Re: Homo erectus: racial variants of Homo sapiens?

Dan Barnes (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 15:26:27 GMT

In article <5bbah4$>, says...
>A Pagano <> wrote:
>>The following is posted on behalf of David Buckna <>:
>>>From Maclean's magazine (Canada's weekly newsmagazine):
>>That would place him [Java Man] in the era of modern humans---and argue
>>against an ancestral relationship."If these dates are right," said
>>Rightmire, an anthropologist at the State University of New York at
>>Binghamton, "the multiregionalists will have to do some fast
>I.E. their theory is in deep trouble.

I agree that if the dates are correct it would cause problems for MRE.

>>..The new findings also challenge the rival Out of Africa
>>theory. That view holds that modern humans emerged in Africa as recently
>>150,000 years ago and spread around the globe, driving Homo erectus into
>>extinction---well before the era pointed to by the new
>>science section,"The origins of man", Dec. 23, p. 69)
>How, what's the evidence. The only contridiction is the believe that
>the asian HE might have migrated to africa 400 to 200 KYBP to form

I've never heard this theory put forward anywhere. Do you have any refs for it?

> This new data adds to a number of additional possibilities.
>1. Asian HE migrated to africa to form HS

Again not a theory I've heard of.

>2. Asian HE and african HE were 2 different species (subspecies)

The only one of these three that I'm aware of. H. ergaster eveolved in Africa c.
1.9 Ma and migrated to Asia by 1.8 Ma. There is the possibility that some H.h.
may have left c. 2 Ma.

>3. Asian HE migrated to africa and also continued to evolve in asia

See comments on 1.

>Only number three is added because of the data.
> Thus one has an overlap period of
>15,000 years with absolutely no evidence for hybrid forms. There is no
>significant 'form' evolution either in the immigrants or in the
>presumptive population. BTW, if one looks at the java skulls it is
>blatantly obvious that this skull shape is not within in the range of
>shapes found in any human population (anywhere). Not even close.
>There is no evidence that the asian population are hybrids (within the
>last 30KY) of java erectus and homo. There is no evidence in the
>fossile record that a fast hybridization occured between JAVA homo to
>produce asian varients.

This is the whole point of the MRE theory as shown by Thorne and Wolpoff and
SE Asia is one of the prime areas that the theory is based on. They have done
numbers of studies showing links from the H.e. (at sites like Trinil, I think) to the
archaic H.s. (the Ngandong hominids we are discussing) to the modern
Australians. I know Lahr has done considerable work to disprove this link but
this work is criticised in turn. They may not be hybrids but the arguement is that
they are the ancestors of the modern SE Asians.
Although I tend to believe Lahr's work to say there is no evidence would be
incorrect. There is evidence but whether you consider the evidence valid is
another point.

> I would argue quite the opposite point. Not only are these
>artifacts not representative of homo sapiens but they are probably not
>representative of the erectus population which lead to sapiens, and
>most probably, like neaderthals were a new species derived from the
>anscestral multiforkated homo erectus population (like HS and HN).

This is what I tend to believe.

> The regional evolution hypothesis is all but dead, every new bit of
>info seems to further support its demise. This is no exception.
>Instead of trumpeting evidence which, in fact, supports the
>out-of-africa, why don't all these multiregionalist go out and find
>the evidences which would _actually_ support the theory.
>1. Evidence for regional DNA contributions which unambiguously
>demonstrates that the gene biforkated from the african population well
>before 200 KYBP (preferably on the order of 400 to 800 KYBP).

They do have studies which reinterpret the mtDNA studies in support of a single
African exodus but of erectus not H.s. However, this uses an unreasonable time
for separation for hominids and chimps - i.e. c. 13 Ma as opposed to the c. 6
Ma that it is now thought to be.

>2. Evidence of regional hybridizations which demonstrate the merging
>of AMH and hominid body forms to produce regional variants.

There is considerable evidence of continuity between hominids in areas like SE
Asia - see Frayer et al., 1993 for this and for the DNA analysis that supports

>So far, all the evidence presented by the multiregionalist require
>strong biasing of both the artifactual and genetic evidence.
This is true esp. for the genetics. They are on better ground with the anatomy