neandertals, such an intermediate cannot be excluded by their data if the rate of gene flow between region ends is less that 3000 miles per 350,000 years. This would match the arctic sea bird scenario where species in adjacent ranges can intermix but not species across the range. If the rate of admixture was low (~1/1000 matings at the boundaries) but not rare.

I think the evidence is unequivocal, either N/H boundary is formal in every sense, or that these two populations were biological species in most senses that science accepts as species. I refer everyone to this months Special Edition on Human origins in PNAS. There are contributions from both OoA supporters and those who have been against OoA, and I think the tide in the last year has changed in the direction of strictly OoA.

I lieu of the fact that I have not had a chance to go over sequence information presented by Paabo and company, that the matter is open as a consequence of the potential for error, which several groups claim the previous mostly-OoA claim was an error, but now corrected. There has to be a little caveot emptor.

Neanderthal's were physically more powerful than AMH. Neanderthal men could have easily overpowered AMH and stolen their women and mated with them. So the presence of Neanderthal Y-DNA is also a possibility. Wapondaponda (talk) 17:59, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
I'm all for imaginative fiction but this is not the place to exercise such talents. You are making up a story that may or may not be true.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 22:09, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
There is nothing that can be interpreted from the TMRCA of Y chromosome, it expanded after the fact from the same place that mtDNA appear to have first split. So either it randomly re-expanded from S.Africa (and if could have come from anywhere) or the molecular clocking is way off. I have focused on what we know about mtDNA and X-linked, I will leave it up to for future gene-jockey's to clear up what is going on with Y chromosome. Lets say that the TMRCA for Y is 50 kya, and humans and Neanderthals last made contact 30 kya, Y could have subsequently spread into Europe after this period and replaced all previous Y, human or Neanderthal without discrimination. If there was a species barrier between the two (And I would say the likelihood was very high) then we simply do not know what it is, and moreover we do not know the attraction/mating biology or rituals of the Neanderthal, they may have had neither estrus or menstruation, and the cues of human males to neanderthal females and vice versa may have been repulsive, not attractive. In a sense speculation on this is worthless because we have no clues in any direction.PB666 yap 05:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I just wanted to point out that interbreeding doesn't only mean AMH men and Neanderthal Women, it could also mean Neanderthal men and AMH women. Neanderthals had robust skeletons on which large muscles were attached. So it is interesting question as to why the physically stronger species went extinct. Though the two species have a distinct morphology, the morphologies were still similar enough that some individuals from each species would have found each other attractive. Given the diversity of human fetishes, there isn't much doubt that mating was attempted over the 20,000 years that the range of the two species overlapped. Given the fairly recent divergence between the two species, conception would have been a possibility, however complications could have resulted in frequent miscarriage. This is the hypothesis by
Shlain (2004). Sex, time, and power: how women's sexuality shaped human evolution. ISBN 0142004677.
The hypothesis suggests homo sapiens went through a major bottleneck prior to speciation that would have significantly altered gene frequencies from ancestral archaic populations. Homo Sapiens have tiny pelvis that causes major complications at birth, solving that problem 200kya was a major event in human history. Neanderthals also appear to have underwent a severe bottleneck as they endured several ice-ages. These two events could have accelerated the divergence between the two species leading to a fertility barrier. Wapondaponda (talk) 07:16, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't know that any of that is true. Neandertals, and many late Archaics had equally massive brain cases. The brain cases of robust individuals at birth is thicker and less plyable that those of gracile individuals. In the case of Skhul V and some Neandertals you are dealing with infants who had larger brains, more robust skulls,etc. The other thing, AMH-Homo sapiens may have by and large entered a speciation event in within SSA that excluded the parent species and other species in Africa, these things we do not yet know.PB666 yap 21:42, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
I have a basic question Muntuwandi, since you brought this up, why are we not discussing Tattarsal's and, in particular, Rightmire's recent additions to PNAS. These seem most germane, Rightmire goes through a process of trying to distinguish three morphotypes in Africa, The rhodesiensis morphotype, the AMH morphotype and the intermediate morphotype (Jebel Irhoud, Skhul V).
RIghtmires demes
  • paleo deme 1 "bodo"
Elandsfontein, SA .6+Mya Achuelean tools, features - bossed parietals, less erectus like occipital
Bodo, MA Eth. .6 Mya Achuelean tools, erectus-like massive face larger brained
Kabwe 1, Zambia ? Mya type specimen Homo rhodesiensis (Broken hill 1 1921 'African Neandertal') now considered african heidelbergensis. Forward set face, heavy brow, nasal borders like moderns, as with palatal architecture.
Lake Eyasi Tanz. Low profile brain case.
Ndutu, Tanz. 0.4 kya Originally described as homo erectus, has a number of more modern features such as reduced brow, convex braincase sidewalls.
Zuttiyeh C. Israel .3 kya Achuelaean tools. Archaic Homo sapiens.
Omo-2 MA Eth. 195 kya Primative architecture for the period, possibly high sexual dimorphism.
This robust and primative group extended from ~1MYA to 200 kya and is represented from South Africa to the Levant, which probably also includes Petralona and may include Ceprano and Gran Dolimo and early SH hominids and Swanscombe. IOW spread over almost the entirity of Africa and parts of S. Europe. I should iterate a point if we are talking about a single species Africa, then between .3 to .2Mya the rhodesiensis architecture should have dissolved into something far more AMH, otherwise we are talking about punctuated evolution or multispecies africa. As we see below Hr (Hh) is dissolving but at two different rates. I should also note, that one persons female is another persons sub-population Ndutu is not considered by some to be part of the Hr population, and some of these could represent persistent Homo ergaster in certain regions. Again more finds will clarify this. Tanzania however looks like the center of this groups evolution (Typhonomical problems aside)
  • paleo deme 2 "Florisbad cave"
Early examples:
Florisbad SA, probably the earliest example 260 kya is intermediate between deme 1 and deme 2
LH18 Laetoli Tanzania, 270 kya
Ileret, Kenya
KNM-ER3884, 270 kya, occipital morphology resembles later humans.
Omo 1 195 kya
Jebel Irhoud, Morocco 160 kya
Rightmire intentionally limits this group (for the sake of the table below), this group appears about the same time that Paabo and Hublin suggest gene flow between proto-Africans and -Neanderthals stopped. So that it looks as if there was a rapid spread of a morphology, but a more ancient morphology persists. "comparisons are necessarily limited, but Herto (160 kya), Singa(130 kya), and ADU-VP-/1/3 seem of difference from Florisbad and are treated as a separate group." In specific answer as to where does Herto sort, don't always believe what you first read.

