The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

No ancient ‘Garden of Eden’? Humans likely evolved all over Africa

| | January 28, 2020
df d cfd db ce
Image: James Oatway/Reuters
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The evolution and spread of Homo sapiens is perhaps one of the greatest mysteries in all of science. Until recently, it was believed that the origins of the species and the ancestors of every person now alive originated in one specific part of Africa.

This theory was for a long-time the accepted wisdom, but it has been challenged in recent years. Now it is increasingly probable that H. sapiens originated in several separate areas of Africa.

[S]ome of the oldest early human fossils found have been unearthed in North Africa, a different area of the continent than would be expected. Moreover, certain anatomical features such as a rounded skull was found in Ethiopia, while the first evidence of symbolic thought, namely rock-art was found in Southern Africa.

Related article:  Studying human evolution faces major challenge: Our ancestors lived in 'ecosystems unlike any found today'

It appears that populations became separated and reconnected many times over 400,000 years, because of climate change and environmental factors. The Guardian reports that “the end product was H. sapiens.”

As a result, there was in all likelihood no single ‘Eden’ or cradle of humanity. Rather the development of modern humans was a result of a complex set of interactions.

Read the original post

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend