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Cranks in Anthropology

By Phil

The following will not all be anthropologists by trade or certification, but each carved their own little niche the distorts research. I will address them in way that reflects the weird way they are all connected.

Bruce Fenton: So thanks to RR, I’ve learned how he once peddled crap such as “giants“, among other things. Needless to say, that answered alot of my questions I had after taking apart his article on his book a while back.

Jeffery Schwarz and John Grehan: Now, to be fair, these guys deserve somewhat more credit in their premise, that is regarding the morphological links with orangutans and humans. It has some basis in how humans evolved, originally being arboreal and not knuckle walking. However, their approach of preferring inheritance based on external morphology over coding DNA and overall genetics has been criticized again, and again, and again, and again.

For clarification, I found them from an Indian study on Hominid development in Fenton’s spurces, which focused on bipedalism. It noted an “Asian hypothesis” of human origins. Technically, Grehan proposed an African-Asian distribution, and as of now Schwarz’s actual hominid data currently works with OOA as a base model while adjusting it. So it doesn’t support Fenton even if Orangutans were the actual ancestors of humans.

It’s worth mentioning as well, the commenter “Marc” in the Grehan link is a crank as well, but not for today.

Shi Huang: Shi Huang here is the only other major researcher I know of who has actually produced any notable difference in the Human-Chimp clade finding, on top of rejecting OOA.

The implications however stray further from the Cann study than Fenton’s. In fact, if you read the link on phenotypic association of human populations…it’s kind demonstrates the futility of using external phenotypes.

Overall, his theory on Africans being Denisovan and Neanderthal admixed humans doesn’t align with Haplogroup associations touched upon previously in my Fenton article linked to Dienekes, the nature of the East African cluster mentioned in my article on modern Africans with A and B y chromosomes making up the majority of Eurasian affiliated Nilotics, and my previous article on the post Neanderthal substructure making up the majority of African genetics.

Now compare all of these inferences, to this-

Fossils or traits indicating AMH migration from East Asia into Africa or Europe have
been noted before. First, native Africans such as Khoisans are well known to have certain East Asian features such as shoveling teeth, epicanthic fold, and lighter skins. Mbuti pygmies look very much like the Andamanese. The much lower frequency of shoveling teeth in African fossils and Khoisan relative to ancient and modern Chinese suggests that this type of teeth could only originate in China with its African presence due to migration. The type of shoveling teeth found in Neanderthals and Pleistocene Homo from Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos may either be a different type from that of Asians and Africans or come from early disposal of Homo from Asia to Europe (Martinon-Torres et al., 2007; Wolpoff, 1996). Second, a combination of three features has been noted to be region-specific to China fossils with lower frequency also found in North Africa: a non-depressed nasal root, non-projecting perpendicularly oriented nasal bones and facial flatness (Brauer and Stringer, 1997). Third, Dali man of China (~250,000 years ago) had lower upper facial index and flat nasomolar angle, but these two modern features only first
appeared in Europe in Cro Magnons (Xinzhi Wu, personal communication).

I’ll admit I’m no expert in genomics, but having at least looking over the Dali paper and comparing it to this, I think anyone else who has sense and had done the same would come to the same conclusion as I would to dismiss this paper as the leaps and assertions it makes are vast and at times amateur. Wu Xinzhi apparantly read this himself, but recalling his own paper and work he was much more cautious and more involved in this kind of data. As particular as his theory was, it never devolved into statements like this.

That humans have been a single species for more than ~2 myr is consistent with the
unique feature of being human, i.e., creativity, which could be defined as constant creation of novelty. Intentionally made and constantly improved knife type stone tools, first appeared 2.3- 2.8 myr ago, may be beyond the capabilities of non-humans and mark the first appearance of creativity in life on Earth.
The appearance of modern humans should be accompanied by new technologies just as
the knife type stone tools were associated with the first appearance of the genus Homo. A technology just one step more advanced than stone tools is pottery making. Consistent with our model, the earliest pottery making intended for practical usage was found in Hunan and the neighboring Jiangxi in South China at 18,000-20,000 years ago (Boaretto et al., 2009; Wu et al., 2012). While future investigations could extend the time even earlier, one should not expect a new technology to appear simultaneously with the first appearance of AMH since it would take time for the first modern humans to grow into a large enough population to be able to invent new cultures. It is also remarkable to note that the next new invention after pottery, rice or agriculture, also likely came from Hunan (Zhang and Yuan, 1998). Both the link to his blog post on OOA and this slightly dismissal post on his work shows an ardent defender of his, one that should be very familiar.

German Dziebel: It only takes a short cross-reference to see his BS. Basically, he’s pushing some sort of hypothesis that undermines the divergences of Pygmies and Bantu farmers. This basically mean ignoring the conclusions from his own sources on genetics, here, and here. He confuses the pygmy phenotype, which is shown to be independent, with the pygmy genetic cluster. This is disingenuous to anyone familiar with the topic. He is correct that they are not genetically unrelated due to the geneflow, which accounts for language, but his proposal to explain this primarily on recent splits is contradicted by full genetic research tackling the matter.

On the Shi Huang paper, he says that the Chinese lack the possibility of “bias” Americans feel to support OOA based on guilt of African American discrimination. Perhaps, yet that doesn’t explain Manzi on the Ceprano skull, nor does that explain this paper showing Chinese lacking the substructure expected from the more popular idea of regional continuity, which actually shows bias on behalf on the Chinese to push a theory. Likewise, Wu Xinzhi who proposed the hypothesis even stated it wasn’t mutually exclusive with OOA.

I’ve been saving this as an article concept due to how amazing it was to come across each of them twice after what started as a simple cross reference. This shouldn’t, however, be read as someone who is against changes to the mainstream, but as someone with actual scrutiny on scientific stances. I can accept the meaningfulness of Orangutans, Australians, and Chinese archaic humans in modern human origins.


Reviewing Ancient Sub-structure in modern Sub-Saharans

By Phil

In my absence a lot has occurred in researching African substructure since the Ballito boy paper a while back.

I’ve somewhat touched upon this subject previously in two relevant articles, one of which I will provide a short update on regarding “cranks” in population history, including Bruce Fenton, in the future.

