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Science

An Asian Origin For Human Ancestors? 125

Posted by samzenpus
from the different-neighborhoods dept.
InfiniteZero writes "Researchers agree that our immediate ancestors, the upright walking apes, arose in Africa. But the discovery of a new primate that lived about 37 million years ago in the ancient swamplands of Myanmar bolsters the idea that the deep primate family tree that gave rise to humans is rooted in Asia. If true, the discovery suggests that the ancestors of all monkeys, apes, and humans—known as the anthropoids—arose in Asia and made the arduous journey to the island continent of Africa almost 40 million years ago."
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An Asian Origin For Human Ancestors?

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  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:10PM (#40239079)

    as we all came from a single cell organism.

    • ...and further back than that: we came from a single incredibly dense point of matter.
      • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

        ...and further back than that: we came from a single incredibly dense point of matter.

        .... and if we go further back than that: all these came from literally nothing

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Its turtles all the way down!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, if we try to go further back we fail. We do not currently have enough information to do more than suggest what happened before the "big bang" it is not like there is much left of "before" (if time even works such that that word means something in this context) that event. Current thinking is that there may have been something, but what is anyone guess.

          • "Further back" when applied to "The big bang" may not even make sense. Time may not have had meaning or existed prior to the Big Bang. Though, this is all theory.
            • by Shavano (2541114)
              Or to put it another way time is a metric that exists in the universe and just like space, it doesn't exist apart from the universe... as far as we can tell from in here.
          • I thought it was caused by a collision of M-Branes.
    • Do you mean the origin of life on Earth, or our human ancestors? Either way the answer is RL'YEH!
  • From TFA:

    Kay, however, says the scales are tipping toward an Asian origin. "We've all heard about Out-of-Africa for human origins," adds Beard. "Now we think there was an Out-of-Asia migration into Africa first."

    Well, since we're tracing the origin of our species anyway, why not simply say our ancestors came from the sea? You can't get any further back than that, unless you think that life migrated from outer space [wikipedia.org].

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:17PM (#40239139) Journal

      Indeed. It's a ludicrous headline, typical for the kind of hyperbole of science journalism.

      Humans originate from Africa. Where very ancient primates originate from is another question, and isn't all that relevant to the particular issue of human origins. This moronic story has a headline that sounds like somebody is trying to reinvoke the multi-regional hypothesis.

      Shame on Slashdot. Shame on the fucking retard who wrote the article.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

        Shame on Slashdot. Shame on the fucking retard who wrote the article.

        How much censorship are you rooting for ?
         

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tverbeek (457094)

        The headline makes no suggestion of multiregional origin. You misinterpreted it; any shame should be on you for that error.

        The out-of-Africa hypothesis implies that our ancestry – back as far as we can meaningfully trace it – was entirely in Africa (back as far as that designation is also meaningful). If it turns out that our primate ancestors instead evolved elsewhere, and relocated there, that is relevant to the question of human origins, because.... it's a part of that origin.

        Oh, and GTFU.

        • by samoanbiscuit (1273176) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @09:22PM (#40240009)

          If it turns out that our primate ancestors instead evolved elsewhere, and relocated there, that is relevant to the question of human origins, because.... it's a part of that origin.

          No, you said it yourself: "as far back as we can meaningfully trace". It seems that there is some ambiguity with some of the early hominin ancestors, but basically, humans and their immediate predecessors originate from Africa. This is what happens when computer geeks think they're fully qualified to talk about paleo-anthropology or other messy science things that don't involve mathematical proofs.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            And which is based on four teeth from an animal the size of a chipmunk. I love it when they say they have discovered a new species of human, with reconstructions etc, when all they have is a jawbone, a piece of skull, or a few teeth. The fossil record of early humans is breathtakingly scanty in my view, and an lot of awfully long bows seem to be drawn from the available evidence.

            • I just love it when some fucktard makes an objection like this without considering a very old and active field called... wait for it... comparative anatomy. You know, that field of research where you can take partial remains, sometimes very minimal remains, and reconstruct the organism from them. Not just paleontologists and taxonomists use it either. It's used in criminal forensics as well. But you're right, some anonymous idiot on /. must know more than the scientists.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          No, I'd have to agree with the GP, when talking about human ancestors the obvious cuttoff point is when they started becoming human, as opposed to any other species out there. Prior to that it would be hominid ancestors, ape ancestors, primate ancestors, mammalian ancestors etc. At the very least pre-human ancestors. After all we can fairly reliably track our ancestry back to the pre-dinosaur proto-mammals and beyond, calling those human ancestors, while technically true, would be disingenuous and most l

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          It's not just a part of the origin - it may help give further insights about the origin. And for that reason, it's extremely interesting. If anthropoids evolved in (or migrated to) Asia, but humans did not evolve there, what does that mean? That's my point, but if it's not clear, the rest of this will just elaborate.

          It could be that the climate, or geography, or some other factor, was a trigger for adaptation. I'm certainly not a geographer, so take this with a grain of salt. Asia, for me, tends to evo

          • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

            I really hate to reply to myself, so please no need to moderate this, but I forgot to paste this part of the article (for those unaware, Slashdot stories are largely, but frequently inaccurately, based on something posted on another site, which you can read for more information before commenting off-topic or redundant statements, or already-answered questions).

