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V. Life's Corporeal Evolution Develops, Encodes and Organizes Itself: An EarthWinian Genesis Synthesis

7. Multiple Ancestries of Homo Sapiens

Complex, network system perspectives are also being employed by the fields of primate studies, archaeology and anthropology to better explain how simians became hominids and onto phenomenal humans. This multi-faceted emergence is considered to occur through a co-evolution of increasing brain size, dexterous tool making and especially sociable interactions facilitated by language and know-how abilities. In reflective regard, Earth life can be seen adorn itself with a global species whom can altogether reconstruct the long, arduous course that got us here. No longer a linear march to homo sapiens, new fossil finds, along with paleogenetic analyses trace a chancy, meandering trek replete with dead ends, branchings and much interbreeding. Similar innovative advances have now allowed cultural, artifactual, knowledge content and migratory passages to be recovered. One may be prompted by a wide-screen curiosity to wonder about a self-revealing genesis universe which seems trying to describe and explain to itself by our nascent witness and co-creation.

2020: An historic, expansive revision with regard to our pedigree is occuring in the later 2010s by way of novel abilities to sequence ancient, hominid DNA, specifically reported in Paleogenomics. The familiar tree-like branchings based on fossil bones are being pruned and redrawn by way of Neanderthal cross-breedings and so on all the way to great ape primate origins. There are meanderings and dead ends but a main vectorial procession toward intelligence, awareness, knowledge gain by capable creatures in viable groupings is persistently evident.

Buskes, Chris. The Encultured Primate: Thresholds and Transitions in Hominin Cultural Evolution. Philosophies. 4/1, 2019.
Dannemann, Michael and Fernando Racimo. Something Old, Something Borrowed: Admixture and Adaptation in Human Evolution. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. 53/1, 2018.
Douglas, Kate, ed. Our Human Story. New Scientist Essential Guide Volume 4, 2020.
Fernandez-Lopez, Javier, et al. Understanding Hunter-Gatherer Cultural Evolution Needs Network Thinking. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. August, 2022.
Higham, Tom. The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins. New York: Penguin, 2021

Migliano, Andrea, et al. Characterization of Hunter-Gather Networks and Implications for Cumulative Culture. Nature Human Behavior. 1/0043, 2017.
Mounier, Aurelien and Marta Mirazon Lahr. Deciphering African Late Middle Pleistocene Hominin Diversity and the Origin of Our Species. Nature Communications. 10/3406, 2019.
Overmann, Karenleigh and Frederick Coolidge, eds. Squeezing Minds from Stones: Cognitive Archaeology and the Evolution of the Human Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019.
Tylen, Kristian, et al. The Evolution of Early Symbolic Behavior in Homo Sapiens.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 117/4578, 2020.
Voorhees, Burton, et al. Identity, Kinship, and the Evolution of Cooperation. Current Anthropology. September, 2018.
Wong, Kate. How Scientists Discovered the Staggering Complexity of Human Evolution. Scientific American. September 2020.


First Peoples. pbs.org/show/first-peoples.. First Peoples is a five-part PBS documentary about the first aired in 2015. It shows how humans reached each continent by way of various fossil discoveries and placing them in a context of pre-modern human migration. The programs include interviews with many of the researchers involved in these studies, such as geneticists Svante Pääbo and Eske Willerslev and anthropologists John D. Hawks and Nicole Waguespack. Five episodes view the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe, which often focus on a major skull and skeletal find.

, . Neanderthal Code. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/neanderthal-code-3228. A two hour program first shown on the National Geographic Channel on September 21, 2009 which along with a well done scientific dramatization makes a revolutionary claim. Until now the Neanderthal race was thought to have gone extinct under pressures from smarter, more linguistic Cro Magnon, “modern man” peoples. Neanderthals were thus relegated as inferior and not ancestral. But now recent DNA sequencings from Neanderthal bones can be compared with homo sapiens DNA, and since the two hominids could interbreed, we 21st century human folks really ought to consider ourselves as a hybrid. For example, a FoxP2 “language gene” thought to be unique to us, is also found in the Neanderthal genome. A main commentator and authority is Erik Trinkaus, who with Ian Tattersall and others present a fascinating case that rather than lineages dying off, in fact they may often meld into each other and form such a synthesis.

Abbas, Mahmoud, et al.. Human dispersals out of Africa via the Levant. Science Advances. 9/40, 2023. We record the credits for the eleven diverse, wide spread collaborators in a second quote. By virtue of this long consequent 2023 knowsphere, an historic, epochal, retrospective is accomplished as Earth reaches this consummate vista. What an incredible scenario are late we peoples altogether be coming upon. A central developmental course might just now be glimpsed as some manner of phenomenal self-observance, representation and affirmation.

Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa into Eurasia multiple times in the Middle and Late Pleistocene. The route, across northeastern Africa into the Levant, is a viable terrestrial corridor, as the present harsh southern Levant would probably have been savannahs and grasslands during the last interglaciation. Here, we document wetland sediments with luminescence ages falling in the last interglaciation in the southern Levant, showing protracted phases of moisture availability. Our findings support the growing consensus for a well-watered Jordan Rift Valley that funneled migrants into western Asia and northern Arabia.

Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Disaster Prediction and Prevention, Shantou University, China, Institute of Geophysics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechia, Yarmouk University, Amman, Jordan, Jiaying University, China, Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Griffith University, Brisbane, Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC,, Geography & Environmental Sciences, University of Southampton, UK. (Global postings for the eleven co-authors)

Ackermann, Rebecca, et al. The Hybrid Origin of “Modern” Humans. Evolutionary Biology. Online October, 2015. University of Cape Town, RSA and University of Georgia, USA archeologists and geneticists advise that based on the latest genomic findings the many hominid lineages actually engaged in ubiquitous interbreeding. Rather than a distinct genera, homo sapiens arises from and expresses a diverse genetic exchange between earlier species.