The structure of this article will be outlining the general and particular ancestral groups linked to modern Sub-Saharans, briefly putting them in context of OOA, and attempting to approximate them in the form of fossilized specimens. The ancestry analysis will start from the most recent data to the most ancient data discussed (that is shortly before the Holocene towards the branching of H. sapiens from other relatives from H. Ergaster from about 0.5-1 mya) as it will only be more complex from then on.

The first layer will be the finding from the Mahgreb remains that date about 18k, showing profile that is approximately two thirds Near Eastern hunter gatherer, 1 third Sub-Saharan but showing no particular affiliation to a modern sample. It is only slightly shifted towards the Hadza, perhaps suggesting the ancient Eastern African cluster that preceded Basal Eurasian. This shows two things, one the antiquity of back migration to Africa and the oldest DNA sample that is directly linked to modern Sub-Saharans. This could possibly be part of a previous human culture, which may have been part of the migration that lead to modern West Africans. I, however, hesitate to suggest they are direct ancestors. It provides an rough portrait of ancient North Africa nonetheless, a location I particularly figured to be relevant for clues on modern sub-saharans given the different geography of North Africa at the time of the “Wet Sahara“.

The next finding is the break-down of DNA among Western (Yoruba and Mende), Eastern (Nilotic), and Southern (Khoi-San) Africans. The findings show that, in accordance to the Ballito Boy study, Western Africans are a mixture of Ancient East Africans and Basal African Sapiens, Khoi-Sans are derived from the basal Branch at around 250k-300k, and Nilotics are mostly of the 70k-80k branch. However, what it shows is that these populations exchanged genes, particularly between Eastern and Southern Africans. In the case of West Africans, the Yoruba more so then the Mende. I suspect that this could explain the Igbo from the African Genome project showing signs of hunter-gatherers that are more like the Khoi-San than Pygmies at low percentages.

Archaic DNA is where it gets interesting however. I’ve already discussed the 140k-150k admixture event that lead to modern variation of MCU7, but two canididates have came up. One, predictably by this point, is an archaic human ancestry at about 8% in Yoruba, using the same methods to detect 2% archaic DNA in pygmies, dated around 460k-540k , roughly after the divergence of Sapiens from Neanderthals based on another study. The first study however distinguished it from that of the Pygmies, which seems to be older according to this study. The dating of the Pygmy’s admixture is also set around 30k, while the same study dates that of the average Sub-Saharan at 9k. Likewise the TMRCA is place at around 2.9 based on one of the Loci, this seems to align nicely to the age of the MCU7 phylogeny in Africans compared to that of Eurasian Archaics. This is however older than the admixture found in Hammer’s study, suggesting late Erectus. This can be resolved by the conclusion of Hsieh’s study. That is, archaic admixture in Africa was found to be weak, though continuous. This could mean that while penetrating new ecosystems, Hominid interaction what short but often, accumulating alot of layers in small degrees, preserved due to advantageous traits as seen in Neanderthal’s immune system genes. These genes were in turn a trait of the common ancestor that Sapiens lost.

It is therefore possible that archaic admixture could contain different archaic admixture within it based on this behavior. A previous study’s results of loci with ages similar to that of the Neanderthal divergence in hunter gatherers supports this, being somewhat intermediate between MCU7 population and the Basal African. This particular one, however, may very well be tied to a larger finding.

A revised study finds archaic African admixture prior to the split, yet it isn’t African exclusive and seems to have occurred prior to the OOA split. It is only a preprint, but it aligns with what we may have assumed given how long archaic and modern linegaes have mixed. However, as opposed to the continuous flow inferred from pygmies, this particular event was strong and rapid. The researchers likewise note on page 4, though against models of an TMRCA after that of Neanderthals, do not rule it out as a scenario in African substructure. This acknowledges the point made by Razib awhile ago that substructure in Africa reflects the complex development of hominids there. This even pertains to even the Sapiens specific line.

I will now briefly outline the following fossils relevant to modern African population substructure. At the most diverge, early homo found at the Ishango area. I would like to mention that I doubt it mated with Sapiens directly, as the sediment analysis would suggest. Rather, I believe this specimen would genetically contain the variant of genes multiple studies have found to be under selection in African hunter-gathers. The Late Erectus found in Hammer or the Rhodesiensis-like specimen in the initial ghost population models for the Yoruba and Mende I believe were the actual populations that interacted with Humans while possibly carrying these genes.

Late Erectus, or Ergaster, then is represented by Tighenif or Rabat. The latter species can be presented by Bodo or Kabwe. The Kabwe, however, seems to be within Erectus s.l based on internal anatomy than a Petralona equivalent to Sapiens as Bodo is suggested. That is, relative to Bodo or Florisbad, it lacks specializations towards Sapiens. The Ceprano studies however show it nonetheless to be more within the range of overall morphology towards Middle Pleistocene Hominids rather than Ergaster.

(Edit: The Post- LCA admixture could be represented by the two specimens above as well, and I would likewise add a Sapiens Intermediate as well, Florisbad. This status seems to have been replicated here, here, here, here and here. The similar Eliye Springs skull bridges the gap towards Sapiens.)

The next specimen would be the Ceprano skull, the best morphological node for the species Sapiens, Neanderthal, and Denisovans for their LCA. This is significant as it thoroughly rebukes Fenton by his first mistake, dismissing the morphological data in Western Eurasia and Africa. It is shown to be distant from Asian Erectus and seems to represent a “Homo Erectus Sensu Lato” that developed derived traits that would be continued into a trajectory seen in Africa. This is supported by Mounier’s analysis that hypothesized the LCA to be closer to African than European samples. Likewise, his analysis with Manzi shows Erectus/Ergaster tendencies in morphology in partiuclar areas rather than Neanderthal. Manzi also acknowledges a potential morphological link in Africa as well. Therefore we can attribute the LCA detected in DNA in Africans and non Africans by the revised preprint to the above specimen.

(Edit: Manzi has additionally, without confusion, located such an African ancestor to the Hiedelbergensis morphology of Ceprano at the Gombere site.)

