The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution

Gaby

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#16
mkrnhr said:
Fenton's book is short and the text is easy to read but it's a slow reading nevertheless because he treats the different fossils as if they were common knowledge. Also, it is usually useful to have the mainstream thesis in order to compare it to a more controversial antithesis.
This subject is very interesting, but it can be hard to go through what they consider "common knowledge". I think Fenton did a good job making it interesting and readable. Even haplotypes was not that bad to read at all.

I liked the way he gave an alternative scenario for the origins and branchings of the Eve mitochondrial DNA haplotypes. When all you hear is the Out of Africa version, is hard to imagine another scenario.

I've been reading Forbidden Archeology a few pages at a time when I get the chance. It is crazy that they talk about "human traces" that are millions of year old.

Laura said:
Stringer covers all the same material that Fenton does, and a whole lot more. Plus, he gives a lot more detail. Well, obviously; Fenton's book is rather slim and Stringer's book is twice the length and smaller font! But what I mean is that he gives you more about each case of fossil finds and the theories developed about each.
He seems more articulate and if he gives more details, that would be fascinating to go through.
 

Voyageur

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#17
Thanks so much for the introduction, not to mention having a review of the older sessions (which goes to show the relevance of reviewing often). I''ll certainly have a read of Fenton's book and go from there with Stringer's.

Gaby said:
I've been reading Forbidden Archeology a few pages at a time when I get the chance. It is crazy that they talk about "human traces" that are millions of year old.
Yeah, there is such a great deal in Cremo and Thompson's book - so many little examples from surface, to near surface relics, to that uncovered from deeper ground origins. Considering our oceans gains in hundreds of feet of water and what was once terra firma, considering landscapes covered with up with greater than hundred feet in gravels, let alone the possibility of ground masses flipping over, sunk or raised, and what is still to be found would likely fill volumes. And then again, the length of time dissolves much back to the elements and leave only fleeting trace, if traces at all.

I guess one thing with all the above, in terms of societies established thinking of civilization in 3d land thought field sciences, is to try and maintain the official overlay and try and make things fit together (dismiss what does not fit and what is awkward). There is no room for OOPArt's, and when and if there is, they can be dismissed as it has been. Forget also in the main even trying to consider extraordinary time periods of past civilizations (and advanced ones at that) and cross-interactions/pollination between once populated planets in our solar systems past let alone 4d (hyper-d) tinkering. It's like some form of the Tower of Babel perhaps, mixed and diffused and yet how can humans not try at least to search and better understand.
 

shijing

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#18
Just wanted to mention another book I ran across today that appears to fit with this topic:

Out of Australia: Aborigines, the Dreamtime, and the Dawn of the Human Race

In their startling new book, Steven and Evan Strong challenge the “out-of-Africa” theory. Based on fresh examination of both the DNA and archeological evidence, they conclude that modern humans originated from Australia, not Africa.

The original Australians (referred to by some as Aborigines ), like so many indigenous peoples, are portrayed as “backward” and “primitive.” Yet, as the Strongs demonstrate, original Australians had a rich culture, which may have sown the first seeds of spirituality in the world. They had the technology to make international seafaring voyages and have left traces in the Americas and possibly Japan, Southern India, Egypt, and elsewhere. They practiced brain surgery, invented the first hand tools, and had knowledge of penicillin.

This book brings together 30 years of intensive research in consultation with elders in the original Australian community. Among their conclusions are the following:

  • There is evidence that humans existed in Australia 40,000 years before they existed in Australia.
  • There were migrations of original Australians in large boats throughout the Indian/Pacific rim.
  • Three distinct kinds of Homo sapiens are found in Australia.
  • There is evidence from the Americas that debunks the out-of-Africa theory.
  • The spiritual influence of the Aborigines is reflected in the religions of the world.
I received Bruce Fenton's book last week, but haven't had time to begin reading it yet, so I'm not sure how the above book compares -- just scanning the synopsis, it looks like they might be fairly complementary.
 

