Templeton on modern human origins

1 minute read

Alan Templeton has written a popular article in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News about his work on the biogeography of modern human origins: “Revolutionizing the ‘Out of Africa’ Story”.

However, the mitochondrial evolutionary history was also compatible with the multiregional model. Indeed, there has never been a genetic dataset or analysis that favored the replacement model over alternatives in a statistically significant fashion (Templeton, 2007). Nevertheless, the replacement model became the standard model of human evolution through the 1990s onward.
Now that ancient DNA studies offer direct confirmation of the MLNCA inference that there was admixture, this major controversy in human evolution can now be regarded as settledat least, as settled as any scientific debate can be.

This is such a neat time for those of us interested in modern human origins, as ancient DNA and whole genome data from living people are changing things so markedly. Looking at the approaches from the last decade through this lens makes it clear how older analyses never excluded the point where we now find ourselves. Likewise, to predict where we may be ten years from now, we have to imagine the full range of scenarios that are not excluded by today’s data.