New Primate Fossil Points to ‘Out of Asia’ Theory

Charles Choi, LiveScience, June 4, 2012

The ancestors of monkeys, apes and humans may have originated in Asia and not Africa as often thought, new fossils suggest.

The origin of anthropoids—the simians, or “higher primates,” which include monkeys, apes and humans—has been debated for decades among scientists. Although fossils unearthed in Egypt have long suggested that Africa was the cradle for anthropoids, other bones revealed in the last 15 years or so raised the possibility that Asia may be their birthplace.

Now, an international team of scientists has unearthed a new fossil in Southeast Asia that may prove that anthropoids originated in what is now the East, shedding light on a pivotal step in primate and human evolution.

The fossil is named Afrasia djijidaeAfrasia from how early anthropoids are now found intercontinentally in both Africa and Asia, djijidae in memory of a young girl from village of Mogaung in central Myanmar, the nation where the remains were found. The four known teeth of Afrasia were recovered after six years of sifting through tons of sediment, often working with oxcarts, since even cars with four-wheel drive cannot penetrate the area. [See Photos of the Myanmar Primate]

The teeth of 37-million-year-old Afrasia closely resemble those of another early anthropoid, the 38-million-year-old Afrotarsius libycus, recently discovered in the Sahara Desert of Libya. The anthropoids in Libya were far more diverse at that early time in Africa than scientists had thought, which suggested they actually originated elsewhere. The close similarity between Afrasia and Afrotarsius now suggests that early anthropoids colonized Africa from Asia.

This migration from Asia ultimately helps set the stage for the later evolution of apes and humans in Africa. “Africa is the place of origin of man, and Asia is the place of origins of our far ancestors,” researcher Jean-Jacques Jaeger, a paleontologist at the University of Poitiers in France, told LiveScience.


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  • xxxtonygunsxxx

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  • Out of Asia vs Out of Africa.

    Well, not trying to appear flippant, but at this point, who really cares?

    Science appears to point to many different types of the genus Homo, dozens in fact, that existed long before Homo Sapiens Sapiens first trod the earth.  Some died out, some migrated, some didn’t, some interbred and survived.

    We are a product of our environment.  Whites, by virtue of where they lived in a remarkably harsh environment, were forced to develop superior intelligence, problem solving abilities, forward planning, abstract thought and higher IQ (amongst other traits).

    Uruks, living in an environment that changed little over thousands of generations, did not have to develop such things to survive.

    And so here we are.  Does it really matter if we can trace the origins of everyone back to some little furry biped that lived millions of years ago?

    Personally, I think the history of Homo Sapiens Sapiens goes back much farther into the deeps of time than anyone realizes or is willing to admit….

    • WhiteGuyInJapan

       I’m inclined to agree with you here.  Even with early humans coming out of Africa and migrating around, there was enough time for subspeciation to occur, leaving us with the current Negroid/Caucasoid/Mongoloid “sub-species” of man.

      Out of Africa doesn’t bother me or offend me.   I suppose one could argue that the latter two groups evolved from the early humans who were curious  and adventurous enough to travel a bit.  And voila!

      • Sheila Dinehart

        yeah…man is always in motion

    • Sheila Dinehart

      I feel the same pretty much…I don’t have a problem with our all being simply part of the family of man concept…I do think certain religions will always dismiss any scientific findings that go back beyound a certain point in time…the idea of just how long we may have been around and in the dark is too disturbing to so many who get that nice warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about how good Adam and Eve had it in the Garden of Eden before the Great Fall…they just cannot live without that fairy tale.  As a certain type of Caucazoid I find it difficult to accept in my heart and mind the thought of embracing a religion of semitic Middle-eastern origin…regardless of all the antics of the Christian Crusaders…ha.

      • Luis

        Sheila, one of my sisters actually believes that all humans descended from Adam and Eve.

        She’s 58 years old.

        • 20670

          ha ha…she is one of what? a billion who think so…how many christians like that are there I wonder…but the islamists are just as goofy…any religion that limits the growth of the mind is dangerous…why not just say hey that smith guy said he was the new profit lets have a bunch of wives we can’t take care of but can screw and spread the old seed and multiply…really I think a woman should have about 3-5 husbands…you know it takes at least that many to keep a healthy woman satisfied…and men get so tired of sex so quickly…they just run out of steam…they were designed to go from woman to woman just to pollinate…men are not designed biologically to *bond* to any one woman…on the other hand a woman tends to be a nest-maker…she always wants to talk and bond and such…I don’t know what to say to the world!

          I am just trying to have fun…

      • Hello Sheila,

        I was raised Catholic.  I’m not anymore and haven’t been for some time.  I’m still a Christian though.

        Do I believe that the world and the universe, man, flora and fauna were all created in 6 days?  No.

