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Hybrid Vigor

Hybrid Vigor

Homo habilis is not an ancestor to all modern humans. It is disputed within the scientific community if this Native African hominid should be classified within the genus Homo or within the genus Australopithecus. Homo habilis was originally placed in the genus Homo due to its use of tools. More recent scientific evidence tells us that the Australopithecines and other earlier non-Homo hominids also used tools. Many scientists admit that Homo habilis more clearly aligns with the genus Australopithecus, given the array of primitive attributes it exhibits. This scientific dispute regarding the genus of quasi-Homo habilis continues to this day.

Importantly, while Homo habilis (2.1 to 1.5 million years old) is ancestral to African Homo ergaster (which some choose to call African Homo erectus), it is not ancestral to any form of Homo erectus (a Homo species native and exclusive to Eurasia, just as Homo Ergaster is native and exclusive to Africa). Thus, the scientific taxonomy for Homo ergaster remains distinct from Eurasian Homo erectus. They are not both descendant clades of Homo habilis.

Eurasian Homo erectus (the known oldest at 1.9 million years old in India, namely Homo erectus narmadensis) may also be older than (or as old as) African Homo ergaster (the known oldest at 1.4-1.9 million years old). Homo habilis (ancestral to African Homo ergaster) is dated to between 2.1 to 1.5 million years old. Very recently, a potential hominin ancestral to all species of Eurasia Homo erectus may have been found in central China. Unnamed at present, this hominin used tools and is dated to 2.12 million years old.

Interestingly, while investigating Homo erectus, I've discovered a scientifically supported biological link to my own giant European Cro-Magnon ancestors. In Southeast Asia (where I have known ancient genetic ancestry, including in Sri Lanka), there existed on the islands which could have been part of ancient Mauritia (of Lemurian legend), a group of ancient hominins known as Homo erectus palaeojavanesis, a human species nicknamed Meganthropus. Meganthropus humans reached average heights around eight feet tall! In the folklore of many ancient traditions we know that these giant humans spread across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and into the Americas. These giants, namely Homo erectus palaeojavanesis, are also among my ancestors via my Cro-Magnon lineages and ancient South Asian (0.4%) genetic ancestry.

Homo sapiens split off from the common lineage shared by Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo sapiens about 744,000 years ago. About 300 generations later, Neanderthal and Denisovan lineages split from one another. Despite this, there was still interbreeding among these three human Eurasian groups, who were still genetically close enough to one another to produce viable offspring.

Pulling data from the map marked with the human species of Eurasia, I posit that these may be some of the many known Eurasian human species contributing genes to myself as an Old World European:

Unnamed Homo species (unrelated to Homo habilis, see above) in central Asia 2.12 million years ago

Homo erectus narmadensis in India 1.9 million years ago

Homo erectus (unknown subspecies in central and southern Europe) 1.8 million years ago

Homo erectus palaeojavensis (Meganthropus) in Southeast Asia 1.4 million years ago

Homo erectus georgicus in the Caucasus 1.4 million years ago

Homo antecessor in Europe 1.2 million years ago

Homo heidelbergensis in Europe 850,000 years ago

Homo erectus gran dolina (Spain) 850,000 years ago

Homo erectus atlanticus (English North Sea Pakefield site) 780,000 years ago

Homo heidelbergensis Boxgrove Man (England) 500,000 years ago

Homo erectus tautavelenensis (France) 450,000 years ago

Homo sapien neanderthalensis in Europe 430,000 years ago

Homo erectus bilzingsiebenensis (Germany) 370,000 years ago

Homo sapien sapien originating in Southeast Asia 300,000 years ago

Homo sapien misliya in Middle East 185,000 years ago

Homo erectus altaiensis (Denisovans) in Central Asia 100,000 year ago

Homo sapien sapien European Cro-Magnon human 50,000 to 60,000 years ago

In summary, modern ethnic Europeans including myself, may be hybrids of at least 17 known species of humans belonging to the genus Homo. There may be more I've missed in an afternoon's query of the published research. The hybrid vigor resulting from this specific combination of human species gave rise to those of us known today as ethnic Europeans.

In parallel, the specific combination of human hybridizations occurring predominantly in East Asia came together to result in the hybrid vigor characteristic of those known today as ethnic East Asians. Likewise, the specific combination of human hybridizations occurring predominantly in Africa came together to result in the hybrid vigor characteristic of those we know today as ethnic Africans. 

Though my focus is on my own ancestors,  I have included in the image information of known archaic hominins belonging to the genus Homo native to the African continent (for those of my readers who have Native African ancestry and are curious as to their own origins).

Tangential to all of this information, as my own ancestry has been analyzed by five independent genetic testing companies, I think that it is interesting to note that, while my ancient archaic Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry was substantially quantifiable (1.9% and 2.3 %, respectively) as definitively part of my ancestry, there was no statistically significant trace of African ancestry in myself, among all five scientific labs. My own genetic results, basically confirmed by five genetic testing companies, contributes added support to the theory that Homo sapien sapiens arose in Asia, not in Africa (a theory quickly gaining increasing scientific support as well). These testing companies found 450,000 year old Neanderthal and 100,000 year old Denisovan genes in my genome, but not any 195,000 year old Homo sapien sapien Native African genes in my genome. If I had Homo sapien sapien ancestry that originated in Africa, I would highly suspect that at least one of the five genetic testing companies would have found statistically significant evidence of those Native African genes (as they did find of the even more ancient archaic non-sapien sapiens DNA).

The truth of human origins is more complex than we know. May the scientific communities of the world rededicate themselves to the pursuit of truth and not cave in to the demands of politically driven agendas of scientific funders. We all want to know where we come from and from whom we are made. Truly.

Here is a cropped version of the image above for better viewing: