Figure 10.9 ► Typical "large core tool tradition" (top) common in Australia until around 5,000 years ago, which was largely replaced by the Australian "small-tool tradition" (bottom). From P.J. White and O'Connell (1982).

human mtDNA, just as would be expected from the nonrecombining nature of mtDNA (Adcock et al., 2001; Relethford, 2001). For the describers it suggests the extinction of a whole race. This seems to us a rather extravagant interpretation, depending as it does on a one-to-one linking between a mtDNA lineage and a human type. As molecular geneticists have long insisted, a gene tree is not, or not necessarily, to be equated with a species or population tree.

Another significant finding is that the earlier Mungo specimen is closer to modern humans than to the (later) Neanderthal samples, thus confirming the distinctiveness of the Neanderthals from living humans (see also Krings et al., 1997; R. Ward & Stringer, 1997; Stringer, 1999). Perhaps the most relevant finding that enables us to test directly the "Out of Africa" and the Multiregionalist models is that there is no support for a dual migration to Australia. The near-Holocene "graciles" from Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp show absolutely no difference in their mtDNA, suggesting that the presence of two distinct populations within Australia is most unlikely. Indeed, neither "robust" nor "gracile" populations can be differentiated from living Aboriginal Australians (Adcock et al., 2001; Relethford, 2001).

But there are other wrinkles to the ancient Australian mtDNA story. The first is that, when evolutionary trees, whether of DNA or of whole populations as taxa, are published, one should include some statistics that indicates the support for the particular branches, to show how much credence should be placed on that branch. In their paper on ancient Australian DNA, Adcock et al. (2001) gave branch support values for all branches except the crucial one. They sequenced chimpanzees as well as humans and gave statistical values for both branches: Humans are not chimpanzees (or vice versa). They also included the data for the Neanderthals and gave the statistical values for the two branches: Good, modern humans are not Neanderthals (or vice versa). They then showed a branch separating Kow Swamp 8 from other H. sapiens, but the non-KS 8 branch had only 30% support, so, quite rightly, they concluded that it could not be relied upon: no evidence that KS 8 is outside the modern human range. Then came the branching of LM 3 from the other H. sapiens, but curiously no support value was given for the non-LM 3 branch. In other words, no evidence was given that the rest of us do form a branch separate from LM 3!

From time to time, DNA, being the mobile chemical it is, results in a lot of mtDNA inserting itself into the nuclear DNA. Inserts like this are called numts — there are, we now know, quite a lot of them in the nDNA of many species, including humans. Now, mtDNA evolves very fast. But once it forms into numt, its rate of evolution slows down to the more reduced pace typical of nDNA, so it remains there, a living fossil of what mtDNA used to look like. Adcock et al. (2001) found that LM 3's mtDNA strikingly resembles one of the modern human numts. Indeed, Colgan (2001), noting how difficult it is to avoid contamination when sequencing ancient DNA, suggested that, though Greg Adcock had taken the precautions of sequencing his own (and Alan Thorne's) mtDNA to make sure that what he thought was ancient DNA was not his own (or Alan Thorne's) by mistake, he might have inadvertently sequenced one of his own numts! If he had, that would explain a lot. Finally, biologist John Trueman redid the statistical analysis by a different but more "traditional" method and could not replicate Adcock et al.'s results anyway.

In summary, the available paleoanthropological evidence does not support a morphological continuum between the Indonesian middle Pleistocene hominins and the late Pleistocene "robust" Australians from Kow Swamp and/or Coobool Creek. Any suggested superficial similarities in the upper face, including supraorbital and midfacial prognathism, are the result of two very different developmental processes, showing that these features are an anatomical analogy as a result of functional convergence (see Figures 10.7 and 10.8).

Given that there is little, if any, biological evidence to support a separate Australasian Pleistocene clade, from where did the original Australians originate? The early dates for the LM 3 individual (at least 40,000-60,000 years ago) support the hypothesis that the much later Australians can easily be accommodated within this initial colonizing population. Any real or imagined differential degree of robusticity between the early and later Australians can be explained by time difference; during the Holocene we see the reverse condition happening, from "robust" to more "gracile" (within only a few thousand years), just as happened in many other, non-Australasian, populations, including Africa (see Wright, 1976; Groves & Thorne, 1999). Cultural influences may also have played a part; the later Kow Swamp people practiced cranial deformation, while the earlier Willandra Lakes population did not. Over a considerable time range, it is not difficult to see adaptive, selective, and cultural forces operating within a relatively isolated population.

