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← Asia to Africa, or Vice Versa: New Clues to Primates’ Origins

Asia to Africa, or Vice Versa: New Clues to Primates’ Origins - Comments

T-Porter's Avatar Comment 1 by T-Porter

Interesting. So, we may have a ancestor in Asia that migrated to Africa and evolved into us?

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 16:14:15 UTC | #540236

Zurak's Avatar Comment 2 by Zurak

Doesn't surprise me. Just before WWII started geologist/anthropologist/biologist, were tackling the question of where human beings first appear. They uncovered the ancient river valley civilizations clues at the Egypt Nile river valley, Mesopotamia, Hwang Ho yellow river China and another one which remained nameless in the plain of indus Asia. How ever further investigation had to be canceled because of the war, in the mean time it was agreed upon that we originated in Africa. Of course the humans origins in Asia camp is SMALL it is still there and we might never know where we first appeared. But i have noticed a sort of taboo discussing this, when i have talked about this several times i have gotten the response along the lines " WE HUMANS CAME FROM AFRICA, YOU ARE RACIST!!!!!" leading me to just dump the subject all together. Oh well, Dawkins might soon have to re-design his t-shirt as "We are all Asians" instead of "We are all Africans". =P

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 16:33:37 UTC | #540246

opposablethumbs's Avatar Comment 3 by opposablethumbs

It's odd that people should get hot under the collar about it, though, considering that what is being discussed is a possible distant ancestor of the primates that were themselves ancestors of the hominids that were ancestors of early humans - if I've understood correctly (always a big if, of course), there's no suggestion that the earliest humans (regardless of any problems there may be with that definition) came from anywhere else than Africa. So we're still all Africans.

Seems a bit much for people to get miffed about the origin of primates - why stop there, after all, rather than laying claim to geographical areas for the origin of mammals, or vertebrates, chordates, eukaryotes ....

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 16:58:00 UTC | #540252

Bala's Avatar Comment 4 by Bala

ancient river valley civilizations clues at the Egypt Nile river valley, Mesopotamia, Hwang Ho yellow river China and another one which remained nameless in the plain of indus Asia

You mean Harappa? But these are all quite recent compared to the timescales involved.

Anyway, are fossils the only way of telling where we came from? Or does genes have any clue in them?

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 16:59:49 UTC | #540255

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 5 by Enlightenme..

Dawkins might soon have to re-design his t-shirt as "We are all Asians" instead of "We are all Africans". =P

We're going a lot further back here; rodent-sized Anthrop-oids weighing a pound or less.

You might as well suggest the redesign would have to be 'We are all black-smoker-originated entities' (We have no more idea than 'warm pond' or scriptural 'we all came from clay')

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 17:29:44 UTC | #540263

Darwinorlose's Avatar Comment 6 by Darwinorlose

Africa? Asia? MY ancestors came from Pangaea!

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 18:54:08 UTC | #540279

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 7 by Stafford Gordon

Darwin really started something!

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 19:49:13 UTC | #540289

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 8 by Philoctetes

I wonder what nationality was the first single celled ancestor of us all. Pangean I suppose

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 20:56:09 UTC | #540309

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 9 by Neodarwinian

Still way too early for any consensus, but I am sure the battle lines are being drawn on this issue as I type!

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 21:02:17 UTC | #540313

Letsbereasonable's Avatar Comment 10 by Letsbereasonable

Coming soon to a movie theatre near you: In to Africa.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 21:10:26 UTC | #540324

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 11 by DamnDirtyApe

Its clear that's its going to take a while for certainty to arise from this. I'm going to wait and see how this pans out. Interesting.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 21:37:10 UTC | #540330

soren's Avatar Comment 12 by soren

Does this mean Dawkins will need a new shirt that says, "We are all Asians"?

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 22:03:01 UTC | #540335

T-Porter's Avatar Comment 13 by T-Porter

Thankfully it was not i Europe or the A would need to be changed too.

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 22:11:31 UTC | #540337

Hamlets Ghost's Avatar Comment 14 by Hamlets Ghost

This is very interesting but I think the most important change in our understanding of where we come from will be more with slogans 'we are all life' - no more from africa - or asia. We come instead from one ancestor - one line of life - and with it have connected with everyting on earth. A little more inspiring than any we are from 'africa' or 'asia'.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 04:21:23 UTC | #540422

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 15 by Enlightenme..

Thankfully it was not i Europe or the A would need to be changed too.

That poxy 'A' is going to fall out of fashion now anyway, and good riddance to it.

I didn't like it being used with this linkage anyway, I like the statement 'We are all Africans' but the underlying implication that racism originates from the Cain story, rather than that the Cain story simply justifies our already inherent racism is an arse about face story.

We never got our morals from religion, or our bigotries.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 04:39:19 UTC | #540425

zengardener's Avatar Comment 16 by zengardener

The ancestors of humans and other primates like apes and monkeys may have originated in Asia, not Africa, a new study in the journal Nature reports.

This sounds like a reversal.

The fossils are about 38 million years old and were uncovered in a rock formation in southern Libya. The anthropoids were small, rodent-size creatures that looked similar to larger, modern-day primates, but weighed just 4 to 17 ounces.

38,000,000 years ago. really? how many other modern creatures a descended from these arthropods? The first sentence is misleading.

Move along people.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 07:02:51 UTC | #540449

healthymindhealthybody's Avatar Comment 17 by healthymindhealthybody

Does this mean Dawkins will need a new shirt that says, "We are all Asians"?

