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A new genetic survey by Dr. Sarah A. Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania and her team has found that modern humans originated in an area between Namibia and Angola, on the coast of southwest Africa. Read the New York Times Article: Eden? Maybe. But Where’s the Apple Tree?

However, this harsh and inhospitable area is nothing Eden-like, they said. The origin of a species, like modern humans, is generally pinpointed to a place where its individuals show the highest genetic diversity. After comparing genetic data from populations around the world, the researchers pinpointed the population with the highest genetic diversity – somewhere on the coast of southwest Africa near the Kalahari Desert. The Bushmen or San people currently call this area their home.

The researchers have also calculated the exit point of modern humans that left Africa about 50,000 years ago. The exit point lies in an area of the African coast of the Red Sea. If the “Out Of Africa” theory holds true, this tribal group of about 150 people that left Africa at that exit point displaced other archaic Homo sapiens populations from different continents, giving rise to the current modern human populations.

Originally posted on The Prancing Papio.

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