A Dominant Population

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Science  11 May 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5519, pp. 1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.292.5519.1017e

One theory for the origins of modern humans is that they emerged from Africa about 100,000 years ago and replaced extant populations even as far away as northern Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. A second theory is that there were large degrees of interbreeding with extant populations that had a much larger role in future generations. Ke et al. (p. 1151; see the news story by Gibbons) provide strong support for the first theory in an extensive analysis of three Y chromosome markers characteristic of African origins in more than 12,000 males from 163 populations in East Asia. All of the individuals in their survey carried at least one of the three markers. Thus, there seems not to be even a minimal contribution to the gene pool from previous Asian hominids.

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