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Biotech Science

Humans Evolved From a Single Origin In Africa 461

Posted by kdawson
from the 6,000-skulls dept.
Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Researchers at the University of Cambridge have combined studies of global human genetic variations with skull measurements worldwide to show conclusively the validity of the single origin hypothesis. The alternative hypothesis contended that different populations independently evolved from Homo erectus to Home sapiens in different areas. The lead researcher explains, 'The origin of anatomically modern humans has been the focus of much heated debate. Our genetic research shows the further modern humans have migrated from Africa, the more genetic diversity has been lost within a population. However, some have used skull data to argue that modern humans originated in multiple spots around the world. We have combined our genetic data with new measurements of a large sample of skulls to show definitively that modern humans originated from a single area in Sub-saharan Africa.' The article abstract is available from Nature."
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Humans Evolved From a Single Origin In Africa

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  • Not so fast (Score:5, Informative)

    by InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:19AM (#19914697)
    It looks like this research is already being torn to pieces [msn.com]:

    "John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison says the paper is mistaken. A major flaw is that the current research is largely based on skull variability. "You can't find the origin of people by measuring the variability of their skulls," Hawks said.

    "Differences in skull features are related to genetics, and genetic variation depends on how much mixing occurs with other populations. "The main problem with the paper is that it takes some assumptions from genetics papers of 10 to 15 years ago that we now know are wrong," Hawks said.

    "Other scenarios, besides the single-origin theory, could account for the link between distance and skull variability. "Africa is ecologically diverse, and cranial variation is a function of environments," he said. In environments supporting hardy foods such as roots, people would need bigger jaw muscles, and thus larger areas for muscle attachments.

    "Also, correcting for climate is not a good idea, according to Hawks. "The most important feature that is related to climate is skull size. So by correcting for climate, they are subtracting a major component of variability," he said.

    "In his own research, Hawks is finding that natural selection has led to changes in thousands of genes during only the past few thousand years.

    "I'm really thinking just the opposite of this paper," Hawks said. "There are differences in the skull between populations, including their variability, but it is mostly due to very recent effects and not the origin of modern humans."

    "At the end of the day, a resolution to the "Out of Africa" debate may be impossible, he said. Most of the evidence can be interpreted as supporting both human-origins theories. "It's really hard to find observations that distinguish the two," Hawks said.

    "The multiregional idea is identical to the recent African origin idea, except for its prediction that Europeans and Asians were part of the single population of origin and didn't become extinct."
    • Re:Not so fast (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:33AM (#19914895) Journal
      Just FYI, Hawks has an interesting blog at http://www.johnhawks.net/weblog [johnhawks.net]

      I think it's down right now, but I'd recommend it!
    • by IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:41AM (#19915041)
      1) Submit story to slashdot you know is already debunked.
      2) Get first post on said story noting the debunking.
      3) ...
      4) Profit? Karma?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wytcld (179112)
      Can more variation in Africa really prove anything beyond ... more variation in Africa? Consider: There are more tribal cultures, more languages, more language families, more diverse environmental niches. When you look at a globe rather than our typical equatorial-land-cheating map projections, Africa is a huge place. But does the existence of more variations on a theme in a particular space prove that it was the location of the original of the theme?

      An opposite argument is possible. Let's say you had butte
      • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lawpoop (604919) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:15PM (#19915463) Homepage Journal

        Can more variation in Africa really prove anything beyond ... more variation in Africa?
        I have a degree in anthropology. I recall some mathematical work in populations and genetics that shows that the place with the most diversity is the origin of the species. That because the species has been in that location so long, they've had more time to mutate and spread those genes a lot. I didn't really understand it, but it was highly mathematical.

        Anyways, some anthropologist took this population/genetics research and applied it to human populations. First off, they had to show that there was more diversity in Africa. They did this with genetics. So then if Africa has the most human diversity, and the above postulate about populations and diversity is true, then humans must have originated in Africa.
        • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Insightful)

          by the phantom (107624) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:36PM (#19915847) Homepage
          Actually, it is simpler than that. Movement out of Africa would occur as small groups leave, to go to other places. Those groups will only carry a subset of the alleles from the larger population. Thus, they will be less genetically diverse.

