Early Homo Sapiens: Uniregional versus Multiregional Theory

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As fossil evidence has shown, we see that all pre-human forms, from Proconsul to Australopithecines, have resided in parts of Africa. We don’t see any movement out of Africa until the appearance of the Homo erectus fossils. These fossils have been found not only in Africa, but have also been found in parts of Europe and Asia. This is when scientists begin to disagree on how these pre-modern humans spread from Africa to other continents. Some scientists believe in the hypothesis known as the Multiregional Theory. This theory states that Homo erectus left Africa about two million years ago and from there migrated to Europe and Asia. These H. erectus then evolved, simultaneously, into Homo sapiens, or the modern looking and culturally evolved humans we are today. Another hypothesis that has been presented is the Uniregional Theory. This theory states that although Homo erectus did migrate out of Africa into these areas, Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens in, and solely in Africa. These H. sapiens then traveled into the other continents and replaced the H. erectus and Neanderthals that were living there. More fossil evidence has been found to support the Uniregional theory at this time and is the most likely option for human migration. Scientists try to prove these theories using fossils found in different locations, studying what DNA can be found in the fossils, and they also look at other evolutionary theories for possible answers and clues to the peopling of the continents.

“Multiregional evolution requires the "simultaneous" or "convergent" evolution of modern humans in different isolated populations,” (Hawks and Wolpoff 89) and is based on the idea that earlier hominids, such as Australopithecines, e...

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