The Templeton review

1 minute read

The Yearbook of Physical Anthropology has a new review of the genetic evidence for modern human origins by Alan Templeton. The paper is 27 journal pages, and they are full of detail -- especially after the section describing basic coalescent theory.

I'll be going through this paper in the next few days and highlighting some of the issues it raises. In the meantime, here are some quotes from the Washington University press release:

"The 'Out of Africa' replacement theory has always been a big controversy," Templeton said. "I set up a null hypothesis and the program rejected that hypothesis using the new data with a probability level of 10 to the minus 17th. In science, you don't get any more conclusive than that. It says that the hypothesis of no interbreeding is so grossly incompatible with the data, that you can reject it."
The new data confirm an expansion out of Africa to 700,000 years ago that was detected in the 2002 analysis.
"Both (the 1.9 million and 700,000 year) expansions coincide with recent paleoclimatic data that indicate periods of very high rainfall in eastern Africa, making what is now the Sahara Desert a savannah," Templeton said. "That makes the timing very amenable for movements of large populations through the area."

Found via Dienekes, who seems to be one step ahead of me this week!


Templeton AR. 2005. Haplotype trees and modern human origins. Yrbk Phys Anthropol 128(S41):33-59. DOI link