Thorne emphatically (and I believe sincerely) dismisses the idea that his theory is in any measure racist and accounts for the uniformity of human evolution by suggesting that there was a lot of movement back and forth between cultures and regions. "There's no reason to suppose that people only went in one direction," he says. "People were moving all over the place, and where they met they almost certainly shared genetic material through interbreeding. New arrivals didn't replace the indigenous populations, they joined them. They became them." He likens the situation to when explorers like Cook or Magellan encountered remote peoples for the first time. "They weren't meetings of different species, but of the same species with some physical differences."
What you actually see in the fossil record, Thorne insists, is a smooth, continuous transition. "There's a famous skull from Petralona in Greece, dating from about 300,000 years ago, that has been a matter of contention among traditionalists because it seems in some ways Homo erectus but in other ways Homo sapiens. Well, what we say is that this is just what you would expect to find in species that were evolving rather than being displaced."