Basal Humans, likely the migratory population 148k years ago, would be presented by the Iwo Eleru skull. Jm8 mentions of their relation to similar specimen and DNA sequences found. Likewise, they seem to be responsible for A00.

My previous article has previously mentioned the resulting phenotypic diversity in Modern Africans by way of their skulls. However, I will briefly touch upon some recent examples from my bin of sources.

Klasies River 100k : More so “modern” than Florisbad but shows no particular phenotype towards Khoisan.

Border Cave 100k-50k: Speculated once to be linked to modern Khoi-san, however modern studies shows that it is only apparent much later. General considered “Modern“.

Lukena Hill Crania 20k: Similar to late Pleistocene North Africans, rare morphology in modern samples. Best represents pre-holocene humans prior to gracilization along with 33k Nazlet Khater. The latter skull could likewise conform to Khoi-san ancestry prior to Gracilization in the Holocene.

Matjes River Crania 9k: Joins other Holocene skulls displaying Khoisan morphology.

Nakuru IX: Odd skull with not much literature, somewhere from southern Africa and dated around 17k, yet aligns with Bantu. This book, which provides a very close continuum in morphology that I’ve been following, dates it as Holocene with some Khoi-san samples. This suggest that at some point it was re-grouped.

Concluding remarks, I have left out alot of other significant details that could give direction in what to investigate in future findings. I encourage that readers go over the original articles themselves to notice other significant findings, such as the relevant positively selected features associated with them. I, may likewise, touch upon the sequences of morphology, paleo-environments, and archaeology in the future. For the time being, we have acquired both game-changing evidence of ancient substructure and a refined continuum of homo evolution in recent years.

Did we come from Australasia?

by Phil78 3179 words

In a recent response to the MCU7  genetic admixture from Archaic, it has been argued that if this entered the Sub Saharan Genome at 145 kya, every population by OOA standards should have it.

Not necessarily, as the study noted how their findings conform to recent findings that actually ground African Origins.

Our finding agrees with recent reports of such an introgression in
sub Saharan African populations (Hammer et al. 2011; Hsieh et al. 2016), as well as the
unexpectedly old human remains (Hublin et al. 2017) and lineages (Schlebusch et al. 2017).

In other words, what I’m thinking is that this connects somewhere with the Basal human component model for West Africans and some LSA finds, though that is for another day.

Now, as for the alternative model that I’ve seen advertise by the site RedIce, we now come to a recent newcomer, Bruce Fenton.

Now, before I begin my criticism of his premise of a new “paradigm”, I like to say that the reviews I’ve seen (Amazon) he certainly seems to have talent in writing. However, reading this article, and other summaries of his model, I must say I’m not tempted to buy his book based on his confidence of his basic model “filling in holes” in OOA and treating it debunked, especially when his sources all more or less can be conformed into OOA 2.

First, let us go into how he rules out both Africa and Europe due to recent Neanderthal DNA  from Neanderthals from Spain.

Research by the geneticists Benoit Nabholz, Sylvain Glémin, and Nicolas Galtier has revealed significant problems with scientific studies that rely heavily on genetic material alone, divorced from the physical examination of fossils (especially in the accuracy of dating by molecular clocks).[i] We are however fortunate to have a 2013 research project from Indiana University, headed by well-respected evolutionary biologist Aida Gómez-Robles at our disposal: a comparative analysis of European hominin fossil teeth and jawbones. The Indiana University project concluded that all the fossil hominins in Europe were either Neanderthals or directly ancestral to Neanderthals – not ancestors of Homo sapiens. We must understand that while respective groups in Africa match European hominin populations, this revelation discounted all known African hominins as being ancestors of modern humans. The morphological research also provided further shock – the divergence between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals had apparently begun as early as one million years before present.

Odd how he made that leap when the researcher he cites actually says otherwise on Africa as a candidate.

From the new study’s results, Gómez-Robles says that “we think that candidates have to be looked for in Africa.” At present, million-year-old fossils attributed to the prehistoric humans H. rhodesiensis and H. erectus look promising.

Fenton then further mention Denisovan diverging, using DNA, as 800k and the places the ancestor of all three between 700-900.

His Response? This finding from China.

The first possible answer to this ‘where to look’ question came in July 2016 with scientist Professor Zhao Lingxiain, whose research group announced they had identified modern human fossil remains at the Bijie archaeological site ranging up to 180,000 years old.[i] Not only were they digging up fragments of modern humans, but also evidence of other mysterious hominin forms. The Chinese paleoanthropologists suspected that some of the recovered fossils might even be from the mysterious Denisovans, previously identified in Siberia.[i] Could modern humans have first emerged in East Asia? It has certainly begun to look like this might be the case. My independent investigative research carried out over the last several years, however, disagrees: my work places the first Homo sapiens in Australasia.

For the context of how this can still conform to OOA, the actual range was 112k to 178k, and while this muddies the typical 50k to 80k migration it can still fit in the 90k to 130k Migration of the Levant that was presumed to have all been wiped out.

Back in 1982, two of the most renowned evolutionary scientists of the modern age, Professor Alan Wilson and his understudy, Rebecca Cann, discovered compelling evidence for an Australasian genesis for modern humans. These controversial findings never emerged in any of their academic papers; in fact, they only appear in a short transcript included in a book published in the same year by two British research scientists, The Monkey Puzzle: A Family Tree. Silence does not change facts, and the fact remains that there is compelling DNA evidence pointing towards Australasia as the first home of Homo sapiens. Indeed, so much data exists that it eventually led to my controversial new book, The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution. My research colleagues and myself have uncovered overwhelming evidence that places the first modern humans in Australasia, and with them several other advanced hominin forms.

There might be some temptation to dismiss this matter out of hand, as it can be difficult accepting that leading academics have got it so wrong. It is, however, important to understand that in every case the opposing arguments against the current consensus position are based on, or supported by, peer-reviewed studies or statements given by consensus academics. Could it be that the year 2016 will one day be known as the year that the Out of Africa paradigm died?

If 2016 becomes associated with the end of one scientific paradigm, then 2017 may become related to the emergence of a new model for human origins, one that I am proposing and have termed ‘Into Africa’. My Into Africa theory is closely related to the ‘Out of Australia’ theory formulated by two of my Australian collaborators, Steven and Evan Strong, but goes significantly further down the rabbit hole of our evolutionary story.