The ancestors of chimpanzees and humans came from africa. (certain)

The ancestors of all apes (i.e including orangutans e.t.c) is in dispute but more evidence points towards asia.

WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND?

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 10:11:29 UTC | #540480

healthymindhealthybody's Avatar Comment 18 by healthymindhealthybody

Does this mean Dawkins will need a new shirt that says, "We are all Asians"?

The ancestors of chimpanzees and humans came from africa. (certain)

The ancestors of all apes (i.e including orangutans e.t.c) is in dispute but more evidence points towards asia.

WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND?

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 10:12:58 UTC | #540481

Reginald's Avatar Comment 19 by Reginald

"38,000,000 years ago. really? how many other modern creatures a descended from these arthropods? The first sentence is misleading."

Arthropods?

Anyway-- I had an Aunt in Gondwanaland.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 10:42:30 UTC | #540492

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 20 by SomersetJohn

I may well have my timings wrong here, but given the drunken wanderings of the landmasses, was there an Africa, or an Asia, 38,000,000 years ago?

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 12:44:20 UTC | #540524

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 21 by Enlightenme..

Comment 20 by SomersetJohn I may well have my timings wrong here, but given the drunken wanderings of the landmasses, was there an Africa, or an Asia, 38,000,000 years ago?

Well, yes and no..: The Eocene Epoch - 54 to 38 million years ago The Oligocene Epoch - 38 to 24 million years ago

At the start of the Eocene India would be closer to Madagascar than to (proto)-Asia, by the end-eocene it's crashing into it, forming the himalayas.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 15:26:19 UTC | #540558

zengardener's Avatar Comment 22 by zengardener

Arthropods?

Anthropoids Spelling is not so great after a few beers.

I get annoyed when articles take the old "Darwin was wrong!!!" approach to getting attention.

Sun, 31 Oct 2010 17:37:50 UTC | #540596

soren's Avatar Comment 23 by soren

WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND?

Um... It isn't difficult to understand. I didn't literally mean to deny our African origins, as in fact the article we are commenting on does not. Obviously Dawkins can keep his shirt. I was making a joke: the point of my joke is just that a broad view of natural history does not give to any single continent the sole glory of spawning us - it is just a matter of where our most proximate ancestors were. Hence "We are all Africans" makes sense only as a qualified statement, restricting our view to a specific, recent line of our ancestry. But that is not a real criticism of the phrase, since it is obviously intended in no other may.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 00:55:21 UTC | #540708

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 24 by SaganTheCat

I wonder what nationality was the first single celled ancestor of us all. Pangean I suppose

more likely marine

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 11:46:30 UTC | #540834

Didaktylos's Avatar Comment 25 by Didaktylos

So Hominids originated in Africa, but primates in general originated in Asia - I don't see anything contradictory here.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 14:17:34 UTC | #540914

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 26 by rrh1306

yea thats lame. ive seen that sort of lead in title to dozens of articles about new evolutionary discoveries or ideas. i bet its most annoying to creationist though. allways thinking there going to get that golden piece of evidence against evolution only to be let down by a misleading or exaggerated title.

Comment 22 by zengardener :

Arthropods?

Anthropoids Spelling is not so great after a few beers.

I get annoyed when articles take the old "Darwin was wrong!!!" approach to getting attention.

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 17:49:40 UTC | #541049

Ali Duncan's Avatar Comment 27 by Ali Duncan

I think this stuff is brilliant. All you erudites can argue contented amongst yourselves while I gouge to the wonder of it all.

Tue, 02 Nov 2010 16:47:13 UTC | #541586

foundationist's Avatar Comment 28 by foundationist

The reasoning in the study goes as follows: The Lybia fossils as the oldest african anthropoid fossils are "too diverse for the current model of primate evolution". From the abstract:

The high taxonomic diversity of anthropoids at Dur At-Talah indicates either a much longer interval of anthropoid evolution in Africa than is currently documented in the fossil record or the nearly synchronous colonization of Africa by multiple anthropoid clades at some time during the middle Eocene epoch.

Fascinating stuff!

Wed, 03 Nov 2010 11:26:30 UTC | #541944

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

I see at the bottom of the New York Times page there is this Advert link to a creationist leaflet, which detracts from the article.

New York Times Science

Darwin's errors unearthed Serious doubts about evolution are www.ucg.org.uk/ad/ev/

The link to the journal "Nature looks detailed, but part is behind a paywall.

From The New York Times:

“This indicates that there was migration from Asia.”

But there is another possibility: that the anthropoids originated in Africa and migrated to Asia, and that they have even older ancestors in Africa that have not yet been discovered.

There is no fossil evidence that substantiates this theory today, but more digging is required, Dr. Jaeger said.

This suggests that things are very speculative at this stage.

Thu, 11 Nov 2010 00:06:22 UTC | #545515

healthymindhealthybody's Avatar Comment 30 by healthymindhealthybody

WHY IS THAT SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND? Um... It isn't difficult to understand. I didn't literally mean to deny our African origins, as in fact the article we are commenting on does not.

Sorry for being such a prick.

does not give to any single continent the sole glory of spawning us -

Well,when we're talking about the last branch that gave rise only to humans and no other species (excluding dead species or subspecies such as neanderthals) it's Africa.

Hence "We are all Africans" makes sense only as a qualified statement, restricting our view to a specific, recent line of our ancestry.

Yeah, it refers to the lineage that created us and no other species, (excluding dead (sub)species such as neanderthals)

Thu, 09 Dec 2010 17:46:39 UTC | #560866