The closest ancestors of modern-day humans (Homo sapiens) and other subspecies of the genus Homo are thought to have originated in Eastern Africa around 2.85 million years ago. Archaeologists interested in the link between the earliest members of the genus Homo and modern humans often study the migration patterns of Homo sapiens and their closest relatives to refine our evolutionary tree. The earliest record of modern-day humans dates to around 250,000 years ago, but, until recently, the earliest Homo sapiens fossil found outside of Africa was only about 120,000 years old. A recent discovery of a partially intact Homo sapiens jaw bone in Israel, however, has been dated between 177,000 and 194,000 years old.

Israel Hershkovitz of Tel Aviv University led the expedition responsible for unearthing the well-preserved jaw fragment. The fossil suggests that modern-day humans were exploring regions outside of Africa more than 55,000 years earlier than previously thought. This finding adds further complications to the accepted understanding of Homo sapiens dispersal, which primarily consists of two waves of out-of- Africa migration at 100,000 and 70,000 years ago. Genetic testing indicates that modern-day humans are likely direct descendants of the second wave of Homo sapiens out-of- Africa migration.

While there may be no genetic link between today’s humans and the newly discovered fossil at the moment, this finding is critical to scientific understanding of the behavior of the earliest Homo sapiens. Scientists hope to resolve the motivation behind the earliest and seemingly sporadic episodes of out-of-Africa exploration, which are inconsistent with the two primary waves of Homo sapiens migration.

Managing Correspondent: Zachary Eriksen

Image Credit: NPR

Original Article: Science

Related SiTN Article: When did the Americas encounter the first humans?

44 thoughts on “Oldest human fossil found outside of Africa throws popular theory into doubt

  1. Wow, they found a partially intact jawbone! Amazing, not! First, he dating methods are fatally flawed. Because they do NOT know how much of the radioactive isotope the jawbone originally had. Yes, we know know the half life, but we make unwarranted assumptions on the original isotope to decay products in the item.

    Second, the entire evolutionary ‘science’ is rife with fraud, misinterpretation, and very questionable methods. Why should we believe anything these modern day quacks and frauds say? They are always changing their theories, which is about the only thing that doesn’t change.

    Fraud you say? Why yes. Just research the fraud Haeckels and his embryo drawings which are false, and he was convicted of academic fraud my manif acquiring evidence.

    How about Piltdown man, which made monkeys of British evolution scientisystem.
    How about Nebraska man, who was magically discovered using a pigs tooth?
    Java man? How about Neanderthal? Which is a case of severe rickets.

    No, evolutionary science is a fraud, even if many well meaning scientists and people buy into the lie.

    1. I absolutely agree with you, George S. Evolutionists and paleoanthropologists have to keep hopping around formulating new structures to prop up their rickety dogma in the face of new findings.
      It’s time they shut up, packed up and left, to make way for people who are not brainwashed by their garbage.

      1. ……You do understand how scientific method works? Theory ALWAYS CHANGES. Thats exactly what it’s intended to do: adapt and revise. A theory is not fact. Theories are by definition intended to be replaced and revised by better or more complete theories.
        That fact in no way negates the legitimacy of a theory.

          1. Actually, yes. The science is never settled. Even the most basic of facts, like the molecular building blocks, are technically not a 100% chance true.

            That being said, there’s so much evidence supporting it that there is no actual way to disprove it YET, so it becomes public knowledge. If new research pops up in any field contradicting an established theory, the scientific community examines it, checks it’s legitimacy, and if legitimate, corrects it theories and researches new hypothesis until a new theory is able to stand with the research.

            A lot of things go through that process, that maybe just a generation or two were taught at school.
            For example, in 1964 Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig “discovered” that Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons aren’t the fundamental building blocks of the universe, but that they are in themselves built from further fundamental objects, named quarks.

            I would wish to invoke Pluto, but I do not consider a change in definition such a ground breaking discovery.

            So anyway the process is mostly legit, and the only ones that the public had to question are theories which stand to benefit a certain someone, like the infamous food pyramid. But a study so innocent, about where humans came through, needs only to be checked for sloppiness and the authors trolling the community (unfortunately it seems it’s quite easy to do both of these things nowadays anyway…).

            Anyway, my point is, that the scientific method and the fluidity of a theory are not bugs, they are features.

