The Constantly Morphing Human Family Tree
Blind men had better luck describing the elephant
National Geographic has a short article, DNA From Ancient Site in Spain Reshapes Human Family Tree, posted by Miguel Vilar, 2013 Dec 5. explaining the impact of the sequencing of "the mitochondrial genome of a 400,000 year-old ancient human from Spain."
Now the story has changed and we are scrambling to come up with a new narrative. Is this a different species ancestral to Denisovan, but not Neanderthals? Were there two movements out of Africa before the third and final migration that Homo sapiens took in the last 50,000 years? How many different species of hominids lived in Europe, Africa and Asia in the Pleistocene? And since these beings surely interbred, can we even call them separate species? When the dust settles, a new story of human ancestry will have surely emerged.
The "Denisovan" was only identified three years ago.
In the comments, one "Patrick" wrote on Dec 6,:
Anyone interested in this subject should read The Urantia Book.
There is NO guesswork in it and it explains EVERYTHING about the history of the human race, including where we came from and how we got to where we are, step by step.
I appreciate Patrick's obvious enthusiasm for the Papers, and for the outlines given in the Urantia papers regarding the progression of human development. What first really intrigued me about this strange book, about which I then knew nothing, nor knew any but one person who had read it, were the very papers regarding the later stages of of human beings appearing on our world.
From my forty years of familiarity with the Papers, I deem Patrick may be engaging in enthusiasm-prompted hyperbole, because it would hardly be proper to say the Papers explain "everything." In fact, they explain very little, or give us only the broadest and most general of understandings, as they do in many of the historic and scientific statements. They are specific enough for their purposes, but not detailed in a manner that is much more than a broad guide to our anthropological understandings.
I am no anthropologist, but as I say, this is enough of an area of interest of mine that it was the topic which drew me into the revelation. In ensuing years, with each anthropological theory or discovery of which I've read, I wonder if, and how, it fits (or does not) into the revelation. It may be considered testimony to the generality of the papers' "revealed" anthropology that I have had very little satisfaction of tying a finger bone here and a hominid branch there to the flow of Andonites, Sangiks, Nodites, Adamites, and Andites described in the papers.
As in all other areas, we are the blind men feeling different parts of an elephant, and describing the animal quite differently, while the revelators see from above the whole picture. We pick up a piece of something here, figure some relationship between DNA patterns there, and do the best we can with what chance, nature, time, and ancestors falling into crevices reveals to us from the past. Even with the box-top picture, it's not always easy to see where a piece of a puzzle might fit in, when you hardly have any pieces at all.
As if to supplant our parental affection for their alteration of the status of Adam and Eve (while keeping the beings themselves, in new legend), the revelators described the first two human beings, Andon and Fonta. Although we are given this carefully-crafted new narrative of the first beings to attain human levels of sentience on our world and suitable attendant celestial ceremony, we are later informed, in Overcontrol of Evolution:
Even the loss of Andon and Fonta before they had offspring, though delaying human evolution, would not have prevented it. Subsequent to the appearance of Andon and Fonta and before the mutating human potentials of animal life were exhausted, there evolved no less than seven thousand favorable strains which could have achieved some sort of human type of development. And many of these better stocks were subsequently assimilated by the various branches of the expanding human species. [Emphasis added.]
Andon and Fonta were unique in being — by lottery as it were — the first spiritual-capacity creatures on Urantia, but they were far from the only possible first. Unless we just happen some day to uncover that very cave in which Andon and Fonta died, we are not likely to be able to pin-point the origins of the Andonites with much accuracy.
Similarly, the entire Sangic race division began, unusually (and from a cynical perspective, unbelievably) in one family, so they tell us:
There were many unique features of the Urantia life experiment, but the two outstanding episodes were the appearance of the Andonic race prior to the evolution of the six colored peoples and the later simultaneous appearance of the Sangik mutants in a single family. Urantia is the first world in Satania where the six colored races sprang from the same human family. They ordinarily arise in diversified strains from independent mutations within the prehuman animal stock and usually appear on earth one at a time and successively over long periods of time, beginning with the red man and passing on down through the colors to indigo.
In the random encounter between fossil-tweazing anthropologists and bits of human remains not obliterated by Nature, in parsing out the fragments of the DNA we understand so little, we might have been lucky enough to be somewhat able to parse out six races had they appeared in different places across eons. It's not likely we'll stumble across a specific half-million-year-old village graveyard containing nineteen distinguishable sets of remains exhibiting six different mutational mainfestations. All we can find is their occasional descendants' remains, widely separated, generations later, partially admixed with innumerable other strains. The Blue man was assimilated into other and later strains, There is nothing but some giantism in some places to suggest the Orange man who were eradicated by the Green, who were themselves absorbed into the Indigo.
Also, Nature is merciless with flesh. Bones can't tell us someone's skin was orange or green.
For anthropological and prehistoric understanding, the most useful information may be the more recent.
The dispersal patterns of the Andites appear to coincide, physically and culturally, with the appearance of the Nordic and Indic Aryans, and possible pockets of Adamic uplift everywhere. These are the troubled troublemaker remnants of the Caligastia rebellion and the Adamic failure, the super-evolutionarily-added elements of humankind, which have no possible evolutionary explanation.
The Nodites may be somewhat naturally explicable as they were, physically considered, enhanced Andonites — some fashion of clone, we might infer, but genetically similar enough to be considered a beneficent mutation from existing evolutionary mortals.
The extraordinarily superior Adamites, however, would appear suddenly 35,000 years ago. Even under the "beneficent mutant" theory, that would be one heck of a beneficial mutation. However modeled on existing DNA it was, it was effectively the mutation from outer space. But, again, we have less and less of human remains to go by as we go back in time; and the relatively small initial Adamite population, while it left a huge footprint on human biology and history, is as subject to merciless Nature as any other population regarding leaving us their biological record. Identifying the early Adamites, as far as I know, is beyond any current anthropological discovery.
They did admix with the Nodites, significantly, and eventually the superevolutionary Andite strains more or less permeated the world's evolutionary populations, which populations themselves continued to mix with one another. We are unlikely to be able to trace backward to anything like a good picture of the millennia-old Adamic origins, given only the utterly blended populations we have today, and the pitifully tiny records we have been fortunate to discover.
As far as I can tell, the Urantia Papers give us mostly information which we could never discover on our own, not for scientific curiosity, although it stimulates that well enough, but for the understanding of our origins, our world's overcontrol and watchcare, from the earliest power controllers, to the resignation of the Life Carriers upon the arrival of human sentience, to the succession of revelations of divine truth.
Perhaps some revealing burial mound under ancient sands will one day confirm some aspects of what the Urantia Papers say about the earliest Adamites, but without something that strong, we will only have the Papers as a broad box-top picture for understanding all the little pieces we get.