Genes Don’t Lie: DNA Reveals a New Twist in Human Origin Story

DNA Human Origins

A study published in the journal Nature has proposed a new model for human evolution, asserting that modern Homo sapiens stemmed from multiple genetically diverse populations across Africa rather than a single ancestral population. This conclusion was reached after researchers analyzed genetic data from present-day African populations, including 44 newly sequenced genomes from the Nama group of southern Africa.

Contemporary DNA evidence suggests that humans emerged from the interaction of multiple populations living across the continent.

A new study in Nature challenges prevailing theories, suggesting that Homo sapiens evolved from multiple diverse populations across Africa, with the earliest detectable split occurring 120,000-135,000 years ago, after prolonged periods of genetic intermixing.

There is broad agreement that Homo sapiens originated in Africa. But there remain many uncertainties and competing theories about where, when, and how.

In a paper published on May 17, 2023, in Nature, an international research team led by McGill University and the University of California-Davis suggest that, based on contemporary genomic evidence from across the continent, there were humans living in different regions of Africa, migrating from one region to another and mixing with one another over a period of hundreds of thousands of years. This view runs counter to some of the dominant theories about human origins in Africa.

Competing theories about human origins in Africa

One theory holds that, about 150,000 years ago, there was a single central ancestral population in Africa from which other populations diverged. Another suggests that this central ancestral population was the result of the mixing of modern humans with a Neanderthal-like hominins (human-like beings), resulting in a leap forward in human evolution, as has been suggested took place in Eurasia.

“At different times, people who embraced the classic model of a single origin for Homo sapiens suggested that humans first emerged in either East or Southern Africa,” says Brenna Henn, a population geneticist in the Department of Anthropology and in the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis and co-lead author of the research. “But it has been difficult to reconcile these theories with the limited fossil and archaeological records of human occupation from sites as far afield as Morocco, Ethiopia, and South Africa which show that Homo sapiens were to be found living across the continent as far back as at least 300,000 years ago.”

So, the research team took a different approach.

Contemporary genomic evidence tells a different story

In the first systematic test of these competing anthropological models against genetic data, the team worked backward from contemporary genomic material of 290 individuals from four geographically and genetically diverse African groups to trace the similarities and differences between the populations over the past million years and gain insight into the genetic interconnections and human evolution across the continent.

The groups were the Nama (Khoe-San from South Africa); the Mende (from Sierra Leone); the Gumuz (recent descendants of a hunter-gatherer group from Ethiopia); and the Amhara and Oromo (agriculturalists from eastern Africa). The researchers also included some Eurasian genetic material to include the traces of colonial incursions and mixing in Africa.

“We used a new algorithm to rapidly test hundreds of possible scenarios. Those with gene flow back and forth between populations in various parts of the continent over the course of hundreds of thousands of years provided a much better explanation of the genetic variation we see today,” adds Simon Gravel, Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University, and co-senior author on the paper. “We wrote this algorithm to understand how genetic disease risk varies across populations, and it led us to this deep dive into human origins. It’s been really fun to tie applied and fundamental research together in this way.”

For more on this research, see DNA Research Changes Origin of Human Species.

Reference: “A weakly structured stem for human origins in Africa” by Aaron P. Ragsdale, Timothy D. Weaver, Elizabeth G. Atkinson, Eileen G. Hoal, Marlo Möller, Brenna M. Henn and Simon Gravel, 17 May 2023, Nature.
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06055-y

65 Comments on "Genes Don’t Lie: DNA Reveals a New Twist in Human Origin Story"

  1. Noooooooo….this was “settled” !!!
    How dare they discover adam/eve…
    instead of Adam/Steve or….

  2. How is new, I learned this over a decade ago?

  3. Albert Willems | May 29, 2023 at 7:11 pm | Reply

    Thank you to the scientists, who search for the true origin of homo sapiens. If anything, they at least prove, that those religious explanations are myths, just like the relgions themselves. And why is God depicted as a male entity? Spirit has no gender. My definition of God is “Mother Nature”, the force that represents all there is; the infinity of conscious awareness in the form of pure energy, which is outside of space and time.

    • Hate to tell you this but”mother” on”mother nature”is rather gender specific.

      • King Khalo Jacob Hlalele | May 30, 2023 at 11:40 am | Reply

        I totally disagree with the so called genome testing for only certain individuals. All nations of Afrika continent has Totems Tradition in which all SOOTHO/Brown skin people know each other and their bloodline succession. Taung in Southern Afrika/South Africa is the only most Ancient totem of Bataung MONASTY more than 2.5 million years in existence of Cradle of human kind. Prof.Darts Taung child fossil in 1924 research.I consulted my Ancestors and l found four stones fossils of skulls of my great great Ancestors and artifacts without technology.