I’d wish he supported this unreplicated genetic study (as far as I know) with actual archaeological continuity in Australasia because so far, pre-sapiens people there are generally  Erectus-like, his own sources on the matter supporting that view.

He summarizes both Multiregional and OOA theory (single recent origin), then proceeds to his own.

[UPDATE– Something that I pondered was exactly what pattern of migration did Cann produce? Well, based on two articles produced by Steve Strong, who I believe is an associate of Fenton, shows that my suspicions were correct.

The pattern found was Australoids- Mongoloids- Caucasians, Negroids/SSA, the opposite of Fenton’s Framework. I figured that, regardless of where Australians fit, the affinity of groups wouldn’t change. Strong has another article in which he uses a paper linking origins to Australia which was covered on this blog here as well as covering Denisovans which, as I shown in this post, to fit fine in OOA 2 aside from some complications in mapping precisely the nature of smaller migration into SE Asia.

Regarding Cain’s findings as a whole, the sample size of the study was one among many that were small and covered a week range of the Native’s populations in general, as discussed and somewhat ameliorated here.

With that realized, study after study after study places them in a 50k-55k Time Frame, more or less consistent with Archaeological dates, may LM3 (Mungo Man) be either 40k or 60k. It must also be kept in mind that Cann’s findings existed prior to the knowledge of Denisovan admixture, which possibly could’ve skewed divergence dates, as explained by Dienekes. This gives a good reason for Cann’s findings to be seen as erroneous. In regards to Strong’s citing of Vanderburg, it shows his specialty in this sort of work if “unique haplotypes” aren’t a natural result of human differentiation.

Regarding Archaeology from both articles, Strong makes the point of even earlier findings not popularly reported in Australia, ranging from 60-135k for fossils, older for tools and scorching. Not only are these younger than the currently oldest Sapiens in Africa, but also in the time frame of a currently known exodus into SE Asia discussed in the post, even if they were legit as I’ll dive into detail.

Reference of certain sites of >100k estimates has been shown to be much more recent, being originally confounded by less accurate techniques. The same could apply to cremated bones listed as well. This leaves the mysterious “Lake Eyre Skullcap” by Steve Webb which, as far as I can tell, has been only scarcely covered. However, only in that source is it reported as that old, as both newspapers and scientific newsletters reports at that time reported it as 60-80 years old using Fluorine-dating, referring specifically to Megafauna that was believed to have existed 30k-40k years ago that it may have coexisted with.

Webbs wrongly compares the Flourine dates relative to the values of the Mungo remains, when this type of dating works best for relative ages on specimens that are on the same site or comparable conditions, of similar density (he describes them as more Robust than Mungo remains), similar size (Uses Large and small animals, but logically it would also apply to mere fragment to more whole remains), and for humans particularly Ribs or Cortical bone layers should be compared.

But an even odder argument of his is how the earliest tools in Australia, being found to be less advanced than other tools of the same time frame mean people sailed from Australia. What this could more likely mean is that they were “simplified” based on Lifestyle, as covered in a previous blog post on Expertise, Brain size, and Tool complexity.]

In my model, I offer compelling evidence for three key migrations of Homo sapiens heading out of Australasia. The first migrations began around 200,000 years ago, during a period of intense climatic problems and low population numbers, with a small group making their way to East Africa.[i] The remains of some of these first Africans have been discovered close to one key entry point in the east of the continent (400km), known as the Bab-el-Mandeb straights.[i]

I then identify a second migration event 74,000 years ago, following the eruption of the Lake Toba super volcano.[i] Small groups of survivors to the north of Lake Toba, finding themselves unable to move south to safety, were then forced to head west to escape the devastating nuclear winter and toxic clouds that followed the disaster. The lucky few that could move fast enough eventually made their way into Africa and found safety in the south of the continent. I suggest that some of these few moved along the coasts of Asia, and others sailed the open ocean to Madagascar and hit the coast of South Africa – I associate these refugees with cave sites including Borders Cave, Klasies River Caves and the Blombos Cave.[i]

The problem with this is due to the previously mentioned finds in Morocco making Sapiens much older in Africa and further West. Though climate conditions, by the way, based on his link provides no reason for it to be centered at Australasia as it was described to affect Africa’s interior.

Second, the South African caves he describes contains specimens, likely to have contributed to modern South Africans, show deeper genetic roots than what he suggests when they diverged.

But the most glaring problem is that none of his sources shows Sapiens skeletons or activity prior to that in Africa, Indonesia clearly not having a confounding enough preservation problem due to its Erectus sites.

The third migration event identified in my research is arguably of greatest interest because it involved the direct ancestors of all non-African people alive today. As the global environment recovered from the Lake Toba eruption 60,000 years ago, a trickle of modern humans (calculated to be just under 200 individuals) moved out of Australasia into Southeast Asia, slowly colonising the Eurasian continent.[i] These adventurous men and women were the forebears of every non-African and non-Australian person living on Earth today. This Australasian colonisation of the world is very well supported by the study of both mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal haplogroups, and given further credence by the location and dating of several fossils.

This oddly enough goes against what we show with “180k” teeth of a modern human in China, that’s not accounted for in his sequence of African-Eurasian dispersal from Australasia.

He also goes against an earlier point he made by “relying on genetic material”, as he himself has yet to provided H.sapiens being present in the Area.

The model I offer represents a radical revision to the current evolutionary narrative, and is perhaps revolutionary. It will not be easy for academics to accept such bold claims from someone whom is neither a paleoanthropologist or an evolutionary biologist. Why, then, should one take this work seriously?

The Into Africa theory is firmly based on real-world evidence, data that anyone can freely access and examine for themselves. My argument incorporates a great wealth of peer reviewed academic papers, well accepted genetic studies, and opinions offered by the most respected scientific researchers. Indeed, rather ironically, many of my key sources derive from scientists that stand opposed to this model (being vocal supporters of the Out of Africa theories).

Well the irony doesn’t necessarily come off strong when you don’t argue in this article why the findings contradict their views, nor have the sources you provided so far actually firmly grounds your theory by placing human origin into Australasia, the two that do being an unreplicated study and a volcano incident in a vicinity with little fossil continuity with Modern humans from its early hominids.

