Africa: Birthplace of Humans

Nature has further evidence to support this theory:

Ethiopia Is Top Choice for Cradle of Homo Sapiens

Two Ethiopian fossils have been crowned as the oldest known members of our species. An estimated 195,000 years old, the pair were witness to the earliest days of Homo sapiens.

The discovery adds yet more weight to the argument that Africa, and Ethiopia in particular, was the birthplace of humans. The dating sits well with genetic analyses of modern populations, which suggest that H. sapiens first appeared in Africa around 200,000 years ago.

The fossils, called Omo I and Omo II, were found in 1967 at Kibish, near Ethiopia’s Omo River, by the famed fossil-hunter Richard Leakey. Although Leakey realized that Omo I, at least, was a H. sapiens, the dating of mollusc shells found with the bones suggested that the specimens were only 130,000 years old.

“In 1967, dating techniques weren’t what they are now,” says John Fleagle of Stony Brook University, New York, who took part in the latest analysis, published in Nature.[…]

But while the “Out of Africa” theory seems strong, many questions still surround the Ethiopia designation:

But it is still unclear whether Ethiopia can claim to be the sole crucible of humankind, or whether modern humans arose more widely and gradually across the continent. “Archaeological finds from southern Africa suggest that that region may have played an important part in the development of modern human behaviour, which is also part of what defines us as a species,” Stringer says.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Science & Technology,
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. DC Loser says:

    I see they let the loons out for the day.

  2. McGehee says:

    T’bird, maybe it’s time to switch to Ripple.

  3. chris says:

    Amazing! How can someone educated enough to read AND use a computer spout such ignorance regarding evolution? Where exactly in Mississippi are you from, Thunderbird?