The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:33 AM
Mosier Mosier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
What color were the first humans?

Is there any way to know what color skin the first Homo Sapiens had? How long did humans exist before major variations in skin color appeared? Is the variation in skin color among different people due to environmental pressures and selection, or just random genetic mutations that stuck because they weren't harmful?

To me, it seems that humans vary in superficial characteristics (like skin, body size/height, and hair color) more than most other species. The only other species I can think of with such a wide variety of superficial characteristics are dogs, house cats, and horses, all which humans have deliberately bred superficial characteristics for.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 09-12-2012, 01:49 AM
Reply Reply is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Arcata, CA
Posts: 7,261
From Wikipedia:
"Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain."

"It is theorized that about 1.5 million years ago, the earth endured a megadrought that drove hominids from lush rainforests into arid, open landscapes. This, coupled with the loss of dense body hair, caused early human skin to endure excess UV-B radiation and xeric stress.[43] Rogers et al. (2004) performed an examination of the variation in MC1R nucleotide sequences for people of different ancestry and compared the sequences of chimpanzees and humans from various regions of the Earth. Rogers concluded that roughly five million years ago, at the time of the evolutionary separation of chimpanzees and humans, the common ancestors of all humans had light skin that was covered by dark hair. Additionally, our closest extant relative, the chimpanzee, has light skin covered by thick body hair.[44] Over time human hair disappeared to allow better heat dissipation through sweating[3] and the skin tone grew darker to increase the epidermal permeability barrier[43] and protect from folate depletion due to the increased exposure to sunlight.[4] By 1.2 million years ago, around the time of homo ergaster and homo erectus, the ancestors of all people living today had exactly the same receptor protein as modern Africans.[44] Evolutionary pressure meant that any gene variations that resulted in lighter skin were less likely to survive under the intense African sun, and human skin remained dark for the next 1.1 million years."
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:25 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Tornado Alley
Posts: 10,581
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
To me, it seems that humans vary in superficial characteristics (like skin, body size/height, and hair color) more than most other species. The only other species I can think of with such a wide variety of superficial characteristics are dogs, house cats, and horses, all which humans have deliberately bred superficial characteristics for.
There's actually a lot of color variation in some of the bear species; "black bears" and "brown bears" aren't always the colors in their species name.

Oxen vary a lot in morphology as well.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-12-2012, 10:56 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 26,297
As outlined above, from the time humans lost most of their body hair until they left the equatorial regions of Africa, they almost certainly had very dark skin, like populations living in that part of the world today.

However, dark skin blocks the production of vitamin D in the skin. Paler skin tones evolved once humans migrated into temperate and subarctic areas in response to lower levels of sunlight. Today there is a correlation between pigmentation and latitude in native human populations. (There is some lag in the evolutionary response to this factor. In the Americas equatorial populations are darker than Arctic ones, but the gradient is not nearly as great as in the Old World, where there has been more time available for differences to develop.) The palest populations are found in Northern Europe, which not only receives less sunlight but also has a cloudy, rainy climate.

Last edited by Colibri; 09-12-2012 at 10:56 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-12-2012, 11:09 AM
Floater Floater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
However, dark skin blocks the production of vitamin D in the skin. Paler skin tones evolved once humans migrated into temperate and subarctic areas in response to lower levels of sunlight. Today there is a correlation between pigmentation and latitude in native human populations. (There is some lag in the evolutionary response to this factor. In the Americas equatorial populations are darker than Arctic ones, but the gradient is not nearly as great as in the Old World, where there has been more time available for differences to develop.) The palest populations are found in Northern Europe, which not only receives less sunlight but also has a cloudy, rainy climate.
Inuits can be quite tanned from walking around in a landscape covered with snow that reflects the sun, but the seals they eat are high in vitamin D.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
While hominids have been around a bit, what we would call "humans" are thought to have been around only a couple hundred thousand years. For humans who think and behave like us, it might be a lot less than that.

We probably didn't manage to sneak out of africa until 50,000 years ago, and maybe not into the northern latitudes until 20 or 30,000 years ago, (most likely in more than one migration event) so I think the answer to your "how long" question is that we all started dark-skinned and stayed that way for 150,000 years. The ones that got pasty white probably didn't show up until 30,000 years or so ago at the earliest.

All round numbers, and I'm not an anthropologist so this is the armchair shorthand.

