Standard Article

Human Populations: Origins and Evolution

  1. Rosalind M Harding1,
  2. John H Relethford2

Published Online: 30 APR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001794.pub2



How to Cite

Harding, R. M. and Relethford, J. H. 2008. Human Populations: Origins and Evolution. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    SUNY College at Oneonta, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 APR 2008

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (18 OCT 2013)


The origins of modern human diversity have been debated within a framework set by two hypotheses: ‘Out of Africa’ versus multiregional evolution. For a better understanding of how human populations evolved, a new framework for analysis of genetic polymorphism is needed.


  • population genetics;
  • DNA diversity;
  • Out of Africa;
  • multiregional evolution;
  • coalescence;
  • gene genealogy