        However, I do think that whatever created that Universe DID step in at one point during human evolution and effect some changes, giving us modern Humans.  I reject the whole Adam and Eve mythos, as several billion of us cannot be a result of a single pair.  Inbreeding would have occurred relatively quickly and our bloodlines would have died out long ago.

        It makes much more sense, to me, that someone or something took a look at what there was to work with here on Earth, then made changes in our DNA that put us on the path to self-awareness, introspection, intelligence, etc..

        • 20670

          yeah that’s a nice thought too…and it really doesn’t actually handcuff one does it?

          • 20670

            btw i am sheila but i thought that was clear…i just happen to own a number of computers…and I tried to change this id but it did not work…i can’t always be on my sheilacomputer.

  • ageofknowledge

    Or just North of Africa as some origins scientists maintain. They have a slightly different take on the migration patterns.

  • Hi Irish,

    I know what you’re talking about.  What clinched it for me was the discovery of Gobekli Tepe… some Turk goat-herder found it completely by accident a few years ago.  Oldest structure built by human hands on Earth.  Singlehandedly, it doubled known human history, from 6,000 B.C. to 13,000 B.C.

    It’s massive.  A huge complex of monolithic structures and carvings that were buried, on purpose, to preserve them thousands of years ago.

    It must also be noted that Gobekli Tepe, found in what is now Turkey, was not built by the ancestors of the Turks.  Whites inhabited that area of the world when the structures were built.

    And even given Gobekli Tepe’s great age, that still doesn’t take into account the rising of the oceans and seas.  Humans naturally congregate at the edge of water:  not only is water a source of food, but back then it was also a means of transportation via boat.  Other than shanks mare (going by foot) it was the ONLY means of transportation.  Humans congregated along ancient shores and built their cities, only to have the seas and oceans rise and swallow them…

    My questions to every archaeologist I have ever met:  Homo Sapiens Sapiens is estimated to be 250,000 years old.  That means “people”, with our intelligence, problem solving ability, creativity, etc, existed a quarter million years ago.  The Questions are:  given that a group of humans (whites) existed that long ago, how come “History” is only 13,000 years old?

    What happened to the other 237,000 years?  You mean to tell me that NOBODY existed back then who couldn’t figure out how to be anything other than a cave-dwelling hunter-gatherer?  For 230,000 years there was NO progress?

    I don’t believe that.  There HAD to be some progress, some technological advances, during those countless millennia, now lost to time, the seas, and erosion.

    Someday, when I go to my ancestors, I will finally be able to find out the truth about us…

  • Kurt Plummer

    Currently reading _The 10,000 Year Explosion_ and while the agenda is well hidden in double speak claptrap, it comes across as an advertisement for miscegenation under the heading ‘introgressive breeding’.  Just read another title, _Centuries Of Darkness_, before that.  I’ll try and give a balanced comparison of the two in a moment.

    Seems that the authors of TTYE are fully into the DNA as a random heritable trait collective whose ‘single gene’ mutative theory they -claim- is supported by modern genomic studies, fall into either Neutral or Favored advantageousness for passage onwards.

    They use the Neanderthal/Modern Man interaction and ignoring the effects of homomorphism and simple species hatred, as well as their own admission that there is little or no evidence of MtDNA/Y Chromosome analogues between the species, assert that ‘surely something’ must of gone on in the bushes because the world of the Aurignacian culture underwent a sudden change /after/ having encountered these archaic humans.

    They even go so far as to state that “If you look at the record, 100KYA, Moderns and Neanderthals have no great differences in technical tool making skills, art or other cultural expressions while those moderns who went South and East into semi arid Asia rather than Europe, -retained- those Neanderthal toolsets and cultural artifacts.

    And here’s the problem with that.

    First off, you don’t breed with losers.  You don’t breed at all out of species.  Yes there are the weird one-offs and those can create fertile offspring.  Sometimes.  But in a world where making someone pregnant meant feeding them and their brat, it’s just far easier to kill off rather than integrate in a competitor species.

    Secondly, the assumption that the genes are PunkEeked in terms of the sudden recombinancy which disrupts a past, stable, structural haplotype are wrong.  The authors use the example of bees and other forced domestications while ignoring the reality of what happens when the mutation doesn’t activate or activate with enough leverage to win through.

    OTOH, if there are dozens of cumulative modifications and _the environment_ acts as the enabler, then you get multiple synergies showing up as complex adaptive results.

    One.  The Neanderthals, marginalized by 150KYA of living in glacial conditions are a fully optimized as stable cultures under _evolutionary pscyhology_ of dispersed hunters.  In walks modern humans, out of Africa as a tribal group with a BUNCH of cumulative allele variants (larger population overall) and some of these start ticking off.  Not because the moderns are breeding with the enemy but because, having never done this before, they are still approaching it with the group mentality they brought from Africa.