          And it is nice to see another anthropologist on Slashdot. I have my degree in anthropology (focusing in archaeology), with a minor in statistics. ;)
        • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Interesting)

          by msaavedra (29918) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @01:28PM (#19916853)

          I have a degree in anthropology. I recall some mathematical work...I didn't really understand it, but it was highly mathematical.

          Typical anthropology major (I kid, I kid. I have a degree in anthropology, too).

          I believe I've read the same or similar material. Here is a little more detailed explanation:

          Population geneticists have observed more genetic variability within the African population than in other areas. This by itself doesn't mean anything, though. It could just be that the environment in Africa in the old days was pleasant enough that mutant genes had a decent chance of survival, while harsher environments in paleolithic Europe, Asia, etc could weed out genes much more efficiently through very vigorous natural selection.

          There is another piece to the puzzle, though. Not only does Africa have a huge amount of variability, but that variability encompasses nearly all the variability found in other places as well. That is, the gene pools of Europe, Asia, etc are basically sub-sets of the African gene pool. Consider the following scenarios that could explain this:

          1. The populations in various locations split apart, and evolved somewhat independently. By luck or some unknown process, those new mutations arising in Europe and Asia also arose in Africa. However, those arising in Europe did not arise in Asia, and vice versa.
          2. The populations of the various continents split apart, but there is sufficient gene flow for mutations originating in one part of the world to spread to another. By coincidence or some process I'm not familiar with, the mutations arising in Africa spread to Europe and Asia, and those arising elsewhere spread to Africa. However, Europe and Asia have less genetic exchange, even with Africa acting as an intermediary.
          3. Modern humans developed almost exclusively in Africa, fairly recently in geological time. They spread through the world, replacing earlier populations with little if any interbreeding. The migrating populations lost some of their genetic variability through natural selection in their new environments, or through forces such as the founder effect.

          If think if you put this into mathematical language, you'd find option #3 is definitely the most likely. I wouldn't call it conclusive, though. After all, options #1 and #2 could be correct, if we discover some unknown processes that make them work without resorting to blind luck. In the meantime, though, my bet is on #3.

      • A prediction of the Out of Africa scenario is that the origin point ought to have the highest amount of genetic diversity due to the fact that the oldest populations of modern humans live there, while genetic diversity would decrease as one went farther away from the point of origin.

        Let's note here that we're not talking about a few novel mutations (which seems to be what your analogy is about) but more about genetic drift. This would be largely independent of other factors, and so should serve as a reason
    • Re:Not so fast (Score:5, Informative)

      by ihuntrocks (870257) <ihuntrocksNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:54AM (#19915213)
      I wouldn't quite consider what Mr. Hawks is doing to be "tearing the research to pieces". Mr. Hawks is a researcher with a competing viewpoint. Furthermore, the viewpoint that is expressed (and this may be largely due to the interviewer, and may not be the fault of Mr. Hawks in all fairness) doesn't give much in the way of evidence to support his viewpoint (note "I'm really thinking just the opposite of this paper," is about as strong as it gets in the article. www.johnhawks.net has a bit more). Mr. Hawks seems to be carrying on the research of his doctoral advisor, Milford Wolpoff, who strongly advocates the multiregional idea. It seems here that we have a researcher who started with a conclusion and is trying to find data to support it, rather than starting with a hypothesis, gathering data, and forming a conclusion (some things can work backward...science isn't one of them). Mr. Hawks seems to be a little ruffled now that someone has published research (which went the right way up the scientific method) which doesn't seem to jive with his view. If you want a great overview of evolution explained in a great manner, grab some books by Stephen Jay Gould (or read up at http://www.stephenjaygould.org./ [www.stephenjaygould.org] By far, one of the greatest in the field of Paleontology (co-developer of the idea of Punctuated Equilibrium, which is quite important to this discussion. A shame that Mr. Hawks doesn't seem to be very familiar with this concept). More than worth the read for anyone interested in the subject.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Vellmont (569020)

        It seems here that we have a researcher who started with a conclusion and is trying to find data to support it, rather than starting with a hypothesis, gathering data, and forming a conclusion

        While I don't know much about the research in question, this statement struck me as wildly wrong. Theories are quite often developed before there's data to support that theory. The most well known of those is special and general relativity. At the time Einstein created these theories there was very little data to su
    • and that white people come from adam and eve who were made from mud, and black people came from monkies.

