We keep discovering how much less of humanity is… us
This essay is a wonderful perspective on the state of the field. The penultimate paragraph provides a great image of how different the non-interglacial Ice Age Earth was, 0.1 million years ago. From a human perspective.
On the first illustration showing the twists and turns of the recent hominim lineages: I wish it showed the "braided river delta" nature of the introgressions that Razib discusses in the text.
"Artifacts in China and Sumatra dating to before 60,000 years ago seem suspiciously modern" - there is also Narmada man from India as well.
Neanderthals died out despite being the superior species. That seems contrary to the rule that the fittest survive.
Razib, Thank you very much for this piece and all you do. A few questions, please:
- Granted that there is no agreed definition of species, I favor successful mating for working purposes. Might we then say that Sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans, etc., are one species? We could say that the species has varieties as a result of differing environments.
- We are all ultimately descendants of Erectus. We might speculate that Sapiens etc. and Erectus could mate. But there's no Erectus DNA, is there?
- Erectus spread throughout the supercontinent. Did they begin in Africa? As to ghost populations, Reich's book documents them in EurAsia. It seems logical to extend the idea to all of Homo everywhere. The question then is, which such populations can we detect?
Can you send a link regarding the Andaman islanders being more like Swedes than Africans in genetic terms?