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Africa And Multi Regional Essay

4117 words - 17 pages

One of the most hotly debated theories in the anthropology world is how did humans get to where they are in the world. The evolution of Homo sapiens extends to not only anthropologists but everyone else in the world as well. There have been countless debates and fights about where we are from and how we got here. In earlier and simpler times it was just assumed that the gods created us and watched over us and that we were not only products of theirs but also to some extent their playthings. Then Christianity came into the picture and we were still created by God but in the image of Him and that we were in a way sacred ourselves because we were His children. This has become a lasting image. ...view middle of the document...

This also makes for some of the more ugly parts of science because many will hold onto their theories just as hard as the most adamant religious zealot. This is extremely true in the area of human development. Anthropologists have been fighting over this area for decades and will probably be fighting over it for decades to come. This is because something this loaded does not go away very easily and few people are swayed from one side to another without glaring evidence to the contrary of their beliefs. In this sense they are really no better than a lot of the religious fanatics that they complain and gripe about. And even with all of the new data that is gathered and all the new discoveries that are made not much has changed and few have been moved to join the other side of what they see as a never-ending debate. There are really only two main theories left (along with several less recognized). The first is the theory that all humans are from Africa and there have been multiple migrations from that continent that has resulted in the current distribution of humans all over the globe. The second theory is essential an outgrowth of the first and it deals with the fact that there was only one migration out of Africa and that the groups that migrated to separate parts of the Earth evolved separately from each other but were able to still stay close enough to reproduce. Both arguments put up a fair amount of facts that they are equally arguable. I will try and explain each theory and give each a chance to sway the mind of the reader. Of course anyone reading this will ultimately wonder how I weigh in on the subject that I am presenting and after I have explained how we have made our way to the theory of Multi-Regionalism I will explain my beliefs on the matter.Really this story starts with the discovery of ancient bones in Europe that lead to the questions of: how did these bones get here? And, what are they from? The people of the time came up with many explanations, none that really truly made sense until finally forward thinkers prevailed and the explanation that the bones were truly ancient and from a distant relative of modern humans was formed. In 1856 at the Feldhofer Cave, near Dusseldorf Germany is where we first get a glimpse of Neanderthal man; little did the people who unearthed this first skeleton know how they would be changing the world. Religion played a large part in the early days of human evolution in banning the thought that these new skeletons could be ancestors of mankind. However, with the publication of Charles Darwin's second work Descent of Man the world was becoming much more ready to hear how the scientific world would weigh in on the thought of human creation. After these initial shocks to the system came a slow acceptance that yes in fact mankind was far older than had been previously thought and that it was pretty much accepted that modern humans were descended from some lower life form and that ultimately the skeletons...

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