So from here we have the expert opinion on anatomical modern origins: His table #1 presents traits and I have sorted them into groups (since every member matches himself I eliminate self matches and look for cross matches only) according (these traits discriminate human from bodo, note it is natural there are no matches between bodo and human) to the scalar similarity of some traits. I should point out that meshing S/Q together and separately should have been done in an effort to not bias his approach. Klaisis river was not represented. Human:

Hofmeyr. . . . 5
Skhul/Qafhez . 2 (S/Q)
Florisbad . . .2
Herto . . . . 1
Dar es Sultan 1 (DES)
Bodo . . . . 0

Hofmeyr *Abbreviated comparisons (36,000 to 40,000)

S/Q. . . . . . 1
Herto. . . . . 2
Florisbad. . . 1
Bodo . . . . . 1

Skhul/Qafzeh (60 to 135 kya)

Herto. . . . . 5
Florisbad. . . 4
DES. . . . . . 1
Bodo.. . . . . 1

Herto (80ky to 160 kya)

Florisbad . . 3
Bodo . . . . . 2
DES. . . . . . 1

Dar es Sultane *Abbreviated comparisons

Florisbad . . .2
Bodo . . . . . 1

Florisbad:

Bodo . . . . . 3

To answer one question during the period of 130-160 kya the group Herto hominids are in Ethiopia, the TMRCA for humans with a population size of <5000 are in Tanzania and split to the south at 145 kya. As Herto is not a good match for AMH (Herto best matches best the group S/Q and Florisbad), which is spread at 160 kya from Morocco, to the Levant to potentially Herto. It makes more sense that Herto is part of this non-AMH descendants of the Florisbad group. The potential for admixture is evident in the list above but not necessarily a reality, The Hoffmeyr/Nazlet group are the best match for AMH and recent date follows expansion times out of Africa. The oldest Skhul are most similar to the Florisbad group (other studies) and considerably older than Qafzeh that appear to be AMH <=93kya. It is interesting that Herto morphology disappears as AMH morphology expands and humans expand out of Africa in both directions. If this scenario is wrong, then humans are effectively in Morocco 160kya, in Levant 135kya and in Ethiopia 160kya indicating that the expansion began before 160kya in Africa and that means major problems for the Y-chromosomal TMRCA. Even if we argue that these could have collapsed into East Africa 150 to 145 kya, we still have Shkul V (at 135) that shows relationships with the older group.

