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Early Homo Sapiens: Uniregional versus Multiregional Theory Essay examples

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As fossil evidence has shown, we see that all pre-human forms, from Proconsul to Australopithecines, have resided in parts of Africa. We don’t see any movement out of Africa until the appearance of the Homo erectus fossils. These fossils have been found not only in Africa, but have also been found in parts of Europe and Asia. This is when scientists begin to disagree on how these pre-modern humans spread from Africa to other continents. Some scientists believe in the hypothesis known as the Multiregional Theory. This theory states that Homo erectus left Africa about two million years ago and from there migrated to Europe and Asia. These H. erectus then evolved, simultaneously, into Homo sapiens, or the modern looking and culturally evolved humans we are today. Another hypothesis that has been presented is the Uniregional Theory. This theory states that although Homo erectus did migrate out of Africa into these areas, Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens in, and solely in Africa. These H. sapiens then traveled into the other continents and replaced the H. erectus and Neanderthals that were living there. More fossil evidence has been found to support the Uniregional theory at this time and is the most likely option for human migration. Scientists try to prove these theories using fossils found in different locations, studying what DNA can be found in the fossils, and they also look at other evolutionary theories for possible answers and clues to the peopling of the continents.
“Multiregional evolution requires the "simultaneous" or "convergent" evolution of modern humans in different isolated populations,” (Hawks and Wolpoff 89) and is based on the idea that earlier hominids, such as Australopithecines, e...


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...d Milford Wolpoff. "Sixty Years of Modern Human Origins" American Anthropologist 105.1 (2008): 89-100. Web. 25 Mar 2011.
6. Johanson, Donald. "Origins of Modern Humans: Multiregional or Out of Africa." ActionBioscience.org. (2001): Print.
7. Lestrel, P, F. Ohtsuki, and C.A. Wolfe. "Cranial vault shape in fossil hominids: Fourier descriptors in norma lateralis.." Journal of Comparative Human Biology 61.5 (2010): 287-313. Web. 25 Mar 2011.
8. Lieberman, Leonard, and Linda Jackson. "Race and Three Models of Human Origin." American Anthropologist 97.2 (1995): 231-42. Web. 25 Mar 2011.
9. Shang, H, H Tong, S Zhang, F Chen, and E Trinkaus. "An early modern human from Tianyuan Cave, Zhoukoudian, China.." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 104.16 (2007): 6573-8. Print.
10. Stone, L., & Lurquin, P.F. (2007). Genes, culture, and human evolution: a synthesis.
Blackwell Publishing.


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