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ABC News: “Were Ancient Human Migrations Two-Way Streets?” Homo erectus . . . Out of Asia?
Archaeological findings in the Caucasus are upsetting human evolutionary dogma. Homo erectus fossils at Dmanisi are believed by evolutionists to date from 1.7 million years ago. Now a team has found over a hundred Homo erectus-associated stone artifacts in deeper layers dated at 1.85 million years. Such a time frame would mean Homo erectus in Asia predated Homo erectus in Africa.
Believing that the ancient occupants of the Dmanisi “are the first representatives of our own genus outside Africa, and they represent the most primitive population of the species Homo erectus known to date,” David Lordkipanidze of the Georgia National Museum adds that they “might be ancestral to all later H. erectus populations, which would suggest a Eurasian origin.”
The Out of Africa model and the Multiregional model are the rival models for human evolution. Both models stipulate that “pre-human” Homo erectus evolved in Africa and then colonized widely. (Homo erectus fossils have been found in Australia, Indonesia, and Asia from Siberia to the Caucasus.) The Out of Africa model, drawing on mitochondrial Eve data, asserts that Homo sapiens then evolved in Africa and spread out, replacing all previous “pre-human” populations. The Multiregional model asserts that the “pre-humans” went on to evolve into real Homo sapiens in many places, not just Africa.
If the evolutionary community were to accept the dates from this study of the Caucasus’s artifacts, the Out of Africa model would suffer. Either humanity’s ancestors would not have evolved in Africa at all, or Homo erectus would have had to colonize Eurasia, migrate back to Africa, evolve into modern humans, and then move out in all directions to replace itself.
Richard Potts of the Smithsonian urged caution. “The new evidence at Dmanisi consists of stone tools, not fossil bones. So we don't really know who the toolmaker was.”
Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University actually proposed an “Out of Asia” scenario for Homo erectus in 2005. Recommending continued investigation, he commented, “The Dmanisi evidence has forced us to have a good fresh look at some of our basic assumptions.”
The dates accepted by evolutionists for modern humans overlap their dates for Homo erectus, challenging the evolutionary paradigm requiring a superior population to out-compete and replace its less fit forebears.
Marvin Lubenow, creationist expert on human origins and author of Bones of Contention, maintains that the mitochondrial Eve interpretations are flawed.1 He also wrote that “Homo erectus is fast becoming the human evolutionist’s worst nightmare” (page 117, Bones of Contention). Although we do not have any genomic data on Homo erectus as we do for Neanderthals, this “pre-human” fossil’s transitional status has been threatened with every new fossil found. Homo erectus is morphologically human, differing from modern humans no more than Neanderthals do. Furthermore, the dates accepted by evolutionists for modern humans overlap their dates for Homo erectus, challenging the evolutionary paradigm requiring a superior population to out-compete and replace its less fit forebears.
Thus, even in the absence of genomic data, it seems reasonable to consider Homo erectus as human beings. Like Neanderthals, Homo erectus left abundant evidence of their ability to use tools, control fire, and bury the dead. Not all variations among humans have survived, but all descended from a literal Adam and Eve.2 As to the starting point of human migration, the Bible’s eyewitness account assures us that people spread out from the region of Ararat after the Flood to the plains of Shinar and then to the rest of the world.
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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.