Talk:Recent African origin of modern humans

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Genetics (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Genetics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Genetics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Anthropology (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Anthropology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Anthropology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject Africa (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Africa, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Africa on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Human Genetic History (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Human Genetic History, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of genetic genealogy, population genetics, and associated theory and methods articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the importance scale.
WikiProject Primates (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Primates, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Primates on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Archaeology (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Archaeology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Archaeology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Edit request: Change "theory" to "hypothesis" throughout[edit]

None of this falls under the scientific definition of theory. Can the word be changed to "hypothesis"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:51, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Edit request: theory's founder now doubting his own theory[edit]

Science-dot-Slashdot news shows that as of 3 months ago, Chris Stringer is being swayed toward multiregional theory.

Also, as per the last 2 topics on this page: I think at the very least a header-template (at top of the article) of {{update}} should be added (but I'm too lazy to join Wikipedia & remember a password for yet another website LOL).

Stringer is not moving towards multiregionalism, which holds that people in each region are descended from the homo erectus people who settled in that region after emigrating out of Africa over a million years ago. He has moved from the strong out of Africa theory which sees a simple replacement of archaic homo with sapiens, to a more complex picture with a minor element of DNA coming from interbreeding with archaic species such as Neanderthal, Denisova and other archaic species. See [1], where he summarises his current view as "So our evolutionary story is mostly, but not absolutely, a Recent African Origin." Dudley Miles (talk) 13:28, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Multiregional model doesn't quite say that (originally, or after "candelabra" was discarded), but that Eurasian erectus and African erectus evolved "together" with voluminous gene flow in all directions, so while people from Europe and Asia would be descendants of European and Asian hominids, they would also be descendants of African hominids and vice-versa, as they were supposedly interconnected with gene flow. Later it changed to what is arguably more properly called "assimilation model" or "relacement with hybridization model" (Wolpoff calls it "multiregional model" still, Stringer calls it "multiregional model 2"), which posits that modern humans first evolved in Africa but they "absorbed" the small populations of Eurasian hominids as they migrated OOA, and/or (degree distinctions) that the African sapiens alleles largely replaced archaic alleles as they had contact, so the replacement wasn't all like that of an invasive species outcompeting a native of the same niche, but also by means of natural selection over introgressed genes (this is the "multiregional" end of the spectrum, while a "fusion of populations" is the hybridization/assimilation end, I believe). The evidence doesn't support something so strong, and I think that alternative explanations to archaic admixture haven't been ruled out, even though admixture seems more likely. This sort of "update" should be done while having in mind that it's not (contrarily with some WP articles needing correction, and much of the popular press) a matter of black-and-white replacement vs multiregional continuity, there's gradation. From the start, the replacement model didn't exclude the possibility of some admixture, even though "some admixture" is nowadays in the popular press often equated with multiregional model. I've made this point in more detail not long ago in this talk page, now archived. Extremophile (talk) 05:38, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Fair point. I over-simplified to the point where I made multiregionalism sound like candelabra. Dudley Miles (talk) 08:53, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
2013 October:
In addition to Extremophile's valid point, the very TITLE of the article in the OP (science.slashdot) is "Out of Africa Theory Called Into Question By Originator". I'm not sure if Dudley understood the full import of that (Dudley was being a bit non-sequitor & Dudley's response shouldn't exclude the inclusion of that slashdot article), because:
This is incredibly significant to the topic, e.g. numerous papers authored by Stringer -- dated 1997-2011, are cited by this article, and thus the article should either:
  • add the text and slashdot/other ref's to indicate Prof. Stringer's new position.
