This might be an even more stupid question, but...

Drew & Laurie Beck (
8 May 1995 13:15:25 GMT

Hi--I'm new to this group and realize that you all have probably debated
the subject of my question to death already, but here goes: From the
"armchair anthropologist" research I've done so far, I've discerned two
basic theories re: the emergence of "modern" humans. Theory 1 seems to
be that earlier varieties of hominids (Homo Erectus) radiated out of
Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago and sub-populations descended
from these "migrants" independently evolved into "modern" humans in a
bunch of different geological areas. Theory 2 suggests that the
radiation of earlier hominids occurred just as in Theory 1, but a later
radiation of "modern" humans from Africa displaced all of the earlier
varieties. Does this admittedly simplistic description fairly well
summarize the current thinking in this field? If so, what sort of fossil
evidence is there to support each of these theories, and what kind of
time frame are we looking at for the emergence of modern humans in both
theories? Thanks for your patience in answering my questions--I'm new to
all of this!