Of course there are contradictions, but these can be explained by a simple evolutionary conclusion, that variable traits appeared and were spread variably across gradients and mosaics in Africa over 700,000 years. The first occurrences of which are never evident to science. But as for AMH these traits gelled together in specific areas of Africa with moderns having gone through some for of constriction had a tighter assortment of traits evident in the molecular genetics. However there is room for inter-specific gene-flow as might be the case with Hofmeyr sample, or Qafzeh samples. When considering this one has to remember that Qafzeh, LiuJiang, and LM3s ancestors have already expanded from Africa by the time these late African examples are presented with a suite of primative traits (so how is it that the exodus captures AMH, but AMH is still evolving in Africa, or is this something else). Either there is gene flow from humans into late archaics as they are about to be excluded, or in some areas the two populations are meshing together, or, as humans underwent speciation, there was actually a radiation of the florisbad group.

That the comparison of these groups essentially sub-classifies Non-AMH morphology in a spectra between homo sapiens and homo rhodesiensis what does define AMH morphology? If you read Tattarsal, that Herto, while slightly out of place represents the upper geographic range and a scattering of fossils in South Africa at the lower range between (around 130 to 200 kya) all the features of AMH are present but just not in one individual. Rightmire provides his own sets of parameters (table 1).

We can interpret this data two ways, there was an accretion event in which these traits gathered into human beings and at a point in time we effectively became a species. Or alternatively these are a representative sampling of the gene flux across Africa, in which a morphologically transparent (to science) hominid, protohomo sapiens, captured a subset of these traits as it speciated and later appearred as it migrated and expanded (population size between 3000 and 8800 effective individuals, may not have been evident in sites currently investigated). How far back does this hominid species go? I will say this, the suites of AMH traits may not be as important as the mechanism of speciation, these traits that were abundant may have been along for the ride. This story obviously isn't over.

I suggest that if you guys want to add new information to the page you draw from Rightmire and Tattasal as these are trying to corroborate what we know about the molecular genetics. There is a long list of features that Tattarsal mentions that are components of AMH:

  1. Horizontally shortened vertically tall braincase
  2. beneath the front is small -Note that the image on the main page has a midface that protrudes. Either point out the differences on the image or replace the image.
  3. delicately built face (not massive)
  4. the orbits are surmounted by individually bipartite supraciliary ridges . .-Note the image of Skhul V is that of an individual with a substantial Torus, the mean thickness of the human torus is 0.
  5. the chin is formed from an inverted T protrusion from the mandible.-Note that the image on the main page does not have the inverted T chin. Either point out the differences on the image or replace the image.
  6. post cranial morphology is gracile, but can range to the modest robusticity)

IOW Muntawandi read Tattarsal and Rightmire and, as this story obviously is not over, use editor's discretion in stepping through claims of certainty that still are largely unproven. PB666 yap 05:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Exceptional scenariosEdit

Trinkhaus has published a number of articles trying to explain Early Moderns which are distinquished from Anatomically modern humans (Late Moderns). These articles are worth reading keeping in mind that Trinkhaus is a strong advocate of admixture between Anatomically modern humans and Neandertral or other regional propulations. With the Paabo Hublin data we can essentially rule out The human/Neandertal admixture as a viable hypothesis. Rightmire makes the case the N.African/Skhul V hominids exists in their own right, and need not admixture for an explanation.

The basic central problem is definition of what is African, what is sub-saharan Africa, what is the specifically human population, human sub-populations and generic sub-subpopulations. The genetic studies in Africa are highly fractured, and there are huge gaps in the data, even with regard to the Y-chromosome there are probably several sites (SNPs) within the deep branches that have not been detected and provide further resolution. Within the mtDNA the western Half of South Central Africa is essentially untyped. Within the genomic studies, other than HLA, most of Africa goes unrepresented and even with HLA many area have not been adequately typed.

Typing of Africans, if HLA is a lesson, is difficult, unlike SSP-PCR which can be used in Europe, within Africa most studies require gene sequencing because new alleles are quite abundant. Within the global Subsaharan theater of human origins, the core domain which appears according to Tishkoff and the Y studies is not clearly defined, and variation that comes from outside the core regions (that could be a consequence of major subpopulations - i.e. what we might call species) is not also defined. Consequently there is a rather large gray zone that exists about South Central Africa which cannot currently be resolved in either direction. In addition we have no sequence information from N. African Archaics or Levantine Neandertals, although some have proposed there was gene flow between N.Afr and the Levant along the corridor.

An example of this PDHA1 showed two non-recombinant lineages that TMRCA back to between 1.6 and 2.2 mya (depending on the C/H LCA). One major branch is found in Eurasians (almost exclusively) while the other major branch is found in Africa. However the root (the sequence most similar) to the sequence of the most recent common ancestor, are found in the Baka (CAR). This may indicate a site in which the North African hominids admixed into and expanding human population. The problem is that they have not yet sequenced PDHA1 gene close to where they believe diversity in humans first began to oblongate and where freely interbreeding appears to have assumed a barrier, that would be between Tanzania and South Africa (inclusive of both). In fact most studies to date that have 'problems' with sampling Africa not been subsequently clearer up (X-linked for example). It is a theoretical limbo land.

