Modern Humans (Humans: An Evolutionary History) by Rebecca Stefoff

By Rebecca Stefoff

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Our knowledge of the human family tree is rooted in decades of scientific examination of hundreds of fossil skulls and skeletons. Do these remains support the multiregional theory or the out-of-Africa theory? The answer, unfortunately, is not clear-cut. Scientists have used Homo sapiens fossils from various regions of the Old World to argue in favor of both theories or some combination of the two. The fossil record in other parts of the Old World should show continuous evolution from early humans to modern humans, with transitional stages along the way.

Erectus fossils, some paleoanthropologists see the 56 BONES OF OUR ANCESTORS shovel-shaped incisor as a sign of continuous evolution from H. erectus to modern Chinese people. 46 These “shovel-shaped” incisors are front teeth that are slightly curved. Such teeth appear in Neanderthal and H. erectus The Chinese fossil record fossils, as well as in some modern Chinese people. 47 It has, however, revealed a complicated evolutionary history that we do not yet understand. 5 million years of human life in China may answer lingering questions about the role of ancient Homo erectus in the development of modern east Asians.

Templeton’s second wave occurred between 840,000 and 420,000 years ago. It involved a different Homo species—but not Homo sapiens, which had not yet evolved. Finally, Homo sapiens spread outward from Africa between 150,000 and 80,000 years ago. Up to this point,Templeton’s findings fit the out-of-Africa theory, but he rejected the idea of replacement. 37 This is the Out of Africa, Again and Again model of recent human evolution. It stresses assimilation, with out-of-Africa migrants absorbing some 49 MODERN HUMANS genes and traits from earlier populations.

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