The origins of the pre-Mungo Australians, which initially colonized Australia, are clearly an important research issue. Were they part of an

"Out of Africa" population migratory wave (physical and/or genetic), which started around 120,000 years ago? Well-developed neuro-orbital convergence first appears in the African fossil record with specimens like the Omo-Kibish H. sapiens, dated to over 130,000 years ago. The more archaic Indonesian middle-late Pleistocene H. erectus populations, with their neuro-orbital disjunction, had nothing or very little to do with the biology of the late Pleistocene of Australia.

There is no evidence supporting an early "gracile" migration from China around 60,000 years ago followed later by a "robust" migration from Indonesia around 15,000 years ago. The recent dates for the Ngandong (Solo) H. erectus specimens, at around 50,000-30,000 years ago (Swisher et al., 1996), if accepted, postdate the arrival of the modern humans in Australia by at least 10,000 years (probably more). If these dates are correct, then two species of Homo occupied this region around 50,000 years ago, which means that the Solo people cannot have been ancestors of people who lived earlier than they did (Swisher et al., 2000), though they could have been survivors of a population that supplied a few migrants to join H. sapiens in the voyage to Australia (as we have argued, there is actually no evidence of any such fellow voyagers). Instead, the Solo people were a persisting primitive form, unaffected by the moderns who had to pass through Indonesia to get to Australia. The Ngandong people eventually succumbed to competition pressures from modern H. sapiens who settled in the area.

The archeological record supports a single population within Australia from its earliest colonization. It supports a continuum within the cultural practices of the early and later Australians. If there was a sudden significant migratory event after the initial colonization, one would expect to see some cultural differences within the archeological record as evidenced in other parts of the world, but there is nothing to suggest a "cultural" shift until the mid-Holocene.

Finally, Adcock's molecular evidence suggests that some of the original colonizers of Australia had a unique genetic sequence unrepresented in living modern humans, which should not be surprising given that the original inhabitants occupied Australia from at least 40,000-60,000 years ago. The genetic sampling of near-contemporary fossil specimens will be crucial in determining the origins of these earliest Australians. If the "Out of Africa" model is correct, then we can predict that the mtDNA of the Pleistocene Eurasian material should all fall within a similar range and be extremely close to the African material of the same age. These modern human Pleistocene populations should be closer to each other than to the more "archaic" populations they presumably replaced. This has already been partly demonstrated by the molecular evidence from the 12,000-year-old remains of "Cheddar Man," which are almost identical to extant human populations and nothing like mtDNA of the Neander Valley Neanderthal (see Chapter 8). The current molecular evidence shows that there is no molecular support for two populations, one "gracile" and another "robust," within Australia. It supports the presence of a single population.

Interlude 5 Milford Wolpoff in the Garden of Eden

The three great world monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christianity, and Islam — all take the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden as their myth of origin. Of course, most adherents of these faiths nowadays agree that the story is a myth in the literal sense (it is untrue), and that its purpose is mythical in the anthropological sense (it is full of cultural meaning). Naturally, a few fundamentalists prefer to reject the whole apparatus of modern science and to stick with Adam (a man with an asymmetrical rib cage) and Eve, a talking snake, a deity who needs to keep cool by walking in the shade, and all the rest of it. The Book of Genesis is less bloody and brutal than some other origin myths, such as the battle of the gods and titans in ancient Greece and the slain gods of the Aztecs, and more so than others, such as the cosmic egg of the Dogon. So who's for a bit of science?

So redolent of origin mythology is the Garden of Eden that it has been used as a basis for the preferred model of the scientific origins of modern humans. We know that before 2 million years ago, all our ancestors lived in Africa. But did everyone, through human evolution, come out of Africa? Couldn't Asia have produced an ancestor now and again? No? Not even a little ancestor? Sorry. Dmanisi looks as if it came out of Africa. Homo erectus and Homo pekinensis have that look about them, too (but separately, or from a common "Out-of-Africa" stem? We don't know). And the Dali-Jinniushan stock seems to have come out of Africa. The Neanderthal lineage — that too came out of Africa.

How about Homo sapiens? Bill Howells, one of the founders of modern paleoanthropology, proposed in the early 1970s that our species was the last "Out-of-Africa" product. Gunther Bräuer in the mid-1970s took up the theme and proposed a modification; Chris Stringer at about the same time indicated that he preferred to keep it intact, much as Howells envisaged it. Becky Cann in the late 1980s supported the model with her reconstruction of mitochondrial DNA evolution, and since then, molecular geneticists have almost without exception supported it. Out-of-Africa, or the Garden of Eden model. Africa, not Mesopotamia, was our Eden all the way down.

