On a good day, what we do here is like this collaborative effort

A new synthesis?


For years, the consensus has been that Homo sapiens emerged from one spot and one population in east Africa some 300,000 years ago. But according to a new paper in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, we didn’t come from one place or population on the continent. Instead, lineage of Homo sapiens probably originated in Africa at least 500,000 years ago—evolving from interlinked groups across the entire swath of Africa toward contemporary human morphology over tens of thousand of years.

In other words, to come to their new view of evolution, they had to step outside the boundaries of their specific fields and collaborate. Here’s what they did to work together—and how you can do the same:

Excellent article @Guy_Coe. This is a good read for everyone. @deuteroKJ and @Philosurfer are going to really like this. Here is the original paper:



@swamidass ,

The following quote from the article is striking. Though characteristics of a “Ring Species” scenario ideally include the terminal ends of an extensive population range wrapping around a geographic obstacle, in this case it is difficult to know whether the budding sapiens population ever connected into a virtual “ring” vs. the possibility that the populations connected MULTIPLE times!:

“For example, northern and southern Africa, apart from being geographically distant, were also separated by environmental factors as a consequence of the expansion and contraction of forests in equatorial Africa, synchronous with amelioration in northern Africa. Other factors, such as habitat variability and adaptation to local environmental conditions, are also likely to play some role in material culture diversification.”

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