I should point out that clarity on this issue appears when people begin to provide a statistic, for example gene contribution that includes multiple loci of different ploidy in which contribution < X% from outside a given region, we are not seeing that for SSA or subregions of SSA, for the most part most studies are inclusive of most of Africa as a source of nuclear genes. Likewise we have no evidence from the morphological perspective how far Non-SSA African hominids (125 ky < t < 350ky) spread prior to human exodus from Africa. PB666 yap 16:49, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

With regard to what Andrew stated, concerning the gray zone of speciation, it needs to be pointed out that for most mammals of human size this gray zone exists for millions of years (5 to 20). For most mammalian species this appears to be correct, the formalization of species boundary takes a long time and toward the end only more closely related members from two subpopulation can intermix (where closeness is measured at specific SNPs, insertions or deletions, or specific morphological features). The number and causes of speciation in late hominids is unknown, unfortunately using past precedences is a leading argument (i.e. a black swan theory) when the cause(s) are various or unknown.

Quite a few years ago I suggested the homo heidelbergensis not be included as a species because the variation of what was observed in Europe was greatest at the point they claimed the species formed. Max Planks folks indicates that this was a species and population size within Africa at its origin was ~3500 effective individuals. In addition it is now learned that human occupation extends from Gran Dolimo (0.8Ma) to Hérault Valley (southern France) dated around 1.57 Ma and thus these could be earlier migrations from Africa or Asia. Therefore the level of variation could be explain by a two species model.

In fact many authors (Tattarsal and Schwartz) argue for many species. Neanderthals and Humans could have formed after a long evolution from chimpanzees/Human in which this was the final phase of a 7 million year cycle, and that would not effectively change the precedence. More likely however the rate of speciation along hominid lineages sped up, even as evolution at the nucleotide level slowed down. There may be reasons for this, we should note the differences between menstruation and estrus may have created a disequilibrium spurt in the evolution of certain physiological differences. Other reason may be an evolutionary attempt to link cognition culture to genetics and consequent exclude groups with different levels of cognition, abstract thinking or language. Or both of these may have worked together to select for speciation barriers. We are actually clueless as to the reason, but mechanisms for an explanation in science frequently lag the need for explanation by decades (or centuries e.g. Gregor Mendel genetics with double helix nature of DNA, the Energy mechanics of mitochondria and the proton pump). Simply because we don't have a specific reason should we discount that something occurred, and simply because we make an observation does not mean that it falls into grouped observations about other events (such as punctuated equilibrium). Rightmire (PNAS 2009) argues that there has been specific accelerated evolution in humans, however he cannot posit when anatomically modernicity in the human context formed, has it been forming for 200ky or 600ky?PB666 yap 17:33, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Jebel Qafzeh/SKhul articlesEdit

Possible need to merge the two articles Jebel Qafzeh remains and Skhul remains, as they are often covered together. An interesting study,

The study concludes that skhul/Qafzeh are not proto-cro-magnons, but have affinities to early modern African and levantine samples. This supports the hypothesis that the OOA migrations did not take place earlier than the 50-70kya dates that are frequently proposed. That is the skhul or Qafzeh people either returned to Africa or went extinct.

In an unrelated study, an important article, Reconstructing Indian population history, relating to the settlement of India by AMH is sure to make waves. The model used involves admixture of two populations, a West Eurasian and and an indigenous South Asian population, led to the formation of the current Indian gene pool. Wapondaponda (talk) 07:04, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Issue with this page (why is this content here ?)Edit

I feel that this page should be integrated with the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_sapiens. <sp> May be an answer to a remark posted earlier in this discussion. Yes, please untangle these pages ! Despite what has been said, the links are not obvious ! In addition, as far as I am aware: homo sapiens sapiens seems to be an artificial distinction (I say this as a justification). Or said differently: I do not understand why this separate topic is introduced (out of context, no reference to Homo sapiens page). Well, I have looked up the page Cro-Magnon and landed here. It is very confusing to have pages about Cro-magnon and pages about Early Modern Human, homo sapiens, homo sapiens sapiens, ... One should use the official current term and list all data in that page.
for example, the page Cro-Magnon should just say that it is synonymous with EEMH and point to that page and have NO pictures, no facts about that "animal". All that materiel should be part of this page, in its own section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Renebach (talkcontribs) 20:06, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

