Wu Xinzhi

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Wu Xinzhi (Chinese: 吴新智; born 1928) is a Chinese paleoanthropologist, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,[1] and former vice director of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP).


Majoring in paleoanthropology and specializing in anatomy, Wu served from 1953 to 1958 as a teaching assistant at Department of Anatomy, Dalian Medical College. He later became an assistant research professor, and vice director, of the IVPP. During the 1980s he was chief editor of the Chinese science journal Acta Anthropologica Sinica. He also serves as an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2013 he was honored as Laureate of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award in Anthropology.[2]

Views on human evolution[edit]

Wu is most known for his criticism of the Out of Africa hypothesis. Along with Milford H. Wolpoff and Alan Thorne he developed the alternative Multiregional hypothesis in 1984. Wu however confines his palaeoanthropological research to China and coined "Continuity with Hybridization" to refer to a China-specific Multiregional model (Wu, 1998). According to Wu, the human lineage arose in Africa sometime during the early Pleistocene and since then, evolution has been within a single, continuous species. He considers H. erectus for example to be the earliest fossil specimens of the species Homo sapiens, against the more popular view that Homo sapiens arose as a species 200,000 years ago in Africa. Wu argues that while there were migrations outside of Africa within the last 100,000 years, these did not replace the human population already settled in China. He claims there is evidence of regional continuity in China in terms of Mongoloid cranial morphology, but that there was always gene flow between the indigenous occupants and African migrants.


  • Wu, X. (1990). "The evolution of humankind in China". Acta Anthropologica Sinica. 9(4): 312-321.
  • Wu, X., Poirier, F. E. (1995). Human evolution in China: a metric description of the fossils and a review of the sites. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wu, X. (1997). "On the descent of modern humans in East Asia". In: Conceptual Issues in Modern Human Origin Research. Clarke, G.A. and Willermet C. M. (eds). New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
  • Wu, X. (1998). "Origin of modern humans of China viewed from cranio-dental characteristics of late Homo sapiens". Acta Anthropologica Sinica. 17. 276-282.
  • Wu, X. (2004). "On the origin of modern humans in China". Quaternary International. 117(1): 131-140.
  • Wu, X. (2004). "Discussion on the results of some molecular studies concerning the origin of modern Chinese". Acta Anthropologica Sinica. 24(4): 259-269.
  • Wu, X. (2006). "Evidence of Multiregional Human Evolution Hypothesis from China". Quaternary Sciences. 26(5): 702-709.
  • Wu, X., Cui, Y. (2010). On the origin of modern humans in China. Before Farming (online). 6: 1-6.