Evolution 200,000 BC
In a seminal study, Jonathan Marks reported he had discovered a "founder effect" which indicates that only a small group of Homo sapiens gave birth to Homo sapiens sapiens around 200,000 BC. (The fossil record indicates they did not replace other Homo sapiens subspecies, which continued to exist in parallel.) Hugh Ross has written, based on his mtDNA data, that Homo sapiens sapiens date from 150,000 BC. (113)
...regression studies (using mtDNA) show all modern humans appear to be genetically related possibly as far back as 230,000 years. Africans (the oldest) are considered to have been clearly well established between 130,000 and 80,000 BC. The next oldest seems to be Caucasoid, Middle-Eastern types, dating from about 100,000 years ago. The next oldest are believed to have been Central Asians dating between 73,000 and 56,000 BC. Next, such estimates suggest, came the Europeans between 50,000 and 40,000 BC. (113)
As incredible as this story may sound, mitochondrial DNA research on domesticated cattle and dogs place their origins, respectively, at about 200,000 years ago and over 100,000 years ago. (113)
In August 2002, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, identified the gene (FOXP2) that gives humans control over muscles of the mouth and throat. They reported that this gene's mutation may have occurred about 200,000 years ago, and that it differs from that of chimpanzees by just two molecules. (113)
The earliest "full-blown" examples [of Neanderthals] date to around 130,000 years ago, and most specimens postdate 74,000 years ago. While their start is thus arbitrary, their end is abrupt: the last Neanderthals died somewhat after 40,000 years ago. (114)
In a typical modern chronology, the line that would lead to us split off from Old World Monkeys about 25 million years (m.y.) ago; from the gibbons, 18 m.y. ago; from orangutans around 14 m.y. ago; from gorillas some 8 m.y. ago; and from the chimps approximately 6 m.y. ago. Bonobos and common chimps went their separate ways only about 3 m.y. ago; Our genus, Homo, is 2 million years old. Our species, Homo sapiens, is maybe 100,000 to 200,000 years old--the equivalent of the last day in the life of that fifty-year-old. (119)
The fossil evidence for modern human origins in the critical time period between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago is, like that of the archaics, frustratingly rare. In fact, the entire fossil evidence of anatomically modern-looking humans from around the world, and over 60,000 years, wouldn't fill a card table. Nevertheless, the fossil evidence that does exist points to an African origin for modern humans. But once outside of Africa, there is little fossil evidence of any candidate for truly modern human morphology anywhere near the ages of these finds. Thus, the fossil evidence leads us to the conclusion that modern human morphology comes out of Africa. (142)
Cut off from the rest of Africa by the arid conditions of the hinterland, an isolated population eking out an existence on the Cape coastal plains began to take on a modern morphology, led mostly by a physical gracilization and an increase in brain size. The out-of-Africa hypothesis that has been put forward by scientists like myself and Christopher Stringer of the Natural History Museum of London holds that this genetically modern population eventually expanded out of the region, through Africa and into the rest of the world. Their superior brainpower and adaptive cultural behavior gave them the edge over the Homo heidelbergensis and neanderthal populations that were the descendants of the first wave of expansion of Homo erectus out of Africa around 1.5 million years ago. Within the relatively short space of a few tens of thousands of years, these relative newcomers replaced the existing Homo populations that had scattered around the world. (142)
Geneticist Wesley Brown of the Howard Goodman Laboratory of the University of California realized that it should be theoretically possible to use mDNA to trace back all the linkages in the human species until he found the great-grandmother of all mitochondrial chromosomes, from which all others had descended. It also occurred to him that, in the process, he might reach so far back in time that the creature carrying the ancestral chromosome would not be human at all. Brown built his mitochondrial family tree and was surprised to pinpoint a relatively recent common female ancestor for all living humans. According to his calculations, every person on the planet today evolved from a small, mitochondrially monomorphic point somewhere between 180,000 and 360,000 years ago. In simple terms, this means that there was a single female from which all of mankind is descended. Understandably, Brown dubbed this unknown woman 'Mitochondrial Eve'. (160)
Measuring variations in mitochondrial DNA in different populations today, scientists have concluded that all humans are descended from one common female ancestor who lived in Africa between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago--the hypothetical "Eve." (75)
Primitive humans who inhabited the coast of South Africa 165,000 years ago and lived on a diet rich in shellfish could be the original ancestors of everyone alive today, a study suggests. The people who lived in high caves at Pinnacle Point, overlooking the Indian Ocean near Mossel Bay, harvested and cooked mussels, used red pigment from ground rocks as a form of make-up and made tiny, bladed tools. Experts say they are very likely to be the ancestors of Homo sapiens, the anatomically modern human species which migrated across the world. It is known that Homo sapiens evolved in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago but scientists are not sure where on the continent they first arose as a distinct species. The latest evidence points to the southern tip of Africa.
