Setback to Out-of-Africa Theory of Human Origins
A new modern human skeleton found in Israel is dated much earlier than a long-accepted theory can bear.
Science Magazine just published findings about “The earliest modern humans outside Africa.” Those familiar with the history of evolutionary paleoanthropology might say “Ho-hum” about this, knowing that the evolutionary tale changes week by week, month by month, year by year. Each new time they pronounce that ‘everything you know is wrong,’ the evolutionary story never fails, because no alternative is permitted. Darwinian anthropologists have license to rearrange things on their timeline at will, never facing falsification. Even though this kind of news would be troubling to ordinary people, we expect the Darwinian web of belief to withstand anything. It’s interesting, nonetheless. Evolutionists now have to face evidence that modern humans left Africa for the Middle East at least 57,000 years earlier than they thought.
In the same issue of Science, insider Chris Stringer, with Julia Galway-Witham, treats this discovery with an academic ho-hum.
Yet, the oldest known H. sapiens fossils outside of Africa, from Skhul and Qafzeh in Israel, have been dated to just 90,000 to 120,000 years old. On page 456 of this issue, Hershkovitz et al. provide fossil evidence from Misliya Cave, Israel, suggesting that our species had already left Africa by ∼180,000 years ago (see the figure).
A large international research team, led by Israel Hershkovitz from Tel Aviv University and including Rolf Quam from Binghamton University, State University of New York, has discovered the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside of Africa. The finding suggests that modern humans left the continent at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. [T]
“Misliya is an exciting discovery,” says Rolf Quam, Binghamton University anthropology professor and a coauthor of the study. “It provides the clearest evidence yet that our ancestors first migrated out of Africa much earlier than we previously believed [T]. It also means that modern humans were potentially meeting and interacting during a longer period of time with other archaic human groups, providing more opportunity for cultural and biological exchanges.”
The euphemism “biological exchanges” means sex. That’s more than “Here, stranger, have a gamete.” It implies attraction and romance between beings who recognized each other as the same kind—and not just mammals in an ecosystem, but intelligent beings choosing to migrate long distances. Interbreeding, naturally, also implies that all the “archaic human groups” who left their genetic traces in the bones were members of the same species, Homo sapiens. (See the new book by Rupe and Sanford, Contested Bones, Section 1, for a detailed discussion of this). The Binghamton press release can’t get around it:
“While all of the anatomical details in the Misliya fossil are fully consistent with modern humans, some features are also found in Neandertals and other human groups,” said Quam, associate professor of anthropology at Binghamton. “One of the challenges in this study was identifying features in Misliya that are found only in modern humans. These are the features that provide the clearest signal of what species the Misliya fossil represents.”
New Scientist is a little more open with its Tontology:
We thought [T] that Homo sapiens were confined to Africa until 120,000 years ago, but a jawbone from an Israeli cave reveals an exodus over 170,000 years ago .
Over at the BBC News, Pallab Ghosh writes about the cart-upsetting anomalies without trepidation, feeling the confidence of his unfeigned faith in Darwin:
“We have to rewrite the whole story of human evolution, not just for our own species but all the other species that lived outside of Africa at the time,” the researcher, from Tel Aviv University, explained.
Prof Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum, who was not involved in the study, said: “The find breaks the long-established 130,000-year-old limit on modern humans outside of Africa.”
“We have to rewrite the whole story of human evolution, not just for our own species but all the other species that lived outside of Africa at the time.“
Then, last June, research on fossils from a site called Jebel Irhoud in Morocco turned conventional wisdom on its head: Those modern-looking humans are up to 350,000 years old, scientists discovered, pushing back the early origins of our species.
The new Middle Eastern discovery, detailed today in Science, complements the Moroccan find by showing that Homo sapiens were also taking initial steps into Eurasia much earlier—around 180,000 years ago.
The bones imply the evolutionary paleoanthropologists were 33% off in this part of their timeline regarding migration, and 100% off regarding the emergence of modern humans. But since evolutionary theory is impregnable in a totalitarian regime like Darwinism, they can always claim that the find contributes to “understanding the evolution of our own species”. We were wrong before—for decades—but you can trust us now. Do any of them ever stop to think about intelligent beings going so long before inventing cities and agriculture?
The Gene Flows Where the Hominin Goes
A similar report finds human ancestors mixing it up across continents. Science Daily discusses DNA evidence of interbreeding clear across Eurasia:
Until recently, very little was known about the genetic relationship between modern humans of the Upper Paleolithic age (the period of time between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago, also called the Late Stone age) and today’s populations. But with direct DNA sequencing, researchers are discovering unexpected genetic connections between individuals on opposing sides of Eurasia. These suggest a complex history that may represent early gene flow across Eurasia or an early population structure that eventually led to Europeans and Asians.
The “gene flow” (sex) occurred between Neanderthals and modern humans. “These analyses also revealed at least two Neanderthal population mixing events, one approximately 50,000-60,000 years ago and a second more than 37,000 years ago,” they say, tossing around millennia like peanuts. The minimum time interval they’re talking about is longer than all recorded human history. Did these beings just wander and live in caves all that time?
The art of interpreting intelligence from skull shape goes way back to 19th-century racist Darwinians. Just when Oxford scientists are putting “The dubious theory of ‘phrenology’ through rigorous testing for the first time” (The Conversation), phrenology is making a comeback in a modernized form. Science Advances has an updated version by Neubauer et al, “The evolution of modern human brain shape.” Measurements of human capability this time come from castings of brain shape made inside the skulls of various modern human fossils. The conclusions depend on the assumption that a rounder brain is more advanced. Mark Aldenderfer, in Science Magazine, explains:
There is little consensus as to when complex cognitive functions and behaviors appeared during human evolution. Traditional explanations propose that these behaviors evolved in tandem with modern human anatomy by 50,000 years ago. Other models postulate a more gradual appearance. Neubauer et al. examined endocasts (the interior of the cranial vault) of a sample of early Homo sapiens skulls. Although brain size at 300,000 years ago falls within the range of that of modern humans, more globular brains only emerged around 40,000 years ago. Combined with evidence from ancient DNA that indicates the fixing of genes critical to early brain development at the origin of the H. sapiens lineage, these findings support models of a more gradual appearance of behavioral modernity.
But can “behavioral modernity” be assumed from simply the roundness of a brain? That’s a big philosophical leap right out of Broca’s demonized Victorian racist lab work. It must feel OK to those who are accustomed to being wrong all the time.
Why do we put up with these incessantly mistaken pseudoscientists? And they call us that just for questioning their silly, constantly changing, impossibly wrong beliefs! Modern humans with bodies and brains like ours living in caves for 380,000 years? Unbelievable! Nobody would tolerate such a crazy notion except that Emperor Charlie needs it to fit his worldview. Stop. Get real. Revolt!