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Encyclopedia > Multiregional origin hypothesis

The multiregional origin hypothesis of human origins holds that some, or all, of the genetic variation between the contemporary human races is attributable to genetic inheritance from hominid species, or subspecies,specifically Homo erectus, that was geographically dispersed throughout Asia, and possibly Europe and Australasia, prior to the evolution of modern Homo sapiens (conventionally dated to at least 70,000, possibly 150,000, years ago). This article is about race as an intraspecies classification. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... In biology, a species is a kind of organism. ... In taxonomy, a subspecies is the taxon immediately subordinate to a species. ... World map showing location of Asia A satellite composite image of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of the continent of Eurasia, defined by subtracting the European peninsula from Eurasia. ... World map showing location of Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... Australasia is the area that includes Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the many smaller islands in the vicinity, most of which are the eastern part of Indonesia. ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ...

Candidate populations suggested by multi-regionalists as sources for such genetic variation include Homo neanderthalensis and Peking Man (a local subspecies of Homo erectus). Binomial name Homo neanderthalensis King, 1864 The Neanderthal or Neandertal was a species of genus Homo (Homo neanderthalensis) that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from about 230,000 to 29,000 years ago (in the Middle Palaeolithic, early Stone Age). ... Binomial name Homo erectus pekinensis Peking Man (sometimes now called Beijing Man), also called Sinanthropus pekinensis (currently Homo erectus pekinensis), is an example of Homo erectus. ... Binomial name Homo erectus Dubois, 1894 Homo erectus (upright man) is a hominid species that is believed to be an ancestor of modern humans. ...

This view contrasts with the single origin hypothesis, which holds that modern Homo sapiens evolved from a single, geographically localised, ancestral hominid population, whose descendants ultimately replaced all other species of hominids over the course of tens of thousands of years without interbreeding or subspeciation. In paleoanthropology, the single-origin hypothesis (or Out-of-Africa model) is one of two accounts of the origin of anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens. ...


Proponents of multiregionalism

Two of the scientists most closely associated with the multiregional hypothesis are Carleton S. Coon and Milford H. Wolpoff. Carleton Stevens Coon, (23 June 1904 — 6 June 1981) was an eminent American anthropologist. ... Milford H. Wolpoff (born in 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is a physical anthropologist. ...

Wolpoff, however, distinguishes his own views from Coon's as follows:

"Since its inception in the 1980s, multiregional evolution has never been polyphyletic. It has always been a theory about intraspecific evolutionary processes with an emphasis on gene flow... multiregional evolution [is not] a polyphyletic model of parallel racial evolution similar to that of Carleton Coon’s in the 1960s." [1] (http://human-nature.com/nibbs/02/wolpoff.html)

However, Coon was explicit in the exposition of his theory that gene flow between populations played a substantial role in human evolution, a point often overlooked by his critics. In biology, a taxon is polyphyletic if it is descended from more than one root form (in Greek poly = many and phyletic = racial). ... Gene flow (also known as gene migration) is the transfer of genes from one population to another. ...

Recent evidence

The multi-regional hypothesis was originally developed from the fossil evidence, but more recent work has focused on molecular data, in which DNA is sequenced. In particular, work has been done with non-recombining DNA such as mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome. FOSSIL is a standard for allowing serial communication for telecommunications programs under DOS. FOSSIL stands for Fido Opus SEAdog Standard Interface Layer and was made by a group of Fidonet sysops to make their software work on different machines. ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... Space-filling model of a section of DNA molecule Deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life (and many viruses). ... For the sense of sequencing used in electronic music, see the music sequencer article. ... Recombination usually denotes a genetic event that occurs during the formation of sperm and egg cells (especially in areas of study of biology topics). ... Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is DNA which is not located in the nucleus of the cell but in the mitochondria. ... The human Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes, it contains the genes that cause testis development, thus determining maleness. ...

For instance, in 2001, a team of Chinese scientists wrote: "all Y-chromosome samples from China, with no exception, were originally derived from a lineage of African origin. Hence, we conclude that even a very minor contribution of in situ hominid origin in China cannot be supported by the Y-chromosome evidence." [2] (http://www.kiz.ac.cn/compgenegroup1/papers/Chinese%20Science%20Bullitin.pdf) In a related publication, scientists in Asia, the US, and the UK examined the Y-chromosomes of more than 12,000 people from across Asia and found no traces of any ancient non-African influence. [3] (http://hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/Science_2001_v292_p1151.pdf) One of the co-authors of the second study, multiregionalist opponent R. Spencer Wells, is quoted as saying "This really puts the nail in the coffin of multiregionalism". [4] (http://web.archive.org/web/20021202001638/news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1323485.stm) 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Great Wall of China, stretching over 6,700 km, was erected beginning in the 3rd century BC to guard the north from raids by men on horses. ... World map showing location of Africa A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... World map showing location of Asia A satellite composite image of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of the continent of Eurasia, defined by subtracting the European peninsula from Eurasia. ... The United States of America — also referred to as the United States, the U.S.A., the U.S., America, the States, or (archaically) Columbia—is a federal republic of 50 states located primarily in central North America (with the exception of two states: Alaska and Hawaii). ... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the G8, the European Union, and NATO. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, the UK, or (inaccurately) as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent...

Nevertheless, proponents of multiregionalism such as Wolpoff believe the molecular data can not only be reconciled with the multiregional origin hypothesis but in fact in some cases supports it. For instance, studies on past population bottlenecks that can be inferred from molecular data have led them to conclude that the single-origin hypothesis is untenable. One of the co-authors of a 1999 study, proponent John Hawks, is quoted as saying that the single-origin theory "can be put to rest". [5]  (http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/9900/Jan17_00/12.htm) A population bottleneck (or genetic bottleneck) is an evolutionary event in which a significant percentage of a population or species is killed or otherwise prevented from reproducing, and the population is reduced by 50% or more, often by several orders of magnitude. ...

See also

Human evolution is a multidisciplinary scientific inquiry which seeks to understand and describe the origin and development of humanity. ... The 19th-century evangelical Protestants who invented the term Cradle of Humanity made generalized but undocumented claims that the term originated in Mesopotamia in the 2nd century, and that it was used by early Arab Christians to refer to a geographic area that falls within a 1,000 mile radius... In human genetics, Y-chromosomal Adam is the male counterpart to mitochondrial Eve: a real or hypothetical single male human ancestor from whom all male Y chromosomes are descended. ... An artists impression of Mitochondrial Eve who probably lived in Africa, about 150,000 years ago. ... Genetics (from the Greek genno γεννώ= give birth) is the science of genes, heredity, and the variation of organisms. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Multiregional hypothesis at AllExperts (1324 words)
The multiregional hypothesis for the human species holds that the evolution of humanity throughout the Pleistocene has been within a single widespread human species, Homo sapiens, in response to the normal forces of evolution: selection, mutation, genetic drift, and gene flow.
The multiregional hypothesis was first formulated in the early 1980's by Milford H. Wolpoff and a group of associates as an explanation for apparent similarities of the remains from Homo erectus and Homo sapiens inhabiting the same region.
According to the Multiregional hypothesis, geographic differences between human populations are the results of climatic variation, isolation by distance, and historical accidents (genetic drift).
  More results at FactBites »



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