Recent scientific studies have begun to change the landscape of paleoanthropological research. Examination of the recent conclusions associated with the analysis of Homo erectus skulls in the Georgian Republic confirms that several species of hominins in Africa are in fact nothing more than expected variance within the greater H. erectus population.[i]
That source talk about the origin of the Flores Hobbits, not the Georgian Erectus or African Hominid classification.
Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, there is growing suspicion among scientists that Homo floresiensis evolved from a lineage of hominins that lived much earlier than the immediate ancestors of Homo sapiens.[i] Detailed analysis of Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry convincingly places their founder populations in Southeast Asia and Australasia. There seems little about the currently accepted academic narrative that has not yet come under fire.

He in turns uses a source that supports his later claim of early humans (homo) in India by 3 million (actually 2.6 million based on the source, I believe I’m seeing a trend here), Though the claim he refers to shows continuity with ancestral populations in Africa and has hardly much to do with OOA as of current status hence why there was “no fire”.

[Update-3/18/19 The Indian study he uses, like I mentioned, supported African origins of Homo/Homan clade based on chronology at about 4.5 mya. However, it speculates on an alternative involving data used by “Red Ape” Schwartz. More on that in a future article soon.]

Fenton, furthermore, provided no evidence of his claims of Denisovan-Neanderthal origins in Australasia.

 As of 2016, we have finds that place early humans in India 3 million years ago (Masol), and Homo erectus populations ranging from Indonesia to the Georgian Republic 2 million years ago (Dmanisi).[i] On the Australasian island of Guinea, we find the only signature for interbreeding between Denisovans and modern humans dating to 44,000 years ago. This interbreeding occurred long after Australia’s supposed isolation, as claimed by the consensus narrative.[i] How do entirely isolated populations interbreed with other human groups?

See here.

We computed pD(X) for a range of non-African populations and found that for mainland East Asians, western Negritos (Jehai and Onge), or western Indonesians, pD(X) is within two standard errors of zero when a standard error is computed from a block jackknife (Table 1 and Figure 1). Thus, there is no significant evidence of Denisova genetic material in these populations. However, there is strong evidence of Denisovan genetic material in Australians (1.03 ± 0.06 times the New Guinean proportion; one standard error), Fijians (0.56 ± 0.03), Nusa Tenggaras islanders of southeastern Indonesia (0.40 ± 0.03), Moluccas islanders of eastern Indonesia (0.35 ± 0.04), Polynesians (0.020 ± 0.04), Philippine Mamanwa, who are classified as a “Negrito” group (0.49 ± 0.05), and Philippine Manobo (0.13 ± 0.03) (Table 1 and Figure 1). The New Guineans and Australians are estimated to have indistinguishable proportions of Denisovan ancestry (within the statistical error), suggesting Denisova gene flow into the common ancestors of Australians and New Guineans prior to their entry into Sahul (Pleistocene New Guinea and Australia), that is, at least 44,000 years ago.24,25 These results are consistent with the Common Origin model of present-day New Guineans and Australians.26,27 We further confirmed the consistency of the Common Origin model with our data by testing for a correlation in the allele frequency difference of two populations used as outgroups (Yoruba and Han) and the two tested populations (New Guinean and Australian).The f4 statistic that measures their correlation is only |Z| = 0.8 standard errors from zero, as expected if New Guineans and Australians descend from a common ancestral population after they split from East Asians, without any evidence of a closer relationship of one group or the other to East Asians. Two alternative histories, in which either New Guineans or Australians have a common origin with East Asians, are inconsistent with the data (both |Z| > 52).

Here we analyze genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data from 2,493 individuals from 221 worldwide populations, and show that there is a widespread signal of a very low level of Denisovan ancestry across Eastern Eurasian and Native American (EE/NA) populations. We also verify a higher level of Denisovan ancestry in Oceania than that in EE/NA; the Denisovan ancestry in Oceania is correlated with the amount of New Guinea ancestry, but not the amount of Australian ancestry, indicating that recent gene flow from New Guinea likely accounts for signals of Denisovan ancestry across Oceania. However, Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA populations is equally correlated with their New Guinea or their Australian ancestry, suggesting a common source for the Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA and Oceanian populations. Our results suggest that Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA is derived either from common ancestry with, or gene flow from, the common ancestor of New Guineans and Australians, indicating a more complex history involving East Eurasians and Oceanians than previously suspected.
So it is accounted for by other genetic research.
We are finding anomalies in all areas of evolutionary studies, whether we look at the mitochondrial and Y-chromosonal data, the datings associated with human archaeological sites, or analysis of hominin morphology. Rather than continuing with the attempt to fit square pegs into a round hole, it is time to face the fact that holes are round and that our story of human origins has been significantly wrong.

Well, studies such as the ones above have reworked hypotheses on migrations theories, the paper you cite on Denisovan admixture being among the many smaller scale migration already being debated and shifting as my second link mentions. So while rethinking ideas in light of evidence is a good thing, there should be clear limits on what to discredit.

Overall I wish I could like the idea as a competing idea to OOA, but this if this paper is to serve any impression of the book, using various studies on hominids and human genetic at different scales showing no clear pattern center towards South East Asia in both Archaeology AND genetics but with just enthusiasm of creating a new idea and to fill holes, then I’m disappointed.

With that said, if anyone with better knowledge and citations from the book (Fenton mentions research from close colleagues of his) then I may be more inclined to accept new finds if they are in favor of shifting human origins from Africa to Australasia.

Origins and the Relationship between West Africans and Hunter-Gatherer Populations

by Phil78 1802 words

Many casual members of HBD may not be completely aware of the population history West Africans and hunter-gathers like Pygmies beyond, say, the Bantu Migration.

Those who frequent articles by population genetics bloggers such as Dienekes or Razib Khan ought to be aware of how, in the sense of Macro races, the two clusters are distinct despite their relatively close association in a human cladistic sense to the confusion of others.

Fortunately enough, two recent finds in both genes and fossils this year not only paint the history of these two groups but also humanity as a whole, with the evolutionary timeline of Sapiens being pushed back to 300k, possibly further according to Chris Springer.