But there is a different model. In the 1930s and 40s, Franz Weidenreich thought, from his studies of the Zhoukoudian ("Peking Man") and Ngandong ("Solo Man") remains, that he had evidence that the different modern human races had evolved in situ. In particular, Zhoukoudian was the ancestor of Mongoloids, Java (Sangiran via Ngandong) the ancestor of Australoids. In 1963, Carleton Coon revived Weidenreich's model, but seemed to be suggesting that the five races, which he recognized, had evolved quite independently from their nonmodern precursors and had crossed the boundary into Homo sapiens independently. The model was refined in the mid-1980s by Milford Wolpoff, Wu Xinzhi, and Alan Thorne and dubbed "regional continuity" (or the Multiregional hypothesis).

Weidenreich knew rather few fossils, but it did seem impressive that all the Zhoukoudian incisors were shovel-shaped. And where today are shovel-shaped incisors most common? Why, among Mongoloid peoples, in East Asia and, particularly, among North American Indians. And a large triangular bone separated from the rest of the occipital by a horizontal suture occurred in three out of five Zhoukoudian crania, and today it is far more common in Peru than anywhere else, to the extent that it is often called the Inca bone. Incas are Mongoloid — this is less convincing than the shovel-shaped incisors, perhaps, because you have to go so far away from Zhoukoudian to find them. Weidenreich also drew attention to a few other features that occur at Zhoukoudian and are more common in some Mongoloid populations than in other modern peoples.

Then Weidenreich turned to the Javanese Homo erectus fossils. Where today do we find such flat, receding foreheads? Why, in Australia and Melanesia. Not precisely Java, but close.

It is difficult now to know what most of Weidenreich's contemporaries thought of his comparisons, but we must remember how very sparse the fossil record was in those days. There were modern and Neanderthal skulls from Europe and those funny Chinese and Javanese ones, and there was gradually increasing acceptance of the australo-pithecines from Africa. So if we took the geographic distribution of fossils at face value, it might appear that our ancestors had first arisen in Africa, then shifted to Asia, and finally moved over into Europe. This seemed a bit unlikely, so perhaps we should wait until we knew more about the distribution of shovel-shaped incisors.

Coon's 1962 book The Origin of Races revived the Weidenreich hypothesis — and how! It is a most annoying book to wade through. First, was he really saying that modern human races had evolved from non-sapiens ancestors (he called them all Homo erectus) quite independently? Mostly he did really seem to be saying this. Yet in places he seemed equally to deny that it was possible. How many modern races did he recognize? In one place he said it didn't matter, but immediately he appeared to backtrack, because throughout the book he spoke of five: Caucasoid (that's Europeans, Arabs, and Indians, the standard definition), Mongoloid (eastern Asians, Polynesians, and Native Americans), Australoid (Aboriginal Australians and Melanesians), Congoid (black Africans) and Capoid (Khoisan — Bushmen and "Hottentots"). He insisted on his five lines of descent, but only in one case did he actually say why; this was the "Peking Man"-to-Mongoloid lineage, the one Weidenreich had already done. Elsewhere his arguments were of the sort that George Orwell had dubbed "bullying arguments," simply iterating and reiterating that it was so (such as about the Kabwe skull: "On the whole this face is mostly Negro" he says baldly on p. 626). Especially confusing was his Capoid lineage: He began it with the Ternifine and other Middle Pleistocene remains from North Africa, so the Capoids had to have picked up their tents and moved south through the Congoids, but evidently without mixing with them, to become Bushmen in southern Africa — all this without letting on why Ternifine and the others were Capoid in the first place.

The anthropological community became very angry with Coon for this book. We are sorry to say that there were actually very few cogent critiques of it. Mostly the anger was directed at the racism that seemed to be implied. Some races (Mongoloid and Caucasoid) had been Homo sapiens for much longer than others — he was quite explicit about this — and so, one was left to infer, had had a much longer time in which to get really good at being sapiens. There is a simply shocking pair of photos making up Plate XXXII. The caption reads, "The Alpha and Omega of Homo sapiens: An Australian aboriginal woman with a cranial capacity of under 1,000 cc. (Topsy, a Tiwi); and a Chinese sage with a brain nearly twice that size (Dr. Li Chi, the renowned arche-ologist and director of Academia Sinica)". Up till then, racism and antievolutionism had gone hand in hand in places like the Deep South of the United States; suddenly it became acceptable to believe in evolution in a racist context.

