China plans to uncover its own human origins, challenging Western theories

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Image via Christian Science Monitor.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

[I]n 1929, researchers discovered…[an] ancient skull [on the outskirts of Beijing]…roughly half a million years old. Dubbed Peking Man, it was among the earliest human remains ever uncovered[.]

Since then, the central importance of Peking Man has faded…[T]he specimen has been eclipsed by discoveries in Africa that have yielded much older remains of ancient human relatives.

Keen to get to the bottom of its people’s ancestry, China has in the past decade stepped up its efforts to uncover evidence of early humans across the country. It is reanalysing old fossil finds and pouring tens of millions of dollars a year into excavations.

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Some Western researchers suggest that there is a hint of nationalism in Chinese palaeontologists’ support for continuity. “The Chinese — they do not accept the idea that H. sapiens evolved in Africa,” says one researcher. “They want everything to come from China.”

Chinese researchers reject such allegations. “This has nothing to do with nationalism,” says Wu [Xinzhi]…“Everything points to continuous evolution in China from H. erectus to modern human.”

Read full, original post: How China is rewriting the book on human origins

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