Humans did not stem from a single ancestral population in one region of Africa

A scientific consortium has found that human ancestors were scattered across Africa, and largely kept apart by a combination of diverse habitats and shifting environmental boundaries, such as forests and deserts. Millennia of separation gave rise to a staggering diversity of human forms, whose mixing ultimately shaped our species.

“Convergent evidence from these different fields stresses the importance of considering population structure in our models of human evolution,” says co-author Dr. Lounes Chikhi of the CNRS in Toulouse and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Lisbon.“This complex history of population subdivision should thus lead us to question current models of ancient population size changes, and perhaps re-interpret some of the old bottlenecks as changes in connectivity,” he added.

“The evolution of human populations in Africa was multi-regional. Our ancestry was multi-ethnic. And the evolution of our material culture was, well, multi-cultural,” said Dr Scerri. “We need to look at all regions of Africa to understand human evolution.”

Many GAs?

Full paper:

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Within 2000 years, virtually any scenario of human origin can be consolidated under a few dozen or a few hundred Universal Ancestral Mated Pairs.

For those who already have a Faith-based stance, the provision that God can help complete a full migration pattern is an easy enough premise.

And so even for those who believe in a global flood will have enough time for the GA Adam to co-opt all human populations in the time it takes to go from the end of the Great Flood to the birth of Jesus.


What this does show is just how fragile the conventional fashions on “the human family” are. In Darwin’s day (or sterictly, Haeckel’s), evolution showed polygenesis with the Australian aborigine being closer to the ape than to the European.

Post Holocaust, the last decades have shown the triumph of evolution in refuting race and proving monogenism in the Rift Valley, or somewhere.

Now it’s back to polygenism, if these results were correct.

The biblical basis for human unity (for better AND worse) is solidarity in Adam - Paul confidently embraces the Athenians in God’s purposes as being from the same “one blood” as Paul himself and all other men. That unity has been affirmed through the whole gospel era and, I would maintain, is found even in the pages of Genesis itself.

Genealogical Adam, as you rightly say, George, consolidates the whole species within a few thousand years by the science of MRCGAs (thanks, Olson and Rohde), but also in Adam makes that a spiritual, as well as a merely biological, solidarity.

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No. That is not true. This is very close to what Alan Templeton has been arguing for a long time.

Have you heard of the “trellis model” or the “multiregional model”? These still affirm monophylogeny, and are therefore not polygenesis.

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So GA is just a way to reconcile the Bible with the findings in science? Seems pretty contrived and a construct out of desperation to have something that in some shape or form “concords” with a reading of Genesis that is not allegorical.

Yes, and the multi regional origin is WITHIN Africa and it is not among just one species of human but many species of the Genus Homo and quite possibly the Genus Australopithecus. We are of mix of a mix of a mix going back millions of years. No bottlenecks whatsoever.

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Nope. It is just recovering what the Bible actually says. It doesn’t talk about genetic ancestry. It only talks about genealogical ancestry. The error in the first place was thinking DNA told us everything we wanted to know.

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Yes, that is one theory. Over some ranges of dates there is evidence to support this. Over others there is not, and we have to guess. Before about 500 kya (speaking about archealogy now), the evidence is sparse. There is two bottlenecks that anthropologists have wondered about already. We’ll see what the genetic data can tell us, but a very ancient bottleneck has not been ruled out.

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The evidence is mounting that HUMANS have been thriving on Earth for millions of years. No great leap forward just slow progress by an ever more intelligent ape.

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Scripture isn’t talking about biological humans though. It is about the descendents of Adam.

And that is going to be even harder to do - determining the genealogical path from two people who have yet to be determined really existed. Genghis Khan to you (or me) can be done but Adam to Jesus, well I think that is far fetched.

There is no serious doubt that Jesus existed amongst those who are best qualified to judge. And there is no doubt that he was Jewish. To say his existence is “yet to be determined” is an unfortunate sign of historical prejudice that really means, “Until Richard Carrier is publically laughed out of court.” It’s not a winning hand, but adherence to a far-fetched contention…

If Adam existed (and that, indeed, is a matter both of trust in the texts and a historical interpretation, for which a number of arguments have been given by those on this site and elsewhere), then if he left ancestors at all Jesus was one of them, not only because of the mechanics of the underlying genealogical science, but because he was an ancestor specifically of the “semitic” (anthropological usage) peoples, of which the Jews are one.

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@Patrick (& @swamidass )

So… you have either not made the slightest effort to read Joshua’s writings … or you don’t understand Joshua’s writings.


So you really have no idea what Joshua is doing then … marvelous!

Peaceful Science is a THEOLOGICAL discussion on the matters of Science.

So… if you are here because you think we are Scientists who happen to mention the Bible now and then, you can leave any time you like. You seem dramatically incapable of following the discussion as it is intended to be presented.

I get really tired of people being invited out the door. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the common effort being made here.



Is this entailed by the article Patrick cites? It seems not to me.

The genes concur. “It is difficult to reconcile the genetic patterns we see in living Africans, and in the DNA extracted from the bones of Africans who lived over the last 10,000 years, with there being one ancestral human population,” said Prof. Mark Thomas, geneticist at University College London and co-author on the study. “We see indications of reduced connectivity very deep in the past, some very old genetic lineages, and levels of overall diversity that a single population would struggle to maintain.”

It specifically points out how such irregular development potentially falsifies some of the conclusions about bottlenecks (relevant to your work with Buggs), but is seems to me that you could re-draw your multiregional diagram with multiple roots from previous species, wherever you choose to draw the line (eg H erectus or the Australopithecines).

It would look like a mini-version of Carl Woese’s forest of life, the differences being only gradually elided as mankind became more mobile. In other words, there might, in theory, be a polygenic origin for man with extensive hybridisation and eventual convergence as a single race. Possibly not a great opportunity for racism now, though someone would be bound to claim that having Denisovan genes is better/worse than having Neanderthal genes.

Adam, on the contrary, gives the present human race monogenesis where it matters - in value before God.


Nice way of saying it. Shows the practical value of owing our existence to God’s action. Left to an atheistic polygenism, human life in its diversity becomes a wild, wild west arena inviting of racist conceptions, and there’s no countervalence to mere utilitarianism, other than following the personal dictates of what one decides to be in fashion. Written with deliberate drama, to highlight the difference.
But, likening the profession of religious faith to being infected with a “virus” is hardly counterevidence.

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Africa is a huge place. But I am not even sure that’s where humans are from. Just (most) of the survivors. No time to flesh this out today though.

Well, that’s at a different level of discourse, isn’t it? Kind of on par with making monkey noises as evidence for your racial superiority!

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And I’m really tired of having to explain to an Atheist, who represents himself as a champion of PeacefulScience.Org, why his outrageous comments which each day forms an attack on the very foundations of Christian faith.

I guess you are okay with it, right?