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Author Topic:   Home sapiens older than we realized
Chiroptera
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Posts: 6397
From: Oklahoma
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Message 1 of 7 (811390)
06-07-2017 3:52 PM


From the Guardian:

Oldest Homo sapiens bones ever found shake foundations of the human story

Summary: It was believed that Homo sapiens first appeared in East Africa 200,000 years ago. Over the last few years, remains of five members of H. sapiens have been recovered from a mine in Morocco. They have now been dated to be 300,000 years old!

If these results hold up, there is going to have to be some revising about the origins of our species.


Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by caffeine, posted 06-07-2017 4:45 PM Chiroptera has acknowledged this reply
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 Message 4 by RAZD, posted 06-07-2017 4:48 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

caffeine
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Message 2 of 7 (811406)
06-07-2017 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
06-07-2017 3:52 PM


Summary: It was believed that Homo sapiens first appeared in East Africa 200,000 years ago. Over the last few years, remains of five members of H. sapiens have been recovered from a mine in Morocco. They have now been dated to be 300,000 years old!

I have been thinking and reading a lot about this subject over the last couple of years, and my thoughts have changed quite a bit. In particular, I've come to the conclusion that our taxonomic terms confuse more than they elucidate when it comes to human evolution.

Take the above. You say that H. sapiens was believed to appear in East Africa 200,000 years ago, but is that really the case? It's worth remembering that it has at various times been common to refer to neanderthals as H. sapiens neandertalensis, and some workers still do so today. So, by this classification, there were H. sapiens in Europe more than 250,000 years ago.

But the article authors are using a more narrow sense of H. sapiens. They're equating it to 'anatomically modern humans'. But this is another problematic term. One of the most obvious features of AMHs is the prominent chin, but looking at the reconstructed skull from Jebel Irhoud in the article you link to, my amateur eye can not discern much of a skull.

So it seems what's really being announced here (assuming the reconstruction is acurate) is that there were people in Morocco 300,000 years ago who were not quite like us, but looked a bit more like us than Neanderthals. Which when you think about it is not at all surprising. It's only the arbitrary labels that make it so.

I have come to the conclusion that asking where modern humans arose is an essentially meaningless question; now we know from ancient genomes than Neanderthals and other populations in Asia contributed to the modern genome. The more appropriate question is 'how were the populations of Pleistocene humans structured, and how did that change'. This might be a question that doesn't lead to as catchy headlines, but it also makes more sense.

(Apologies for any lack of clarity in the above - bit drunk).


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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6397
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


(1)
Message 3 of 7 (811407)
06-07-2017 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
06-07-2017 3:52 PM


Paper is available in Nature
The Guardian article mentions two papers published in Nature and links to one of them.

New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens

The paper is behind a paywall, but the link in the Guardian will get you past it.


Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

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RAZD
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Message 4 of 7 (811408)
06-07-2017 4:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Chiroptera
06-07-2017 3:52 PM


Actually that just seems to close the gap between H. sapiens and H. heidelberensis

quote:
Human Evolution


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Chiroptera, posted 06-07-2017 3:52 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

RAZD
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Message 5 of 7 (811410)
06-07-2017 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by caffeine
06-07-2017 4:45 PM


Take the above. You say that H. sapiens was believed to appear in East Africa 200,000 years ago, but is that really the case? It's worth remembering that it has at various times been common to refer to neanderthals as H. sapiens neandertalensis, and some workers still do so today. So, by this classification, there were H. sapiens in Europe more than 250,000 years ago.

The oldest "anatomically modern" fossils I am aware of prior to this find is 160,000 years ago:

quote:
160,000-year-old fossilized skulls uncovered in Ethiopia are oldest anatomically modern humans

"We've lacked intermediate fossils between pre-humans and modern humans, between 100,000 and 300,000 years ago, and that's where the Herto fossils fit," said paleoanthropologist Tim White, professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-leader of the team that excavated and analyzed the discovery site. "Now, the fossil record meshes with the molecular evidence."


It's all good.

Enjoy


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by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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Taq
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Message 6 of 7 (811416)
06-07-2017 5:59 PM


Transitional
I'm going with RAZD. The intermediate chin, slightly larger brow ridge, and intermediately sloped forehead seems to be ancestral to anatomically modern humans. Just for comparison, here is an AMH:


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Message 7 of 7 (811427)
06-07-2017 7:18 PM


Thread Copied to Human Origins and Evolution Forum
Thread copied to the Home sapiens older than we realized thread in the Human Origins and Evolution forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.
  
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