Wednesday, February 16, 2005

THE CURRENT ISSUE OF NATURE reports that human fossil remains discovered in Ethiopia in 1967 and previously thought to be 130,000 years old are actually about 65,000 years older than that -- pushing back the dawn of homo sapiens to 195,000 years ago. A group of scientists used radioactive dating methods not available 38 years ago to reexamine the remains and come up with this adjusted age. This discovery is doubly significant because the revised time frame fits with recent genetic analyses of contemporary humans that indicate modern human beings evolved first in Africa about 200,000 years ago.

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