Archaeologists working at Pinnacle Point identified stone tools and a red pigment used in ritualistic ceremonies which they believe could only have been used by humans showing "modern behaviour". The coastal community knew how to exploit the protein-rich food source of the sea and could have used this ability to migrate north by gradually foraging further along the coast, possibly continuing outward migration from Africa with the help of beachcombing. "It is possible that this population could be the progenitor population for all modern humans," said Professor Curtis Marean, a palaeo-anthropologist at Arizona State University, who led the study published in the journal Nature.
The dig at Pinnacle Point unearthed the remnants of charred shellfish, intermingled with fine stone tools and ochre pigment, which has been linked with the expression of symbolic behaviour – such as burial ceremonies – in early humans. The tools included small "bladelets" which would have been attached to sticks to form a pointed spear, or lined up like barbs on a dart. Charred shells suggest the shellfish were put on hot embers to open them for eating.
Human pre-history 165,000 years ago coincided with a long period of climate change, dominated by glacial conditions that caused major droughts. Only a few places on the African continent were habitable and food would have been scarce, the professor said. Pinnacle Point would have been a perfect refuge in arid periods when life on the plains was difficult. This theory was supported by genetic analysis which showed the Kung San bush people – the original natives of South Africa – were one of the oldest human populations alive today.
The 'Out of Africa' hypothesis suggests Homo sapiens emerged from Africa in a single migration between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago, from there moving to populate the entire globe. Modern man, characterised by a large, highly-connected brain and with a developed language and culture, first arrived in Asia about 100,000 years ago, then migrated to Australia 50,000 years later. Homo sapiens arrived in Europe 30,000 years ago, before populating the New World (America) about 20,000 years ago. Up to that point, the Americas were uninhibited by humans. Other species of humans, such as Homo erectus and Neanderthals, migrated from Africa much earlier. (39)
The first evidence of human populations in Africa are classified as Homo erectus 200,000 years ago. (70)
Most paleoanthropologists, and especially geneticists, think this fateful transition (the period when archaic Homo sapiens evolved into the modern species) occurred between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Geneticists think the "African Eve," the one common ancestor of all living humans, lived at about this time. (75)
…geneticists, by tracing the DNA patterns found in people throughout the world, have now identified lineages descended from 10 sons of a genetic Adam and 18 daughters of Eve. This ancestral human population lived somewhere in Africa, geneticists believe, and started to split up some time after 144,000 years ago, give or take 10,000 years, the inferred time at which both the mitochondrial and Y chromosome trees make their first branches. The tree is rooted in a single Y chromosomal Adam, and has 10 principal branches, Dr. Cavalli-Sforza reports. Of these sons of Adam, the first three (designated I, II and III) are found almost exclusively in Africa. (109)
Dr. Wallace has recently been exploring the root of the mitochondrial tree. In an article published in March in The American Journal of Human Genetics, he and colleagues identify the Vasikela Kung of the northwestern Kalahari desert in southern Africa as the population that lies nearest to the root of the human mitochondrial DNA tree. Another population that seems almost equally old is that of the Biaka pygmies of Central Africa. Both peoples live in isolated regions, which may be why their mitochondrial DNA seems little changed from that of the ancestral population. "We are looking at the beginning of what we would call Homo sapiens," Dr. Wallace said. (109)
Fossilized remains available to us so far show Homo sapiens appeared without direct antecedents much less than half a million years ago. Their fossils have been found in Africa (Ethiopia 160,000 BC)... (113)
Combining the fossil record and clay-tablet story surprisingly accounts for paleoanthropological thinking about three stages in the origins and diaspora of human development. Early humans were scattered over the globe more than a million years ago. Perhaps a quarter million years ago, transition humans arose in Africa (Abzu in Sumerian lore) and migrated to other continents. They included variations (Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon) with a limited migratory range. Then modern humans appear in the Middle East about 100,000 years ago and further divided into modern groupings. (113)