          2. The fundamental building block is that in the field of science, one must fully expect to find new information.

            Sometimes you find new information, sometimes new information find you.

            “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates

            Think about the events you have experienced up until now. What have you learned since being a child? What new things have you learned since then? When did you learn how to file your taxes or even how to save money?

            The life of a scientist is one of researching. In researching, you will inevitably experience many different things.

            Theories are called theories because it’s the most up-to-date setup of data that has been repeated numerous times (it’s not doing something 10 times and calling it a day) by numerous different people in different locations and different lab settings, in which the result has been the same in an overwhelming amount so as to rule out mistakes that may have happened.

            Saying “the science is settled” is like saying “I won’t go blind if I look at the sun for 12 hours.”

            “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” – Socrates

            Ironically, early philosophers are perhaps among what could be considered early scientists, as they did not just settle on one result and call it a say. For Socrates, it was to keep asking questions until an end result could be reached (if at all).

            It’s the same with modern science. You keep answering questions, but more questions pop up. So what do you do? You keep answering questions. So what if some evidence happens to contradict what’s been answered so far?

            Simple. You fix it.

            If you did your math wrong on a test, you should fix your math in order to get the right answer and not leave it alone if you want to get 100%.

            The ignorant criticize science because they are more satisfied in not having to question anything. The intelligent questions everything and makes an effort to understanding how to solve that question.

            In the common tongue, when you say “I have a theory”, you likely mean to say “I have an educated guess”. Now the guess does not have to be right, but you made that guess based on information you know.

            Science works in that it acknowledges that humans are not all-knowing. Thus, scientists must acknowledge that they are not all-knowing and that the universe has so many different questions that you simply pick a direction to go in and head that way.

            The ignorant are satisfied in staying still and afraid of change. The scientist openly welcomes change, as it aids in fixing the gaps of their knowledge. Because in staying still, you learn nothing. You gain nothing from it.

            Thus, do not be afraid of change. Expect the unexpected, for even surprises can be a welcoming surprise.

          3. That’s correct, the scientific method is rife with NEW discoveries, where scientists must alter their opinions. Einstein for example was a devout pacifist, until the 2nd world war went by in his lifetime, and he acknowledged that if EVERYBODY was a pacifist, Hitler would have ruled the world.

            Likewise Gravity is a theory, there are wild equations with non-euclidian geometry, that describes gravity as a bending of space-time (again Einstein). In Chemistry and other sciences, the mechanisms often change, and we really only know the most recent ideas, and sometimes ideas are revised and our understanding shifts (like with COVID, things change because there are new understandings).

            Science is a field of discovery. Slow. Because often new scientists think “that’s how it is,” and can hinder progress. In Einstein’s day the idea that light is both a wave and a particle was so foreign that Einstein didn’t fully believe it himself by many accounts. New minds pave a way for new ideas. The challenge of science is that there’s already an academic community who thinks the world is a certain way. Sometimes the past dies, and opens doors to new discovery.

          4. The real problem lies in the representation that science and media often presents itself: as the ultimate, unchallengeable, emperor of the modern world and all truth; and that science knows best and everyone else should shut up. Of course, this image is just an image but impossible to unsee.

    2. George S. Your comment is arrogant and unscientific. Just because you want something to be a certain way, does not make it so. Question everything. Especially that which does not allow questions. Empirical evidence, thankfully does not rely on consensus.

      1. One thing that intrigues me is how neanderthals interbred. Isnt the definition of a new species a group of creatures that can not produce fertile offspring with the others of their former species? I may be incorrect, but wouldn’t that mean that neanderthals may very well be a race of homosapien that has distinct features and DNA different from others? Modern day races vary in all manners, so why should this be different? Thanks.

        1. This is a very controversial topic but long story short: that definition of “species” is a little bit old and not comprehensive. For example, your species definition cannot be used to describe plants, bacteria, and asexual populations. The current species definition is slightly different and is a mix of biological and phylogenetic species definition. Also, interspecific breeding and fertile offspring are not so rare.