Hublin–one of the study’s coauthors–notes that between 330,000 and 300,000 years ago, the Sahara was green and animals could range freely across it.

While the Moroccan fossils do look like modern H sapiens, they also still look a lot like pre-sapiens, and the matter is still up for debate. Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer suggests that we should consider all of our ancestors after the Neanderthals split off to be Homo sapiens, which would make our species 500,000 years old. Others would undoubtedly prefer to use a more recent date, arguing that the physical and cultural differences between 500,000 year old humans and today’s people are too large to consider them one species.

(The morphological characteristics of these hominids will come into play latter.)

Taking in this information in, we now ought to have a better context to place the divergence of HG populations and the rest of mankind (including West Africans) being more than 260,000 years ago.
[Edit– Razib has recently posted a short piece recalling expert criticism  on the reported date, suggesting that it is an overestimate. While quite possible, as he compares it to claims of a 25k split between European and NE asians and no neanderthal admixture in Europeans. With that said, he has also alludes to a similar suggestion on African lineages that I’ve outlined here. If this is the case, then why do they range so close to Modern West Africans? The reason, for the most part, being that this finding technically refers to it’s ancient primary cluster and not it’s modern composition as a whole.]

So in terms of proportions, 30% of the composition of West African people contain the human ancestors of the Ballito Boy, a specimen believed in turn to represent the ancestors of modern Khoisan people without the genetic admixture of either Bantu or East African Pastoralists. (Which this study finds to range from 9% to 22% in all modern Khoisan Groups).

[*Edit- When I say HG’s people association with West Africans, I’m referring to the relative position the two populations have compared the actual East African cluster exemplified the most by Nilotic people, not “Horners”. I realized this confusion when I look at genetic distance test and found Bushmen populations ranking closest to Ethiopians, this is probably just a result of their admixture with Ethiopians as later studies \accounted for the confound and gave more accurate results, West African’s closest cluster being both Nilotics and Ethiopians with Pygmies and San clustering closer than before, though Mbuti are rather intermediate with San than sharing a branch.

This seems to dampen earlier but plausible ideas suggestion of highland Ethiopians having a San-like African profile explain their affinity to each other, but this helps illustrate the nature of the cline in affinity of Native African clusters as Razib covered later that year both between each other and relative to non African populations. Here, we see that the San have closer affinities to West Africans than to Nilotics, though the pygmies groups having an odd relationship. Not only are Biaka people closer to West Africans than Mbuti are, but in general are closer to West Africans than to Mbuti. This is likely connected to these findings.

The findings also illustrate that oddly,  next to my knowledge at least, how though the San and Mbuti share similarly deep splits from non-africans, both of their smallest distances are with the Biaka than with each other despite the Biaka being closest to West Africans who are as distant as the Mbuti are to the San. Clearly imagining pygmies as merely as a cline between San and Bantus doesn’t work without considering a either considering them their own cluster altogether or to isolation. I’m considering the former idea for the most part.

Mainly because Mbuti are the smallest Pygmies, with height in that region being correlated with Pygmy ancestry versus Bantu, and Biaka pygmies have been shown to be only 18.5% to 30% “pygmy”, if assuming Mbutis are pure and Bantus are the outside group. Though the latter point explains the overall association they have with West Africans, there is still the remote position of the Mbuti. According to Cavalli Sforza, the San and Bushmen don’t necessarily share a particularly close relationship but both their lifestyles and apparent divergence from Bantus makes the idea rather convincing.

Based on the new study, which is though scant on including pygmies, comparing Mbuti dates to San shows similar dates to what was estimated at the high range of the previous 90k-195k split, if not a little higher. This is also consistent with the pygmies (in pure form) being intermediate between West African ancestors and San in the 1994 study and the new date for the Khoi-san. Their more or less genetic isolation may’ve played a role as well in their similar position with other African due to limited geneflow compared to the Khoisan and Biaka being connected through the Bantu Expansion, undermining the affinity Khoisan and Mbuti have through common ancestry. Basically similar to the relationship of Sardinians and mainland Italians which reflects a similar distance relationship with. ]

Now, the first thought crime most are pondering at this point is whether or not the Khoisan are fully human in the context of genetics and recent anthropology? John Hawks  already discussed the position of the ancient moroccans in our evolutionary tree and expresses the authors’ comments on how, despite their archaic features restrain them from being clearly modern, they and similar finds play the role as the founding lineage to contribute to modern Sapiens.

In Hublin and colleagues’ “pan-African” hypothesis, every African fossil that had parted ways with Neanderthals is part of a single lineage, a stem population for modern humans. They connect the evolution of these early H. sapiens people to a new form of technology, the Middle Stone Age, which was found in various regions of Africa by 300,000 years ago.

So how many other archaic groups were in Africa? Under the Hublin model, there may have been none. Every fossil sharing some modern human traits may have a place within the “pan-African” evolutionary pattern. These were not river channels flowing into the desert, every channel was part of the mainstream.

But there may be a problem. Geneticists think there were others.

To which he alludes to Iwo Eleru findings, found to be closest to Early AMH (120k levant)

Now, as for cranial representatives that the Ballito Boy likely is associated with, there has been indeed quite a few earlier skulls fitting the profile that were classed separate of more archaic types of similar geography like Florisbad, and thus would be classed away from the Moroccans as well.

An example being this rather interesting analysis of the Border Cave skull (which I believe is 50k, at a site which bushman-like tools dated at 46k).

When all (six rather than just three) discriminants are
considered, Border Cave in fact lies closest to the Hottentot
centroid and is contained within the .05 limits of this distribution.
The fossil also approaches the Venda and Bushman male
centroids but falls beyond the .05 limits of these groups. This
is new information, not principally because of the Hottentot
identification, which is dubious, but because Border Cave is
shown emphatically to be well within the range of modern
African variation for the measurements used. The cranium is
heavily constructed, but it is hardly archaic in the fashion of
Florisbad or Broken Hill.

border cave front view-

border cave skull lateral view-

Hottentot (Khoi pastorlist) skull, Lateral and Front, (for comparison)

And here’s the best primary reference of a “bushman skull” I could find to display it’s similarities and differences with more admixed Pastoralists. One listed trait that’s notable is the less prominent occipital protrusion of the Bushman skull despite being measured as more dolichocephalic, probably due to a narrower relative breadth but that cannot be seen here.

