It is crystal clear. The Out of Africa hypothesis is here to stay. For the passed few years we have seen a flood of genetic research that demonstrates a more complicated hominin evolutionary history. It was easy to see why the closet multi-regional evolutionists were secretly celebrating a potential comeback for a long defunct hypothesis.
It was initially Davidson Black, a Canadian palaeoanthropologist that first laid out the Multi-regional evolutionism (MRE) skeleton. His premature death, meant that German palaeoanthropologist, Franz Weidenreich, had to pick up where he left off. Since the 1940’s, MRE held sway in palaeoanthropological circles until the 1970’s when new evidence suggested that Africa was the melting pot of humanity. And it was from there that humanity entered Eurasia to take over the world and become the dominant species on the planet.
The advent of genetic research and eventually archaeogenetics in the 1990’s provided scientists with a new perspective of hominin evolution. Though restricted by the survivability of DNA, it shed a great deal of light on our relationship to the most famous hominin species – Homo neanderthalensis – Archaic hominins diverged from H. neanderthalensis many hundreds of thousands of years ago. According to the nuclear DNA of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) hominin, that split took place between 550,000 and 765,000 years ago, assuming the mutation rate is 0.5 (-1,000,000,000). Read more here. Using this assumed mutation rate, the divergence of H. neanderthalensis and the Denisovan Hominin is between 381,000 and 475,000 years ago. Read more here. All of this happened between 2014 and 2016.
In 2013 genetic research of Africa DNA demonstrated a ‘back-migration’ into Africa from Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Early Medieval period. In 2015, further evidence demonstrated a ‘backflow’ of hominins into eastern Africa. This fanned speculation that hominin movements not only involved an Out of Africa, but additionally an Into Africa. As yet, no work, thus far suggests that a ‘backflow’ occurred much earlier in the past. The evidence states that the African northeast was a one-way street.
In September of 2016, a team of scientists drove home the message that Out of Africa is here to stay. Native Australians become genetically distinct from the hominins of Papua between 25,000 and 40,000 years ago and both groups emerged from a small migratory group that arrived between 51,000 and 72,000 years ago. Read more here. A second paper provided more evidence that H. sapiens left Africa earlier than 75,000 years ago and 2% of the genome of the Papuan’s genome came from an early and largely extinct group of H. sapiens that left Africa.