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The Kumari Model: Did humans evolve in the Indian Ocean?

Someone who actually got published commenting on my little blog. I’m almost as happy as the time Answers in Genesis said I was wrong

Over the past few decades scientists have amassed a huge amount of evidence showing that humans evolved in Africa before migrating out into the rest of the world. Nonetheless, some alternate ideas do exist such as the Kumari model, advanced by A. R. Vasudevan. Vasudevan is author of Aryans: Who are they? in which he makes the case for the Kumari model, as well as several comments here on EvoAnth where he also argues in favour of it.

But just what is the Kumari model, and should we be paying any attention to Vasudevan and his book and blog comments?

The Kumari Model of human origins claims that humans didn’t evolve in Africa, but rather, they originated on a continent in the Indian Ocean known as Kumari land, which was swallowed by the sea ~14,000 years ago. This Atlantian-esque region was huge, connecting India to Africa and extending southwards into the Antarctic. As humans migrated out of Kumari land and populated the rest of the world they took two routes, one West into Africa and East into India. Those moving into India continued migrating northwards, eventually settling Europe and the rest of Asia too.

The lost continent of Kumari land: home of humanity?

The lost continent of Kumari land: home of humanity?

Vasudevan claims there’s a lot of evidence in favour of this Indian origin of Europeans, in turn lending credence for the Kumari model. Most of it comes from the Genographic Project: an effort by National Geographic to trace how genes have moved around the world. This has led to discoveries which provide evidence for the Kumari model like:

  • The discovery Europeans are more closely related to Indians than Africans (because they were part of the same migration out of Kumari land)
  • The genographic project revealing that the European migration began in India
  • The fact that humans split into two groups for almost a hundred thousand years (as they migrated in separate directions out of Kumari land)

These claims certainly makes a compelling case for the Kumari model. But before you go searching the Indian Ocean for the real cradle of humanity, it’s worth pointing out that these aren’t actually the findings of the genographic project.

For example, Vasudevan claims that the genographic project has discovered that the migration into Europe originated from India, not Africa, and have redrawn their map of human migration accordingly.

The Geographic Project . . . stated “. . .[genetic evidence] supports a southern route of migration from Bab-el-Mandab strait in Arabia before any movement heading north. . .”. Accordingly they have redrawn the map of migration where migration of Eurasians starts from South India. . . This makes the Eurasian migration shown in the book [Aryans: Who are they?] gain scientific acceptance.

However, if you go to the Genographic website you’ll find they haven’t redrawn the map to show Europeans originating in India. This is because the southern migration through Arabia they’re referring to is not the same migration that gave rise to Europeans. Rather, there was  a group of humans who followed the coast from the Middle East, around India and down into Indonesia and Australia. Thus Southern India did play a special role in human migration, but it was in the movement into Australia, not into Europe.

The map based on the Genographic data. The migration

The map based on the Genographic data. The discovery they’re talking about is the bottom arrow leading to Australia. Note how it doesn’t go to Europe. Also note the lack of arrow leading from India to Europe.

Vasudevan also argues

Another finding from Genographic Project is “Ancient humans started down the path of evolving into two separate species before merging back into a single population.  The two populations lived in isolation for 10,000 years”.  According to the Kumari Model, the African population was a subset of the Kumari population till 60,000 years with a common genetic history.  Therefore the significant finding of Genographic Project fits in perfectly with the Kumari Model

Again, he’s mis-representing the findings of the Genographic Project. They didn’t find that Europeans and Africans had been separated for ages as they migrated in different directions from Kumari land. No, the divergence they identified was between two African populations so is completely inconsistent with his little model.

In fact, the only time Vasudevan doesn’t mis-represent the Genographic project is when he talks about how Europeans are more closely related to Indians than Africans. Of course, what he doesn’t mention is that this is exactly what you’d expect to find under the mainstream model of migration out of Africa.

The bottleneck effect, showing how migrations lead to reduced diversity

When a small segment of a population migrates into a new area they take with them a small segment of the original populations’ genetic diversity. Any migrations that this less diverse population undertake will in turn contain this reduced diversity, and thus be more similar to the first migration than the original population. In other words, we’d expect those who branched off from the migration out of Africa to be more similar to each other than too the original African population.

So when Vasudevan provides an accurate account of the Genographic project it supports his model. In every other instance the real findings lend no credence to the idea we evolved in the mystical Kumari land. However, I don’t think the complete absence of genetic evidence is the biggest problem with the Kumari hypothesis. No, the final nail in the coffin comes from topograhic maps of the Indian Ocean.