      This may sound like a troll, but it's what she actually thinks.
    • >"You can't find the origin of people by measuring the variability of their skulls," Hawks said.

      Hawks seems to be arguing his conclusion. The restriction of variability through genetic bottlenecking is well known and documented in a wide variety of species. In this case the original authors are suggesting that the bottlenecking occurred as small groups migrated long distances away from the original population. The bottleneck or genetic drift occurs simply because they are small populations with on

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:20AM (#19914707)
    I am wondering if this information may or may not discount the theory the Homosapians and Neanderthalls in Europe may have cross breaded?
    • Mmmm, breaded Neanderthalls >
    • I know this is offtopic, but the following lyrics played in my head when I read this:

      Does it bother me at all
      My rival is neanderthal, it makes me think
      Perhaps I need a drink

      Iq is no problem here
      We wont be playing scrabble for her hand I fear
      I need that beer

      -Sting, Seven Days

      Cheers!
    • One must never discount those wild Ice-Age parties, where beer-goggling can lead to more than just a little shame. ("Dude, you slept outside your own species!? WTF were you thinking?! I TOLD you not to eat the worm! Didn't I? Didn't I? But NooooOOOOooo... you just had to!")

      After all, condoms hadn't even been invented yet, y'know?

      /P

      • After all, condoms hadn't even been invented yet, y'know?

        No I don't know. Plastics weren't invented until the 1800s and 1900s, but there were condoms made from organic materials before then. Said organic materials aren't likely to be preserved in the archaeological record of 30,000 years ago, so we can't tell if they had condoms back then.
    • by mothrafokker (885654) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:29AM (#19914845)
      I think it's highly believable that they traded various recipes for rolls, pastries, and other breads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720)
      Homosapians? I know it's just a spelling error, but as everyone knows, apians are bees. So, let me ask you a question:

      Are you attracted to gay bees?

      Disclaimer: I realize that not everyone here watched SNL in the early 80s. If you didn't, I'm sorry you don't get the joke -- but I don't mean to offend any gays or bee fetishists.
    • I am wondering if this information may or may not discount the theory the Homosapians and Neanderthalls in Europe may have cross breaded?

      Whether H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis interbred to result in H. sapiens sapiens or whether, OTOH, H. sapiens sapiens evolved from H. sapiens alone before, after, or while the latter displaced H. neanderthalensis in Europe is somewhat irrelevant to the question of whether H. sapiens had a single origin in Africa.

      It might be relevant to the question of whether H. sapien

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        It might be relevant to the question of whether H. sapiens sapiens had a single origin, which would be a different question. (A subspecies without a single origin would seem to be less surprising; a species with multiple origins would be, AFAIK, rather unusual.)

        I don't think it's that unusual. There are plenty of species complexes out there. Probably the most familiar example is genus Canis (dogs). A large number of the members of this family are reproductively compatible, and gene flow between variou

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        This is what I thought too. I think it would be kind of weird if the same species evolved in 2 different places. What are the odds of that happening? Say you have Homo Erectus in Asia and Africa. What are the odds that both would eventually evolve into homosapiens. It seems completely logical and non-surprising that humans originated in a single spot.
  • by uberjoe (726765) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:21AM (#19914729)
    Humans were designed in single origin in heaven.

    There, fixed it for you.

  • by tsa (15680) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:26AM (#19914791) Homepage
    A bit off-topic, I know, but what often puzzles me is that all living things basically work with the same chemistry. All have DNA, and there are many proteins that are physically very similar between different species, even between animals and plants. This leads me to conclude that all life must have come form one ancestor that materialized somewhere on the planet. But the earth is a big place. To me it seems very unlikely that life hasn't occurred in more than one place and more than one time. So how is it possible that all life, on a chemical level, is more or less the same?
    • Actually, I thought that some life forms only had RNA at best...

      (and if we find life somewhere off-planet, all bets are off, yo...)

      /P

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178)
      Survival of the fittest.

      Perhaps one day, when life started out, there were many different types of bacterial lifeforms. Turns out that only a handful managed to stay alive in the ever-changing environment. Some of those just happened to have the bad luck of being wiped out by a meteor shower. And one of few remaining ones was a bloodthirsty killer that ate the few remaining other species; we decended from that guy.

