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Thread: Homo erectus may have survived in China as late as 14,000 years ago

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Arrow Homo erectus may have survived in China as late as 14,000 years ago



    In the news today, a partial femur found in the Red Deer Cave in China might show that a archaic species of human may have overlapped with modern humans until the end of the ice age.

    Since 2001 I have supported the theory that the main racial divisions among humans (Caucasoids, Negroids, Mongoloids, Australoids) were caused by admixture between Homo sapiens and archaic groups of humans.

    It appeared to me that Europeans, and especially Northern Europeans, had a lot of physical similarities with Neanderthals as I explained here.

    I also saw similarities between Mongoloid people and the Peking man, a Homo erectus species who lived in East Asia. This discovery is probably the missing link I had been looking for.

    DNA showed that things were more complex than I thought since all non-Africans have Neanderthal DNA, and back migrations to Africa brought trace frequencies of Neanderthal DNA in Africans too (more than traces in North Africans and Ethiopians). Denisovans also left genetic traces in East Asians, although the closest modern race are the Australoids. In other words, Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry is shared among Mongoloid and Australoid people, but at different frequencies. There was obviously another archaic population that made Mongoloids look so completely different from Australoids, and they may well be related to this 14,000 year-old Homo erectus.
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    I voiced same views. I'm just waiting for genetic confirmation relation to humans, of either this bone or peking men skull.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    I don't think archaic admixture can explain physical differences between differnt races. It's just too small. The only way would be if it was selected for. Instead very obvious differences in appearance reflect 10,000s of years or no gene flow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    I don't think archaic admixture can explain physical differences between differnt races. It's just too small. The only way would be if it was selected for. Instead very obvious differences in appearance reflect 10,000s of years or no gene flow.
    Maybe it is a combination of three factors:

    10,000s years of environmental adaptations + sexual selection + traces of archaic admixture

    The first two are the widely accepted ones, now it remains to be seen about the third one.

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    we have DNA from Neanderthals, Denisovans and from 400.000 yo Sima de los Huesos, some specimen closest related to Denisovan
    no Homo Erectus DNA yet, so it is hard to tell something about admixture

    as for Neanderthal admixture, I find the 2-4 % admixture very limited considering modern humans and Neandertals lived side by side for some 75000 years

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    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    as for Neanderthal admixture, I find the 2-4 % admixture very limited considering modern humans and Neandertals lived side by side for some 75000 years
    I expect those percentages to be revised upward as more Neanderthalian genomes are tested. It's very likely that we didn't get all our Neanderthal DNA from one mating event, or even a series of mating events confined to one region, but that a lot of intermingling happened for thousands of years throughout the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia. The Neanderthals that the first Homo sapiens encountered when they left Africa for Southwest Asia over 60,000 years ago were probably quite different genetically from the last Neanderthals who mated with Homo sapiens only 28,000 years ago. 32,000 years is quite a long time when you realise that Europeans had dark skin, dark hair and were lactose intolerant only 8000 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Europeans had dark skin, dark hair and were lactose intolerant only 8000 years ago.
    And North Americans had dark skin, dark hair and were lactose intolerant only 600 years ago.

    There is the same problem with both statements.

    In both cases there was replacement by mass migrations of people with light skin and light hair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drac II
    Maybe it is a combination of three factors:

    10,000s years of environmental adaptations + sexual selection + traces of archaic admixture

    The first two are the widely accepted ones, now it remains to be seen about the third one.
    Yes, adaptation, selection, etc. also played their roles. For example there is no evidence that Native Americans are not descended from Paleo-Americans (quite the contrary - recent genetic tests have proven that Kennewick Man and Anzick Boy were genetic ancestors of Native Americans), yet in terms of morphology large changes took place in those populations over thousands of years:

    Such comparison of a Paleo-American who lived 12,000 years ago and a Native American who lived 1,000 years ago:

    https://physicalanthropologymzi.file...tc3adtulo1.jpg


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Yes, adaptation, selection, etc. also played their roles. For example there is no evidence that Native Americans are not descended from Paleo-Americans (quite the contrary - recent genetic tests have proven that Kennewick Man and Anzick Boy were genetic ancestors of Native Americans), yet in terms of morphology large changes took place in those populations over thousands of years:

    Such comparison of a Paleo-American who lived 12,000 years ago and a Native American who lived 1,000 years ago:

    https://physicalanthropologymzi.file...tc3adtulo1.jpg

    Admixture level could change with time. The first skull had more Siberian ANE admixture from first wave of migration to America, while more modern one had more East Asian admixture, which tend to be less "archaic", like full forehead and no eyebrow ridges.

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    This Chinese is probably a Denisovan, not a Homo Erectus:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Deer_Cave_people

    This Indonesian was probably also a Denisovan, not an Erectus:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NG_6

    Of course the only way to know for sure, is to test their DNA:

    http://anthropology.net/2015/12/18/1...human-species/

    Dr Curnoe said one attempt had already been made to isolate DNA from the bones at Maludong, however this had failed.

    He said another attempt was currently underway in China.
    Link to the paper itself:

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0143332

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