Whether Coon had chosen his words carefully or was just being what he might have called a dispassionate scientist, the fact remains that his book was interpreted in a racist sense, and he did not a thing to disabuse anyone.

After this furor, it would have been a brave anthropologist who would revive Weidenreich's model. But a brave anthropologist did: Milford Wolpoff.

Wolpoff is not a racist. He makes it clear that he regards Coon's book as an unfortunate episode in the intellectual lineage from Weidenreich to himself — alright, as a real blot on that otherwise-honorable lineage. He is also one of the most admired paleo-anthropologists working in the field today; his book Paleoanthropology (first published in 1980 and with a monster 2nd edition in 1999) shows a simply amazing grasp of the material. So we think he's one of the good guys. How then can he be wrong?

His coproposers of the Regional Continuity hypothesis are also good guys. Wu Xinzhi is China's most eminent paleoanthropologist, particularly since the retirement of the remarkable (and indeed sagelike) Wu Rukang. All the significant human fossils of China since Zhoukoudian were discovered or described (or both) by him. Alan Thorne, too, is one of the good guys. It was Alan Thorne who discovered most of the human fossil material in Australia, and he kept public (including Aboriginal) interest in it alive for a quarter of a century.

Today's multiregionalists repudiate Coon. They insist that there was global gene flow as well as genetic continuity over time. So each stage in sapientization was quickly transmitted to all contemporary populations, while at the same time regional characteristics were preserved.

So how can these good guys be so wrong? Somewhere they got stuck. Eventually, a controversy ceases to be based on the balance of the evidence; instead, each side simply looks for evidence to support its long-held view. The multiregionalists seem to be doing that sort of thing. Not the Garden-of-Edenists, no, of course not! We are above that sort of thing!

Alright, the arguments: The similarity of shovel-shaped incisors between Homo pekinensis and modern Mongoloids fails because all the earlier stages of the human lineage, not merely the Zhoukoudian people, had shovel-shaped incisors. It's nonshoveled incisors in other modern people that are the "special" thing. And anyway, it's just the frequencies that differ between modern peoples; like all racial characters there's no 0% versus 100%. The Inca bones sporadically recur in other populations, and are again nothing special. As for the "flat" foreheads of modern Australoids and Java Homo erectus, the frontal bones of all other middle Pleistocene fossils — pekinensis alone excepted - are at least as flat as that. Indeed, the low frontals observed in H. erectus are associated with a pattern of neuro-orbital disjunction, while any "flat" pattern observed in modern H. sapiens is associated with the exact opposite condition of neuro-orbital convergence and thus refutes any "similarity" in form.

On the positive side, the supraorbital ridges of Homo heidelbergensis are different from those of its eastern Asian contemporaries (they arch, and they are deeper over the middle of each orbit, whereas those of H. erectus and H. pekinensis are straight, even thickened laterally), and they resemble those of brow-ridged modern humans. Eastern Asian "erectines" never have an ossified styloid process, but this is universal in Homo heidelbergensis and almost so in modern humans. And so it goes on. And the earliest Homo sapiens, wherever they come from, always resemble Australoids in features like brow ridges, frontal flatness, and large jaws and teeth, and modern racial features can be seen to develop quite late in each region.

There is no continuity. Milford Wolpoff finds himself in the Garden of Eden. But he won't eat no apple.

The earliest hominids recognized up to now are the Miocene Kenyapithecinae of Eurasia (Griphopithecus) and Africa (Kenyapi-thecus). Griphopithecus may have given rise to the later European Dryopithecus and possibly to Oreopithecus in Italy and Graecopithecus in Greece. While Dryopithecus and Oreopithecus became extinct, Graecopi-thecus may have been part of the large-scale mammal dispersal back into the African continent, where it gave rise to Samburupithecus and ultimately the living African hominids — Gorilla, Pan, and of course that other ultimately African hominid, Homo.