      Perhaps something completely different happenned. The chances of a lifeform being succesful in
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Urban Garlic (447282)
      Don't forget that you're only seeing the survivors. It's possible that several variations of primeval life did arise, but one variation out-competed the others, or was the sole survivor of some catastrophe. The fossil record, fragmentary as it is, has numerous examples of whole species groups going extinct, and there's no reason to imagine that life was any less challenging or competitive before it could form fossils.
      • by ipjohnson (580042)
        Kinda like VHS vs. Betamax .....
      • Let's not forget that the sharing of genetic information between primitive organisms might have been much more common. The modern view of Common Descent is not some single monolithic ancestor at the bottom of the tree of life, but rather more probably a bush of gene-swapping ancestors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aadvancedGIR (959466)
      This is a widely accepted theory, but you are wrong about all life using DNA: some virii and bacteria are still relying on RNA.
    • Who the hell knows where life started (besides the ID crowd, haha)? In terms of evolution, however, there is no real need to have multiple origins; starting with a simple enough organism, they can split and diverge countless times to provide the sort of diversity we see today, and that common starting point would provide you your chemical homogeneity.

      On the other hand, conditions on the pre-life earth were wildly different from the ones we have now. There could have been a number of different species, and o
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lawpoop (604919)

      To me it seems very unlikely that life hasn't occurred in more than one place and more than one time. So how is it possible that all life, on a chemical level, is more or less the same?
      Maybe because there's only one chemical formula for life to exist, so that no matter where it arises, it's always the same chemical formula.
    • by Belacgod (1103921)
      The limits on the expansion of one life form are:

      1) How fast it can move

      2) Other life forms

      In the absence of other life forms, the first life form would expand its geographic range as fast as it could move. That would be slow, they being single-celled organisms, but lighting speed by evolutionary time. By the time something else might have become life, there was already life around that had had time to evolve into a decent level of fitness for the environment, and so outcompeted the newcomers.

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @01:26PM (#19916815) Journal

      A bit off-topic, I know, but what often puzzles me is that all living things basically work with the same chemistry. All have DNA, and there are many proteins that are physically very similar between different species, even between animals and plants. This leads me to conclude that all life must have come form one ancestor that materialized somewhere on the planet.

      Yes, and that ancestor is a very simple RNA-based bacterium. And this evolved into DNA-based simple bacteria. Then bacteria which included other simple and ultra-specialized bacteria (cloroplasts and mitochondria). Which evolved into simple multi-celular life forms like sponges and extremely simple worms (hardly more than essentially an elongated torus whose surface was a bacterial film.) Which further evolved into more and more complex stuff.

      And some figured out how to eat the others. E.g., fungi evolved to take another cell apart for food. And then some of those managed to, well, more or less do agriculture with other bacteria: the lichen are more or less a combination of a fungus and a bacteria, where the fungus traps the bacteria and helps fixate water and minerals for it, then scoop the food the bacteria produced. Or sometimes just destroy and eat those bacteria for food.

      So there you already see the early split between plants and animals: one branch of the fork relied on photosynthesis to produce its own food and energy, using solar energy for it, and the other branch of the fork evolved to be basically parasites on the first one. Whether literally parasites eating the live plants (mostly plankton and algae at that point), or eating the corpses.

      But before that fork, they evolved from the same ancestor, hence why they're still similar inside.

      And from there it was often a race between species, driven by natural selection. E.g., the lignin based plants of the carboniferous era had a major temporary advantage, in that bacteria and fungi didn't yet exist which could digest this adaptation. However, that also applied to dead plants, which is why there's so much coal left from that age (and gave the age its name.) There simply was noone around which could eat a dead plant. But then bacteria evolved that could take apart lignin and celulosis. And then some animals evolved compartmented stomachs where they could store such bacteria so they could eat plants. (Don't think just literally animals. Some insects, e.g., termites, do exactly the same.)

      And so on, an so forth, branching wildly ever since, and punctuated by some extinctions that trimmed the tree.

      But, yes, once you trace all the branches back, it all leads to that first primitive bacterium. That's why it's all so similar at a chemistry level. Each step was a tweak of what already existed. Each step evolved more complex proteins, or just different proteins, and more specialized roles, but it was still based on the same reactions that worked before.