I am trying to understand the facts and evolution of homo sapiens starting around 6-7 Mo years ago, using mostly Wikipedia, and it is rather confusing (so far). So I have decided to note the facts that are bothering me and communicating those facts.<sp> I would also like to build a summary facts sheet to help get an good overview. Renebach (talk) 12:21, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Confusing ImageEdit

  Done

The image depicting a comparison between the Neanderthal Skull and the Homo Sapiens Sapiens skull is a bit confusing. Neither the picture nor the caption explain which is the Neanderthal and which is the Homo sapiens sapiens. I think this could use a bit of clearing up, but I'm not exactly sure how to do this...-Rohan 24.6.16.156 (talk) 00:24, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I've reworked the caption, hope it's more clear now. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 09:50, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Update ?Edit

Please someone update the distribution image please, since well it changes every 100 years or so, if not mistaken. — 73.47.37.131 (talk) 15:18, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

Plural of H. sapiensEdit

I put into the lede of the article: "(Note that Homo sapiens is the singular form: the plural is homines sapientes and "one homo sapien" is an error.)" UtherSRG deleted it with the comment, "scientific names are always singular and never plural".

As a google search shows, many, many people with quite good educations make that mistake. Therefore I think it merits inclusion into this article. Other opinions? Martin Rundkvist (talk) 17:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

As far as I know, Uther is correct. There's a difference between a binomen that happens to be constructed with Latin and a regular Latin term or phrase. I've never seen a plural of a binomen in any scientific text I've ever read, peer-reviewed or otherwise. Abyssal (talk) 18:01, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Uther is right, scientific names are always singular and never plural. My point is that many potential users of this encyclopedia don't know that. The string "a homo sapien" -sapiens has 780 000 Google hits. I think we should help correct this misunderstanding. Martin Rundkvist (talk) 19:00, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
We do that by always using the correct form. Mentioning the incorrect form (re-)establishes that form in the readers mind, enforcing or creating the misusage, which is contrary to the desired outcome. It's not our job to correct the world, only to create a correct encyclopedia. - UtherSRG (talk) 19:13, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
In this case you probably won't teach anybody correct usage just by using the correct form, because to an English speaker a word ending in S looks like a plural. "H. sapiens did this and evolved that and H. sapiens spread to Australia and H. sapiens discovered fire." Lots of people will simply believe that this is all about the plural of "H. sapien". Martin Rundkvist (talk) 21:48, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm in favor of explicitly debunking myths like the singular "Homo sapien." Abyssal (talk) 00:25, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

There is a difference between official taxonomy and generic Latin. Many taxonomical names are mock-Latin and do not have any well-defined plural. But in the case of the venerable core of taxonomy, dating back to Linné, I am sure it is common enough to find the occasional plural. The plural of homo sapiens is, of course, homines sapientes. I find it rather surreal that it should occur to anyone to google for "sapien -sapiens". Homines sapientes is found with some frequency, even in anthropological publications[5] It is still true that it is uncommon to use plurals in taxonomical names (you say "members of H. sapiens rather than Homines sapientes) --dab (𒁳) 10:59, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

POV exampleEdit

 
Anatomical comparison of the skulls of anatomically modern humans (left) and Homo neanderthalensis (right).

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Tmfzego (talkcontribs) 10:48, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

"Anatomically modern humans evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in the Middle Paleolithic, about 200,000 years ago." but the description on photo is "Cranial features of Modern Man and Neanderthal compared". This example of POV: writing about archaic 200,000 years old Homo sapiens but picturing modern (contemporary) man. To remove POV compare equally old cranial features. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tmfzego (talkcontribs) 11:02, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I must be missing something. What is the POV? Is the picture not clearly described?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:23, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
"must be missing something."
Apparently contextual understanding.
"Is the picture not clearly described?"
Not. Tmfzego (talk) 05:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
You are the one tagging so please make an effort to explain your position. What is POV about comparing two skulls from different periods? Which point of view do you say this is pushing? And in fact why are you saying the anatomically modern skull is also literally modern? And what difference would that make anyway? What is your point please?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:32, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I modified the image caption in the article, but I have to agree. Per definition modern humans are AMH, so comparing a modern skull with a Neanderthal skull makes sense. Tmfzego: Are you saying that the AMH concept is POV? Or what is the difference be between us and an AMH? --Fama Clamosa (talk) 09:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It is not actually clear to me that the skull being compared to the Neanderthal in the picture is literally a modern skull, as opposed to an ancient "anatomically modern" one but even if it were, what would be the problem with that? Mainstream science, which we are only supposed to summarize, not criticize, treats modern humanity as a meaningful single category which includes all anatomically modern humans. That is what the article is about.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:12, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not clear to me either. Furthermore, looks like Tmfzego is interpreting "evolved from archaic Homo sapiens" as "AMH=archaic Homo sapiens". AMH are (yes, are, we are still around) not archaic Homo sapiens. Tmfzego calls this image "an example" of POV but is not giving any other examples. Maybe its time to remove the POV template and, perhaps, discuss the image caption instead. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 11:49, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Have done so. I do not want to push any POV, but until there is one better defined I think your efforts to avoid it by tweaking wording justify that.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:08, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

