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

Yep. We are trying to present to him the fact that there’s much more to this than his imagination can currently grasp.
And, remember that, on occasion, Patrick writes rather tongue-in-cheek, just to guage our reaction. He’s looking for the genuine evidence of Jesus residing at our core.


Still an African origin for both Australopithecus and Genus Homo. A great amount of species mixing all over Africa and then again once several species of Homo left Africa.

@jongarvey , you’re right to call them “monkey noises;” truth is, I’m NOT really fluent in “monkey.” Will have to watch more National Geographic episodes before I can even begin to make that claim! : )
But, I can speak a little German with you as proof of my racial, ummm… continuity with yours. : ) Guten Tag, mein Herr.

Hi everyone,

Here’s another article from Live Science which discusses the new findings:

Early Humans Probably Didn’t Evolve from a Single Population in Africa

For about two million years, hominins made “somewhat crude” handheld tools like hand axes or large cutting tools, Scerri said. About 300,000 years ago, “there’s really an explosion of different and specialized stone tool forms,” she added. These tools, that often used different bindings, different glues, and different designs, took hold in different places across the continent.

At the same time, we are told that “these groups remained separate for a long time, because the dense forests and deserts in Africa served as formidable barriers.” So I would like to ask: how did this technological explosion take place all over the African continent at about the same time, despite the presence of geographical barriers which impeded human travel? @swamidass, do you have any ideas? @gbrooks9, @Patrick, @jongarvey, any thoughts?


Transferring of technology is a subject I am very familiar with. Suffice to say that it has happens faster and faster. Today technology spreads across the globe the same way it always has - people to people. When one person makes an innovation, however small, it is quickly imitated by a person seeing the innovation. And imitated and modified by the next person. It spreads fast. Especially if it is really an improvement in functionality or an improvement in ease of manufacture. Quickly someone becomes more expert than another person. He becomes the innovator to be copied or to trade with. He also wants to pass his knowledge to his children. So there is multiple ways useful technology spreads fast and becomes industry and becomes part of culture, actually creating culture. It spurs language. It creates trade and cooperation. Doesn’t require biological changes or brain changes as all of the capacity for learning, copying and speaking are already there millions of years before. The whole industry of making stone tools is more than 2.6 million years old and spans geography and species.

VJ’s question really relates to Genealogical Adam, or at least genealogical science. Hindrances to travel no doubt inhibited travel as stated, and limited genetic mixing, but it just as it takes one bride captured from the next tribe and one child of that union marrying into the next tribe along, so if that captured bride knows a better way to cook paw-paws, the secret’s out.


For those with a Christian faith-based view, human wanderlust and some amazingly propitious canoe trips would wrap it up in a pretty bow.

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Well that human wanderlust including sea travel goes back to Homo erectus.


This confuses me. Millions of years? Are you saying that modern H. Sapiens with modern brain sizes and technology go back millions of years? Where do you get that idea? How do you define human? The paper you cited says nothing about this.


No, I am saying that Homo Erectus had enough brain capacity to develop technology, culture, and language two million years ago long before there was a H. Sapien species. I contend that given this evidence, one is hard pressed not to give the label of human to H. Erectus.

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How does the GA do this? We’ve spoken about this before. How does a recent (6-20,000 yrs ago) Adam somehow provide the human race, which began ten, perhaps several hundred thousand years before the GA, with unity? The only Adam that really provides any type of unity would be RTB’s or @Agauger’s Adam because then he would be the actual fountainhead of humanity. The GA provides unity for everyone AFTER HIM but not before him.

I’m still sticking to my Aristotelian natural kinds Denton-esque proposal regarding a distinction between humanity and other animals. Or C.S. Lewis’s approach. But I don’t see how the GA would help unify us with the neanderthals or Denisovians at all.

If I’m missing something, please explain.

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Is anyone proposing that modern humans somehow evolved separately multiple times? That seems crazy to me. Your post on monophylogeny is helpful. As a layman, I think I interpret anything that isn’t “out of africa” to be some sort of crazy convergent evolution. But that can’t be right…right?

If someone isn’t an Out of Africa person, then they are probably endorsing the alternative monophylogenetic model and not some convergent evolution of humans?

That is NOT what “incomplete lineage sorting” implies, right?

Let’s take C.S Lewis’s “socratic” proposal. At some point God selects two or more hominids for something special. quite obviously, those he did not so select, before or alongside, were not selected.

That is a question of election, not of value. We have no warrant, by revelation or otherwise, for setting our own criteria for when and how humanity is defined theologically. However, we do have a warrant from Scripture to say that all humanity in our time - and indeed in the gospel era - is “in Adam” and open to God’s grace “in Christ.”

Sure, there are difficulties in understanding the origin of humanity if one insists on an Aristotelian definition of man as “rational animal,” not least at the biological, or the philsophical, level where one has no very clear definition of “rationality.” Do stone tools count? If so it seems as if your Adam must be an Australopithecine, and hence all his descendants human… but then what about his brother Australopithecines without toolmaking ability?

Or is an “immortal soul” the criterion of rationality? If so, we’re surely better off working with biblical definitions of humanity as “created in the image and likeness of God,” which may have its own interpretative problems, but is not one that is easily to be applied to any particular biological taxon.


So you agree that the GA does not help us with the unity of humanity before the GA? You seem to be saying, “well, God knew when they were human, and that’s all that matters.”

I suppose the first clause in that sentence is correct, but not the second. If you’re worried about racism, then if only God knows when they’re human, we’re back to putting others “different from us” in cages because we don’t know. I’m not saying I have a solution. I just think without an evolutionary “jump,” or saltational transition, if you will, whether Adam and Eve are real or symbolic, we will have humans who are half “imaged,” etc.

I’m not a creationist when it comes to the existence of the soul (I’m wondering if God could have set up natural laws of “soul generation” from the beginning, somewhat like Nagel’s panspychism, but with God involved), but I believe, and so does every orthodox Catholic or Orthodox that life begins at implantation (many believe at fertilization), and so the before and after is a big deal. I would say the same goes for when we “became” human. The before and after is a big deal.


How many Neanderthals do you know to put in cages? And if by chance you found an Australopithecine tribe living on an island, making crude stone axes but not speaking, would you (a) Try to teach them to speak (cultural imperialism), (b) accord them human rights (thus making assumptions you don’t make about Orang Utans), (c) study them to decide their status (thus treating them without informed consent)?

On the other hand, let’s take a Genealogical Adam scenario: you are kicked out of the sacred space where you broke faith with the God who had revealed himself to you personally, offered you rule over even the angels on behalf of your race, and even made eternal life available to you. To your shame, you have lost it all and become corrupted, to boot.

Out in the hard world you find yourself amongst people with a viable neolithic culture, peaceful ways and a natural piety, since they were created in the image of God.

Who gets to put whom in the cage?


I just don’t see any “on the other hand.”

You would still have to make the decision about how to treat a Neanderthal with or without a GA. GA doesn’t make this issue go away. It still needs to be dealt with. With a GA, you have 2 human origins instead of one, and the first one, no one really “fell” because there was no GA. It really seems to give everyone at the very beginning of the human race short shrift. It seems that there would have to be 2 falls.

If the GA represented the fall that took place at the very beginning of the human race, this would make more sense to me.

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And, young earth creationism apart, when did that “very beginning” occur?

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I think that we should create a border line and when they cross over the border line looking for food, we should separate the children from their parents and then put the children in cages and send the parents back across the border without their children.


Isn’t it all about walls nowadays? :sunglasses: