Segments in this Video

A Stunning Discovery (05:25)


It is almost universally accepted that the ancestors of modern humans were Africans who spread across the world less than 100,000 years ago. New archaeological evidence suggests human ancestors existed in Australia before they are thought to have left Africa.

Fossil Evidence Challenges the "Out of Africa" Theory (03:39)

Australian fossil remains from at least 180 individuals spread across a time span of 40,000 years challenges the theory that modern humans dispersed from Africa about 100,000 years ago.

Scientists Challenge Dating Procedures and Results (04:44)

An archaeological site in Australia yields evidence that questions widely accepted beliefs about human migration from Africa. Some scientists challenge the evidence on grounds that dating procedures produced false results.

More Evidence Challenges the "Out of Africa" Theory (02:02)

Scientists search for evidence of early humans in Australia that challenges the "Out of Africa" theory. A second archaeological site and anthropological evidence may support their controversial ideas.

Evidence of Early Australians: Fire (06:50)

Soil samples indicate fire transformed the Australian rain forest environment. Some scientists believe fires signaled the arrival of humans and date them to a time that challenges the "Out of Africa" theory of human migration.

Homo Erectus (03:44)

Mysterious, archaic humans known as Homo erectus inhabited Java more than one million years ago. Possibly the first hominid to move out of Africa, Homo erectus may have crossed to Australia from Java 150,000 years ago.

Dating Homo Erectus (02:58)

The first accurate dating of Homo erectus fossils from Java indicates the hominids range in age from 35,000 years old to nearly two million years old. This evidence raises questions about the relationship of Homo erectus to Homo sapiens.

Coexistence of Different Human Species (02:33)

Homo erectus fossils and DNA evidence convince a scientist that very different types of humans once lived at the same time and in the same place. He theorizes that human evolution is characterized by several radiating lineages and that archaic humans disappeared as modern humans spread out from Africa.

Genetic Evidence Questions the "Out of Africa" Theory (02:06)

A biological clock of human evolution established by genetic researchers questions the theory that modern humans emerged from Africa. The oldest versions of a particular gene found in the DNA of people from Asia and Australia are linked to groups of Homo erectus that may have inhabited these regions 200,000 years ago.

Java Man's Links to Modern Aborigines (03:39)

Fossil evidence from Australia's Lake Mungo region suggests a link between modern aborigines and the Homo erectus known as Java Man. This evidence along with genetic evidence suggests multiple migrations of humans created a mixed gene pool.

Homo Erectus in Indonesia (05:14)

Archaeological evidence from a remote Indonesian island suggests Homo erectus might be closely linked to Homo sapiens. Artifacts found there indicate Homo erectus used stone tools on the island nearly one million years ago.

Implications of Homo Erectus in Indonesia (02:40)

An archaeologist determines that Homo erectus navigated the Pacific Ocean to reach a remote Indonesian island nearly one million years ago. The discovery implies that Homo erectus possessed greater intellectual abilities than previously thought.

Debate Over Homo Erectus in Australia (02:38)

Scientists find it possible that Homo erectus could have sailed to Australia, but decisive evidence has not been found. Still, some believe that archaic humans reached Australia from a remote Indonesian island and left archaeological evidence of existence there.

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Out of Asia: New Theories on Evolution

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The common consensus among anthropologists is that modern man emerged from Africa. This program examines new evidence that disputes this theory and alleges that simultaneous to the emergence of Homo erectus in Africa, there were also groups of Homo erectus in Australia. Was there an earlier diaspora that predates the African migration? Is there a single, linear evolution from Homo erectus to modern man, or is it possible that there were various strains and that evolution is a result of hybridization? Does Java Man, dated as living two million years ago, refute the Africa theory? A BBC Production. (50 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL8426

ISBN: 978-1-4213-9483-1

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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