Whether the first hominids were endemic to Africa or not remains debatable. But what is clear is that the earliest hominins — members of our clade — were African. This is true whether or not Sahelanthropus was a hominin. We witness in the late Miocene and early Pliocene of Africa an explosion in hominid diversity, and from among this diversification the earliest hominins emerged. In the details, we two authors agree to disagree. The taxonomic scheme of Groves (Table 11.1) indicates a diverse range of species allocated to the genus Homo; the scheme presented by Cameron (Table 11.2), however, acknowledges the long-distinct evolutionary trajectories (in terms of phylogeny and adaptation) and on this basis allocates the same species to a number of different genera. The undoubted hominins Australopithecus and Kenyanthropus are likely to have originated from a Sahelanthropus-like (Cameron), Orrorin-like (Groves), or Garhi-like ancestor. The east African species previously allocated to Australopithecus, including afarensis, may have played no direct role in the evolution of

TABLE 11.1 ► Colin's Hominid Taxonomy


Kenyapithecinae Ponginae Dryopithecinae Homininae


Graecopithecus Gorilla

G. gorilla G. beringei


Orrorin Homo

P. troglodytes P. paniscus

O. tugenensis

(stem group)

H. kadabba H. ramidus (australopithecine group) H. anamensis H. bahrelghazali H. afarensis H. garhi H. africanus (paranthropine group) H. walkeri H. boisei H. robustus (kenyanthropine group) H. platyops H. rudolfensis (habiline group)

H. habilis (erectine group)

H. ergaster H. georgicus H. erectus H. pekinensis H. antecessor (sapient group)

H. heidelbergensis H. neanderthalensis H. sapiens

Hominidae indet.

Sahelanthropus tschadensis Lothagam hominid

TABLE 11.2 ► Dave's Hominid Taxonomy











G. gorilla



P. troglodytes P. paniscus




O. tugenensis Sahelanthropus

S. tschadensis Garhi deme Australopithecus

A. africanus Paranthropus

P. walkeri P. boisei P. robustus Kenyanthropus

K. platyops


K. rudolfensis

H. habilis H. ergaster H. georgicus H. erectus H. pekinensis H. heidelbergensis H. neanderthalensis H. sapiens

Hominidae indet.

Lothagam hominid Ardipithecus ramidus Praeanthropus afarensis Anamensis hominids Bahrelghazali hominids humans (or indeed chimpanzees). Cameron entertains the idea that Ardipithecus may eventually turn out to be a kind of proto-chimpanzee or a "third chimpanzee" if you will, notwithstanding its proposed primitive form of bipedal locomotion. For a fossil group to be considered hominin, clearly it must display bipedal characteristics (along with a number of other derived features). But as we have observed with the proto-australopithecines, bipedalism alone does not define a hominin.

During the later Pliocene, Paranthropus and early true Homo emerge from this same basal hominin population. By this time, the later species of Kenyanthropus appears, but apparently it could not compete with the more specialized species of Paranthropus or the more general and opportunistic behavioral repertoire of early Homo. And later the overspecialized species of Paranthropus were probably also pushed over the edge into extinction by the appearance of Homo ergaster, which likely increased its ecological niche to include and take over the more marginal habitats of Paranthropus. There is no convincing evidence to date that species other than Homo were involved in the manufacture of stone tools — and these increased their ability to process and consume large quantities of food items that had previously been denied other hominins, including bone marrow. Paranthropus, we suppose, was not a habitual tool user or toolmaker, and its food-processing abilities were dependent upon its derived masticatory apparatus rather than tool technology. Up until this point, human evolution followed the course of other mammal groups: New species would arise, followed by climatic and environmental change, resulting in the rise of further taxa but also the extinction of some of the older ones. It is with the emergence of H. ergaster that we see a physical shift to the human condition, both in body proportions and in more complex behavior, which ultimately resulted in the first dispersal "Out of Africa" around 1.7 million years ago.

Even after the dispersal of Homo out of Africa, speciation events were still occurring. We see the emergence of H. georgicus in western Asia, and within eastern Asia the rise of H. erectus and H. pekinensis. The long morphological stasis observed in H. erectus, lasting over 1 million years, is likely associated with the long-lasting ecological stability in this region, in strong contrast to the dramatic fluctuations observed in China, Africa, and especially Europe.

The earliest exodus of H. ergaster from Africa must have occurred before the development of the Acheulean industry because Homo georgicus and H. erectus are associated with a more primitive, Oldowan-like technology, while those demes of H. ergaster that remained in Africa developed the more advanced Acheulean tradition. Indeed, the Acheulean tool complex would ultimately spread into Europe along with later immigrants from Africa during the middle Pleistocene, Homo heidelbergensis. It was not, however, a "one-way street," as witnessed by the presence of something like "classic" Asian H. erectus in Italy around 800,000 years ago (as represented by Ceprano) and even earlier into Africa before 1 million years ago (as indicated by OH 9 and Daka).