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 09-12-2012 at 11:22 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-12-2012, 11:59 AM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Trying to remember where I read this, but one author posited

a) Melanism changes quite rapidly in humans, taking only a few thousand years to change between extremes

b) There is evidence that sexual selection might have been at play among arboreal peoples in subsaharan Africa, since dark skin is not naturally advantageous in forests, yet there's evidence that certain peoples inhabited these regions continuosly for a long enough time to lose the dark pigment. Some of these peoples are among the darkest-skinned.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-12-2012, 02:47 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
The gene that causes white skin in Europeans suggests that it appeared roughly 10,000 years ago, and maybe as recently as 6,000 years ago. Since this coincides with the rise of agriculture, it has led to a theory that eating less meat and fish as sources of Vitamin D made it necessary to absorb more UV radiation through the skin. Bottom line is that we don't know for sure yet exactly why or when white skin came about, but I might have to alter the mental image I have of the European cave painters as white-skinned.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:53 PM
Surreal Surreal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
However, dark skin blocks the production of vitamin D in the skin. Paler skin tones evolved once humans migrated into temperate and subarctic areas in response to lower levels of sunlight. Today there is a correlation between pigmentation and latitude in native human populations. (There is some lag in the evolutionary response to this factor. In the Americas equatorial populations are darker than Arctic ones, but the gradient is not nearly as great as in the Old World, where there has been more time available for differences to develop.) The palest populations are found in Northern Europe, which not only receives less sunlight but also has a cloudy, rainy climate.
This is a popular theory, but anthropologist Peter Frost explains here why the skin color/vitamin D story is full of holes and why the more likely explanation for light skin color in Caucasians is sexual selection:

http://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2008...vitamin-d.html
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:59 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learjeff View Post
a) Melanism changes quite rapidly in humans, taking only a few thousand years to change between extremes
Boers have been in SA for over 300 years, and don't seem any darker than other Dutch.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-12-2012, 06:26 PM
Docta G Docta G is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
White as the driven snow, just like Jesus intended us.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-12-2012, 06:58 PM
Old Red Old Red is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Out of Africa

Recent findings of Asian human bones show that modern humans had colonised Asia at least 50,000 years ago. This means that evolution time to go from alleged African origins to Asian has become incredibly small - and implausible.

Does anyone continue to believe we made the astonishingly rapid physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form in just tens of thousands of years? Or, as it appears increasingly likely, we are human beings with distinct and separate racial origins?

The day when human remains are found to be older than those in Africa is the day the 'Out of Africa' theory collapses. This latest find takes us ever closer to that day.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:07 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
Does anyone continue to believe we made the astonishingly rapid physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form in just tens of thousands of years? Or, as it appears increasingly likely, we are human beings with distinct and separate racial origins?
It's not "increasingly likely", it's pretty much impossible. There just are not the kind of consistent genetic differences you'd get from separate origins; the "races" are not genetically coherent groupings. It's not "astonishingly rapid" either when you consider how much faster wildly different looking dog breeds can be bred.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:15 PM
Mosier Mosier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
Recent findings of Asian human bones show that modern humans had colonised Asia at least 50,000 years ago. This means that evolution time to go from alleged African origins to Asian has become incredibly small - and implausible.

Does anyone continue to believe we made the astonishingly rapid physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form in just tens of thousands of years? Or, as it appears increasingly likely, we are human beings with distinct and separate racial origins?

The day when human remains are found to be older than those in Africa is the day the 'Out of Africa' theory collapses. This latest find takes us ever closer to that day.
Humans absolutely did not evolve simultaneously in different parts of the earth. Until now I wouldn't have imagined anyone could believe otherwise.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:16 PM
Mosier Mosier is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docta G View Post
White as the driven snow, just like Jesus intended us.
Driven snow is a nasty grayish slush, iirc.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-12-2012, 07:25 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 10,587
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post

Does anyone continue to believe we made the astonishingly rapid physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form in just tens of thousands of years?
Yes. It remains the majority view as far as I know. It's not an ironclad hypothesis but it has the strongest archaeological and genetic evidence to date. Again AFAIK, I'd welcome correction.

There are a couple of competing hypotheses, but even the 'Regional Continuity' hypothesis assumes gene flow between world populations which prevented reproductive isolation and it still is ultimately "out of Africa" if you go back far enough in that it assumes archaic human populations arose from Homo erectus, which still originated in Africa as far as anyone can tell.