        • Olufemi Fagbamiye | June 2, 2023 at 10:34 am | Reply

          Even if you say we originated from a mixed breed of people, that mixed breed still has their origin and all starts from one. Moreover, through Bible speaks of one origin of man, it also spoke of crossbreeding with sons of God. And about timing and dating, all we are measuring is a process and not the counting of clock. The days of creation are counting of processes too and not clocks or calendars of today

      • Mic drop!

      • The AllMother | June 1, 2023 at 9:38 am | Reply

        Be blessed, my son.

      • I’m sorry but since when can people with the “male” body parts give birth. In my mind anyone who can physically carry and give birth is a mother wether or not they identify as male or female is up to them. A mother is a someone who can give birth.

    • Blessed be!!

    • Broooo. Puff puff give bruh. Like the cosmos maaan.

    • “So”, the Bible is right. HMMMMM.

  4. Frosted Flake | May 29, 2023 at 7:19 pm | Reply

    Look. Totally down with the ‘multiple grandparents’ theory. Always have been, and glad you caught up. But. What is this complete baloney about the species arriving on Earth 135, 000 years ago or less ?

    Do you have any data to support that ? If so, shouldn’t you have mentioned it ? And, full disclousure, I am thinking of a Mammoth kill site in California, dated at 130,000 years. California is a long walk from Africa. Where our species originated. By your account just 5,000 years earlier. I suppose it could have been someone else. Perhaps Aliens. Who landed and wnet hunting Mammoth, for the same reason they mutilater our cattle, but with stone tools.

  5. So this all is actually kind of obvious but I guess hindsight is always 20:20. My question is why you chose such a dark headline and used what looks like album art from the band Tool?

  6. Are we really sure that Africa is the only place. Why and why not is it not possible Humans spawned spontaneously at the same time through the entire earth. Like seeds in a terrarium?

    • CaptainObviousInsults | May 30, 2023 at 6:46 am | Reply

      Found the plant.

      • Exactly , there is no scientific reason for life to be held captive on one continent . Nobody knows what was on African continent back when it had no desert . Or even further back before continents broke up an moved into their current positions.More human history is unknown than is known .

      • You are absolutely correct. I share the same thoughts and have for many years.
        Does it matter at all where humans came into existance? We should rather worry about the over population of the world and what are we to do about it

    • You are absolutely correct. I share the same thoughts and have for many years.
      Does it matter at all where humans came into existance? We should rather worry about the over population of the world and what are we to do about it

  7. Today,human origin isn’t as important as some half bred cultures cashing in on their proclaimed indigenous status here in Nz. Surley everyone born here should be indigenous. MAORI traveled from Hawaii originally. This needs serious debate

    • How interesting
      …Now, go read your Bible, you know you have one somewhere, and ask God to forgive your unbelief.

    • Steve Barker | May 31, 2023 at 2:06 am | Reply

      Last I saw the Māori genes traced back to Taiwan. Possibly influenced by Admiral Zheng He’s fleet that went around the world including to NZ in 1421

  8. Would it not be easier to know that God created you? Do you read the Bible, where they find more proof everyday that it is true?

    • Who are you writing too. You know this was a paper in the journal Nature. The authors dont write for scitechdaily. Also telling someone to just read the bible isnt how science works.

      • King Khalo Hlalele | October 3, 2023 at 2:00 pm | Reply

        Brothers and sisters the same bible verses tells you that Afrika is the first world with Kings, Sovereignty and Gods.Ok!

    • The Bible is right. Your wrong, the ways of God will prove to be right. Every time. Stick woth the word of God, you can’t go wrong.

  9. I read the entire paper it is flawed because all the data used was from Africa no place else ??

  10. Earl Daniels | May 30, 2023 at 6:22 am | Reply

    I can imagine that this is a both-and situation – a crucial central pool that gained advantageous traits by inter-mixing. This new approach adds a new dimension to the older view, or may be a new multiple pool explanation. Every “homogeneous” group is the result of many various interactions to build a successful gene pool. We can celebrate the beauty and wisdom of the processes that birthed us in all our beautiful variety.