Vasudevan claims that 14,000 years or so ago sea levels were 130 metres lower, which is why the Kumari continent was above sea level. However, if you look at maps of the Indian Ocean it becomes readily apparent that to have anything as big as Kumari the sea would actually have to have been 3,000 metres lower. It’s not been that low in millions of years, and certainly wouldn’t have been so when humans were allegedly evolving there.

Without any genetic evidence indicating there was a migration out of Kumari, and no geographical evidence there even was a Kumari, I feel pretty confident in labelling Vasudevan’s model “dead wrong.”

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119 thoughts on “The Kumari Model: Did humans evolve in the Indian Ocean?”

  1. amal says:


    1. Adam Benton says:


      1. The Fact says:

        Who are you to conclude as NO
        Adam, if simple proof your a empty vessel talking utter bollocks….LOL

        1. Adam Benton says:

          Who am I to say no? Someone who went and looked at the phylogeny of languages and found they didn’t match what you were claiming

      2. Enn says:

        explain – no is not an answer

        1. Adam Benton says:

          That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    2. Anbu says:

      No. Tamil is not root of all language. But, with out about its equivalent to Sanskrit. Existed even before Latin, Mandarin. Your question is the result of scholars addicted to Tamil. BTW, I am tamilan.

  2. Ramz says:

    Then why US havng big investment on Diego Garcia

    1. Adam Benton says:

      Because they have big investments all over the place

  3. Enn says:

    Did an author overlook the facts that Easter island and Mohenjo Daro had same scripture? How did this happen? 😀

    1. Adam Benton says:

      Do you have any evidence for that claim?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Shreyas : see I may agree that kumari kandam may have existed. But how come it became tamil .kumari is a sanskrit word. Kandam is also a sanskrit word .it has a root . I have never seen any tamil word having a root . How come dravidians became tamil people ? This is heights of fanatics. He he he .Mr Francis please try to accept others arguments .don’t keep saying about one person . Meru is also there in puranas but it is not some tamil word .

  5. cynicalme says:

    Isn’t it funny how there are a few fringe Chinese researchers who want to claim that South East China is the cradle of humanity (a belief probably rooted in Chinese nationalism) and now there are a few fringe Indian researchers who want to claim that our migration through India was pivotal moment in human history.

    I don’t detect any bias here. Nope, none whatsoever

    1. Adam Benton says:

      It’s not the first time that’s happened. Back when Piltdown Man was a big deal it was hailed by English scientists as a key find. Because it revealed humans evolved in England. Elsewhere in Europe people were a lot more skeptical.

  6. FREE HUMAN says:

    My initial theory was the map shows. My theory was Humans started migrating from africa into north asia and moved east and west. One shocking thing is korean language has atleast 1000 tamil words. No land or cultural connection. I am thinking tamil is formed in north asia and people moved everywhere from there and formed new language. But strange to see cameroon kids speak tamil statement. May be proto tamil was there in africa. Because village name oor (village in tamil) you suffix to any name to make it a village or city. Even names in mangolia has that. Only thing korea that do not changed is their language. Rest is chinese.

    Kumari kandam is an interesting idea. But some people in south india has australian aborigine DNA. So they are either from kumari kandam or africa.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hello Adam,

    I got to read all your arguments. U have completely no idea of what is Tamil language , how it is formed and how it is established. There is a lot of proofs to show that Tamil language is the mother of Indian languages and it is the root of all the world languages.. To your point, that you were kept insisting on to show a piece of evidence that Kumari land exists in indian ocean. I am telling you if you need a proof, better go in to the indian ocean under water and get it found urself. We tamil ppls believe it. Just dont fool the people around here by saying ur useless points.

    Am sayin again.

    If u need a proof, go deep into the indian ocean and find it by urself.

    1. Adam Benton says:

      Saying I have to go look for the proof at the bottom of the ocean is the equivalent of saying that none exists. Or else I wouldn’t need to go searching. So if there’s no evidence for the claim, why should I bother trying to investigate it myself?

  8. Prehistoric Fiction Writer says:

    Adam you’re the only blogger I know who can a perfectly oblivious chat with an AI spam program.

    1. Adam Benton says:

      How else will they learn?

  9. Anonymous says:

    So a new indian ocean sunken continent discovered.

    1. Adam Benton says:

      Not discovered, asserted and failed to be found

Leave your filthy monkey comments here.

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