Anyone for paleoanthropology?
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27-08-2012, 09:52 PM (This post was last modified: 27-08-2012 10:09 PM by Apeman.)
Anyone for paleoanthropology?
Hi everybody!
As an introduction I would like to give you some idea of some of the stuff that keeps me buzzing sometimes. But this is just one extreme, I warn you. Because for my next thread I plan on discussing the relative merits and benefits of extra-marital affairs, so stay tuned! Big Grin
Anyway, here goes:

OOA-BTA-OOA
Out Of Africa – Back To Africa – Out Of Africa

Currently, australopithecus sediba and homo erectus are mainstream favorites for being directly ancestral to us, homo sapiens. This suggests a line of descendancy from a. sediba via h. erectus somehow to h. sapiens.
I posit that is highly unlikely.

Their dating, locales, and physiology/morphology make it unlikely, imo:

A. sediba was dated to 1.997MYA in Sterkfontein, South Africa, had a cranial capacity of 420-450cm3, very long arms suggesting a lot of time spent in trees and knuckle walking when on the ground, and an average upright adult height of 1.3 meters.

H. erectus was dated to 1,8MYA and placed in Dmanisi, Georgia, had a cranial capacity of 600cm3, much shorter arms and longer legs, i.o.w. an upright long distance walker/runner, and an average adult height of 1.8 meters.

That would mean that in less than 200,000 years sediba moved 5,000 miles north (more like 50,000 miles on the ground probably; without bicycles!), while growing their cranial capacity and their length by 35 to 40%, and morphing into an entirely different species in an entirely different part of the world with an entirely different life style: homo erectus, the runner, the fire maker, the seafarer, the explorer.

That much of a difference in less than 200,000 years? Could be of course. Stranger things and faster evolutions have happened. But it's not very likely, is it?

What then could be more likely? Some kind of a multi-regional scenario of course. How about this one:

Imagine a scenario where one or both of the ardipithecines (4,4-5,6MYA; close to the Red Sea nexus) migrated from Africa to central Asia. Yes, 'OOA' gets earlier and earlier Big Grin. There in central Asia, separate from the left-behind homonoids (australopithecines and paranthropes) in Africa, the ardipithecines eventually independently evolved into an early h. erectus (around 2,5MYA?). This archaic h. erectus then went into a diaspora from central Asia in all possible directions. West to the Caucasus, the Levant, Anatolia, Iberia. South (back) to Africa. East to Malaysia, Java, Flores, Peking, and, who knows, the Americas...

Back in Africa h. erectus hybridized with (a.o.!) sediba in central/east Africa, creating the hybrid line that evolved into archaic homo sapiens around 200KYA. This archaic h. sapiens – a hybrid species to be sure! – left Africa (yes, this is that one; or actually two h. sapiens OOA waves) 100KYA and 70KYA. Only to meet, at first in the middle east, later everywhere, advanced evolutions of h. erectus that had been running around, and evolving/inter-hybridizing, for almost another 2 million years in Eurasia (and the Americas?). And the greatest of all inter-species 'hybridization' eras in homonoid history commenced, and never stopped since, 'hybridizing' everything into the mess we're now trying to unravel.

So we are all basically bastards, of course. Big Grin
But what else is new?
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27-08-2012, 09:55 PM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthroplogy?
Quite the first post, Apeman. Glad to have you with us. Welcome to TTA!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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27-08-2012, 10:13 PM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
Cheers!

Please feel free to shoot at it. It's a thought-train in motion.
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28-08-2012, 12:14 AM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
Welcome Smile

Some of the guys here have some expertise, but we're basically duffers on this. So... I'll be going with mainstream opinion until your paper changing paleontology as we know is published Smile But I'll be interested to read your ideas.
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28-08-2012, 12:25 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2012 10:44 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
Hi.
Interesting. It's not my field, but a couple here, are up to a discussion with you.
Fascinating stuff. I just sent in my DNA to see where my ancestors came from. I sort of know, but not all that far back, beyond a few hundred years.

My question is : how does this fit in with god creating Adam and Eve 6,000 years ago ?
Just kidding. We do have Creatards stop by now and then.
You will be very helpful.

I just watched a couple of the vids about the process of exit from Africa. Can you talk a bit about how Mitochondrial Eve fits in to your view ?
Is the h. Rudolfensis news, (which I guess wasn't really news), a couple weeks ago, important ?
Welcome.
Cool

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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28-08-2012, 09:08 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2012 09:16 AM by Apeman.)
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
(28-08-2012 12:25 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I just watch a couple of the vids about the process of exit from Africa. Can you talk a bit about how Mitochondrial Eve fits in to your view ?