  • or else be marked "outdated" (as Dudley aalready agreed that at least this much should be done--but I also agree w/Extremophile that RAO left room for the POTENTIAL of species-mixing but isn't oft associated w/species-mixing [and not to the extent that Green et 2010 and subsequent studies observed; that's more in accord with what Extremophile attributes Stringer as calling the "multi-regional 2" theory], and that there is an old (incorrect) MR Theory [which posits ONLY OLD/NON-RECENT African Origins exist], different from new MR Theory [recent African, AND non-African origins, i.e. "multi-regional" meaning "from regions outside of Africa"]);
It also makes me notice that the article doesn't even mention Stringer & origins/history of the RAO theory, at all. How anyone can talk about RAO and not mention Stringer even in 1 sentence (to link to his WP bio page) is beyond me. For RAO Theory's leader, who developed fundamental axioms & is cited a half-dozen times by this article, to cast doubt upon his own work, and for the article to cite Stringer's work but NOT his new position (a full YEAR later--well, 10 months now, and will be 1 thru 3 years by the time WP adds it, or else even discusses it on the Talk Page, if past experience serves me well.), is disgraceful and yet another smear on WP's veracity. For this issue to not generate discussion and result in an update of this article is part of why I automatically deducted 0.2 from the WHOLE semester's GPA of any student each time s/he cited Wikipedia (was in the early years of Wikipedia; I'm long-retired now & it seems kids know not to cite WP anymore), and is why I only edit WP to take the piss out of the project's leaders (too many other examples, besides this little oversight regarding Prof. Stringer, exhibit utter disgrace to the WHOLE methodology of how Wikipedia's top admin's leaders run the project), but I take WP's non-scientific and non-political articles more seriously. Getting back on-topic: It is a MAJOR oversight to omit all mention of Stringer, let alone Stringer's new position:
One YEAR later and still no LEGIT criticisms were made against the slashdot article's information (an article which I've seen carried by numerous other sources, too), and yet this crucial piece of info is still lacking in a locked article.
Someone ignored the Talk Page after locking this article (the error isn't necessarily the locking of the article itself, but in ignoring CREDIBLE third-party sources that non-registered users found and posted to the article's Talk Page, despite that "the so-called 'experts' at Wikipedia" (to quote Uncyclopedia's mocking derision here: [2]) still after a YEAR haven't added -- nor found and stated any reason to dismiss, per WP standards on using UP TO DATE scientific citations -- Stringer's new position. Isn't there a process by which anyone who locks an article then becomes responsible to check that article's Talk Page at least each month; where is (the severed head of ;-) ) the person who locked this article? (oh, I'm just half-joking there...) Hell, if scientists were paid like actors and rap stars, and I was Stringer, I'd even consider suing WP (cease-and-desist, then libel ONLY IF not fixed, but I digress) for citing my old studies as if nothing in those studies is out-of-date, but then not publishing the fact that I've now cast doubt upon my own past works. Any registered user who cares about WP's future veracity should fix this via the 2 methods above, or for the reasons we all know, WP will become even more of an irrelevant/untrustworthy source to even more people. (talk) 03:33, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, what exactly do you want changed? The article already pretty much states what Stringer in saying in his "re-evaluation" (see [3], the source of the link you provided)... is there something specific in the article you think is wrong? Tobus2 (talk) 11:15, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
The article states no such thing, and the link you gave is not present in the article. Heavy WP:DUEWEIGHT is deserved by the current reversal-of-evidence, as more experts besides Stringer are also admitting it now:
Note that those who were cited in the lede as saying RAO is superior to Multiregional hypotheses have reversed that opinion (as I note 5 topics below on this Talk Page), in the latest edition of their The Essence of Anthropology book. The authors of The Essence of Anthropology in the 2012 edition pg. 94 as seen here: [4] are saying that RAO is no longer superior to the latest multiregional hypothesis, and thus this Wikipedia article has misinformed people about RAO being the "mainstream" hypothesis for three years!
Any disinfo in the lede is a heavy WP:DUEWEIGHT, and deserves to be corrected with equal WP:DUEWEIGHT. If you had any expertise in anthropology, or even common sense, you'd have fathomed how horribly this article is misinforming people about even the basics of human evolution such as which hypothesis is still dominant or not, when you reviewed and edited it just a few months ago! Any error in the first paragraph is bad enough and deserves to be corrected with equal WP:DUEWEIGHT (if the error is in the lede, put the shitting correction in the lede too, i.e. note in the lede that the authors of The Essence of Anthropology have revised their position. And if you cite a scientist like Stringer five times, then he begins to doubt his former results, either delete all five citations of Stringer or else note Stringer has revised