However the only one I know of that is linked with Khoisan with modern research , is the similar Fish Hoek specimen.

Humanitec-Anatomy of an intellectual triad

Primitive Man of the Peninsula. Cape Times (South Africa), October 26, 1927 

One Hundred Skulls: OEC and Exploring Human Origins

In comparison to Jebel Irhoud 1

Zetaboards (Anthroscape), unknown source

front and lateral view Jebel Irhoud-

And Florisbad

Ira Block Photography

And comments from the study mentioned, which links Fish Hoek with modern Khoisan, comparing morphological differences among Stone age African Skulls, Bushman, Pygmies, and Bantu Farmers.

To summarize, therefore, the Pleistocene skulls from across Africa tend to be broad,
long, with a broad face and broad, short orbits.
By contrast, the skulls of the Khoisan (“Bushman”) population are relatively short,
low, broad, narrow, with a comparatively intermediate nose.
Pygmies are characterized by great variability, but they usually have small-sized
round skulls, and a balanced face. Their degree of dispersion, however, contradicts the findings of other studies, which have detected a strong homogeneity among Pygmy populations, even if these support the hypothesis that the typical features of these populations, including their short stature, took place after their geographical separation through convergent evolution. As is suggested by other more recent studies (Ramírez Rossi y Sardi, 2010; Anagnostou, 2010; Vigilant, 1989).
The Bantu-speaking populations are mostly at the center of the graph, which rep-
resents a common morphological tendency, but with a strong variability, whether they come from Southern, Eastern or Central Africa. This supports the idea of a common, more recent ancestor than that for the Pygmy and Khoisan groups, as well as a similar way of life founded on cattle breeding and farming, independent of their surrounding environment.

The Late Peopling of Africa According to Craniometric Data. A Comparison of Genetic and Linguistic Models

For context, the specimen in the sample that exemplifies the traits associated with the Pleistocene group the most would be the Herto Skull, which is comparatively closer to modern humans than the Jebel Irhoud findings.

160,000-year-old skulls fill crucial gap in evolution- Telegraph

So despite their divergence being closer to the age of more archaic specimens, why do their likely less admixed ancestors and modern populations contrast clearly in phenotypical traits? This would, by my amateur speculation, leave two options. Either gracilization took place in convergence with other populations or a more plausible route that the archaeological finds don’t precisely place the specimen’s actually divergence, thus the more archaic forms likely have older splits than what their fossilized age suggest and the clear traits of “Modern human” phenotype possibly being older as well in that respect.

Chaos and Nationhood with Blacks

 1900 words

By: Phil

When critics of the mainstream approach towards modern African-American grievance questions the agency of the population to improve their standards of living, they often cite either how minorities such as poor European immigrants of the Early 20th century assimilated better despite discrimination, or how Black immigrants from Africa occupy a higher mode of living.

While multiple factors contribute to the discrepancy, one caught my attention which struck me a paradoxical but soon started to make sense as I dug deeper. That trait being the lack of effective widespread “unity” among not just Black Americans but many other populations, especially those in Africa.

– The Situation

As for my titular use of “chaos” to describe it, I owe it to an Unz commenter who contrasted it from individualism or collectivism. For an intra-regional example, you have riots or protests regarding threats seen as pertaining to the racial mass, yet you have commonly cited the lack of the same regard for those killed by perpetrators of the same race.

From an inter-regional example I refer to the words of my father that, despite the beliefs of some, there is no “Black America” in which the interests or beliefs of blacks due to having comparatively looser connections than others based on a national level. This is noted by regional variance in ideology between blacks during the Progressive Era or better yet modern African conflicts, many of which can be classified as Christians versus Muslims on the larger scale yet can even be observed on a finer, pre-colonial level of identities (Osaghae and Suberu 2005).

There are numerous examples of pre-colonial migration, usually stimulated by wars or natural disasters, which have continued to generate bitter conflicts today owing to continuing discrimination against the immigrants by the original settlers. These include the eighteenth century mass migration of Oyo Modakeke into Ife in search of a safe haven from the internecine wars of the Oyo empire; the movement of Urhobo and Ijaw into Warri, where the Itsekiri claim to have been the original settlers; the migration of the Jukun-Chamba from Cameroon to parts of the present Taraba state, originally settled by the Kuteb; and the sixteenth century settlement of Hausa merchants in Zangon Kataf within a territory occupied by the Kataf (Isumonah 2003; Mustapha 2000). “

I attribute three reasons why this would be.

One being geography, as these behaviors are most notable with African nations that often overlap in cultural spheres despite living on a huge continent, and also how Black Americans probably covering the largest area relative to other New World African descent populations thus making diversification more enabled.

The second being the process of slavery in New World populations giving various forms of cultural transmission amongst black slaves by region who as well came through different tribes, either producing the typical “Scot-Irish” Black culture or a “Creole” culture, like the Gullah people of the South East. The Third, the Basal reason, being the effects of Genetic interests at hand as put by RR and how African Diversity works.


Here Razib Khan explains that when Foreign Admixture is removed, African diversity is higher among individuals than for major geographical groups.In other words, while geographically diverse, the actual organization of the diversity in the context of cultural boundaries is more stratified due to the lack of breeding, be it outbreeding or replacement involved in nations.

This suggestion is strengthened by famous blogger Jayman attributing this to the lack of large states in Africa to the lack of especially large states in Africa. Granted, you did have relatively large ones in the Sahel but the didn’t last as long as those in Eurasia, falling mainly due to internal struggles.

In the presence of cultural homogeneity, reflecting of a shared lineage, you see improvements in places such as Botswana (Tswana-Sotho) or Ghana (Akan people) partially due to better cultural, and thus likely genetic,  unity due to past nationhoods. Apparently, though for short duration, the Tswana formed a political body as large as France,

This is also consistent with the observations made by Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston, a famous colonialist researcher on African and US blacks, on African born blacks on the sea Islands of the South East, which he describes as of “Yoruba Stock” in semblance.

