A controversial new study claims Botswana may be the origin of modern humanity
The attempt to explain where humans come from has long preoccupied theologians, scientists, and laypeople alike. A new paper shows just how complicated our origin story could be. Written by scientists in Australia, South Africa, and Korea, the study uses DNA from individuals in southern Africa to track some of the oldest known genetic traces of so-called modern humans—people who looked like we do today. But though the paper zooms in on a northern Botswana river valley as the ancestral “homeland” of all modern humanity, other experts say there’s no such thing.