    • Beautifully put…life, a choice and this could be wonderful world we were given momentarily to take care of. Understanding of one another and figure out these diseases. Much love All

  11. Vincent A. Ettari, P.E. | May 30, 2023 at 7:36 am | Reply

    The article begins with the following: A study published in the journal Nature has proposed a new model for human evolution, asserting that modern Homo sapiens stemmed from multiple genetically diverse populations across Africa rather than a single ancestral population.

    However, since only members of the same species can inter-breed and produce viable offspring, these “diverse populations” were all still homosapiens. So, how has evolution occurred??? It hasn’t. These populations were, in fact, human.

  12. Stewart Tomkinson | May 30, 2023 at 7:48 am | Reply

    Near missing, fossil, because it never happened. God created man.

  13. With the statement, DNA doesn’t lie. The mitochondrial DNA down the female line shows we all come from a single root mother. The fact that there may have been subsequent spread out of communities doesn’t change anything.

    • These guys must be genius to find this info out. Let’s pay them what they are worth and let them find cures to diseases to keep life going instead of where we came from.

  14. Whatever Allah and His final Messenger has revealed is sufficient and true.

    I invite you to find more evidences and understanding from Quran and Hadiths. Reach out to the Islamic scholars, and if Allah wills you will be satisfied with your findings.

    • 1000 years ago that was maybe a winning argument. Today most people know more than one book and can thus compare.

      Quite a few Europeans heeded your advice and read the Koran. A book that starts every chapter with praise for the alleged author isn’t off to a good start right from the get go, and the rest just further solidifies the initial suspicion: it doesn’t get much more deluded than this sub-par fan fiction of Christianity.

      Believe what you must but don’t bother the rest if the world with it – especially if your recommendation has such an abysmal signal-to-noise ratio than the Koran.

  15. We can still see evidence of continental divide because it didn’t happen that long ago. These people like to inflate the time spans for all their theories but because given enough time, if you put jumbo jet parts in a mixer and spin it for a million years a 747 will assemble and fly out. Idiot idiots!

  16. How interesting
    …Now, go read your Bible, you know you have one somewhere, and ask God to forgive your unbelief.

  17. …and you ask God to forgive your ignorant stupidity!

  18. Where ever and whoever we evolved from is insignificant compared to the fact we were made for trouble … we can argue over all aspects of science and religion and whatever else but when it comes down to it ..We are one badazzz species and we better hope we find a way to survive the next 50 years or all these wonderful arguments in the comment section about the last 150,000 years will mean no more than a pile of beans. .

  19. Very interesting topics!

  20. I have learnt during my research,while persuing PhD. in Nutrition science, that we, Human being came from a Worm from the earth, millions of years ago, says the book on ” Cosmic Perspectives”. The cycle of, how human being came into existance took millions of years, from wornms to Lizard; Monkey;Chimpanzee to human being gradually after millions of cycles.Thereafter the Gorillas being started to spred from central Africa to the whole world in search of food etc. During thos days there was no religion and God, when the first man came from the worn. Religions and Gods were created as myth much later by the leaders of the folks to create fear and terror in the minds of the people to governed and control over them to make them as their slaves. As such there is slavery way of treating human being in all the religion boweing to them as their superior.

  21. Maybe humans would have been much more advanced eons ago, was it not for religion. Come on guys. It does not matter how much you pray. Life just happens. Good and bad.

  22. Herveylee Wood | May 31, 2023 at 4:41 am | Reply

    It’s ashame each & everyone one of us isn’t as intelligent as we think we are because then there would be no questions our smart asses would already know all the answers PLEASE GET OVER YOUSEL

  23. Poor Albert W. He just needs to get to know Jesus.

  24. Christian have been around with evidence. Take a look around then check the evidence of our worldview of religion ?

  25. Evidence there is all you need already. You don’t want an answer. Justify that with yourself.

  26. This would prove the sixth day creation of man and woman then God rested on the seventh day. He than created Adam which later took a rib which was not the bone but rather the helix curve or DNA to create Eve. Again science verifies the Bible including the first earth age that’s why we keep finding buried cities it was at Satan’s rebellion which caused him to shake both heaven and earth erasing the age and causing us to be born of women so we would be free to choose who to follow rather himself or Satan he will not nor cannot make people love him it must originate in all entities, He wants to know who loves him and would love to have all his children come home.

  27. Read Supernatural by Graham Han ock, read it again, digest it, then think about it. Probably one of the best books around, does away with all religions, and explains why, explains origins etc. Try it, you won’t be sorry.