Anton, Susan, et al. Evolution of Early Homo: An Integrated Biological Perspective. Science. 345/45, 2014. Senior anthropologists Anton, Center for the Study of Human Origins, NYU, Richard Potts, Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution, and Leslie Aiello, Wenner-Gren Foundation, provide a synoptic update based on a confluence of fossil findings, instrumental abilities, and holistic vistas as our primate and hominid ancestry project becomes ever more filled in.

Until recently, the evolution of the genus Homo has been interpreted in the context of the onset of African aridity and the expansion of open grasslands. Homo erectus was considered to be a bona fide member of the genus Homo, but opinions diverged on the generic status of earlier, more fragmentary fossils traditionally attributed to Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis. Arguments about generic status of these taxa rested on inferred similarities and differences in adaptive plateau. However, there was near-universal agreement that the open-country suite of features inferred for Homo erectus had evolved together and provided the adaptations for dispersal beyond Africa. These features foreshadowed those of more recent Homo sapiens and included large, linear bodies, elongated legs, large brain sizes, reduced sexual dimorphism, increased carnivory, and unique life history traits (e.g., extended ontogeny and longevity) as well as toolmaking and increased social cooperation. (Abstract)

Atkinson, Quentin. Phonemic Diversity Supports a Serial Founder Effect Model of Language Expansion from Africa. Science. 332/346, 2011. “Clinal,” from the quote, means “a gradual change in a trait or in the frequency of a trait within a species over a geographical area.” By clever, peer-approved, insights, a University of Auckland cognitive anthropologist finds that changes in human genomes as peoples migrated out of Africa to populate the earth are quite paralleled by linguistic diversities along the way. And circa 2011, we wonder Whom now looks back over this fantastic voyage, able to quantify gene and word, unto what great realization and purpose.

Human genetic and phenotypic diversity declines with distance from Africa, as predicted by a serial founder effect in which successive population bottlenecks during range expansion progressively reduce diversity, underpinning support for an African origin of modern humans. Recent work suggests that a similar founder effect may operate on human culture and language. Here I show that the number of phonemes used in a global sample of 504 languages is also clinal and fits a serial founder–effect model of expansion from an inferred origin in Africa. This result, which is not explained by more recent demographic history, local language diversity, or statistical non-independence within language families, points to parallel mechanisms shaping genetic and linguistic diversity and supports an African origin of modern human languages. (Abstract, 346)

Avise, John and Francisco Ayala. In the Light of Evolution IV: The Human Condition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107/Supplement 2, 2010. An Introduction to papers from a Sackler Colloquium on the latest reconstructions of pathways from primates to hominids to homo sapiens. A distinguished array includes “Gene-Culture Coevolution in the Age of Genomics” by Peter Richerson, Robert Boyd and Joseph Henrich; “Bioenergetics, the Origins of Complexity, and the Ascent of Man” by Douglas Wallace; and “Working Toward a Synthesis of Archaeological, Linguistic, and Genetic Data for Inferring African Population History” by Laura Scheinfeldt, Sameer Sol and Sarah Tishkoff.

Axtell, R., et al. Population Growth and Collapse in a Multiagent Model of the Kayenta Anasazi in Long House Valley. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99/7275, 2002. The reconstruction of the social morphology and dynamics of an ancient culture by means of complex systems principles.

Our model closely reproduces important spatial and demographic features of the Anasazi in Long House Valley from about A.D. 800 to 1300. To “explain” an observed spatiotemporal history is to specify agents that generate - or grow - this history. By this criterion, our strictly environmental account of the evolution of this society during this period goes a long way toward explaining this history. (7278)

Barras, Colin. Losing the Plot. New Scientist. August 26, 2017. A news report about how recent fossil finds along with novel abilities to reconstruct ancient genomes is changing and erasing the olden branching diagrams of hominid speciation. In their place, new evidence of extensive interbreedings, e.g. Neanderthal and Cro Magnon, reveal much more blended pathways.

Barrett, Louise and Peter Henzi. The Social Nature of Primate Cognition. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 272/1865, 2005. Over the past decade, a “social brain hypothesis” has come to the fore whereof cerebral enlargement in primates was most driven by communal demands, especially the need for Machiavellian deception and exploitation. The authors here argue that this view is to narrow and other factors such as behavioral coordination and tolerance are equally important. Drawing on advances in evolutionary economics, cognitive science and neurophysiology, a more general theoretical framework is then proposed to include notions of embodied and distributed cognition, namely “thinking as a group.”

Bentley, Alexander and Herbert Maschner, eds. Complex Systems and Archaeology. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2003. As noted in this section’s introduction, after expanding the study of prehistoric and early human habitation into an evolutionary basis, scholars are now realizing that complexity principles are equally at work. This work explores aspects such as scale-free networks, agent-based modeling, power law distributions, and self-organization, all of which seems in need of a common terminology and synthesis.

Bentley, Alexander and Stephen Shennan. Cultural Transmission and Stochastic Network Growth. American Antiquity. 68/3, 2003. A long article that studies how nonlinear science can apply to and explain, for example, the development of Neolithic cultures in central Europe. Elemental nodes are households whose dynamic interaction can be evaluated through changing pottery design motifs. In our website perspective, the universal principles are likewise at work in humankind’s emergence.

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