Approaching Infinity

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#19
I received Bruce Fenton's book last week, but haven't had time to begin reading it yet, so I'm not sure how the above book compares -- just scanning the synopsis, it looks like they might be fairly complementary.
Fenton posted a review on Amazon. Here's what he wrote:

https://www.amazon.com/Out-Australia-Aborigines-Dreamtime-Human/dp/1571747818
Firstly let me say that I purchased and read an earlier version of this book, as such there may be very slight differences due to updates and improvements carried out.

If you are looking to understand what is wrong with the Out of Africa Theory of human origins this is a great place to start. Steve and Evan have spent many years researching the mythology and history of the Aboriginal Australian peoples, also communicating directly with elders. This work offers an assault on the existing paradigm, their earlier books (with University Press of America) revealed the deep links between Aboriginal Dreaming Lore and almost all spiritual systems that have followed, certainly, these ancient teaching have been shown as foundational to early Christian thought. This is a subject revisited in Out of Australia, but there is much more on offer with this book beyond even this fantastic set of connections.

The authors have managed to fit in a great many subjects of huge intrigue, perhaps most notable is the inconsistencies in Out of Africa theory, such as the strangely divergent African and Australian DNA lineages and early dating of Aboriginals vs the dating of the first supposed migration. The book takes us through a wealth of anomalous archaeological sites, skulls that exhibit bizarre morphological features, intriguing Dreaming myths that have shown correlations to recent discoveries, advanced medical science in the palaeolithic period, a long list of firsts for humanity accepted to be Australian, a number of peculiar human forms that walked the ancient Sahul continent and so much more.
 

Laura

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#21
On the other hand, you could save some time by not reading Strong and reading only Fenton which covers the Strong's work pretty well.
 

seek10

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#22
While waiting for the book to arrive for more details, Bruce Fenton offers a short summary of his model here: _The Forgotten Exodus: The Into Africa Theory of Human Evolution - Graham Hancock Official Website
the link has some interesting diagram

This topic reminds me of homogeneity of the dogs in my childhood small town. At that time, most of the dogs are stray dogs on street all looked same. One or two wealthy people had some domesticated dogs that were bought to protect their belongings. When I moved to the west, I wondered about a wide range of dog breeds - different sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments. Obviously, all these are from hybridization and domestication over centuries. why can't our scientists can't associate the same with otherworldly factors? Obviously, they can't touch that subject even as a hypothesis, they have to go through so much gymnastics makes things fit. I know even saying unknown or unprovable things makes it more unreliable science, but we don't have a problem in saying GOD or Devil or dark matter though. What if all these common ancestor genes are from outside the planet, somebody placed according to their convenience (as C's said) as civilizations tend to get wiped out often. It doesn't even need to be a linear passing of genes., even though that is a major factor.
 
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Meager1

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#23
In Chapter Six, we find ourselves pushing the last pin into the map; the first emergence of modern human beings right here in the Australasian continent. Can it be that we have found the real site-zero for the human story? The scientists confirming our findings are of the very highest pedigree, and the archaeological sites uncovered only strengthen their claims. It is an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

I haven`t read the book yet, but have wondered about the "missing link" problem.
The only thing that seems to make sense is that something must have happened
during gestation of the embryo making the time somewhat longer, and maybe just
that extra month or so might have made all the difference.
Most of the hominids have a gestation of 8 to 8 1/2 months, I wonder if that few
weeks difference to 9 + months, could have been enough time for something extra to happen.
I`ve also heard that interbreeding between humans and apes etc. would not produce offspring.
I have ordered the book, still waiting for it to come.
 

Gaby

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#24
The "Origin of Our Species" is very interesting in the sense that it contains all kinds of details written down in a very accessible way. For instance, there is a discussion about the anatomical composition of the inner ear in Neanderthals and all the technologies available to analyze differences in such anatomy. It makes me wonder about the environmental differences and anatomical capabilities. The inner ear is not only important for hearing, but also for orienting, balance and sensing. It is part of the body's most advanced social engagement system (smart vagal response). Unfortunately, there are not enough images about everything discussed in the book. It would be a huge Atlas otherwise. A search function to take a pick to the most interesting concepts would do. Anyway, pretty interesting.
 