...studies place "Adam and Eve" and the "primal mothers" in Africa at various times between 200,000 and 300,000 BC. Unexpectedly, these dates coincide with the period inferred (prior to the DNA studies) from the Sumerian texts for the creation of Adamu (the workers). The fossil record of that period shows Homo remains with the body and brain sizes of modern humans. Underscoring the importance of this point, leading evolutionists agree that the basic gene pool and the human brain have not changed since the first appearance of Homo sapiens. Can mere coincidence explain how three DNA techniques and the fossil record all point to the same time, place, and process as Sumerian and metaphysical texts? (113)
...the find resulted in the recovery of the most complete skull of an archaic Homo sapiens ever found. Enthusiastic researchers dubbed this creature Rhodesian Man. Rhodesian Man's brain was surprisingly large. At about 1,300 cubic centimeters, it was well within the range of modern humans. From recent reconstruction's of the height of Broken Hill man using the tibia, it can be estimated that an adult would be close to six feet tall. Using the size of the muscle markings on the bones, we can also ascertain that the Broken Hill individuals would have been extremely well muscled. Interestingly, the teeth of Broken Hill man are in appalling condition. An unusual and interesting fossil attributed to this group is the Berg Aukus femur from Namibia, an enormous femur that may have belonged to an individual over 6.5 feet tall. (142)
The results of Wilson, Stoneking, and Carin's research, as well as subsequent DNA research conducted around the world, has reached the remarkable results...namely a common origin of all living humans as recent as 100,000 years ago. Furthermore, African peoples show a greater diversity in their mtDNA than do any other groups from around the world. This suggests that modern humans have been living in Africa longer than anywhere else. The genetic-Eve hypothesis is just a logical extension of these results - that is, that all modern humans can trace their origins to a small group of females, in fact a single female, living somewhere in Africa between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. (142)
Geneticists Trefor Jenkins and Himla Soodyall have convincing evidence that the Khoisan, Negroid, and Pygmy populations of Africa have different evolutionary histories, having separated from a common stem around 150,000 years ago. Through his excavation of sites like Klasies River Mouth, he has made a convincing case that the Khoisan people of the Western Cape are the last vestige of a living link to the stone ages. Known before the era of political correctness as the Bushmen, their ancestors have been resident in the subcontinent for tens of thousands of years. These were the people responsible for the first art in the world, probably the first burials, the use of ocher, and the development of other culturally modern forms of behavior. (142)
Fossilized remains available to us so far show Homo sapiens appeared without direct antecedents much less than half a million years ago. Their fossils have been found in Asia (China 200,000 BC)...(113)
A new situation developed, however, when the northern, bitterly cold regions north of the Elburz-Himalayan mountain line were entered, about 200,000 BC, by our sturdy friends of the Neanderthal race. Apparently the possession of fire and the idea of wearing animal skins to keep out the cold made it possible for the tribes of men to brave in number the rigors of the lands of the north, which offered to those who could enter them the advantage of abundant meat. Moreover, the brain power of the species had considerably increased; for, whereas the range in the period of Pithecanthropus had been from about 900 to about 1200 cc., that of Neanderthal was from 1250 to about 1725 - considerably greater at the upper range, that is to say, than the norm for man today, which, as we have said, is a mere 1400 to 1500 cc. The picture is no longer that of a lot of scattered families of moronic ape-men, but of an extraordinarily sturdy race of human beings, perhaps of a slightly higher mental order than ourselves, fighting it out, at the dawn of what may be considered to be our properly human history, in a landscape calling for every bit of wit and spunk at their disposal. (128)
During the early part of the ice age, between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago, Homo sapiens first appeared as Neanderthal in Europe. (70)