Re: 30,000 year old Homo erectus

Paul Kekai Manansala (
Mon, 16 Dec 96 20:53:34 GMT

In article <>, (Susan S. Chin) wrote:
>Paul Kekai Manansala ( wrote:
>: I'm not sure how it supports the Out of Africa hypothesis unless there
>: is some modification to the replacement concept. Wolpoff argues that
>: certain non-adaptive traits are shared between Homo Erectus of Java
>: and modern Australians. If we accept genetic exchange, which Wolpoff
>: does, then the Out of Africa hypothesis might be supported but minus the
>: total replacement theory. However, there was no mention of genetic
>: exchange in the article, which still leaves the question open has to how
>: modern humans in SE Asia/Pacific share certain non-selective
>: cranial features with Java Man (Homo Erectus).
>: Paul Kekai Manansala
>Out of curiosity, what characters does Wolpoff feel are shared between
>Javanese Homo erectus and modern Australian (aborigines I assume)?

I'll have to dig around for some of his older works. It mostly involves
things (working from memory) like the shape of the frontal region and
the brow ridges, the shape of the occiput, bumps around the parietal
region, the shape of the orbit, etc. Hope I haven't gotten this confused
with something else.

>Again, I haven't read the SCIENCE article yet, but in one of the other
>newspaper articles they quoted one of the researchers as posing the
>possibility of gene flow between erectus and sapiens in Java.

Or between Solo Man (Neanderthaloid?) of Java and sapiens. If this is the
case, I really don't see how Wolpoff could argue with the conclusions. If
indeed the dating turns out to be corrct.

>Such recent dates for Homo erectus, if they hold up, would weaken the
>Multi-regionalist's position that modern Homo sapiens evolved
>independently "in situ" from Homo erectus in each geographical region
>where H. erectus are found.

That's what Out of Africa hypothesists claim as the multi-regionalist's
position. However, if I read Wolpoff's article in the March 1994 issue
of American Anthropologist correctly, multi-regionalists don't hold this
view. They actually think "genic" exchange is likely.

>Thus, differences between geographic
>populations of modern Homo sapiens go back to Homo erectus' time span.
>With both Homo sapiens and erectus found synchronically in Java, this
>makes it highly unlikely that modern Java populations could have
>descended from the erectus population when Homo sapiens was already known
>in the region 30,000 years ago. Chronologically it is very implausible
>and certainly the less parsimonious view given the current evidence.

But some differences of Homo Erectus in Java seem to have been passed on to
the present population in SE Asia/Pacific. If the replacement theory is correct
Solo Man of Java, who is probably Homo Sapien, should resemble Homo Erectus
of Africa more than Java Man. That does not seem to be the case, so the latter
seems to have at least some part in homo sapiens of Asia. Unless you can argue
that the shared traits between erectus and sapiens in Asia are actually adaptive to
the environment.

Paul Kekai Manansala