Laura

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#26
The "Origin of Our Species" is very interesting in the sense that it contains all kinds of details written down in a very accessible way. For instance, there is a discussion about the anatomical composition of the inner ear in Neanderthals and all the technologies available to analyze differences in such anatomy. It makes me wonder about the environmental differences and anatomical capabilities. The inner ear is not only important for hearing, but also for orienting, balance and sensing. It is part of the body's most advanced social engagement system (smart vagal response). Unfortunately, there are not enough images about everything discussed in the book. It would be a huge Atlas otherwise. A search function to take a pick to the most interesting concepts would do. Anyway, pretty interesting.

Meanwhile, next important book in this discussion would be Gribbin's "The Monkey Puzzle" mentioned a number of times by the author of "Into Africa". Lots of super interesting things collected there, well written, easy to understand, entertaining, and I don't really see that much of anything that is said in it has been superseded or contradicted since it was written. It also points out some really big problems in the "standard theory" that continue to be problems.
 

Gaby

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#27
I finished Chris Stringer's "The Origin of Our Species" in my "free time" while on duty :cool2:. Honestly, I loved the book. The most impressive thing is that he covers effortlessly extremely complex subjects on haplotypes, fossils, research methods, etc. A little child can probably read this book. You don't need two PhDs to understand the lingo in this field. Reading Stringer will put things into perspective. And the last chapter was priceless after all his thesis of "Out of Africa".

Pity "The Monkey Puzzle" is not available on kindle. Although realistically, I have a pile of books and things to go through before that one arrives in the mail.
 

Laura

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The only beef I have with "The Monkey Puzzle" is the failure to consider cosmic catastrophe as one of the drivers of evolution. He gives an entire chapter to environmental stresses but it is all mainly to do with weather, continental drift, ocean currents, etc. In only one place does he talk about the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs and its clear that this was supposed to be a one off thing. He does talk about Milankovich cycles etc and notes that the cycle of Ice Ages changed at some point and gives the standard theory for why that is being the cutoff of ocean currents at the North and South Poles.

There are quite a few furiously interesting things that "The Monkey Puzzle" does bring up including the fact that there don't seem to be any fossils of chimps and gorillas like there are supposedly fossils of "early homo". He also emphasizes the huge gaps in the fossil record and how few fossils actually have been found on which the standard theory is built.

But the failure to take catastrophism into account really leaves a hole in the book. He mentions it in passing, that it was the "old theory" that has now been replaced. And all fossils we have are just the result of natural, slow processes.

I've got a photo book about the history of Earth with tons of fossil photos and images of reconstructed ancient critters, dinosaurs and such. There are pictures of fossilized fish in the act of swallowing another fish. Somehow, I don't think that fish died in a normal way...

Also, without catastrophism, some things just don't fit, such as the enormous times that are supposed to stretch between movements of continental plates. If the Old World monkeys and New World Monkeys became separated at a certain period, then it means that this must have been when the American/Eurasian split occurred and that is more recent than ordinary continental drift allows. I also suspect that the change in the Ice Age cycles may be affected by a change in the solar system.
 
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Laura

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#29
Meanwhile, a hint about where Gribbin and his co-author, Jeremy Cherfas, go with their idea of what explains the dramatic differences between humans and apes given the fact that their DNA is practically identical: Neoteny. And is makes a lot of sense.

Neoteny is the slowing down of somatic development. The result is that reproduction happens in what was ancestrally a juvenile morphologic stage.

