Human Origins Icon Human Origins

Bechly: Lessons from the Ongoing “Rewrite” of Human Origins

human origins

For Evolution News, paleontologist Günter Bechly has done amazing work in reporting on the ongoing “rewrite” of human origins by his fellow scientists. On a new episode of ID the Future, Bechly talks with host Andrew McDiarmid about the dizzying revisions to what was once thought to be secure knowledge of how humans burst forth from Africa and spread to the rest of the world.

Download the episode or listen to it here.

As Dr. Bechly explains, the traditional “Out of Africa” theory is being abandoned as weakly supported by evidence, in favor of a welter of other hypotheses. Even as these ideas recognize Africa as the “cradle” of humanity, all the rest is veiled by surprises and contradictions emanating from Asia and the Middle East. And that is just the point. Scientific ideas once hailed as uncontested — the broader theory of unguided evolution, for one — can turn out to be far less certain than they were originally thought to be.

Humility and skepticism are the recommended attitudes, permitting ourselves to say, “I don’t know.”

Photo: Levallois stone tool technology, by Muséum de Toulouse [CC BY-SA 3.0].