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Asian origin of distant human ancestors?

Asian, African primate molars similar/Mark Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Human evolution is the opposite of the summer reruns; every time they play, it’s a different story.

From “Fossil Discovery: More Evidence for Asia, Not Africa, as the Source of Earliest Anthropoid Primates”(ScienceDaily, June 4, 2012), we learn,

For decades, scientists thought that anthropoid [human and ape] evolution was rooted in Africa. However, more recent fossil discoveries in China, Myanmar, and other Asian countries have rapidly altered scientific opinion about where this group of distant human ancestors first evolved. Afrasia is the latest in a series of fossil discoveries that are overturning the concept of Africa as the starting point for anthropoid primate evolution.
“Not only does Afrasia help seal the case that anthropoids first evolved in Asia, it also tells us when our anthropoid ancestors first made their way to Africa, where they continued to evolve into apes and humans,” says Chris Beard, Carnegie Museum of Natural History paleontologist and member of the discovery team that also included researchers from Myanmar, Thailand, and France. Beard is renowned for his extensive work on primate evolution and anthropoid origins. “Afrasia is a game-changer because for the first time it signals when our distant ancestors initially colonized Africa. If this ancient migration had never taken place, we wouldn’t be here talking about it.”

“Reconstructing events like the colonization of Africa by early anthropoids is a lot like solving a very cold case file,” says Beard. “Afrasia may not be the anthropoid who actually committed the act, but it is definitely on our short list of prime suspects.”

Until next year. 😉 Is Australia the next location?

Free advice you probably don’t need; Don’t take any of it too seriously.

Here’s MSNBC’s take:

It remains an open question how early anthropoids actually migrated from Asia to Africa. Back then, the two continents were separated by a more extensive version of the modern Mediterranean Sea, called the Tethys Sea. Early anthropoids may have either swum from island to island from Asia to Africa, or possibly have been carried on naturally occurring rafts of logs and other material washed out to sea by floods and storms. Other animal groups apparently migrated from Asia to Africa at this time as well, such as rodents and extinct piglike animals known as anthracotheres, Jaeger said.

Ah yes, the raft of vegetation theory, reborn.

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The claim is that the very earliest primate-like monkey (smaller than a lemur) whose remains (exactly 4 teeth) we have yet found died in Asia. How you get from that monkey to Australopithecus reguires a lot of guessing, especially if that monkey is not the "common ancestor" of all other primates. Mostly likely, it's a distant cousin, all of whose descendants failed to prosper. If they find another interesting skeleton, or 4 other teeth, then the guessing starts over again mahuna
Oh brother! This means all that science, scientists, citations was WRONG? Is this a paradigm shift? Why was that African evidence and genetics all wrong? Do creationists (YEC) deserve a apology for our resistance? Is the evidence now good for Asia? What's next the greater Babel area? if we came from aSia did we all have the unique asian eyes and hair? Did it evolve away and is there evidence for this? who pays these people? Robert Byers

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