Humans have also been argued to be neotenous. As adults, we are morphologically similar to the juvenile forms of great apes. This paedomorphosis, if it is real (and there is a serious argument that it is not), would be neotenous rather than progenetic because our age of breeding has not shifted earlier relative to other apes; our age of first breeding is actually later than other apes. Our somatic development therefore has not simply slowed down while reproductive development has stayed the same: what happened was that our somatic development slowed down even more than our reproductive development.
He does talk about Elaine Morgan's "Aquatic Ape" theory and points out that she is right about some things, so he's fair with that. But he also says that what she is saying is just another variation on the loooooong, slow, bit-by-bit evolution and there has to be a better explanation and that is Neoteny. And, thinking about it a bit, I think it is certainly going in the right direction. Found an article on it online:
Being More Infantile May Have Led to Bigger Brains

Being More Infantile May Have Led to Bigger Brains
Genetic evidence suggests that juvenile traits helped separate chimps from us
For decades scientists have noted that mature humans physically resemble immature chimps—we, too, have small jaws, flat faces and sparse body hair. The retention of juvenile features, called neoteny in evolutionary biology, is especially apparent in domesticated animals—thanks to human preferences, many dog breeds have puppy features such as floppy ears, short snouts and large eyes. Now genetic evidence suggests that neoteny could help explain why humans are so radically different from chimpanzees, even though both species share most of the same genes and split apart only about six million years ago, a short time in evolutionary terms.

In animals, neoteny comes about because of delays in development, points out molecular biologist Philipp Khaitovich of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. For instance, humans sexually mature roughly five years after chimps do, and our teeth erupt later. “Changes in the timing of development are some of the most powerful mechanisms evolution can use to remodel organisms, with very few molecular events required,” he explains.

To look for genetic evidence that neoteny played a role in the evolution of Homo sapiens, Khaitovich and his colleagues compared the expression of 7,958 genes in the brains of 39 humans, 14 chimpanzees and nine rhesus monkeys. They collected samples from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex—a region linked with memory that is relatively easy to identify in the primate brain. These tissues came from deceased individuals at several stages of life, from infancy to middle age, enabling the researchers to see how genetic activity changed over time in each species.

In both humans and chimps, about the same percentage of genes changed in activity over time. But roughly half these age-linked genes in humans differed from chimps in terms of when they were active during development. Analysis of the 299 genes whose timings had shifted in all three species revealed that almost 40 percent were expressed later in life in humans, with some genetic activity delayed well into adolescence.

Although the specific function of many of these neotenic genes remains uncertain, they are especially active in the gray matter of the human brain, where higher thought occurs, the researchers note in the April 7 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. They are now probing other parts of the brain in humans, chimps and macaques to see where neoteny might play a role.

Actually proving that neoteny helped to drive human evolution and brain size is difficult. Khaitovich suggests analyzing genetic activity in cases of faster-than-normal development in people, “which past research already shows can lead to a reduction in cognitive abilities,” he says.

Other experts certainly think that neoteny’s role is reasonable. The ability of the brain to learn is apparently greatest before full maturity sets in, “and since neoteny means an extended childhood, you have this greater chance for the brain to develop,” says molecular phylogeneticist Morris Goodman of Wayne State University, who did not participate in this study. In other words, human evolution might have been advanced by the possibilities brimming in youth.
Gribbin and Cherfas go into this theory in much more detail and that detail is fascinating.

Also, I notice that the fact that domesticated animals go through a similar process when being selectively bred; one wonders who was selectively breeding early homo???
 

Gaby

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There's an overview on wikipedia:

Neoteny in humans - Wikipedia

Here's an excerpt:

Neoteny has been important to human evolution, because it has increased the maturation period and the size of the human brain. Two to three million years ago, there was an "incomplete segmental duplication of [the] ancestral SRGAP2" gene in the ancestors of humans. This new gene, SRGAC2, slowed spine maturation and allowed for more neuronal migration. As a result, the dendrite spines increased in number and length, and they became "more complex". This accounts for the greater synaptic densities in humans when compared to other primates and rodents.[33]

Somel et al. said that 48% of the genes that affect the development of the prefrontal cortex change with age differently between humans and chimpanzees. Somel et al. said that there is a "significant excess of genes" related to the development of the prefrontal cortex that show "neotenic expression in humans" relative to chimpanzees and rhesus macaques. Somel et al. said that this difference was in accordance with the neoteny hypothesis of human evolution
 
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