Archaic to Modern Sapiens

 It is believed that by half a million years ago that Homo erectus and archaic Homo sapiens were greatly distributed throughout Africa and Asia.  This prompts the question of how different human populations are related to these ancient populations.  There are two hypotheses based on this question.  One is called the ‘multi-regional hypothesis’ and the other is called the ‘replacement hypothesis’.

 The ‘multi-regional hypothesis’ is based on the morphology of fossil specimens.  According to this idea, archaic sapien populations in Africa, Europe and Asia all evolved into the modern sapiens.  This hypothesis postulates that there should exist genetic differences that would have begun developing among Homo erectus and archaic sapiens roughly one million years ago.  If this train of thought is followed, the genes possessed by European populations would come from those possessed by the Neandertals.