his position by citing the slashdot or link right before or right after you cite each and every study = WP:DUEWEIGHT), but to also say falsely in the first paragraph that it still represents the scientific consensus three years after it no longer did is an egregious shortcoming because you've gotten even the basics (if it's in the first sentence of a Wikipedia article, suffice to say it's the most basic info: the type of simple and easy (false) "facts" that a parent or a teacher might teach to even the youngest of kids after they "learn" (the wrong) info from Wikipedia), basic info such as whether the hypothesis is even so strongly accepted, and thus again needs to be corrected with WP:DUEWEIGHT, because it is misinforming god-knows-how-many students of K-12 teachers and parents who often are indeed still reading Wikipedia, taking it as gospel, especially since a "[1]" is there despite that the source cited in "[1]" is outdated per the experts who wrote the book that is cited in "[1]" themselves, and because when those teachers and parents were younger, many of them grew up being taught (wrongly) that RAO can be taken as gospel, and then they teach Wikipedia's outdated misinfo to their students, thus you are misinforming yet another generation regarding even this basic issue of RAO's fall from grace. Capiche?! (Do you comprehend finally?!)
They were cited as having given not only their own personal expert-opinions, but rather as having said RAO is the scientific consensus amongst all their peers, anthropologists (i.e. the "mainstream" opinion to quote them exactly), and now they say it's no longer the "mainstream" opinion of anthropologists;
So it's a huge disservice to keep that in the lede, as well as to keep Stringer's "half dozen" research studies whose results Stringer himself now refutes, unless someone adds either slashdot or as a citation; it says nowhere in the article, but should say, with that link, that Stringer has revised his own opinion to be quite less pro-RAO than he previously was. Is that really so difficult for you to understand, Tobus2? What are your credentials? (To be honest: Did you even graduate high school, or has your IQ been tested?" is what I'm really wondering, or maybe you're just an "RAO diehard" as some people do take science as a religion or dogma (see scientism), but his initial complaint regarding Stringer, and the locking of this article, seems simple common sense to me. ...but I signed up for Wikipedia, and I guess I need to wait, or make 10, 20, or ??? edits, before I can edit this or other locked articles.)
It appears nobody follows this Talk page who has the expertise in anthropology (nor even the common sense) to comprehend that Stringer is an expert source whose viewpoint regarding the new research should be added to this article, as no valid challenges have been brought forth that would exclude Stringer's latest opinion from Wikipedia articles and this, despite the very long period given to Wikipedians to challenge it. On many other points, it is now a badly-outdated article, and thus:
I concur that this article should be unlocked. It is obvious that no Wikipedians with expertise in anthropology have editing-rights to this locked article and are being responsible enough to maintain this article since approximately 2010, not even responsible enough to add simple {update} and {POV dispute} types of tags.
So, who locked this article? And why is it still locked for years when the person who locked it doesn't have either the due diligence and care, or else the expertise in anthropology, to maintain the page as being up-to-date within even three years, yet they took the responsibility for locking it and no "elder Wikipedians" have addressed the issue? Where can "elder Wikipedians" be found or contacted, to ask them to review the need to unlock this article and/or the abilities of the fool who locked it to not be allowed to lock articles then wander off and ignore, for years, perfectly valid requests ~~ "valid" scientifically speaking, as well as regarding Wikipedia's standards for veracity of expert sources ~~ to update this horribly out-of-date article? (talk) 04:40, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Hello, I would like to weigh in with the writer above: this article is seriously outdated and in need of revision. Recent research shows RAO not to be a satisfactory model. I will point specifically to this paper:
In this paper, the reasons for the suggestion of RAO are briefly discussed and shown to be wanting (i.e. they do not support the RAO conclusion); furthermore, a critical analysis of haplotypes shows that there is no common descent between Africans and non-Africans, but that both African and non-African populations descend from a group whose point of origin is unlikely to be Africa. Will this information be included in a re-write of the article? The article desperately needs a re-write as it is. Many thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The paper you cite is published in a "pay-to-publish" journal and 8 out of the 10 references it uses are by the same authors. The primary author Anatole A. Klyosov is known for previous controversial (ie fringe) theories on human origins. Given that it's representing a minority position and is not published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal I don't think this lone paper should be given much (if any) weight in this article. Tobus (talk) 03:01, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