The 'Assimilation/Partial Replacement' hypothesis argues for a synthesis. Modern humans originated in Africa and migrated out as per 'Out of Africa', which fits the best data to date. But they then encountered, interbred and absorbed in situ archaic human populations, which may explain some of the arguable holes in the OoA hypothesis.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-12-2012, 09:21 PM
Old Red Old Red is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Thank you for your responses. Mosier desperately informs me that humans absolutely did not evolve simultaneously... I did not say they did evolve simultaneously - I said separately.

Tamerlane on the other hand gives a more cautious and qualified reply, and leaves the door open for further evidence either way.

However, you all ignore the irrefutable conclusion from a recent find of an anatomically-modern human skull in a cave in Laos, dated between 46,000 and 63,000 years old. The dated find erodes the time for alleged physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form. It makes the 'Out of Africa' theory less plausible.

It is reasonable that, eventually, further anatomically-modern human remains will be found, older than those in Africa, and the 'Out of Africa' theory will collapse.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-13-2012, 08:41 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
a recent find of an anatomically-modern human skull in a cave in Laos, dated between 46,000 and 63,000 years old.
You gonna cite that, or what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
Thank you for your responses. Mosier desperately informs me that humans absolutely did not evolve simultaneously... I did not say they did evolve simultaneously - I said separately.
Unless you are positing different populations traveling through time differently, "separately" also perforce means "simultaneously."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
The dated find erodes the time for alleged physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form. It makes the 'Out of Africa' theory less plausible.
Or it moves the exodus from Africa earlier. Which is more plausible -- evolution of different creatures into the one homogenous species we have today, or that we missed something in the known-to-be-sparse fossil record showing an earlier migration out of Africa? Hint: it's the latter, by a mile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
It is reasonable that, eventually, further anatomically-modern human remains will be found, older than those in Africa, and the 'Out of Africa' theory will collapse.
Or our dates for it will change.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-13-2012, 08:50 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Never mind: I'll cite it.

Laos skull earliest example of modern human

from the article:

Quote:
“This find supports an ‘Out-of-Africa’ theory of modern human origins rather than a multi-regionalism model,” she said. “Given its age, fossils in this vicinity could be direct ancestors of the first migrants to Australia. But it is also likely that mainland Southeast Asia was a crossroads leading to multiple migratory paths.”
Ancient Human Skull Pushes back the Clock on Human Migration

from the article:

Quote:
"This fossil find indicates that the migration out of Africa and into East and Southeast Asia occurred at a relatively rapid rate...."
Okay, so, actual scientists say this find supports the "out-of-Africa" hypothesis. And they say it moves the date back a bit.

Last edited by Sailboat; 09-13-2012 at 08:51 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-13-2012, 09:13 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post
However, you all ignore the irrefutable conclusion from a recent find of an anatomically-modern human skull in a cave in Laos, dated between 46,000 and 63,000 years old. The dated find erodes the time for alleged physical transition from African to Asian and Caucasian form. It makes the 'Out of Africa' theory less plausible.
I think you are confusing two things. Those dates are perfectly compatible with the OoA theory (not going to call it a hypothesis because it is fully tested) but you are assuming the person to whom the skill belonged would look "Asian". We don't know what skin color he or she would have had or whether or not the person's eyes would have epicanthic folds or not.

The thing is, if you look at certain population of Africans (in particular, the San Bushmen), you can see traits that are associated with lots of non-African populations.

There is no reason that modern humans could not evolve into the different populations we see today in the timeframe given in the OoA theory. And it should come as no surprise that those OoA humans could and did interbreed with other extant populations once they left Africa, although the amount of genetic material remaining today from such matings is quite small.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-13-2012, 09:17 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosier View Post
To me, it seems that humans vary in superficial characteristics (like skin, body size/height, and hair color) more than most other species. The only other species I can think of with such a wide variety of superficial characteristics are dogs, house cats, and horses, all which humans have deliberately bred superficial characteristics for.
The fur of wolf and fox populations varies dramatically across latitude. I have grey squirrels and black squirrels running around in my backyard as we speak.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-13-2012 at 09:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-13-2012, 11:17 AM
davekhps davekhps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Riddle me this, Dopers: I can't quite wrap my head around something like skin color evolving.

