On The Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin

915 Words Feb 26th, 2018 4 Pages
Even though in the publication of 'On The Origin of Species' by Charles Darwin in 1859 human evolution was not specifically mentioned, only that "light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history", Darwin did argue for the evolution of new species from older ones (1). Since then, interest in evolution, and especially human evolution, has been growing. An example of one of the first debates about human evolution is the debate between Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen, in which Huxley believed humans to be descended from apes, while Owen strongly opposed this view (2). Today, discussion about human evolution focuses on whether Homo sapiens have a single origin, the Recent African Origin (RAO) model, or if they originate from multiple regions, the multiregional (MRO) model (3). The RAO model finds its origin in Darwin's 'The Descent of Man', published in 1871, where he hypothesizes that humans descent from a single species that resided in Africa (4). Today, the RAO model suggests that all non-African populations have a common Homo sapiens ancestor from the African regions that evolved around 120 to 200 thousand years ago and supplanted archaic hominids around the world (3,5). This model is supported by paleontological evidence, as the earliest anatomically modern human fossils (90 to 120 thousand years old) were found in Africa, suggesting that the evolvement into the modern Homo sapiens happened in…
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