Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Coming Out of Africa : World-Leading Anthropologist Discusses the Origins of Human Race and Evolution.

22 March 2006

Is the idea of race difference superficial and do all races worldwide from Eskimos to Scandinavians originally come from Africa? World-renowned British anthropologist Professor Chris Stringer from the Natural History Museum, London, delivered a lecture on “New Views on Human Origins” at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) on Wednesday, March 22nd 2006 to mark the establishment of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics (MCT).

Professor Chris Stringer, Natural History Museum, London, who delivered a lecture on “New Views on Human Origins” at RCSI to mark the establishment of Molecular Cellular Therapeutics (MCT).

Professor Stringer, who has travelled globally to study human fossil remains, was one of the leading founders of the Out of Africa theory of human evolution. In his lecture, he argued that evidence points strongly to Africa as the major centre for the genetic, physical and behavioural origins of Homo sapiens (humans) and that Africa today may well contain as much genetic diversity as the rest of the world put together.

Theories on human evolution have been the subject of divided opinion. On the one hand, there are those who believe that race and human evolution are linked - that there was not one single ancestor, but several different ones worldwide. On the other hand, the “Out of Africa” theory holds that all living people are the descendants of an African ancestral population.

This event was to mark the joining together of the RCSI Departments of Biochemistry and Clinical Pharmacology, to form a new entity known as Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics (MCT). The establishment of MCT will enhance teaching within the Faculty of Health Sciences and facilitate research within the RCSI research Institute. The new development allows for increased sharing of facilities and a more efficient use of administrative resources.