defEdit

New revelation by Agricolae present-day Homo s = modern Homo s (that's what modern means, in this context) . — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.90.197.87 (talk) 10:22, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Are you saying that present-day humans are not Homo sapiens sapiens? That present-day humans have anatomy that is not modern? I would love to see a reference that says that. Agricolae (talk) 00:09, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Modern human behaviorEdit

Just posted an "elucidate" tag on the explanation of the theory that the lack of a fossil record before 50tya could indicate the lack of behavioral modernity. Does anyone know the basis of that claim? Something to do with burial practices or something? i.e. Why does lack of fossil record indicate lack of modern behaviors? Caduon (talk) 07:40, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Maybe it was a typo. The sentence goes from "fossils" to "artifacts". Maybe both should be concerning artifacts.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:43, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Only the person who wrote it can say for certain, but I doubt it is a typo. My guess would be that with fossils being rare before 50k means that what we need to show that the behavior is an innovation, that AMHs arose first, and only later became Behaviorally Modern Humans, is a decent number of sites before the appearance of the behaviors - AMH bones before 50k without the artifacts. Without these you don't know if an existing population around since 200k adopted new behaviors at 50k, or if 50k marked the arrival of both the population, behaviors and all. Agricolae (talk) 23:12, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Sub-Saharan Africans do have a little bit of neanderthal allelesEdit

I'm not sure about the relevance, but I keep seeing it repeated that SS Africans have no neanderthal alleles (whether they're indeed of neanderthal origin or a common inheritance at different levels I don't know) and this sort of thing, when they apparently have some. Check this post on John Hawks' blog. --Extremophile (talk) 22:50, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:ENGVAREdit

Minor point, but the page was previously inconsistent. Per WP:ENGVAR and this edit, the usage of this page has been established as American English. Kindly maintain it consistently. — LlywelynII 08:42, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

You might like to review WP:HYPHEN in relation to adverbs. Johnuniq (talk) 09:32, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Redirection error.Edit

ALL WIKIPEDIA ARTICLES containing the text of "Archaic Homo sapiens" redirect to this article about MODERN humans (AMH) -- it appears that someone must've meant to give that redirect order: FROM Archaic_Homo_Sapiens TO the article for Archaic_humans -- TO the article about ARCHAIC, NOT MODERN humans. 72.48.252.105 (talk) 06:48, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

I have corrected the redirect. Dudley Miles (talk) 17:53, 8 October 2013 (UTC)

Scientific ClassificationEdit

I attempted to edit the scientific classification section of this page and have failed miserably. It seems there may be some sort of template being used, or something else that I couldn't figure out over the course of 30 minutes trying to make my first article edit.

It currently shows this:

Unrecognized taxon (fix): Euprimates
Family: Hominidae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: Homo
Species: H. sapiens
Subspecies: H. s. sapiens

Using the classic categories (classic 7 plus the sub species as 8) it should read as so:

Kingdom=Animalia
Phylum=Chordata
Class=Mammalia
Order=Primate
Family=Hominidae
Genus=Homo
Species=H. sapiens
Subspecies=H. s. sapiens

To be more detailed it could be:

Domain=Eukarya
Kingdom=Animalia
Phylum=Chordata
Subphylum=Vertebrata
Superclass=Gnathostomata
Class=Mammalia
Subclass=Theria
Infraclass=Eutheria
Order=Primate
Suborder=Haplorrhini
Infraorder=Simiiformes
Superfamily=Hominoidea
Family=Hominidae
Subfamily=Homininae
Tribe=Hominini
Subtribe = Hominina
Genus=Homo
Species=H. sapiens
Subspecies=H. s. sapiens

The existing categories are deficient to say the least. Including tribe but not kingdom doesn't make any sense. Including euprimates but not primates makes even less sense. I understand that it is possible to include way too many classification categories here for a wiki page, as you can see in the paleobiology classifications on this page: http://eol.org/pages/327955/names. Regardless of how detailed it ends up being, it should start with domain, or at least kingdom, and work down to subspecies without skipping any of the classic seven categories.