need update to 1st source, in lede: that src now says Multiregional took away RAO's formerly "mainstream" status, in the book's 2012 edition. Also: reasons to support a long ignored proposal to unlock the article.[edit]

A new edition of The Essence of Anthropology (by McBride B, Haviland WE, Prins HEL, Walrath D) is available, dated 2012. This article is still citing the 2009 edition of the same book.

Note that the new, 2012 edition says [5] on pg. 94:

"Until 2010, the recent African origins hypothesis was the mainstream position. But when researchers from the Max Planck Institute released a study comparing the Neanderthal genome...the genetic evidence shifted to supporting the multiregional hypothesis.[19]"

This article's statement of RAO being "the most widely accepted model..." was relying on the outdated 2009 edition of this book having said, on pg. 90 of the 2009 edition, that RAO "is" the "mainstream" position; the sentence involving what is "mainstream" was revised in the 2012 edition, to say that the evidence now "supports" the multiregional hypothesis.

This article's first sentence should therefore read (edits are in italics): "...dubbed the "Out of Africa" theory, was the most widely accepted model describing the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans, until the Multiregional hypothesis gained favour."

- - -

Also, who has kept the article locked for years and what is their reason for why it is still locked? Are the sources for each of these competing hypotheses so dubious and disputed?

And did the pro-RAO vandal himself lock this article, and then quit WP, or has had his account suspended, or what? Why else is there no response to complaints about this article being locked for such a long-term, but that the one who locked it has long ignored this article and cannot be trusted to lock articles (if he is even still a WP member)? Per the fact-based accusations that were raised in the above topics in this Talk page, it should be unlocked in order to add the discoveries (I'd say "recent discoveries," except that 2010 isn't recent, which again exhibits that nobody holding a WP account is responsible enough to be trusted with the locking of this article, especially not an anthropologist or even anthro student, because if this article had even one expert editor, he should recognise immediately that the above edit requests are from veracious sources and are the reasons for the requests are explained explicitly enough that anyone worth their salt should comprehend what's being requested).

Others posing this question about why this article is locked have been unanswered for roughly a year, so who locked this article, then ignored this badly neglected, scientifically outdated article, for so long? And ironically, the people who want it unlocked are desiring to update this article with recent facts, i.e. discoveries, that refute RAO, so obviously none of us are the pro-RAO vandal, but this article was locked for years (literally) even before that complaint of a list of edits by a pro-RAO vandal was raised on the Talk page, again raising my question: Did the pro-RAO vandal make his edits to corrupt the veracity of this article, and then skip town, so to speak? (talk) 03:29, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

It is currently only semi-protected, so anyone with a user account more than four days and ten edits old can edit the article. It has been semi-protected since 2009 based on problems with a particular anonymous editor, which does seem excessive for such an out of the way article (it's hardly Barack Obama). I'm tempted to unprotect it unless someone can present a pressing reason to leave it semi-protected.
But for future reference, it's not particularly civil to accuse another user of abusing admin tools without supporting evidence. Assume good faith is one of our central tenets here, and it certainly helps reduce conflict to start from the assumption that we all want to improve the encyclopedia. I understand this can be hard when you don't already know all the jargon or where to find logs and such, but if you'd like to edit the article, you can create an account and find ten helpful edits to make over the next four days. Or we can wait to see if anyone objects to unprotecting it. Laura Scudder | talk 05:03, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