            This may be because once they got to Africa, they found ideal lush conditions with few carnivores and underwent a "starburst of evolution," says Bear

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        Indeed. It's a ludicrous headline, typical for the kind of hyperbole of science journalism.

        Humans originate from Africa. Where very ancient primates originate from is another question, and isn't all that relevant to the particular issue of human origins. This moronic story has a headline that sounds like somebody is trying to reinvoke the multi-regional hypothesis.

        Shame on Slashdot. Shame on the fucking retard who wrote the article.

        As usual, press articles reflect shallow (or completely missing) understanding of scientific concepts. A better way to describe it would be to say, "Possible Asian Origin for Primates" and go on to describe the Asian animals as "possibly the most recent common ancestors of all primates."

      • You're not thinking like an editor. Bullshit headlines generate clicks. Huzzah Slashdot! Huzzah authors!

      • by meglon (1001833)

        This moronic story has a headline that sounds like somebody is trying to reinvoke the multi-regional hypothesis.

        Shame on Slashdot. Shame on the fucking retard who wrote the article.

        You do have to agree though, that the multi-regional hypothesis does solve the one truly glaring issue with the whole "out of Africa meme".... people from New Jersey.

  • 37 million years ago is a looooong time ago. More than halfway along the time dimension to the age of the dinosaurs. I'm surprised primates arose that quickly.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Correction: I'm surprised [simians] arose that quickly.

    • I am instead surprised that it took us that many millions of years to start becoming civilized.
    • by Immerman (2627577)

      Oh I don't know - proto-mammals arose before the dinosaurs, and mammals arose somewhere in late Triassic or early Jurassic, depending on how exactly you define the term (a matter of some debate). Lots of time to accumulate genetic potential before the -saurs were wiped out and the mammalian explosion began. It's not like a primate is any more biologically sophisticated than a horse or squirrel.

  • make up your mind -it can't be both!

    -I'm just sayin'
  • by KiloByte (825081) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @07:41PM (#40239353)

    Please at least use the correct name for the country. It happened 37Ma ago, the junta went rampant only in 1962. We don't use renamed months when talking about Rome by Commodus or Turkmenistan by Niyazov.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      Ummm ...

      You mean, some 37 Million Years ago, someone already christened that place with the name of "Burma" ?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Just up the highway from Shave.
    • Is that you Mr Peterman?

  • Monkey Magic viewers (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • Wait, so instead of the slogan "We are all Africans", we might have to change it to "We are all Asian-Africans"?

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      Wait, so instead of the slogan "We are all Africans", we might have to change it to "We are all Asian-Africans"?

      Inb4 someone came in and add " ... no wonder we are all so fuck-up !!! "

  • Now you have DONE IT!!! They will use this against us for another 40 years. Hehehe.. On the bright side, it will be ever so much fun to twist this thorn into the 'Evolutionist' side. Because you know, they just can't seem to say these little words; "I don't know for sure." Hehehe. I for one, abhore monkeys and so I believe that somewhere along the 'lemur' phase the branch containing feline DNA began developing. I hold cats and dogs in much much higher regard than our psychotic, self serving narcissi
  • Buckminster Fuller was right all along

  • It's something that could arguably be found best in the congruence of factors giving to the rise of our elevated brain activity in a more complete fashion. In that sense, interesting to wonder when it 'came together' as complex activity (tools, large worship sites, etc.) seems to get further pushed back archaeologically more and more.
  • Weren't there theories in the early 20th century that humans had evolved from different primates in different places roughly simultaneously (at that time, used as a justification for a sort of patronizing racism - that of course the nonwhite peoples were 'not as evolved' as whites)?

    Trying not to resurrect that theory's rationale, but would the article's line of reasoning perhaps suggest that humans MAY in fact have evolved in at least 2 places?

    Racism's bad enough today. What would be the result if we figur

    • I don't think the article is saying that humans emerged in Asia and Africa and then intermingled. It's that some primates emerged in Asia. A group of these primates migrated to Africa where some of their descendants evolved into humans who spread across the globe. So while our ancestors came from Africa, they came from Asia before that. (Not really surprising, given the millions of years time-span, that multiple migrations like this would have occurred.)

      • by argStyopa (232550)

        Perhaps it's just me, but I seem to keep hearing absolute conclusions in ancient anthropology from what amounts to 2 points of facts, and 98 points of sheer speculation.

        For example, the 'neanderthals did/didn't interbreed with humans' discussion. Some say absolutely not, never, no way. Some say absolutely yes, all the time.

        Now this. Considering the snapshots we have of ancient human activity are such a tiny slice of huge spans of time, is it impossible/inconceivable that parallel evolution DID occur and

  • I always suspected we were descended from Spitfires.
  • because the circumstances allowed similar evolution? climate, supernovaparticles? big monoliths, who knows how it works yet? no one
    i find similarities in the sound of language where i'm from and japanese but none in any of the african sounds, its far fetched ofcourse, and it might indeed lead to master race theories but still, why couldnt it have been like that? All these duds with their huge theories dont have actual proof, just a little evidence and a lot of deduction

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