Inevelus (talk) 08:51, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Range mapEdit

What on earth is the range map trying to communicate? Humans don't live in the Arctic? Megalophias (talk) 19:25, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm from west-central Saskatchewan; the closest area to that is the Regina-Moosejaw area. Oh, that's right, I'm a Fratercula Artica that can do most things an "Anatomically modern human" can!--Jay M (talk) 05:11, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Title imageEdit

The photo at the top of the page with the caption "Anatomically modern humans from Western Asia" is rather absurd. Do they really need to be sitting on a mountain-side with geological formations reminiscent of the quintessential 'Cave Man' environs?? Of all the photos you could have possibly chosen, this one has to be the most idiotic. Are you somehow trying to make the point that Kurdish people are anatomically modern but not behaviourally modern? You couldn't find a photo with people, say, in a library, reading? Do they really have to be sitting in a cave setting, in a region -- the Zagros -- well known for discoveries of Neanderthal remains?

Likewise I really doubt that that family in the photo knows that their image is being used on Wikipedia, and consent to it. Somehow I really doubt it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.80.122.11 (talk) 05:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

Poor image of "modern" humansEdit

Is this photo of 2 poor Asian farmers meant to represent 7 billion people? The photo does nothing to show how advanced we are over previous homos. If we were to view this article from the POV of someone who had never encountered modern humans before, and they saw that photo, they'd think that we were an extremely primitive people. If you told me that photo was taken 5,000 years ago, I might believe it. I suggest finding another photo that shows us in our "modern" state a bit better.MisterZed (talk) 06:29, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

This is anatomically modern humans, not economically or technologically modern humans. The photo of Thai farmers is currently the best free photo depicting an adult male and female in their natural state. Editor abcdef (talk) 06:55, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but this same photo is also used in the "Human" article as well. Why couldn't a photo show all 3 of the above things you've mentioned, and not just 1 of them?MisterZed (talk) 11:13, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
You're using "modern" in a cultural sense. An uncontacted tribe in the Amazon is equally as modern as the population of New York City, by definition, because they live in the modern day. Saying industrial cultures are somehow more "advanced" than agricultural or hunter-gatherer cultures is culturally biased. In fact, most humans live in agricultural, not-fully-industrialized cultures, so this picture is actually more representative of how most modern humans live. Dinoguy2 (talk) 12:21, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Industrial isn't more advanced? So when our sun goes supernova (which it will) and humans are forced to evacuate the planet, which ones will make it out alive? The ones based on an industrial culture. The rest (those who aren't industrialized) will fry on the surface. I'd say that escaping destruction qualifies as being more advanced, wouldn't you? MisterZed (talk) 18:05, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
industrialized people are more "advanced" in technological terms, but they are no more anatomically modern than agricultural or even hunter-gatherer peoples. By the way the Sun most likely won't go supernova, as it's not massive enough. It will, however, become a red giant after 5 billion years. But this isn't relevant, primates only have existed for around 56 million years, I highly doubt humans will survive 5 billion years. Editor abcdef (talk) 00:00, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 26 June 2015Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 16:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)



Anatomically modern humansAnatomically modern humanWikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals), only the title should be changed, nothing else. For example human is a singular title, but the lead sentence uses "humans". This also applies to the article ape and its lead sentence usage of "apes". This should apply here. --Relisted. George Ho (talk) 21:30, 3 July 2015 (UTC) Editor abcdef (talk) 06:07, 26 June 2015 (UTC)


The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Shouldn't this be article be named Homo sapiens sapiens?Edit

The scientific term for anatomically modern would be the sole surviving subspecies of Homo sapiens which is Homo sapiens sapiens. So I feel the title would be more accurate if it was Homo sapiens sapiens and there's no article for that subspecies which is a little silly considering all living humans are that subspecies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2605:A000:D141:3800:8156:4F2D:5AF7:E17F (talk) 22:10, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

THIS IS the article for "that subspecies". Editor abcdef (talk) 03:05, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

Right but why isn't this called Homo sapiens sapiens? And why did you put that subspecies in quotations?--2605:A000:D141:3800:8156:4F2D:5AF7:E17F (talk) 20:33, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

The same reason that the article for Neanderthal isn't called Homo neanderthalensis, Wikipedia tend not to use technical species names for animals unless they're more common than folk names. Editor abcdef (talk) 03:38, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Anatomically modern Humans appear 200,000-300,000 years ago and we get to call them H. sapiens. Behaviourally modern humans arguably appear 40,000-60,000 years ago, and beginning about this time the human skeleton increasingly takes on gracile, or less robust, features...this is when we start calling the species H. sapiens sapiens. Bpod (talk) 03:56, 8 September 2017 (UTC)

The article is a mess because it cannot decide what it is about. Presumably it is just about Homo sapiens? The problem is that there is no consensus among experts how to delineate "Homo sapiens", or how "anatomically modern" is to be defined. It is very loose and malleable terminology. So it would be wrong for Wikipedia to treat the terms as if they had any fixed or universally accepted meaning. --dab (𒁳) 07:23, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Further ReadingEdit