    3. Your comments about Piltdown and Neanderthals …First, are 2 entirely separate issues- Piltdown was a fabricated hoax, not a failure of science,
      and second, what about Neanderthals? They are a distinct separate species, but evolved from a common ancestor with Homo Sapiens and then interbred with us, along with at least 1 other separate species. We know this because of DNA analyses.
      It’s clear to myself and others here that you don’t understand evolutionary theory, or the scientific method in general. our points are all over the place. Some are valid (in a completely different way than you’re using them) and others are plainly molded by ignorance.

      1. Why was Stan Gooch who researched Neanderthalers ignored? Had his career and life destroyed? Now interbreeding an euphemistic term for invasion and rape and possibly genocide. We are said to originate from the SAN in Africa. But once the entire western hemisphere was called Afrika. Our human history of the past 2000 years is false or a total fraud. According to historians. Now with BLM this Out of Africa myth seems to fit an evil agenda of a dark elite in our human world. Already it was scientifically concluded that Australian Aboriginals did not descend from Africans. And how about the australian aboriginal tribes that were genocided by invading colonists? The Maori have a strong oral history of coming from elsewhere. And how do the sunken lands connecting Madagaskar with Australia fit in all this. And a new theory how Black people originated from Lapland. That one fits the theory in the ancient Vedas that the people in India descended from the North. Was that possibly from what we call Hyperborea but in oral histories of indigenous peoples goes by different names? And how about an american female researcher who found deposits proving people in America were far more ancient than science currently believed and was like Stan Gooch totally ignored and vilified by the ruling mainstream scientist. Science has a hidden agenda steering humanity into devastating ways so a certain group will gain worldpower and most likely with their Eugenism ideals genocide most of the rest of us calling it necessary Worldpopulationreduction.

    4. Yes, because some were “frauds” must mean they all are “frauds” today. What intelligent logic you have Lol.

      1. Surely your smarter than that Mike, we have a phrase where I come from “where you see one spider, there are always 3 more you can’t see” have a good 2021, an open your eyes all the way, being half way awake is the same as still sleeping in this instance. 🤷🏽‍♂️ Adios

    1. The science about them is fake. Stan Gooch researched them and came to totally different conclusions. Was ignored, had his life and career destroyed. What is called interbreeding was in his findings invasion and rape of a very advanced culture. Science is a hidden agenda by a dark elite orchestrating us to the next genocide, where they intend to gain worldpower. The OOA theory support BLM ideals and the Black Hebrew are the True Israelites intending to murder all white people on earth. claiming they are the original ones and owned the entire world at one time. Oral Maori history portrays them as rapists, slaughtered, that in a brutal war forced peoples living in Persia to flee towards New Zealand. I am interested in what part the sunken lands connecting Madagaskar with Australia played in all this. In the times of Abraham nuclear wars raged in those regions. Now proven by findings of radiation residue in ancient excavations.

      1. how the hell did BLM get involved into this . why are you so focused on BLM instead of science and the facts. talking about they were rapists and stuff , man all races have their fair share of violence, if you are a white person , are you proud of what your ancestors have done to other races ? shut up and speak about science , ohw yeah and by the way i am black and proudly african , until there is another theory that suggests that human evolution did not start in africa than shut up and except that blacks were out here and will forever be out here!!!!!!

        1. A fossil found recently in Greece suggests that we developed in Europe then migrated INTO AFRICA. YOU OWE GERTRUDE AN APOLOGY

          1. That fossil found in Greece provides little evidence to support the “Out of Europe” Theory and to make an impact on the already well established OOA Theory, and is instead most likely a member of the Ouranopithecus, a genus of extinct Eurasian Ape. Extensive research and excavating would have to be done to disprove the OOA Theory.

            “New fossils suggest human ancestors evolved in Europe, not Africa” https://bigthink.com/amp/evolution-europe-2635135545

          2. No it doesn’t. At most, it suggests that a very early proto-great-ape evolved in Europe, and doesn’t in any way contradict the current theory, supported by all available evidence, that homo sapiens sapiens (that is, humans) developed in Africa. You owe Anonymous an apology.

      2. “In the times of Abraham nuclear wars raged in those regions.”

        Gertrude, this is kooky stuff. There were no nuclear wars in the time of Abraham.