In my understanding of evolution-- which is likely incorrect in some profoundly ignorant way, of which I will soon be disabused-- you pretty much have two routes to evolve traits:

1. Random trait that directly proves advantageous for survival, i.e. smarter people survive

2. Random trait that piggybacks on other traits that prove advantageous for survival, i.e. all smarter people have green eyes so green eyes survive

All things being equal, lighter skin color in the northern latitudes makes better sense than darker skin color. But given the relatively short generational time frames we're talking about here, I have trouble envisioning the kind of evolutionary pressures required to literally kill off dark-skinned people in favor of light-skinned people (or, if you want to put a happy face on it, how light-skinned humans did better enough to survive in the north).

It's like, some mutations are so obviously advantageous that you can see how they survived. But the "minor" stuff like skin color just strikes me as such a meaningless deal that I don't understand how evolutionary pressures worked here.

Last edited by davekhps; 09-13-2012 at 11:18 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-13-2012, 11:25 AM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,061
[Ken Nordine]Flesh colored?[/KN]
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:00 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by davekhps View Post
Riddle me this, Dopers: I can't quite wrap my head around something like skin color evolving.

In my understanding of evolution-- which is likely incorrect in some profoundly ignorant way, of which I will soon be disabused-- you pretty much have two routes to evolve traits:

1. Random trait that directly proves advantageous for survival, i.e. smarter people survive

2. Random trait that piggybacks on other traits that prove advantageous for survival, i.e. all smarter people have green eyes so green eyes survive

All things being equal, lighter skin color in the northern latitudes makes better sense than darker skin color. But given the relatively short generational time frames we're talking about here, I have trouble envisioning the kind of evolutionary pressures required to literally kill off dark-skinned people in favor of light-skinned people (or, if you want to put a happy face on it, how light-skinned humans did better enough to survive in the north).

It's like, some mutations are so obviously advantageous that you can see how they survived. But the "minor" stuff like skin color just strikes me as such a meaningless deal that I don't understand how evolutionary pressures worked here.
But it didn't kill off all the dark skinned people outside Africa, which is why you see the gradual lightening of skin color as you head north. There are people in India who look pretty much like your ordinary Western European except they have black skin. As black as any skin you will find in Africa.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-13-2012 at 01:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:02 PM
rogerbox rogerbox is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
There's actually a lot of color variation in some of the bear species; "black bears" and "brown bears" aren't always the colors in their species name.

Oxen vary a lot in morphology as well.
I didn't know that. Are there black bears that are brown, and vice versa?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-13-2012, 01:17 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Purple




There aren't any of that color around anymore, because they were selectively eaten by the Purple People Eaters, and only the more drab-colored mutant varieties survived to become the people of today. Another example of Evolution In Action, like those white moths on the sooty trees.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-13-2012, 02:43 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Hub of the sports world
Posts: 15,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbox View Post
I didn't know that. Are there black bears that are brown, and vice versa?
Yes, black bears (Ursus americanus) can be black, brown, or blonde. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) which includes Grizzly and Kodiak can also be black, brown, or blonde. The most common colors match the names, but there's plenty of variation.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-13-2012, 03:43 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 15,053
If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say the first modern humans were more-or-less the same colour as me - light brown or bronzed.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-13-2012, 04:52 PM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
Boers have been in SA for over 300 years, and don't seem any darker than other Dutch.
300 years is well under thousands of years. Also, this could be explained by sexual selection. That's especially likely in the case of Boers.

Just because extremes can be reached in only a few thousand years doesn't mean it must happen.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-13-2012, 05:06 PM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by davekhps View Post
Riddle me this, Dopers: I can't quite wrap my head around something like skin color evolving.

In my understanding of evolution-- which is likely incorrect in some profoundly ignorant way, of which I will soon be disabused-- you pretty much have two routes to evolve traits:

1. Random trait that directly proves advantageous for survival, i.e. smarter people survive

2. Random trait that piggybacks on other traits that prove advantageous for survival, i.e. all smarter people have green eyes so green eyes survive

All things being equal, lighter skin color in the northern latitudes makes better sense than darker skin color. But given the relatively short generational time frames we're talking about here, I have trouble envisioning the kind of evolutionary pressures required to literally kill off dark-skinned people in favor of light-skinned people (or, if you want to put a happy face on it, how light-skinned humans did better enough to survive in the north).

It's like, some mutations are so obviously advantageous that you can see how they survived. But the "minor" stuff like skin color just strikes me as such a meaningless deal that I don't understand how evolutionary pressures worked here.
Does sexual selection count as #1? If not, then it must be #3.

