"Nothing is so firmly believed as what least is known."
Michel E. Montaigne
- One of the strongest motivations for the development of evolutionary theory is that we want to understand our own past, present, and future. As Homo sapiens, where did we come from? This question has haunted human beings for centuries. Our ancestors sought to answer the question with myths. Today, we seek to answer this mystery with science.
- Based on fossils discovered in the last 200 years, the two popular theories on human origins are available, the multiregional model and the monoregional model. The multiregional model posits that Homo erectus marked the beginning of our global evolution and all subsequent fossils represent evolving Homo sapiens. No single place was the birthplace of modern humans. Populations in Europe, Java, and Africa all evolved independently.
- The monoregional model holds that only one region, Africa, was the site of the complete evolutionary sequence from H. erectus/ergaster to modern humans. The evolutionary lineages that developed outside Africa did not give rise to modern humans; they were simply replaced by humans who migrated from their African homeland during the last 100,000 to 200,000 years. This model differs from the multiregional model in that different characteristics of modern regional populations developed during the last 100,000 years or later. Some anthropologists now believe that hominids migrated from Africa to Europe 600,000 years ago or more and evolved into a separate species Homo neanderthalis. When Homo sapiens spread out from Africa, they did not interbreed with the Neanderthals. Homo neanderthalis and all other hominids originating from Africa prior to Homo sapiens became extinct for unknown reasons.Only African Homo sapiens survived and gave rise to modern human.
The East Africa is considered as the human origin.
- Charles Darwin was an early advocate of the African origin of Homo sapiens. He reasoned that humans’ closest living relatives the gorillas and chimpanzees are found in Africa perhaps still in the forests where they evolved.As no early hominid fossils have been found anywhere else, Darwin proposed that Africa was the locale to search for them.
- The GMCMI model aligns with the monoregional model that all ancestors of Homo sapiens were born at single location from a single mother (its non-human ancestor). The probability for such complicated processes occurring at multiple locations and different times does not exist. Since the current discovery of fossils show that all early hominid fossils originated from Africa, East Africa is the most likely cradle of the humans.
Are there other humans in this vast universe?
- According to the GMCMI model, the answer is no. Humans and all other species were generated by an inadvertent event that happened after thousands other accidental events. The chance to duplicate these events under different conditions does not exist. Even an intelligent animal parallel to human intelligence exist somewhere in the universe, the likelihood that they are the exact species just like us is zero. Human is alone and unique in this sense.
We are just a lonely species in the Universe.
The future of humans
- Another question lingering is the future of humans. Will humans evolve into another species According to the proposed model, it is clear that humans are not intermediate species to any future species. As the overwhelming majority of births in human are singletons despite existence in multiples gestations, the probability for generation of new species by human is near zero, without even considering inbreeding among siblings if they were born.
Human being is a hopeless species for future evolution.