        1. Actually there are archeological sites in, iirc, India and Turkey where the ground has been vitrified (turned to glass) from exposure to extremely high temperatures. This does occur naturally, such as when lightning bolt strikes sand – but wouldn’t produce the high levels of radiation that are found at these sites. Meteorite impacts could potentially contain radioactive elements, and would certain have the required heat for the process. However, the geology doesn’t show any indication of an impact event.
          These sites remain an enigma. Even though the suggestion of a nuclear war being waged 8-10K years ago clear doesn’t conform to the technological capabilities outlined in our established model of human history, the formation of this glass is consistent with what is found at nuclear test sites. The question is whether we are to trust our understanding of the physical evidence in the present or our notions of the what occured in the distant past.

  2. Basically, evolutionary theory was always based on assumption. The assumption that we would find the “missing link”. Theories regarding human origins are not scientific theories and should be considered as little more than speculation. The difference between science and pseudoscience is the scientific method which is the only thing that ensures a sciences viability. Too often the hypotheses (at best) taught as theories are supported only by the perceived lack of evidence to the contrary. During the “science” of human origins infancy it developed a hierarchy of academia which prevents actual science and exploration from taking place by dictating their own theories and preventing funding and support the investigation of alternative possibilities. As a result, subordinates are not allowed to accel via their own abilities. This leaves little means for one to take actual pride in their work. Human nature tends to substitute pride and confidence with arrogance.
    The assumption of modern ideals prevents a better understanding of prehistory which also had a history and likely a prehistory in and of its own. Different needs in a different world than the one in which we currently live produced different solutions and results from what are likely cognitive capacities equaling or even surpassing our own.
    You will continue to see the dates of human existence pushed back because of the attitude much of the so-called science possesses. That is the attitude that it doesn’t exist if it were not previously known.

    “Indeed, one cannot triumph without the aid of adversity.” TJB

    1. Personally i am certain a select few know our entire human history and are deliberately falsifying that history to fit their dark, evil agenda of worldsupremacy. The library of Alexandria held all that knowledge, was said to be burned leaving nothing but the Septuagint, predecessor of christian bible, but in reality ships took the entire library elsewhere. Possibly it all lies in the catacombs of the Vatican, where no objective scientist has access. Theosophy changed many names of geographical locations. So that we are unable to recognize those as being the same oral history of Maoris, Polynesians etc. tell us about.

  3. Personally i am certain a select few know our entire human history and are deliberately falsifying that history to fit their dark, evil agenda of worldsupremacy. The library of Alexandria held all that knowledge, was said to be burned leaving nothing but the Septuagint, predecessor of christian bible, but in reality ships took the entire library elsewhere. Possibly it all lies in the catacombs of the Vatican, where no objective scientist has access. Theosophy changed many names of geographical locations. So that we are unable to recognize those as being the same oral history of Maoris, Polynesians etc. tell us about.

  4. The OAT should have been abandoned a log time ago. Scientists have largely failed to come to grips with the disastrous downstream implications of such gross over-simplifications.

  5. Though ancient history is indeed fascinating, resources would serve humans better if leveraged toward a better future.

  6. There’s Evolutionary science, and then there’s a mesh of sciences that can only be classified as pseudo, like what happens when you mesh archaeology with Origin theories. While evidence of evolution is in the obvious, origin theories are based on nothing. People searching for the origin of man do so knowing that most bones dont exist long enough to make it into the fossil record. They’re consumed by hungry animals and the like. No bone is going to last long with predators and scavengers roaming around. Bones that do become fossils are gems. Given the fact that there are humanoid footprint and bone fossils all over the world, it’s plausible that our ancestors were around even before the last continental split. Locating man’s exact place of origin will be no easier than finding any other species location of origin. And no archaeologist would ever be so bold as to take on the task of finding the birthplace of the feline. Why do scientists claim to know the origins of man? Simple. Ego.

    1. The motivation for scientists to claim knowledge about the origins of man are not simply about man’s ego when you factor in the implications of recognising First Nations Peoples claims to certain land titles, and the subsequent geo-political restructuring and legislation formal recognition would entail. Therefore, the many vested interests of current ruling regimes and sovereign nations are no doubt at play when it comes to the securing of funding and publication of research findings which could appear to scientifically prove First Nations Peoples claim to their currently dispossessed lands.

    2. And that’s where you’re wrong, buddy.

      Any self-respecting scientist will just tell you “we don’t know, but here’s the data we have gathered so far.”

      A theory is never final. It is a set of data in which it is fundamentally possible that it could be wrong.

