Thursday, May 7, 2009

African Origin Confirmed

The debate has raged for years between the “out-of-Africa” theory of how humankind spread across the world and the “simultaneous development” theory that bands of humans developed separately but more or less at the same time in various parts of the world. The out of Africa theory has always reasserted itself, and a new, comprehensive study may have finally confirmed mankind’s African origin once and for all.

According to a report published recently in the journal Science Express, a 10-year study involving more than 3,000 DNA samples from throughout Africa showed that the continent is the most genetically diverse place on Earth. That means that the human gene pool began in Africa and that all humankind originated on what used to be called “the Dark Continent” – the continent of mystery – and spread outward.

Even though no less than former U.S. President Bill Clinton acknowledged that fact, there have always been efforts to discredit the out of Africa hypothesis. Even now, some scientists continue to push the theory that the breaking apart of Pangea and Gondwanaland, the earlier combinations of our current continents, led to populations that were initially Negroid due to climatic similarities, but which developed independently.

What if it could finally be acknowledged that we all originated from a small band of Africans who for some reason left the continent and headed north into the Middle East and then Europe and Asia or east into the Pacific islands or even West toward the Americas? Perhaps we would all realize we had a stake in Africa’s development and that the plight of Africans is the plight of our family too. Maybe then, helping Africa would seem more like keeping up the family home and not doing a favor for strangers.

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