Why is the Origin of Species included? (It doesn't address human evolution, except for the "much light" sentence at the end.) Lavateraguy (talk) 17:31, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

True. Have removed. The further reading section on this article is a little quirky to be honest.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 10:36, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protection edit request on 28 November 2015Edit

Since it is what we are after all. — 73.47.37.131 (talk) 15:26, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

  •   Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --Stabila711 (talk) 19:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

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Revisions to "earliest" dates?Edit

We need to think about possible revisions to both this article and others (e.g. Timeline of human evolution) that might be in order in the light of the recent work dating the Jebel Irhoud specimens as 280,000 to 350,000 years old and affirming that they're H. sapiens.[1][2]

I don't advocate full revisions right away, as we've yet to hear any dissenting opinions (of which there'll surely be some), but if confirmed the number of articles needing amendments might be quite extensive, and in the meantime we might want to make cautious interim tweaks. {The poster formerly known as 87.81.230.195} 2.217.208.38 (talk) 08:45, 10 June 2017 (UTC)

Auto Writes. Agree. Auto wrote. 2026 Z, 18 June 20!7. 86.176.195.154 (talk) 20:26, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

Humans exited Africa 270,000 years ago?Edit

Somewhat related - evidence suggests that Homo sapiens may have migrated from Africa as early as 270,000 years ago, much earlier than the 70,000 years ago thought previously[3][4] - Comments Welcome - in any case - Enjoy! :) Drbogdan (talk) 19:59, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

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Early Modern Humans - tableEdit

The section "Early Modern Humans/Terms and classification" contains a table referencing H. Sapiens subspecies: I edited the table initially as it stated archaic human Rhodesiensis/Heidelbergensis/Antecessor were sub-species of H. sapiens (see edit history). This is not how these species are described and I removed those references. Neanderthal sub-species taxon remains an ongoing debate and I left it alone. I moved the Denisova up under Neanderthal, even though there is no type specimin for Denisova it has a valid tentative sub-species taxon.

There are two references used to substantiate the archaic humans as sub-species claim (Dawkins, and Owen), eg. H. sapiens heidelbergensis; Dawkins uses the term as he waffles around the species/sub-species debate and so is not an authoritative reference, the second, E. Owen, introduces the sub-species taxon then proceeds to not use it subsequently, an ambiguous reference at best; this may be situation where the initial fossil find was given the sub-species taxon but revised later. My search for clarity in this has so far resulted in ambiguity. NB: H. rhodesiensis is typically synonymous with H. heidelbergensis, and H. antecessor is even more ancient.

It isn't clear to me why this unannotated table is included in this section except to make a claim that even archaic human species like antecessor, rhodesiensis and heidelbergensis are considered sub-species of the H. sapiens lineage. I suspect it was taken out of it's original context. The table was posted in August 2013 and aside from a few minor edits has remained as it is, and the editor is no longer active.

Action: clarify the purpose of the table and annotate it accordingly, or remove it and convert the contents into a text element. Bpod (talk) 19:43, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

Infobox picture : Why use an Asian couple rather than an African?Edit

Considering the fact that homo sapien stems from Africa, wouldn't it be more factually accurate and authentic to use an African rather than an Asian in the infobox picture? 2.27.120.93 (talk) 10:02, 28 September 2017 (UTC)

No, it would not. Homo sapiens outside of Africa are still Homo sapiens. Megalophias (talk) 23:42, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
Asians are the plurality among today's human population. Yes everyone's ancestors originated in Africa, but that of course does NOT mean that modern-day Asians, Europeans, Native Americans, etc are somehow the descendants of modern-day Africans. Trilobright (talk) 04:49, 24 December 2017 (UTC)

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Homo Sapiens first appeared 315,000 or 300,000 years ago?Edit

In the introduction, this article states, "Homo sapiens 315,000 years ago". Later, it refers to, "Homo sapiens 200,000-300,000 years ago". This contradiction needs to be corrected. 73.204.120.223 (talk) 15:09, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

For one thing, "315,000" is far too precise. Speciation is a process, and the cut-off date is by convention, or based on fossil gaps. The oldest known fossils used to be 200ky old, and now in 2017 somebody came up with a fossil claimed to be 300ky old. You need to give the field a bit of time to come to a consensus on the status of the new discovery. It was never in doubt that something "like" H. sapiens would have existed at 300kya, but now that we can point to a specific bone, it needs to be decided whether to put this "just inside" or "just outside" of H. sapiens. --dab (𒁳) 09:44, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Move discussion in progressEdit

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Homo sapiens which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 20:14, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

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