29 Jun
Scientists Debate Newly-Discovered Early Humans Scientists Debate Newly-Discovered Early Humans

Scientists Debate Newly-Discovered Early Humans

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The news spread quickly, with the media telling the world that skull fragments found in Morocco were identified as being approximately 300,000 years old. The fragments—belonging to three adults, a child, and an adolescent—meant that homo sapiens may have roamed the Earth 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, igniting excitement among archaeology fans across the globe.

But scientists say evolution is far more complicated. Evolutionary biologist Jean-Jacques Hublin and his team dubbed the skulls “early Homo sapiens,” but others in the field are more skeptical. Some have expressed disdain for the way Hublin and his team were so quick to say this is proof that the “earliest” Homo sapiens was around 300,000 years ago. Evolution is gradual, the experts point out, with no definite beginning or ending.

Calling it a “nothingburger,” University of Hawaii geneticist Rebecca Cann says the discovery of the skull only points to the fact that a transition was underway 300,000 years ago. The discovered remains likely belong to people who were midway between the transition from Neanderthals to modern humans.

In response, Hublin said he doesn’t dispute this theory. However, he still believes it’s appropriate to label the findings the “earliest Homo sapiens,” regardless of where they were in the transition.

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Read 2391 times Last modified on Saturday, 17 June 2017 06:27
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on,, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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