November 11, 2001
10:45 AM   Subscribe

New Discovery in Northern China challenges theory on origin of man. Human activities started in Asia some 2 million years ago long before Out of Africa.
posted by stbalbach (11 comments total)
Another article from Xinhua .. the Chinese have been known to distort scientific fact in order to show they were the first civilization while also limiting access to outside observers. For example:

Xie, who has conducted archaeological research at Nihewan for 18 years, said that it is a question that deserves discussion among international archaeological circles: whether human beings migrated to east Asia at a fast speed at an early stage, or there was another origin place of man in the world.

No one can reasonably believe mans origins were in China except the Chinese.
posted by stbalbach at 10:57 AM on November 11, 2001

yah, i won't buy it until it's been tested pretty thoroughly. remember piltdown?
posted by moz at 11:10 AM on November 11, 2001

its a pretty debate filled area, I highly recommend checking out Becoming Human to get a run down on the whole shebang.

Seems to me since all they discovered is basic stone tools, this isn't doing anything like "Challenging the origin of man"... it might just suggest that in ~500,000 years some Homo Habilises wandered over to china and hung out for a while.
posted by malphigian at 12:42 PM on November 11, 2001

It also has nothing whatever to do with the second diaspora which appears to have happened about a hundred thousand years ago, from which we are all descended.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:52 PM on November 11, 2001

Malphigian: thats a really cool site.. like watching a Ken Burns film. Might as well be TV but its not bandwidth intensive. Hope to see other documentaries online like that.
posted by stbalbach at 2:05 PM on November 11, 2001

The headline is certainly a bit of a stretch. The article itself acknowledges that the earliest human activity in Ethiopia has been dated to 2.33 million years ago. That places it a full 300,000 years before the Chinese activity. The question of human origins, however, is really a separate questions. Older fossils of our predecessors, dating back to 4.5 millions years, have been found in various places in Africa. No other location on Earth can boast of so many fossils detailing our origins. This debate should more properly be characterized as the rise of human civilization, not homo sapiens itself.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:34 PM on November 11, 2001

I am waiting for the followup article in the People's Daily which reports that the remains were found to be clutching a copy of "The Quotations of Chairman Mao".
posted by MAYORBOB at 6:27 PM on November 11, 2001

blah. Reaction to bad memories, eh?

Anyhow, it is primarily the headline, and how the post was phrased. There is nothing really wrong with the interpretations.

It is only a question of fleshing out mankind's history, of what kind people might have existed where.

Obviously the entire timeline is vacant, and sketchy.
posted by firestorm at 10:00 PM on November 11, 2001

There is nothing really wrong with the interpretations.

Agreed, seems the anti-Chinese bone to grind spills over into archaeology and anthropology as well.
posted by skallas at 10:49 PM on November 11, 2001

i think it is likely that all the 'homos' enjoyed some form of sexual interaction, when they existed in the same physical and temporal space. maybe they were fairly adaptable.
some genes survived, some did not. not all are of a single species.
posted by asok at 5:38 AM on November 12, 2001

ditto moz. did not scientists find some remains in Australia that may exceed the dating of Oldova gourge(sic sp)
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2001

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