Secondly, sometimes things can seem to evolve very quickly simply because the possibility already existed, but the controls for it change. I suspect that Darwin's Finches might be a good example of this: in the past, finches could have had the ability to rapidly change beak dimensions to deal with ecological changes. So, all the necessary genes to have shorter or longer beaks, or more robust or facile beaks, are in the genome, but the currently appropriate ones are more 'switched on' than the inappropriate ones. It's quite possible that human skin color has changed to light and back to dark any number of times, in subsaharan Africa (but generally, only in arboreal ecologies, where the dark skin isn't necessary.)

Likewise, melanism might have varied considerably even just in subsaharan Africa. As noted earlier, light skin is likely to be original. So, it doesn't take a major mutation to simply mute or switch off production of melanocytes.

A more specific case is the melanism of redheads and other very fair-skinned people. Not only are there fewer melanocytes fewer, but they tend to cluster (reducing their effectiveness). So sometimes the effect of a mutation isn't to simply increase or reduce, but to change the distribution.

Another factor is that a feature (like dark skin) can be lost simply because it's no longer necessary. That is, as long as there is pressure to retain a feature (especially a relatively new one, or a very complex one), the genes for the feature stay frequent in the population. But as soon as the pressure goes away, the feature can fade away simply because it's not maintained -- there's no pressure to "fix" the "broken" genes. Examples of this iinclude blind and colorless species living in dark caves or very deep ocean, where there's no light.

Keep in mind that dark skin is the "more advanced feature" -- adding melanin to the skin to absorb harmful radiation. Light skin is more or less the default, lack of a specific (and complex) feature.

Last edited by Learjeff; 09-13-2012 at 05:10 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-14-2012, 09:01 AM
DSeid DSeid is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Previous thread and in specific, previous post with links. Of note this link pertinent to the speed of skin color changes:
Quote:
Skin has changed color in human lineages much faster than scientists had previously supposed, even without intermarriage, Jablonski says. Recent developments in comparative genomics allow scientists to sample the DNA in modern humans. ...

... if we look back only 100 or 200 generations (that's as few as 2,500 years), "almost all of us were in a different place and we had a different color." ...

... The big surprise is how fast these changes can occur.

"Our original estimates were that [skin color changes] occurred perhaps at a more stately pace," Jablonski says. But now they're finding that a population can be one color (light or dark) and 100 generations later — with no intermarriage — be a very different color.

Figuring 25 years per generation (which is generous, since early humans walked naked through the world — clothes slow down the rate), that's an astonishingly short interval.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-14-2012, 09:13 AM
grude grude is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Red View Post

It is reasonable that, eventually, further anatomically-modern human remains will be found, older than those in Africa, and the 'Out of Africa' theory will collapse.
Not a chance, the dates could easily be wrong but there is zero evidence that primates or apes and hominids evolved anywhere but Africa. Even proto-primates like lemurs are found near Africa(Madagascar).
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-14-2012, 09:58 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 1,986
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learjeff View Post
So, all the necessary genes to have shorter or longer beaks, or more robust or facile beaks,
With apologies for the nitpick of a very solid post, I presume you meant "gracile"
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-14-2012, 10:05 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by grude View Post
Not a chance, the dates could easily be wrong but there is zero evidence that primates or apes and hominids evolved anywhere but Africa. Even proto-primates like lemurs are found near Africa(Madagascar).
I think the consensus is that apes originated in Asia.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 09-14-2012, 10:45 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 15,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I think the consensus is that apes originated in Asia.
Yep - Gibbons are (AFAIK) only Asian and they're the stem ape.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 09-14-2012, 10:51 AM
grude grude is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I think the consensus is that apes originated in Asia.
Hmm you're right and not only apes, it appears the theory of early primates originating in Asia gaining steam.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0604155705.htm

I wonder how that date lines up with primates reaching south america 40 million years ago, from Africa.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 09-14-2012, 12:54 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Keeping my password unchanged
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
With apologies for the nitpick of a very solid post, I presume you meant "gracile"
I just learned that word yesterday before I read this post!

Great word. I also learned yesterday a cool one in botany and zoology for hairless, smooth, "nude," which I've forgotten now, beginning with "gr." Any help?
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-14-2012, 01:47 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 15,053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Bloom View Post
I just learned that word yesterday before I read this post!

Great word. I also learned yesterday a cool one in botany and zoology for hairless, smooth, "nude," which I've forgotten now, beginning with "gr." Any help?
You mean glabrous.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.