Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans.

  title={Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans.},
  author={Chris B Stringer and Peter W. Andrews},
  volume={239 4845},
The origin of living Homo sapiens has once again been the subject of much debate. Genetic data on present human population relationships and data from the Pleistocene fossil hominid record are used to compare two contrasting models for the origin of modern humans. Both genetics and paleontology support a recent African origin for modern humans rather than a long period of multiregional evolution accompanied by gene flow. 

Modern Humans: Origin and Evolution

Modern humans originated recently in geological time from a diverse African gene pool. Very little if any interbreeding probably occurred with existing archaic human populations outside of Africa

Origin of Modern Humans: Interpreting the Molecular Evidence

Patterns of genetic diversity within our species imply that we descended from a small number of ancestors, of the order of several thousands. While early genetic evidence suggested major population

Genetics of Modern Human Origins and Diversity

  • J. Relethford
  • Biology
    The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology
  • 2018
Although the genetic data do provide support for the recent African origin model, they also are compatible with the multiregional model and neither model of modern human origins is unequivocally supported to the exclusion of the other.

Modern Human Origins: The ‘Out of Africa’ Debate

There is still debate over whether this was a speciation event that replaced other human populations outside of Africa, or whether there was genetic mixture.

Human evolution from the Miocene to the Present

Based on morphological, palaeoanthropological and molecular biological studies, human evolution from the Miocene to the Present has been reviewed. The initial divergence of orangutan from the

No evidence of a Neanderthal contribution to modern human diversity

The available evidence is reviewed and there is no indication of any Neanderthal contribution to modern genetic diversity.

Has the combination of genetic and fossil evidence solved the riddle of modern human origins?

It is argued that the fossil record and archeological evidence constrain interpretation of the genetic evidence and imply that very little, if any, admixture with Eurasian archaic hominins such as the Neanderthals occurred during the spread of modern humans out of Africa.

Genetics and the human lineage

Investigation of mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA, and other genetic polymorphisms have shed light on the size of human populations through hominid history, and recent genetic discoveries have contributed to unravelling the phylogenetic history of distinctive human traits.

Possible Ancestral Structure in Human Populations

Using sequence data from the Environmental Genome Project, strong evidence is found for ancient admixture in both a European and a West African population, with contributions to the modern gene pool of at least 5%.



Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution

All these mitochondrial DMAs stem from one woman who is postulated to have lived about 200,000 years ago, probably in Africa, implying that each area was colonised repeatedly.

Regional continuity in Australasian Pleistocene hominid evolution.

It is argued that the "center and edge" hypothesis could account for the initial appearance of regional variation, and that a dynamic model of geneflow and opposing selection provides the mechanism that maintained a long-standing dynamic clinal equilibrium in Australasia during the middle and late Pleistocene.

The Neandertals and Modern Human Origins

There has been increased interest in these Upper Pleistocene humans in recent decades, which has resulted in new attempts to comprehend their place in hominid phylogeny, the significance of their morphological pattern, and the evolutionary origins of anatomically modern humans.

On the number of members of the genus Homo who have ever lived, and some evolutionary implications.

A revised estimate is that there have been about 44 billion members of the genus Homo from its origins 4.5 million years ago to the evolution of Homo erectus and another 51 billion persons since the neolithic.

Evolutionary relationships of human populations from an analysis of nuclear DNA polymorphisms

It is found that all non-African populations share a limited number of common haplotypes whereas Africans have predominantly a different haplotype not found in other populations.

The Influence of Gene Flow on Genetic Distance

A very small amount of migration was found to significantly alter estimates of genetic distance, even when a large spatial distance separated populations. The effect of migration did not depend on

Species recognition in human paleontology

Allelic variation in human mitochondrial genes based on patterns of restriction site polymorphism.

Coefficients of population differentiation suggest that gene flow of mtDNA types between certain geographic regions may be limited, and departures from the neutral mutation model are most readily explained by the effects of the recent expansion of the human population and the action of purifying selection.