Evolution Icon Evolution

“It’s Official”: Textbook Wisdom on Human Origins Is Wrong!

In three earlier articles at Evolution News (Bechly 2017a-c), I’ve written about the numerous paleoanthropological discoveries this year that generated media headlines announcing one “rewrite” of human evolution after another. I hardly dared to dream that, as an early Christmas present, 2017 would close with a final blow to the Out of Africa story. Yet guess how Discover Magazine announced this latest development? That’s right: “It’s Official: Timeline for Human Migration Gets a Rewrite” (Tarlach 2017).

As the article demonstrates, even mainstream paleoanthropologists now acknowledge that there is a problem with the ruling paradigm on human origins and with the way scientists have handled the accumulating evidence against it. We read:

The wealth of new paleoanthropological, archaeological and genetic evidence has passed the tipping point: In a review published today in the prestigious journal Science, researchers acknowledge that the conventional timeline of human migration out of Africa “can no longer be considered valid”….

Unfortunately, many researchers clung to the idea of a single migration out of Africa, no earlier than 60,000 years ago, for too long. Finds such as a human presence in the Levant 100,000 years ago, for example, were dismissed…

Today, however, writing in Science, researchers say that no one can ignore the preponderance of evidence. It’s time, at long last, to revise that tired old timeline of human migration.

The article in Science, Bae et al. (2017), states in unambiguous terms:

A rigid definition of the OoA model positing that modern humans dispersed from Africa only after 60 ka and simply replaced all indigenous populations…with no interbreeding can no longer be considered valid.

The rewrite, though, is not the necessary rethink we may have hoped for (Bechly 2017c). Instead we find the usual fudging on the conventional story, with the minimal changes required to accommodate the conflicting evidence. Darwinian just-so stories are reconsidered, but Darwinism itself may not be questioned.

Nevertheless, Gemma Tarlach, writing for Discover, comments critically:

Okay, so, science solved that, thanks, we know everything now, right? Nope. The new timeline for human migration still has some big holes to fill. Let’s start with where our species evolved.…

Our birthplace remains a mystery. Also big questions: how the first modern H. sapiens left Africa and where they went….

Acknowledging that our Out of Africa saga has many chapters stretching farther back in time is an important advance for the field. But some paleoanthropologists are unlikely to sign on: that small but vocal group of researchers who advocate a regional model for our species’ evolution….

So, while the conventional timeline that has dominated for half a century finally takes a tumble, don’t think that this is the end of the great debate regarding the early days of our species.

Who said it all along, yet was ridiculed by incompetent Darwinist bulldogs (e.g., Needle 2017) on the Web? Yes, indeed, you read it here first.


  • Bae CJ, Douka K, Petraglia MD 2017. “On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives.” Science 358(6368): eaai9067.
  • Bechly G 2017a. “Fossil Footprints from Crete Deepen Controversy on Human Origins.” Evolution News, September 6, 2017.
  • Bechly G 2017b. “Human Origins: Out of Africa, or Out of Germany?” Evolution News, October 23, 2017.
  • Bechly G 2017c. “What, Another ‘Rewrite’ of the Human Origins Story? How About a Rethink, Instead?” Evolution News, November 20, 2017.
  • Needle B 2017. “Bechly belches!” Marmotism, October 28, 2017.
  • Tarlach G 2017. It’s Official: Timeline for Human Migration Gets a Rewrite. Discover Magazine, December 7, 2017.

Photo credit: qimono, via Pixabay.