Some people believe in creation. Others believe in evolution. Creationists believe that human beings were created by God. Evolutionists believe that human beings evolved. Among evolutionists, there are those who believe in the monogenetic theory, that is, humanity came from one source in Africa and populated the rest of the world where they differentiated. Others believe in polygenesis, that is, humanity was born from different continents and different sources. The latter theory is not borne out by the facts while the former has been confirmed by recent genetic studies and fossil evidence.
Dr Cheikh Anta Diop, the main proponent of the monogenetic theory argues that nature strikes once; it does not do things by chance and can therefore not create the same being twice. Proponents of the polygenetic theory hold the view that human beings were created in different continents at different times but cannot support their theory with evidence. The major problem with the latter is that they do not want to accept that humanity originated from Africa. Their aim is to maintain a hierarchy of the races.
According to Dr. Diop, there were about five or six types of hominid discovered in Africa that do not exist anywhere else in the world. They were the Australopithecus robusta, Australopithecus gracile, Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens sapiens or modern man as we know him. Only three types of hominid managed to leave Africa and populated other continents.
The abridged UNESCO General History of Africa: Methodology and African Prehistory Volume 1 published in 1981 reveals that from 1924 to the present day, there have been an increasing number of discoveries of Australopithecines in East and Southern Africa. They appear to have emerged in those regions between 6 and 7 million years ago: in Kenya in the deposits of the Baringo and Turkana lake basins; in Tanzania at Laetolil; in Ethiopia in the Omo river valley and the Afar region; and in South Africa in the four caves – Sterkfontein, Makapansgat, Swartkrans and Kromdraai – in the Transvaal. They apparently became extinct about one million years ago. Recent discoveries also included Botswana as one of the areas that have fossils indicating it could be counted as the cradle of humanity.
Sterkfontein is a set of caves that are of special interest to paleo-anthropologists located in Gauteng province in Krugersdorp. The archaeological sites of Swartkrans and Kromdraai are in the same area. Krugersdorp is now called Mogale City of which I am a resident.
An explanation is necessary, especially for the youth who may not be aware that Transvaal was one of the four provinces during apartheid years. The Limpopo Province was part of Transvaal. Makapansgat is an archaeological location within the Makapansgat and Zwartkrans Valleys northeast of Mokopane in Limpopo province. All these places are World Heritage sites.
Asia and Europe have Homo erectus, Neanderthals and Homo sapiens. They left through the Suez Canal to migrate to Asia and Eastern Europe and the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating Yemen and Djibouti to India, South East Asia and Australia about 50,000 years ago. They migrated through the Strait of Gibraltar to northern Europe.
In America the only species that was found there is Homo sapiens sapiens or modern man. America was peopled through the Bering Strait.
Studies, notably by Dr Charles Finch in the book African Presence in Early Europe edited by Professor Ivan Van Sertima, explains that because of the frigid temperatures of Europe during that migratory epoch about 40,000 – 20,000 years ago, Africans who migrated to Europe during the last ice age lost their pigmentation because it was superfluous. The study of human evolution reveals that Africans gave birth to Europeans, Asians and Americans. These groups of people issued from the African people.
During the time of apartheid, you would not say Africans gave birth to whites and other groups of people and stay alive. That is why evolution was not taught in schools. They hid behind the creation story in the Bible but still excluded Africans in it.
Europeans/whites are not afraid to defy logic. They were not bothered that “their’ god created them but excluded Africans from that creation. Africans were also excluded from history. Hegel who is respected and quoted by so many Africans said in his thesis that, “Africa was the home of the ‘non-historical peoples’ who had not taken part in the spiritual development of the world.”
H. Schurz compared African history to a heavy sleep leaving no memories, unlike the eventful sunlit day, which he regarded as symbolising the path trodden by the European races. F. Stuhlmann hotly disputed the evolutionary theses which saw the development of mankind as a uniform process. These ideas were the basis for much of the scientific research carried out on Africa in the nineteenth century.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the polygenetic theory that humans evolved separately and independently in different parts of the world has since been abandoned.
By Sam Ditshego