      “Why do scientists claim to know the origins of man?” They make the claim (of which they know can be changed later) based on what data has been compiled and heavily scrutinized in order to get rid of possible mistakes over and over again.

      A true scientist never makes a “final” claim. Only a claim that is, practically speaking, a concise summary of what’s been uncovered up until the date of which the claim has been given.

      “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” – Socrates

      The unwise say they know everything, but the wise say they know nothing. You know why?

      It’s because it frees themself of human arrogance. By the time you die, you likely won’t be an experienced master at being an airplane pilot, astronaut, surgeon, diver, hunter, archer, teacher, fisher, rapper, mechanic, and so on and so forth all at the same time, now would you?

      By admitting you know nothing is the point in which you are able to increase the capacity to learn. You acknowledge that you aren’t all-knowing or perfect, but rather that you are imperfect and are willing to learn more about what interests you.

      “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” – Socrates

      If you make a mistake in writing out your math during a test and you truly want to get a 100% score, you can always skip and go back, but in the end you will try to fix that mistake. There’s nothing wrong in making a mistake because we have made mistakes before. It’s when you try to convince yourself that you haven’t made a mistake is where you fail to learn.

      Just because a piece does not fit in one spot of a puzzle does not mean it’s place HAS to be that one spot. Don’t try fitting a bowling ball into a star-shaped hole.

      To pursue knowledge is to know that you might be wrong about something. Growing and learning occurs when you admit that you answered wrong and fix your work.

      An adult does not mock the child for the child’s incompetence at filing taxes.

      1. Beautifully worded manner of saying what we have already stated an restated here again in the comments. A mass majority of society believes science is infallible (🙄religion) it’s not. Or that just because a “scientist” said something or showed paperwork stating a theory an the “proof”, that, that in fact means it’s an absolute truth. You like studying things..??? Study epistemology, it might help you wrap your head around the fact that most of the scientific community is just floundering to keep finding, funding to put underneath their feet an has just as much clue as the rest of us, their glorified machine operators 🤷🏽‍♂️ (meaning: a HIGH probability of error) thanks for coming to my tED talks

  7. Why ignore Homo erectus? Didn’t it leave Africa long before sapiens? No mention? What’s this about discovering “motivation?” Is it not clear that many hominids, if stressed, and likely unstressed too, looked at the hill and wondered what was over there? Young adults wander, chimps, hominids…. I await erectus DNA; then we’ll learn about Homo’s wanders.

  8. I dont believe the data, i feel there needs to have more research out of africa, and more into Asian countries near China, i feel if the climate was different in Africa back in time the modern human can live anywhere, DNA is research on bones that was buried there that does conclude they traveled there from the north and of course ancestors was made there?

  9. I’ve always wanted an answer to this conundrum. If Australia is the oldest continent and the Australian indigenous people are the oldest race on earth – how come their ancestors came from Africa? And not the other way around?
    The large unexplored areas of Australia could hold many secrets and/or the dryness of the land over millennia destroyed any human remains. Just because no-one has found any, because they haven’t looked, doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

  10. One of the ways to test the probability of veracity of a new theory is to look at the context in which the new theory emerged
    E.g. The Outofafrica theory grew on a terrain of left political intellectualism dedicated to the deconstruction of culture as an enemi of EGALITÉ. If aryans and africans has the same source we are all,(wait! Negroes ? Whites? Greys ?) EQUALS !

  11. I will always be skeptical when democrats/Marxists or the main stream media invoke science to further their own warped political agendas. Unfortunately this is what our world has become. It has become harder to distinguish between science fact and politically motivated science fiction due to the increased level of Marxist influence in the United States.

    Medical doctors in essence are scientists. Many people who see a doctor will want to get a second opinion, that’s because all doctors aren’t created equal. Some doctors will prescribe surgery, while others will treat or cure the disease with non-invasive methods. So is the same with all scientists, archeologists, theoretical physicists, etc. Even Einstein had his flaws, but don’t ever bet against him. I knew they were going to eventually find gravitational waves, but I wasn’t expecting it in my lifetime.

    So the point I’m trying to make is basically do not believe everything a scientist says, they might not even be scientists. In today’s world there’s a good probability that many are political hacks. So become educated and do your own research, and always consider the source.

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