“Also they are when away from white influence inclined to sparsity of clothing-not nowadays a common trait in the United States negro. They are also pure negroes entirely without any infusion of white blood. Crime is very rare among them.The Negro in the New World by Harry Hamilton Johnston p. 470

A good modern example would be the demographics of West Africa Immigrants, being principally Akan of Ghana and the Yoruba or Igbo of Nigeria, who each come from relatively well constructed precolonial formations. What is also of note is how their prominence seems to be correlated to the extent in which Cousin Marriage is practiced, possibly reflective of the precolonial patterns of cousin marriage

Application for the U.S population in kin networks, where it does not work.

PP, in which he discussed the ethnocentrism of different groups, said this regarding blacks and kin altruism.

“And yet eventually these extremely different tribes mixed, and so you would have parents raising kids who have genetic variants very alien to their own, and this probably contributed to the breakdown of the black family: it’s harder for kin altruism to get selected when the kids you are altruistic to, don’t resemble you that much genetically because their other parent is so unlike you that they don’t inherit your high degree of kin altruism or inherit it as a recessive unexpressed trait.  And when kin altruism gets only weakly selected for, racial loyalty (which is probably just an outgrowth of kin loyalty) is probably weakly selected for too.”

Which would be incorrect. Yes, while crossing over does occur, a child would be overall close to their parent’s overall genetic background on the level of relatedness. Leaping from that neglected detail, he assumes from his evidence of “lack of racial loyalty” would that blacks have less ethnic nepotism and thus weaker kin altruism despite not taking into account of selection occurring within subgroups of various constructs like you see in Africa which would apply to families inside them.

If this theory was even supportable, one would expect the opposite that actually occurs with the percentage of Black children to return to relatives compared to White children.


“Of the 94,483 black children discharged from foster care, 12,860, or 13%, were discharged to a relative guardian. Of the 182,941 white children discharged from foster care in 2004, 20,453, or 11%, were discharged to a relative guardian.Of the 15,087 black children adopted from foster care, 4077, or 27%, were adopted by a relative. Of the 29,244 white children adopted from foster care, 5861, or 20%, were adopted by a relativeOf the 279,421 black kids living in foster care for some portion of the year, 69,888 or 25% were living with relatives. Of the 474,734 white children living in foster care for some portion of the year, 101,300, or 21%, were living with relatives.

So black children getting adopted from foster care are somewhat more likely to be adopted by relatives than white kids (27% vs. 20%), black kids exiting foster care are slightly more likely to be discharged to a relative guardian than white kids (13% to 11%), and black kids in foster care are slightly more likely to be living with relatives than white kids (25% vs. 21%). The differences support the hypothesis that blacks are more likely to utilize kinship care networks, but not by a lot, at least in regard to the foster care system.”

From Audacious Epigone, who also notes that despite the higher likelihood of such networks that doesn’t explain disproportion in foster care. Though evidence for IQ is at best moderate, interpersonal indicators were stronger (Azar, Stevenson, and Johnson 2012)).

“SIP problems were associated with direct measures of neglect (e.g., cognitive stimulation provided children, home hygiene, belief regarding causes of child injuries). Further, for the direct measures that were most closely linked to CPS Neglect Status, IQ did not add significant predictive capacity beyond SIP factors in preliminary model testing. Implications for intervention with PID discussed.”

This is possibly linked to EI scores found to differ between Whites and Blacks (Whitman, Kraus, and Rooy 2014)

“The present work examines applicant reactions to a test of emotional intelligence (EI) using an organizational sample of 334 job applicants. Results indicated that Blacks had higher face validity and opportunity to perform perceptions of EI than Whites, but that Whites performed significantly better than Blacks on the EI test. Although exploratory analyses revealed that test performance was positively related to test reactions, we also found that the magnitude of this relationship differed between Blacks and Whites for the opportunity to perform perceptions. We discuss our findings by offering practical advice for organizations considering or using a measure of EI for selection and assessment.”

Evidence for Kin networks is also supported by more data (Taylor 2013).

“Turning first to findings for family support networks, four significant differences were observed in this analysis. African Americans gave assistance to their family members more often than non-Hispanic Whites, were more likely to have daily contact with their extended family members than both non-Hispanic Whites and Black Caribbeans, and had more frequent interactions with their family than Black Caribbeans. Three general conclusions can be drawn from these findings for family assistance and interaction. First, these findings are consistent with prior work indicating that African Americans have similar or higher levels of involvement with kin than non-Hispanic Whites, but are inconsistent with reports that African Americans have lower levels of family support than Whites (e.g., Hogan et al., 1993). As noted in previous reviews of this literature (Sarkisian & Gertsel, 2004), comparisons across studies are problematic given important differences in the dependent variables used. The present study’s investigation of several dimensions of family support relationships (e.g., enacted support, emotional support, contact, negative interaction) in diverse groups of the population and using a common set of sociodemographic correlates clarifies the nature of race/ethnic differences in these relationships.”

It also found, however, weaker ties outside the family, which strengthen my suggestion of finer stratification of kin ties than just simply less selection.

“Several significant differences in friendship networks were observed in this analysis. Non-Hispanic Whites interacted with their friends and gave support to their friends more frequently than African Americans. Additionally, non-Hispanic Whites received support from friends more frequently than both African Americans and Black Caribbeans. Many of the differences between African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites could reflect basic differences in their levels of involvement in friendship networks. For instance, 16.7% of African-Americans, 16.1 % of Black Caribbeans and 9.7% of non-Hispanic Whites report that they never receive help from friends. Similarly, African Americans (11%) were twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites (4.7%) to indicate that they hardly ever or never interact with friends. Lower levels of involvement with friends among African Americans could be due to estrangement from friends, isolation from friends or exclusive involvement with kinship networks (Ajrouch et al., 2001). Collectively, these results, and previous research (Griffin et al., 2006; Waite & Harrison, 1992), indicate that non-Hispanic Whites are more likely than African Americans to interact with friendship networks and to identify friends as an important source of support.”

This lack of support was not seen, however, with fictive kin or congregational members. So perhaps wither the perception of relationship or differences in genetic similarity may answer some of these questions.