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There is plenty of room for argument and knowledgeable assumption about the implications of fossil finds Even the best fossil record provides largely random snapshots of points in time rather than a complete record Much of what we would immediately like to know is simply not conserved in the fossil record However the extensive outlines of human descent are surprisingly well reputable and in a sense the disagreements are about details Controversy relates to whether modern humans evolved from Homo erectus once fairly recently in Africa and then peopled the Earth by migrating along the routes to other continents The Radiation theory and it is supported by the genetic evidence of modern human populations Human DNA from all races and regions of the Earth is nearly identical implying that our species has a fairly recent and common point of origin The other theory which opposes the Radiation Theory is the Parallel Evolution theory This theory states that there were many dispersed Homo erectus populations this theory is supported by the fossil evidence which shows many intermediate forms and some continuity in the characteristics of regional populations such as shovel-shaped incisors in Asian populations from Homo erectus to modern humans Classification controversy is illustrated when Donald Johanson regards Afarensis as the common ancestor of humans and ape hominids Richard Leakey looking at the same evidence disputes this claim and regards the ape hominids including Afarensis as a collateral line not ancestral to humans as indicated in the chart on the right In Leakeys view the most important missing link is still to be found Currently new discoveries and reconsideration of older scientific dating techniques are challenging the view that Homo erectus is only 16 or 17 million years old Some of the new but contentious dates may require extending the species life of Homo erectus well beyond 2 million years A new dating technique makes some specimens found in Asia appear much older than formerly
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