Zimmer on Templeton

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Carl Zimmer has a post discussing Alan Templeton's work. It's a good review, covering Templeton's two essential points: history cannot be traced from any single gene locus, and evidence from multiple loci makes human evolution look like a trellis of relationships among populations, not a diverging tree originating in one population. Here's a quote:

Templeton has found that he can easily reject the idea that all our genes come from the same 200,000 year old population of African humans. Instead, he finds evidence of three separate expansions out of Africa. The first he estimates to have occurred 1.9 million years ago -- which just so happens to coincide with the earliest fossils of Homo erectus outside of Africa. Then he finds another expansion he dates to 650,000 years ago -- which just so happens to coincide with the emergence of hominids in Europe of hominids that are believed to give rise to Neanderthals. The last expansion can be traced back 130,000 years ago.

I'll have more discussion here when Templeton's new paper comes out in the Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. In the meantime, you can get a quick review by reading the post.