Until the discovery of Neanderthal admixture in all non-African populations by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the most publicly popular narrative of human evolution and settlement around the globe was the Out of Africa model, which posited that all humans descended from a single population of humans originating in Africa approximately 200,000 years ago who proceeded to settle the globe in the subsequent years, completely replacing whatever archaic hominids may have been occupying the lands that they settled. The model received a further blow after the sequencing of DNA from a fossil finger bone found in Denisova revealed that Melanesian populations had further admixture with the population to which the individual whose finger was found belonged.
The notion that all humans were completely descended from a single population living in Africa 200,000 years ago appealed to the ideological framework of some on the secular left who saw it both as a rebuke to the Creationist narratives that were held by scriptural literalists as well as a possible means of arguing that race itself was a meaningless concept. Ironically, just as this worldview was disintegrating, Richard Dawkins placed this T-shirt for sale at his site’s store:
But Dawkin’s design is certainly not the only “We are all Africans” T-shirt design. Here’s one that is cataloged with a set of “Atheist Designs” at Spreadshirt:
Here is one version from Squidoo that actually directly incorporates the Out of Africa model:
Ironically, the age of migration that Squidoo neglected to include was that of the Australian Aborigines, who have both Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry. Further, with the sequencing of an Aboriginal genome, a model of two waves of Eurasian settlement by what are called “anatomically modern humans”, which the researchers illustrated as thus:
To be fair, all hominids, including the Neanderthals and Denisovans who lived outside of Africa before anatomically modern humans arrived, likely originated from Africa, as all Australopithecines have been found there and our closest living relatives, the two species of chimpanzee as well as gorillas are found in Africa. However, the anti-racist interpretation of the recent Out of Africa model with complete replacement that Squidoo mentioned lays in tatters in the wake of this recent wave of genetic evidence. So, if we’re going to pick an arbitrary time in the past to proclaim a common continent of origin, why not pick Laurasia, the continent from which our Linnaean superorder, Euarchontoglires, likely originated.
As such, I’ve prepared a graphic proclaiming that we are all Laurasians that uses Ron Blakely’s Mollweide projection map of the the Late Jurassic as the basis for the silhouette of the now-defunct continent of Laurasia:
I’ve added a few variants to the Logos page.