Soory to post and run. I’d expected to continue on but got into technical difficulties, but LOL at Ice Wolf’s MREH, I’ll try to keep up with the posts.
All sorts of different methods have been attempted to name the fossil specimens, now they are named by location and in the order in which they were found. LM3’s fossils look as modern as yours or mine would. LM55’s fossils might be quite different. At least you know that LM is Lake Mungo and from now on no matter what is discovered about his age or body type or genes, LM3 will be identified as LM3.
In the OP I tried to introduce LM3 and explain (quickly) why a 25 plus year old fossil discover should right now be a topic of discussion (well, heated debate) in the anthropology and paleoanthropology world and tie it to what I thought was the very well known debate between MREH and OoA. (Sometimes written MRE and OOA and even OOA1 and OOA2.)
These ideas deal with the evolution of humans and probably have a lot to do with looked at the available materials and did the best they could with what they had. Some thought that “Man Evolved Right Here” and there was a “regional continuity” between what they found in the fossils and the humans living in that area. Others favored a replacement theory. What these theories have boiled down to in the end are currently known as MREH (MRE) or OOA (OoA/OOA2). IIRC MREH as the longer history, going back to the 1930s with several revisions over the years. OOA (in some form) may be every bit as old but the thread is more difficult for me to find. It, too, has has revisions over the years.
So, Collounsbury is right. MREH has man evolving separately in various places but not becoming separate species because of gene flow between the various groups. Dr Wolpoff(Michigan, I think) is the main supporter, Dr Brace is another as is Dr Thorne. Early on they had included Neanderthal as part of anotomically modern humans’ lineage, that Neanderthals evolved into modern Europeans. It seems to me that this positition is softening, that now MERH is saying that the Neanderthals shared genes with us, I’m reading that much more than before.
OOA was doing well as a theory proposing that modern humans became modern humans in Africa and then moved out of Africa to cover the world and replace any other earlier forms of Homo. Dr Stringer is the voice heard most often for this camp and various studies seem to point to Africa as the place where modern humans first appeared and where aspects of modern behavior first appeared.
I do not know how hot the debate was before the first Neanderthal mtDNA studies were published, but it has been thunder and lightening ever since. The studies seemed to land squarely on the side of OOA. Our mtDNA seems to say we appeared 150,000 years agoo and Neaderthals’ mtDNA is not enought like ours to be us. Three different studies of three different Neanderthal mtDNA samples have confirmed these results.
Now can you see how important LM3 has become? It’s dated to 60,000, is a modern human and his mtDNA is not like ours either. I think OOA can allow for variant mtDNAto slip out of Africa, travel the coastlines to Autsralia and go extinct. I had hoped that some of you had read enough of what MREH has had to say about this new development to offer some discussion.
I think MREH will have to do some re-inventing to remain viable - if that is even possible. I think OOA is missing a lot of detail, but still makes more sense to me.
Ice Wolf, this fascinates me, too. I’ve got to re-read your questions and my current reply, then I’ll try to answer whatever is missing, OK?