Origin of Anatomically Modern Humans Traced to Southern Africa | Genetics,

NO. This paper is trash

How so? Please explain.

Chris Stringer:

Huw Groucutt:

I mean it’s getting absolutely trashed.




Yes. Even if the conclusion about where Mitochondrial Eve lived was exactly correct, her location has little or nothing to do with where Homo sapiens evolved (if it was only one place). Other parts of the genome came from other people at other times, and inevitably, other places as well. And even then, those are just the most recent common ancestor copies of each part of the genome. And those can be long after the first population that can be called Homo sapiens (even if we can decide on how to designate that).


A fairly strongly worded rebuttal to this paper is now available in preprint:

Chan and colleagues in their paper titled “Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and
first migrations‚ÄĚ (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1714-1) report 198 novel whole
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and infer that ‚Äėanatomically modern humans‚Äô originated in
the Makgadikgadi‚ÄďOkavango palaeo-wetland of southern Africa around 200 thousand years ago.
This claim relies on weakly informative data. In addition to flawed logic and questionable
assumptions, the authors surprisingly disregard recent evidence and debate on human origins in
Africa1-4. As a result, the emphatic and high profile conclusions of the paper are unjustified.