    Now, the authors make a big deal about how it’s ‘okay’ to envision Neanderthals as contributing to modern culture, even as they make their way off the evolutionary stage under the premise that if ONE CATG haplotype makes it, for a single generation, it is likely to take over the entire group.  And that isn’t nearly as likely, IMO, as if a range of single SNP modifiers, having accumulated in the group, finds expression.  Because these single SNP modifiers can be linked to a range of traits (floppy eared, fox cross breeds are more docile, as are dogs…).

    But the trait itself is preestablished, within the culture bed as EP/DP psychologies not one which ‘suddenly’ pops up as a mutation.

    In this the authors of TTYE make a big deal about how the most astonishing genome changes (as a function of recombinative disruption of existing genotypes) came about solely within the last 5-8,000 years.  Long after Neanderthalis was gone.

    Now, let’s compare this to _Centuries Of Darkness_ which is basically an attempt to explain (beyond Thera which happed five hundred years prior) why there is a massive gap in the historical record from 1,200 to 800BC.  During which there is a loss of pottery and a supposed aliterate period.  Yet both suddenly rejuvenate often with prior forms overlapping modern ones at points in the Mediterranean where all prior indications are that the cultures that brought them should not be present for another 200+ years.  Makes a real mess of the transition from Late Bronze to early Iron Age history.

    Turns out that the keys to unraveling this Gordian Knot this are threefold:

    1.  Under no circumstances are the Manethos’ driven (Pharaonic) Kings Lists to be trusted.  Several kings (and their related dynasties and their related pottery) overlapped by decades as a function of brother:brother or father:son co-rule.
    2.  Astronomical dating via Sothic interpretation is also off.  As the Egyptians didn’t do Leap Years and didn’t positively corellate geography of the stellar survey with the times of year by which Sirius and the moon did their things, relative to the yearly Spring Inundation.
    3.  We are ALL guilty of a ritual process called ‘First Come, First Deserved’.  Which is to say that, as far back as the earliest recorded histories in Assyria and Babylon, Mycenaen Greece and Lydia (Turkey) there were ‘my line is older than yours!’ fights to determine preeminency based on perceived time in the game.

    All of which is intimately related to our own attempts, here and elsewhere, to cut off certain groups and establish, definitively, other lineages ‘outside their influence’ because by radiative diffusion from a common starting point, there is a sense of progression that is as much pride of place (veni vidi vici).  And this is itself wrong.  People go where the winds of change take them.  Africa was not a ‘low hanging fruit’ at the time of the last major migration outbound.  It was an arid hell.  Made that way by the moisture starved middle lattitudes of the ice age conditions which locked up all the north in mile thick glaciers.

    ONCE PRESENT in a given environment, new cultural survival mode options present themselves and those who are already positioned and able to exploit them, do so.

    Mesopotamian was the cradle of modern civilization.  But it was not the cradle of modern bronze.  Which occured in The Balkans.  A place of limited cultural significance but easy access to the necessary _resources_ (copper + tin) to make advanced metal working practical.  So that the bronze which defined the age  in fact spread backwards through the Mediterranean trade system.

    Similar events define one of the important differences between Neanderthals, even of the late Chatelperrronian Period, wherein their toolset began to look like that of their modern neighbors, in Southern France and Spain.  Because even Mousterian tools don’t reflect Aurignacian material variety in terms of flint, obsidian and other resource elements which would have had to have been brought hundreds of miles from where they were gathered.

    In this, I think I can conclude by saying two things:

    If recent mutations like HERC2 for Blue Eyes and SLC24A5 took place less than 10,000 years ago, much of our prior history is irrelevant because as our population made the shift to agro from HG in this period, our evolutionary pace _increased_, dramatically.  And our best efforts are now OURS, not some ancients, to own.

    If, as race realists, we are to be defined by anything, it may not be best that we do it on the presumption of anything so ephemeral as how we determinatively shaped our world with math or science or art or philosophy.  Because none of these specialist skills matter so much in a world of -recorded- knowledge as numbers and access.

    It probably doesn’t matter that the first OOA Modern Homo Sapiens were black.  Because we became white.  It -does- matter that we are now in a position to play the role of Neanderthals: superbly designed for a specialist environment (albeit one that we made ourselves) but also intrinsically limited by our refusal to see the world except in the most basic of individualized perceptions which we -base on- an assumed collectivism of the past.

    That is not how history happened.  History happened when small groups had hostile interactions with other small groups and, through attrition, an overall larger population total ‘on the move’ (And thus flexible in their response to the changing environmen, getting better in the case of modern OOA humans) displaced and genocidally annihilated their supposed precursors.  Never knowing that what they were doing, as small groups, was in fact inheriting the earth.

    Blacks are not Neanderthals.  We are.  Because our knowledge base has become so specialized that we are not able to react tribally to the masses of infiltration generalist barbarians we bring in among us.

    If we value what we have done, even in the last couple centuries, we need to stop holding strictly to a First Come, First Deserved vision of white intelligence meaning white supremacy.  Even if it is true, blacks could (through Malthusian deficit) destroy us without knowing that they doom themselves.