I don't know much about paleogenetics. Afaik 'Mitochondrial Eve' refers to 7 dna markers, from 7 females of h. sapiens, present in all of us present day h. sapiens, that can be traced back to the 2 'OOA events' of 104KYA (2 markers), and 72KYA (5 markers). The inference is that all of us descended from those 7 women.
Of course we also descend from probably as many (or few, depending on how you look at it) h. sapiens males, only those markers have not yet been identified. Matter of time of course.
So, anyway, as far as we know now there never was one 'Mitochondrial Eve', one woman. There were at least 7. And there were of course males, although we haven't been able to pinpoint yet how many, or with which (of the last 2) wave(s) they came OOA.

Of course h. sapiens, from whichever wave, 'hybridized' with every other hominid too. In plain English: they fucked the living daylights out of everything that moved! Whence we also have Neandertal and Denisovan markers in our dna sequence.

Quote:Is the h. Rudolfensis news, (which I guess wasn't really news), a couple weeks ago, important ?

Pse post a link?
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28-08-2012, 10:46 AM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
(28-08-2012 12:14 AM)morondog Wrote:  I'll be going with mainstream opinion until your paper changing paleontology as we know is published Smile But I'll be interested to read your ideas.

'Published'? As in ink and paper?
That is sooo second millennium!

I laid out my viewpoint above. For everyone to read. That's as good as 'publishing' afaic. It is of course not 'changing paleontology as we know it' until it is broadly underwritten.
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28-08-2012, 10:49 AM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_rudolfensis

Maeve Leakey announced that they had identified some fossils. 8/8/12. I think they had been sitting around somewhere, just not identified, for many years.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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28-08-2012, 12:02 PM
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
(28-08-2012 10:46 AM)Apeman Wrote:  
(28-08-2012 12:14 AM)morondog Wrote:  I'll be going with mainstream opinion until your paper changing paleontology as we know is published Smile But I'll be interested to read your ideas.

'Published'? As in ink and paper?
That is sooo second millennium!

I laid out my viewpoint above. For everyone to read. That's as good as 'publishing' afaic. It is of course not 'changing paleontology as we know it' until it is broadly underwritten.

I think the point he is trying to make is that you need to prove your expertise in the subject by posting links to some kind of peer-reviewed work (ink or otherwise). There is a big difference between being classically trained and at the forefront of research and just having a keen interest in paleoanthropology. If you are the former, then you shouldn't have any problems providing said evidence. If you are the latter, you have to admit that there is always the possibility that you don't know nearly as much about the subject as you think you do. There is a reason why the opinions of PhDs have more weight than the average science buff. There are a lot of trolls that come on here claiming they know more about science than the scientists do. That shows a lot of hubris in my opinion. You are obviously not a troll, but claiming that the connection between A. sediba and H. erectus is “highly unlikely” without having been directly involved in the research or been involved with similar research shows some hubris as well.

I think the best approach would be to discuss the criticisms of other paleoanthropologist. Here is a snippet from a paper on the subject:

Quote:But others are unconvinced by the Homo argument. The characteristics shared by A. sediba and Homo are few and could be due to normal variation among australopithecines or because of the boy's juvenile status, argues Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley. These characters change as a hominin grows, and the features of a young australopithecine could mimic those of ancient adult humans. He and others, such as Ron Clarke of Witwatersrand, think the new fossils might represent a late-surviving version of A. africanus or a closely related sister species to it, and so will be chiefly informative about that lineage. “Given its late age and Australopithecus-grade anatomy, it contributes little to the understanding of the origin of genus Homo,” says White.

I honestly don't know enough about the subject to speculate on anything. I do, however, have access to all of the Science papers that mention it (just in case anyone is interested).
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28-08-2012, 01:32 PM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2012 01:59 PM by Apeman.)
RE: Anyone for paleoanthropology?
(28-08-2012 10:49 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_rudolfensis

Maeve Leakey announced that they had identified some fossils. 8/8/12. I think they had been sitting around somewhere, just not identified, for many years.

Afaic that specimen is a fine candidate for a sediba/erectus hybrid in my above scenario. As were all other hominid species arising between 2,5 and 1,5 MYA in that crucible in east Africa. There was a veritable 'explosion' of new hominid species in east Africa in that era. So maybe they weren't so much new species as new hybrids!
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