Around 800,000 years ago, at the same time that a Eurasian deme of H. erectus was moving into Italy, a new species of Homo emerged in Spain. This was H. antecessor, and it was closely followed by the appearance in Africa of H. heidelbergensis. We doubt whether the European antecessor is ancestral to the African heidelbergensis, for two main reasons. First, there are no synapomorphies uniting these taxa. Second, H. antecessor is associated with an Oldowan technology, not with the more advanced Acheulean technology that is associated with H. heidel-bergensis. We think that H. heidelbergensis probably inherited this technology from its more likely ancestor, H. ergaster. Thus H. antecessor may represent a pre-Acheulean-dependent H. ergaster penetration of Europe — perhaps H. georgicus.

By 500,000 years ago, two distinct lineages were evolving in the west. The first was endemic to Europe, which we call the Steinheim group (basal Neanderthals), though it is not restricted to Europe alone because we believe that the Narmada cranium from central India and Maba from China also represent part of this lineage. The second lineage of H. heidelbergen-sis is endemic to Africa, later moving into Europe and even China (Dali and Jinniushan). Later, African demes of H. heidelbergensis gave rise to early H. sapiens, the initial split occurring around 300,000 years ago.

The current fossil, molecular, and archeological evidence strongly supports the specific distinction of the Neanderthals from early and modern H. sapiens. The Neanderthal lineage first appeared some 500,000 years ago, according to the molecular clock, and the fossil record suggests that the "Steinheim group" reflects a basal Neanderthal anatomical condition. This group exploited the colder conditions of an Ice Age Europe, their survival in this region enabled by the increasing development of their "cold exaptations." The initial split between these two groups was not based on a greater ability to withstand Ice Age conditions (though ultimately this must have pushed them farther apart over time), but occurred for some other reason, perhaps cultural.

The molecular evidence shows that Neanderthal mtDNA is significantly different not only from modern humans, but also from Homo sapiens dating back to 40,000 years ago. Neanderthals had a distinct pattern of resource exploitation, which includes scavenging and the hunting of large mammal herds and less likely the stalking of individual animals. They also appear to have relied on scavenging to a greater degree than do modern humans; indeed, a number of occurrences appear to be scavenging process sites, while others are associated with large mammal carcass processing. But like Homo sapiens, they buried their dead, and there is some slight evidence for the production of "art."

To a large degree, early modern H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis had managed to avoid each other. Early modern humans depended on African fauna for food resources and followed its dispersals into the Levant and southern Europe, while Neanderthals were dependent on a European arctic fauna, whose migration pattern and territorial range expanded and shrank according to the fluctuations of Ice Age Europe. Eventually, early modern people moved into Europe, beginning sometime around 40,000 years ago. And when glacial conditions returned, this time, for whatever reason, they did not disperse south but remained in the region — perhaps coming into contact with the Neanderthals for the first time.

It is with the arrival of the people from the south that we see for the first time the full-blown expression of symbolism — mobile and fixed artistic expression, and a more refined template-based tool technology. They appear to have been more mobile, hunting and gathering over a broad area, while the Neanderthals tended to remain in their well-known and long-occupied valley systems. By 30,000 years ago, increased competition, increased mortality rates, and a declining birthrate sent the Neanderthals in a downward spiral to extinction. There is no need to appeal to an argument of "prehistoric genocide" to explain their final disappearance from the earth some 27,000 years ago.

The final evidence supporting an "Out of Africa" origin for modern humans comes from Asia and Australia. The current fossil, archeological, and molecular data overwhelmingly support the idea that Australia was populated by one population, which arrived some 60,000-40,000 years ago. This population shares no close biological affinities with either its European contemporary, H. neanderthalensis, or the Asian endemic H. erectus; they are very clearly H. sapiens. Is it just a coincidence that both the Neanderthal indigenous populations of Europe and the erectus populations of Asia became extinct at around the same time that populations of H. sapiens appear in these respective regions? We think not. We, like many others, believe that modern H. sapiens from Africa started their dispersal out of Africa around 120,000 years ago. Due to their advanced culture and a different way of "seeing things," they soon outcompeted the more archaic and endemic human populations — not through aggression but through a more efficient way of exploiting their environment for finite resources.

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