I have updated the Haviland reference to the 2012 version and modified the lede sentence accordingly, adding a wikilink to the article Archaic human admixture with modern Homo sapiens started after the 2010 discovery. posted to my user talk on Jan 26 asking me to look at this, probably after seeing I edited the article in 2005-8. --JWB (talk) 22:18, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

  • The RAO it is false to say that the MRM won favor. The kind of multireginal scenario that is now mainstream has almost nothing to do with the traditional multiregional Homo erectus/Homo sapiens continuity model of Wolpoff, and is fully compatible with the traditional RAO approach (because Homo sapiens did leave Africa recently and subsequently meet members of Archaic Homo sapiens who had left Africa a little earlier with whom they interbred). The DNA findings havent changed anything about the dates of African Exodus, the only thing it shos is that African Homo sapiens and the earlier European Archaic Homo were not genetically isolated populations. If anything the correct thing to say is that both of the earlier models fo RAO and MRM have been superceded by genetic data that establishes a mixed scenario.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 16:17, 9 February 2014 (UTC)
It is compatible with the multiregionalists' model; it is simply a fairly low percentage of admixture or survival. The 2011 results certainly did falsify the 100% version of RAO previously dogmatically maintained by many including editors of this page in the previous years.
The key multiregionalist concept was that there has long been a single human species, meaning continued interbreeding and gene flow, over the last 2 million years or so. The 2011 Neanderthal admixture discovery substantiated this and Stringer immediately started de-emphasizing the word "species" for the AMH expansion, and instead started saying he had never insisted on 100% replacement.
John Hawks, the most insightful writer today on human origins, for example, was Wolpoff's student. Multiregional origin was not only proven but is now being discussed in terms of specific percentages, dates, and locations. It is only the word "multiregional" that has not been popularized.
The "Competing hypotheses" section predates 2011 and needs to be repurposed as there is no longer a RAO-multiregional disagreement. Text here and elsewhere in the article describes Neanderthal admixture as just a hypothesis, which is now as accurate as the same statement about evolution. Origin of modern humans also has a now inaccurate statement that "there are two competing views". --JWB (talk) 19:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Hawks is not the most insightful writer on human evolution, he is just the one that happens to have a popular blog. And no, the 2011 results did not "falsify" the RAO and I dont know of anyone who thinks it did. I agree that the RAO multiregional disagreement no longer exists. It is however NOT the case that the multiregional model came out on top. What we have now is a very well supported model which is essentially a synthesis of most of the RAO with some minor features of the multiregional model (NOT Wolpoffs) that shows a recent migration out of africa with subsequent admixture events in the Levant and Asia (species that left Africa slightly earlier than Homo sapiens but still much later than Wolpoffs model of H. erectus continuity would suggest). The current consensus is as opposed to Wolpoffs homo erectus continuity model as it has ever been.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:07, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
I removed semi-protection. I am kinda surprised that it was in place for so long. Indefinite semi-protection really should be a rare occurrence when there's a persistent problem that can't be addressed by blocks and doesn't stop with temporary protection. Laura Scudder | talk 02:51, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Competing theory subsection? Why?[edit]

Why does one scientist's (M. H. Wolpoff's) pet theory get it's own subsection here? Why not list creationism while we're at it? It's inclusion and description as a "competing" theory overstates it's acceptance. Saberus (talk) 00:44, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

It is not just Wolpoff but a vocal minority of paleontologists. That is quite different from creationism which is not a scientific theory. However I agree that the section fails to make clear that it is very much a minority view, and it also does not describe multiregionalism correctly. It needs revising not deleting Dudley Miles (talk) 08:03, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

It is no longer a "competing theory" because its thesis of a single interbreeding human species covering multiple regions was substantiated and is now accepted by all. This section is now inaccurate and if anything should be replaced by description of the current synthesis and how it has rapidly developed since the 2011 revolution. --JWB (talk) 20:02, 22 December 2014 (UTC)