    • Winter walsh | June 5, 2023 at 9:07 am | Reply

      Great book John. I didn’t need it for my disbelief in God. I could tell you some S*** that would make your pubes straight! An in 30 yrs not once have I ver lost a religious debate. Humans need to come to the realisation that All OF US, even the 1% with all the world’s money and science WILL DIE. Weather it’s religion,or advances in medical science, Hans have from our earliest days live with a mentality of ‘ science will cure death,all I gotta do is have my head cut off and cryogenically frozen,or I will be reborn perfect with immortality when God makes Gus faithful the pro.isrd land etc etc. It’s why politicians even greens pass fly by night policies,have trashed the planet and billions of our animal counterparts and plant counterparts, and more than 80% of the globe is flooding,burning,starving and dying or in all out war weather it be civil or international yet jalf the pollies are flat out cutting back environmental protections while the other half say they’re the party of climate yet have done sweet FA to actually implement what’s needed. Money buys you a much l9nger healthier and independent life, but living till 100 in this day and age unless you have money to build a space station is my worst nightmare. Besides the brown German cockroaches! Omg I discovered a few yrs back they grow to monstrous sizes if they live long enough and omg 2 sets of wings… I can make any believer in the imaginary friend in the sky go silent and look extremely unstable with 10 mins of argument that has actual proof to back it up… I f I ever believe in imaginary friends with powers, it won’t be a religion that’ll make me believe. He’ll no my imaginary friend will have tail, like goku and vegita, would NEVER create anything in its own image cause it will be so fantastic even it couldn’t be that good, will have the ability to fly and teleport and then take me through space and time when we trip the light fantastic? Haha

  28. If we’re all African in decent, then how do you get people like my mother who are 100% Caucasian? These scientists are so full of crap, desperately trying to prove there false theories.

  29. Winter walsh | June 5, 2023 at 9:28 am | Reply

    I never felt the need to know where I came from family wise as I know nothing and have never known my mother’s birth date,or even the name she went by when I was born. But science like stem research, quantum physics, gene mapping I love but history and space I’m addicted to. Does it matter where we came from? We are to date the only inhabited planet that we know of, and be thankful for that, cause we humans as the “superior species? If god was real he’d have destroyed us centuries ago. Raping our own
    children, beating and killing each other over jealousy,lust or greed just locally. Then there’s the atomic bomb and world wars over greed religion,misogyny or as most politicians, out of an over inflated sense of ego. As if God the alpha and omega, omnipotent,fully enlightened total perfection and the epitome of ZEN, would create Adam and eve,apparently in his image, then be goaded into a 2000 yr plus passing contest with Lucifer,when he tells God what if humans don’t need you, what if tau can look after themselves? Then watch innocent children get raped and then forced to have their rapists child, or a child die when some parent decides their kid can die cause their church says no to blood transfusions. And what a few have done to this planet! Omg there’s no way we were created in the image of what is supposed to be the most and oby super hero in existence. If it turns out God is there? Then both his and our notion of what is ever impressive and perfect couldn’t be used to wipe our asses on! But I always read the comments section here… funny informative, and rather patronising at times… AND I LOVE IT

  30. OMG, nearly all of you are crazy, competing with one another over your ideals. Why not accept a news report for what it is? Stick to the subject please! Perhaps learning how to spell would help you too.

  31. James Beverly | June 6, 2023 at 10:52 am | Reply

    Atheists will believe ANYTHING as long as it is not found within the 66 books of the 1611 KJB and makes sense to their flesh. Evolution is one of the greatest lies ever perpetuated amongst mankind. Atheists cling to it though because it alleviates responsibility in their minds. It’s a lot easier to live as an atheist, after all, than to walk the straight and narrow path.

  32. I dnt think at the beginning wàs only one kind of human it was different kind of them and originate in different places and time
    And animals the same originate in different places in different time. That’s why we have a variety.

  33. DNA should be looked into more and the chemical that is being use. You will be surprised what you fine.

  34. Keep science pure. Watch the assumptions, presuppositions.Science can make life better for many. So much becomes corrupted.

  35. King Khalo Hlalele | October 3, 2023 at 2:02 pm | Reply

    Brothers and sisters the same bible verses tells you that Afrika is the first world with Kings, Sovereignty and Gods.Ok!

  36. I left a message here and it wasn’t posted, why? The truth about DNA is something you guys don’t want other to know about? Why did you guys not post my comment? You can’t figure out your “ORIGINS” without recording your DNA Matches and that takes thousands of hours of ones time, correct? So, your findings couldn’t be made in reality, could they, you would have had to do the work and just a single test can’t give you the “answers” you are claiming to have made. You are only posting individuals that don’t know anything about DNA, I get it now.

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