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The study of the origin

The study of the origin of man had been divided into two opposing views, the views that modern man originated from Africa and then went on to conquer the world based on the theory of the mitochondrial Eve and the view that modern man was evolving in different parts of the world at the same time as evidenced by the fossils found in different regions. The African Eve theory was based on DNA research that traced a common maternal source of mtDNA which pointed out that modern man might possibly have originated from one common female ancestor.

However, as critics would have it, the archaeological evidence does not support the claims made by the African Eve proponents. Critics argued that the process in which the data was analyzed was faulty and it did not really give any concrete evidence as to how it came about that modern man had a single maternal DNA. The opposing group said that fossils have been discovered and have been analyzed to point out a multiregional origin of modern man, that the presence of fossils in different parts of the world debunks the theory that each race had ancestors who came from Africa.

They were ready to concede that early man originated from Africa, but modern man evolved from these early ancestors and developed into distinct races. The debate is far from being over, many researchers and anthropologists have tried to either found evidence to support or contradict these two opposing views. Leaky said that modern man may have originated from a common ancestor whose offspring have traveled outside of Africa and brought about by the changes in the environment have evolved and adapted to their ecological habitat.

I believe that Leaky may be right, he might have made the two opposing views work together and not one can claim authority over the other. Although, I am more inclined to think that fossils are more important evidence from which the study of the origins of man be based rather than on DNA.


Leakey, Richard, and Roger Lewin. Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

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