September 23, 2014

ESHE 2014 abstracts

The abstracts for the European Society for the study of Human Evolution meeting that just took place are available in this PDF.


Krefter said...

"Our results reconcile cranial morphology with recet genetic studies, which have identified the Khoe-San as the oldest modern human group living today"

I can't believe I'm reading this from an academic. This is a horrible miss conception many people have about history. It's like saying humans come from apes. In reality we're in the same family as "apes", which isn't an accurate term because Chimps are more related to humans than to gorillas.

Humans originating in Africa and San being the most separate people means as much as someone being Polish. San are not ancestral they're parallel. Africa is just a location, and humans diversified there just like they did in Eurasia. Africans are just as separate from the first humans as Eurasians are(not including admixture with other breeds). Their view on the San is as logical as saying I'm ancestral to my brother. In the upcoming years we'll probably learn that there isn't a totally clear African-Eurasian split and that the population history of Africa is just as diverse and complicated as in Eurasia.

It would be interesting to learn that San's morphology hasn't changed much in the last 100,000 years, but treating them as Godly aboriginals is ethnocentric.

andrew said...

Some notable papers (out of roughly 150 of them):

* High resolution mtDNA haplogroup typing shows that Bantu expansion involved relatively little assimilation of non-Bantu region mtDNA in many areas. Earlier examinations had a muddier narrative because there was a pre-Bantu expansion diversification of an L0 clade and an L2 clade, but higher resolution shows that these were a result of a separate prior event.

* A midden remains from a continuously occupied cave in South Africa reveals the pre-Bantu arrival of small herd animals in the area and shows some continuities with pre-herding hunting and gathering populations.

* Neanderthal inner ear bones are distinct and more uniform with respect to each other than humans.

* The pre-UP population of Neanderthals was about 70,000 in three distinct populations.

* Baka Pygmies short stature arises mostly due to differences in development between ages 2 and 3, not in due to the lack of a growth spurt in adolescence as previously believed.

* One paper noted Rift Valley lake core sample data showing climate favorable to an Out of Africa event around 112kya. Cranial and genetic analysis between Africans and non-Africans in another study also pointed to this date.

* The Upper Paloelithic arrived in NE Asia around 45 kya, possibly by a Northern route.

andrew said...

""Our results reconcile cranial morphology with recent genetic studies, which have identified the Khoe-San as the oldest modern human group living today"

I can't believe I'm reading this from an academic."

What the authors clearly mean to say is that the division between the Khoe-San and other modern human populations is the most basal such division among extant modern humans.

Many authors in the field do not speak English as a native language, and it isn't too surprising that they would screw up a subtle distinction in phraseology in a conference paper abstract. I agree that it does indicate muddied thinking as well. But, would suggest that it is more plain old sloppy than it is ethnocentric.