      E.g., it still had enzymes which copied a strand of RNA, between a "START" and an "END" marker, to a protein. Even in DNA based cells, it's still not that horribly different: there's just an extra step of transcribing the DNA to RNA, so then you can transcribe the RNA to a protein. (As to why that more complicated mechanism evolved by natural selection: because breaking a single strand of DNA, for example by radiation or some chemicals, can still be fixed, while the same break in RNA means cell death. So the DNA based mutants were hideously more survivable than their RNA based ancestors.) Anyway, we essentially we still use the same mechanism of producing the proteins as that original proto-bacterium ancestor.

      Where did that original bacterium come from? Well, probably from something even simpler. A bacterium is nothing more than a drop of sea water with a membrane. It makes it easier to keep the contents isolated from the rest of the world, much like a test tube does. But ultimately you just have some reactions in liquid water inside. So probably some chemica

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wikinerd (809585)

        life evolved exactly once. No more and (obviously) no less. Why not more than once? maybe it's just a freakin' improbable event.

        Perhaps several different biochemistries developed, with one becoming too successful and displacing others.

  • Finally (Score:4, Funny)

    by endianx (1006895) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:26AM (#19914799)
    This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from primates, were created by God, or both. Case closed!
    • by eln (21727) *
      Actually, this proves that humans came to earth from Golgafrincham just like the great anthropologist Dr. Douglas Adams postulated. His only error was that he believed they landed in Britain rather than in Africa.
    • This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from pirates, were created by His Noodly Appendage, or both. Case closed!
      All hail the flying spaghetti monster!
    • by tttonyyy (726776)

      This evidence proves conclusively without a doubt that there is a 100% chance that humans either evolved from pirates, were created by God, or both. Case closed!
      I much prefer my original misreading of your comment, as above. Being evolved from pirates would explain a lot about life, me hearties.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 19, 2007 @11:28AM (#19914831)
    I'm pretty sure these sort of ideas are thought up just to piss off creationists: "Hey guess what, we've found scientific evidence that the human race actually could have started from a single couple like Adam and Eve, but guess what? They were black".
    • by paladinwannabe2 (889776) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:05PM (#19915343)
      Adam and Eve were black? Next you'll be telling us that Jesus was Jewish!

      Seriously, though, the creationists I respect go to the Bible/Koran/Talmud and say "God created the heavens and the earth" then go to a science textbook to figure out how he did it.
  • Headline of 10PM news, July 19, 85,000 BC.
  • the spaceship that brought the first humans to earth. Or was it god? It's been so long.
  • Have we been wrong all along by addressing non-white/Hispanic or Indian Americans as "Americans of African decent?" It appears we'll all have roots in Africa. In any case those "black" Americans look more brown than black to me.

    A more accurate description should be "brown Americans". How about that?

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:00PM (#19915287)
    I am not a scientist, nor do I play one on TV. But my understanding of the way evolution worked is that you need a breeding population sharing common mutations and traits in order to lock in evolutionary traits. The old textbook example for regular speciation within a main population a fertile jungle valley split in two by a great river. Species A was once on both sides of the river and populations could interbreed if presented the opportunity. But given enough isolation, and especially if any environmental factors differ on one side or the other, a Species B can emerge. When the changes are minor, one could refer to the changed one as a sub-species. If the changes become very pronounced, such that interbreeding is difficult or rarely results in viable offspring, then you could say that second population constitutes a new species.

    Given that two identical populations can drift away from the ability to interbreed through nothing more than isolation, how likely would it be that one species, scattered across many environments, could independently evolve into a new species whose members could interbreed? That seems a bit off!

    I do think that hybrid species are pretty cool, even though they don't occur too often in nature. We had the polar/kodiak hybrid shot a year or so back. Zoos also have many examples of lygers, tylons, etc. Wolves and domestic dogs can interbreed, the same goes with cyotes and jackals as well. It does make one wonder how far humans could drift apart if several populations were isolated for 20,000 years. I wonder if they'd all still look alike except for different bumpy foreheads?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by plehmuffin (846742)
      I remember from my population genetics class that separate populations need only one interbreeding event very 1000 generations or so in order prevent them drifting apart into reproductive incompatibility. The prof gave the example that the (very long lived) sequoia red wood trees, which are found in both asia and north america, are still capable of interbreeding despite having been separated for millions of years.

