BYLINE: LUVUYO MJEKULA
AS the world celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth, pioneer evolutionist Charles Darwin has been praised at the Nelson Mandela Science Lecture for his prediction that Africa would prove to be the birthplace of humans.
Delivering the lecture at the University of the Western Cape yesterday, a world-renowned palaeontologist from the Natural Museum in London, Chris Stringer, said Africa was now accepted as the place of origin of humans. Stringer said Darwin's "famous" prediction had been hotly debated but that two phases of evolution - pre-australopithecine and australopithecine had taken place only within the continent.
Worldwide celebrations are in progress to mark the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth. In Cape Town, there have been lectures featuring experts on Darwin. Stringer spoke about "What we have learnt about human evolution since Darwin" and "Charles Darwin, Africa, and Human Evolution".
The 45-minute talk included reference to similarities between Darwin's research and that conducted by Stringer himself and other scientists. …