Science

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

The question of "Where did man come from?" Since the beginning of civilization, we have seen various speculations and studies.

These accounts of God's creation of man were widely circulated before the birth of science.

However, with the development of modern science and archaeological corroboration, there are also claims that the common ancestor of human beings originated in Africa.

Is that really the case?

Chinese scientists question this, arguing that the main body of Chinese people is still the indigenous population of the East Asian continent.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

What does "Eve Theory" mean? Why are most scientists sure that humans originated in Africa? Why do Chinese scientists question the "Eve theory"? Where did humans really originate? Let's find out if the fossils found in China are the key evidence to prove that humans did not originate in Africa. Why does this call into question the "Eve theory"?

What is the "Eve Theory"?

Eve is the key figure in the Bible, where God created mankind.

It is written that after God created Adam, he extracted Adam's rib out of Eve and the two lived together in the Garden of Eden from then on.

As Eve was compelled by the "serpent", she stole the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and gave it to Adam to eat. As a result, the two were expelled from the Garden of Eden by God, and then they bred offspring and became the first parents of our human race.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

According to Darwin's theory of evolution, the origin of human beings can be theoretically divided into three stages: the stage of archaic apes, the stage of both man and ape, and the stage of man who can make tools.

What is more important to study the origin of man is the "stage of man who could make tools".

This stage is divided into the ape period and the hominid period, so scientists have focused on the origin of the human family and the origin of Homo sapiens in the question of human origins.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

  • Humans originated in Africa

Even before the "Eve theory", Darwin had already suggested in his 1871 book "The Origin of Man and the Selection of Sex" that Africa was the cradle of humanity.

Since Darwin proposed the "African origin of man", scientists from various countries believe that early Homo sapiens lived in Africa from 300,000 to 100,000 years ago.

The Hetu fossil, unearthed in Ethiopia in 1997, is a fossilized human skull from about 160,000 years ago, which provides direct evidence for the "African origin" theory.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

This major discovery gave scientists great encouragement to explore "whether modern man originated in Africa", and at the beginning of the 21st century, a team of archaeologists from the University of Haifa in Israel and paleoanthropologists from Tel Aviv University launched a more detailed study.

In 2002, the research team discovered 194,000-177,000-year-old jaw fragments in Israel's Misriya Cave, which is only a few kilometers away from the 120,000-80,000-year-old remains previously found in the S'hul Cave.

And the later discovery of modern human fossils outside of Africa could indicate that early Homo sapiens spread to the Arabian Peninsula 180,000 years ago.

The team finally concluded, based on the results of the data, that early Homo sapiens appeared in East Africa about 200,000 years ago, and that a part of them left Africa about 60,000 years ago.

But previous fossil discoveries in Israel prove that these migrations probably failed.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

These fossils have thus become the key evidence to support the "African origin theory", and scientists who hold this view believe that the ancestors of all countries in the world now came out of Africa.

The fossil evidence found also provides direct evidence for the "Eve theory".

  • "Eve Theory"

Scientists discovered mitochondria in cells in the 20th century, and modern molecular biology began to develop.

Then in 1963, scientists discovered DNA in the mitochondria that was significantly different from the DNA in cells and

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

Scientists have found that mitochondrial DNA evolves 5-10 times faster than nuclear DNA, and to support the "African origin theory", scientists are using molecular biology to study it.

Scientists believe that modern humans first originated in Africa based on the mitochondria, Y chromosome and genomic genes of modern humans, fossils found in various places and the structure of modern humans.

In 1987 scientists performed restriction fragment length analysis of mitochondrial DNA from 147 individuals from Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and New Guinea.

Based on this, 134 haplodiploidities were established, forming the maximum parsimony tree. This parsimony tree was divided into large branches, where 1/3 of the African haplotypes formed a single branch, and haplotypes from several other regions formed another branch.

This branch proves that the first divergence in human origins occurred between Africans and non-Africans.

It was then proposed that a woman in Africa was the ancestor of all modern humans, and scientists named her "Eve", which is the "Eve Theory".

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

Based on this parsimony tree, scientists believe that another group of early Homo sapiens, formed from other regions, became extinct in evolution, and believe that the indigenous people of these regions were later replaced by early Homo sapiens from Africa.

For example, scientists at the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University in the UK believe, based on genetic findings, that Australian Aborigines, were composed of early Homo sapiens that came out of Africa 70-50,000 years ago.

And in 2001, research published in the American journal Science also showed that genetic markers unique to Africans dating back 79,000 years were found in East Asians.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

Under this theory, scientists deduce that the ancestors of China also migrated about 60,000 years ago. The fossils originally found earlier than this period, on the other hand, have no relationship with modern humans.

This conclusion has apparently been challenged by Chinese scientists, and it is these fossils that provide the key evidence for this challenge.

Fossils found in China

If early Homo sapiens living in China were replaced by Africans, then it is clear that there would be a period of disruption in the civilization created by these ancient people.

However, according to the paleoanthropologist Wu Xinzhi, the fossils from Homo erectus to early Homo sapiens to modern humans on the Chinese mainland show that there is an obvious continuous evolution between them, and that the Mongolian species in East Asia developed from the local archaic humans, not from Africa.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

In our study of the development of Chinese civilization, we divide it in terms of the tools used by humans in different periods.

Based on the fossils we have found on Chinese soil, it can be shown that there is a clear sequential continuity in the tools used by humans during the Paleolithic, the time when Homo erectus and Homo sapiens lived in China.

Not only was there no break in our civilization during this period, but there was also no replacement of indigenous culture by foreign culture. Therefore, it is difficult to argue that early Homo sapiens in Africa replaced early Homo sapiens in China and became the ancestor of modern Chinese people based solely on mitochondrial DNA.

In contrast, in 1958, the fossils of Liujiang man, unearthed from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had anatomical characteristics of modern man.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

In order to better corroborate the claims of our scientists, researchers re-determined in 2002 that the Liujiang people lived in southern China between 130,000 and 70,000 years ago, a period that clearly contradicts the earliest arrival of Africans in China as judged by other scientists.

The oldest human fossil found in China is the Wushan Man, who lived at least 2 million years ago.

By comparing the skeletons we can see that the fossils of Wushan man, and other ancient human fossils from various periods excavated in China, have the same characteristics in terms of incisors, eye sockets, and face shape.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

From this perspective, the evolution of Chinese people has been unbroken since at least 2 million years ago, and these fossils provide direct evidence to deny the "African origin theory".

Where exactly did mankind originate?

Although the earliest ancient human fossils found so far are in Africa, about 7 million years ago. However, this does not directly prove that people all over the world originated in Africa, based on this, scientists have proposed a "multi-zone origin theory" different from the "single origin theory".

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

This hypothesis suggests that humans in all regions of the world evolved from early Homo sapiens.

During this evolutionary period, there may have been some areas where early Homo sapiens were replaced by African Homo sapiens, and we cannot conclude that this was the case.

For in addition to Chinese civilization, early civilizations that originated in other parts of the world were also diverse, such as the Egyptian, Indian, and Two River Valley civilizations.

The development of these civilizations was relatively independent, so on this basis we can also assume that the origin of modern humans is also relatively independent.

"Eve theory" questioned, humans did not originate in Africa? The fossil found in our country is crucial

Whether based on genes or more directly on fossils, scientists have not yet reached a final conclusion on the question of human origins, and perhaps with subsequent scientific developments, we will be able to answer the question of human origins in other ways.