Do You Know Modern Humans Descended From Two Populations? New Study Twists Theory of Our Evolution

As per a latest study, multiple ancestral groups from across Africa lead to the emergence of Homo sapiens.

We all have, at some point, wondered, "Where did modern humans come from?" The answer, until now, lies in our study of evolution, which means that we all originated from a single group of ancestors in Africa. But guess what?

A new study has now added a twist to our tale of evolution and proposed that modern humans actually descended from two populations that lived in Africa for a million years individually. They eventually merged across the continent, which means that there is no single birthplace of humanity.

The study published in the journal Nature tapped into genome data from modern-day African populations and mentioned that, despite agreeing that Homo sapiens originated in Africa, there was divergence and migration across the continent.

Official research paper

"Decades of study of human genome variation have suggested a predominantly tree-like model of recent population divergence from a single ancestral population in Africa. It has been difficult to reconcile this finding with the fossil and archaeological records of human occupation across the vast African continent," researchers mentioned in the paper.

The researchers, who analysed the genomes of 290 living people, hinted that multiple ancestral groups from across Africa contributed to the emergence of Homo sapiens, and it was done in a patchwork manner. Since those ancestral groups migrated from one region to another, they ended up mixing with one another over hundreds of thousands of years.

Evolution theory

Nonetheless, it has been believed for a long time that modern humans sprang across the world from Africa after the oldest fossil was unearthed there. The fossil was 3,00,000 years old, and the oldest stone tools from the region were found too, which indicated some sort of human settlement.

"All humans share a relatively recent common ancestry, but the story in the deeper past is more complicated than our species evolving in just a single location or in isolation," University of Wisconsin-Madison population geneticist Aaron Ragsdale, lead author of the study, said.