      Of course, the amount of time required for populations to become reproductively incompatible

    • by the phantom (107624) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:48PM (#19916049) Homepage
      The Multiple Origin Hypothesis is really misnamed, if you ask me. The model states that H. erectus migrated out of Africa, and that populations of H. erectus interbred, keeping variation down, or at least keeping interbreeding possible. Thus, modern H. sapiens evolved all over the place, in a direct line from the H. erectus ancestors already in place.

      The Single Origin or Out of Africa Hypothesis states that H. sapiens evolved in Africa, and migrated out from there.

      In both cases, there is an acknowledgeable that human ancestors first evolved in Africa, then moved out from there. The difference, as I see it, is really the time at which this happened. Out of Africa is much more recent than Multiple Origins.
  • I thought this had been settled, see Mitochondrial Eve [wikipedia.org] and Y-chromosomal Adam [wikipedia.org] what's next PhD grants for theorising why the sky is blue?
  • Yes! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Now my wife can tell everyone she's married to a black man!
  • by Bob-taro (996889) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:07PM (#19915363)

    ... before you start bashing them, okay? I believe in intelligent design, but I don't see that this post has much to do with it. Those of us who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis obviously don't believe that humans came from multiple sources, we believe all humans descended from one couple. However, even if you could conclusively prove that all humanity came from one population - that doesn't disprove evolution (which is probably why you didn't immediately get the ID crowd all posting "see! see! we were right!". In fact, I'd think that even from an evolutionists POV, the chance of a species evolving independently from multiple populations is low.

    Now if someone said they'd proven that humans couldn't have evolved from one population, I might be inclined to look at their findings more closely.

    • Those of us who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis obviously don't believe that humans came from multiple sources, we believe all humans descended from one couple.

      Quote me where it says this in the bible.

      Now, I'm not a Christian but I do not bash the believers out there but on the argument of ID and giving the benefit of the doubt I think that there is a lot of room for other humans being created without being mentioned in the bible.

      To follow what little I know of the bible Adam and Eve had
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:35PM (#19915823)
      Good points. I'm an evolutionist, and I find it sad that you are unlikely to be modded up on this. (Against the group-think and all that.)

      When I read the article, the first thing I thought was 'I thought we could all agree on this?' That's the 1 big (important) thing the ID and Evo people agree on: We came from a single source.

      Of course, I still haven't ruled out that possibility that evolution is controlled by God. It kind of muddies things a bit.
    • before you start bashing them, okay? I believe in intelligent design, but I don't see that this post has much to do with it. Those of us who believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis obviously don't believe that humans came from multiple sources, we believe all humans descended from one couple.

      This can be scientifically disproven. Start with one breeding pair of the animal of your choice (say, lab rats for convenience), allow them to interbreed. See how many generations you can go before the mice get all hillbilly.

      Furthermore, the Bible contradicts itself. You start with Adam and Eve. Cain and Able come next. Cain kills Able, then is told he has to dwell in a distant land. He is afraid of being killed by others who discover his crime. What others? There's only three people on the planet! Unless

    • by DarenN (411219) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @12:42PM (#19915951) Homepage
      I remember hearing that it's been proven genetically that there is one common male ancestor and one common female ancestor for humans. the problem was, they were about 100,000 years apart.

      It was on television, so no reference.
  • All is good and right, but... Define 'humans' please...
  • by 3seas (184403) on Thursday July 19, 2007 @01:02PM (#19916309) Journal
    ... we were in part genetically influenced by what we call alien life. Not in just one place on this planet.
    Perhaps the real questions are regarding time lines and why evidence either exist or does not. Rate of deterioration under what conditions?

    This whole Darwin vs. god vs. intelligent design is all rather silly.

    Its like right to life vs. freedom of choice. Want to know the truth about that? Ask a starving child!

    Likewise, the evolution of conscious beings is probably a mix of Darwin, god (the right conditions existing - father physics and mother nature) and intelligent design, even though intelligence can sometimes be stupid (selective breading and external intelligence influence)

    Anyone who wants to divide what actually is, is looking to create a problem that doesn't really exist.

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