To me he was to paleontology what Hubert Reeves is to astrophysics… A passionate explorer of soils, a discoverer of people. His name was Yves Coppens. He was a paleoanthropologist.
Beginning with the study of fossilized remains, the French professor and humanist Yves Coppens was particularly interested in the morphological evolution of “man” on the timeline on Earth. He will have spent his life following in the footsteps of the human species.
An African humanity
He made history with his co-discovery of “Lucy” (the grandmother of mankind) in 1974 in a valley in EthiopiaHomo sapiens.
Today, at the age of 87, he silently leaves our chaotic world. A chaos caused above all by those who in other times had sown prejudice, contempt, hatred and racism in the hearts of humanity through pseudoscientific theories.
His groundbreaking scholarly narrative on the sensitive subject of the origins ofhomo sapiens had helped to throw the theories about the alleged existence of diversity and a hierarchy of human races back into the dustbin.
Contrary to popular belief in other times, Professor Coppens will scientifically prove that all of humanity came from the same origin. We shall then speak of monogenism.
He will confirm that the 100 billion people who have seen the earth in the last three million years, like the 7.8 billion today, are all of tropical African stock.
In other words, from north to south and east to west on planet Earth, all people who have lived there or are living today are all of African descent, regardless of the color of their skin. We all have the same ancestors. They were black and African.
As for humanity, there is currently only one human race on earth. It is, said Professor Coppens, “the race sapiens the kind sapiens of the kind homo “.
Skin color and the rest is just a matter of adapting to different environments over time.
A legacy to share
These are facts established with the rigor required by science. Certain and well-known facts that undermine the polygenism associated with racism.
To say that the “human races” have different origins (polygenism) sometimes amounted to legitimizing these differences in order to justify discrimination.
Paradoxically, these scientific truths remain relatively taboo…
Perhaps it is due to the sensitive histories of previous generations, dating back to the 15th century, and in particular paving the way for slavery, colonization…
Fortunately, the days of collective violence have faded over time. But there is still individual racism here and there in everyday behavior…
However, historians will recall that Yves Coppens was among the shortlisted among those who, on a scientific basis, attempted to reconcile mankind to itself.
Rest in peace.