candelabra (an alteration of Latin "candelabrum", from "candela" (candle))

1. A chandelier; large, usually decorated candlestick, usually with several branches or arms like the Jewish 8-branched Chanukiah.

2. In electrical context: A small screw-base threaded lampholder designed for candelabra-base incandescent lamps which are commonly used in chandeliers and night lights.

Candelabra, besides being a fancy-schmancy term for a candle (think of a menorah, with one base and many branches coming off of it), is also an archaeological term for one of the two theories of modern man's evolution.

As anyone who has studied humanity's prehistoric roots knows, it is commonly accepted that humans as we know them today are the result of gradual evolutions from ancestors comparable to the modern monkey / ape. However, it has not been decisively proven or concentually agreed upon as to how and where Homo Sapien Sapien (modern man) evolved from. The two primary theories for this are known as the Candelabra theory and the "Noah's Ark" theory.

Archaeologists who side with the Candelabras theory believe that early man evolved into our modern form on separate continents, each group being mostly independent from each other (though some interbreeding did take place).

(aptly-named the Candelabra theory after a common graphical representation of the theory, where Africa is the main stem of the candle, and each of the other continents (Europe and Asia) branch off in their own directions off of the African stem.

This is better understood when one is presented with the opposing theory. The "Noah's Ark" theory states that somewhere around 100,000 years ago, our modern ancestors lived solely in Africa; due to whatever events were going on at the time, mass migrations to other continents caused modern man to outbreed the land's indiginous, evolutionarily inferior species. Hence, the true central source of all members of modern man is Africa.

Now let's see if I can get this part right:

Candelabras:

^   ^   ^
|   |   |
|   |   |    ~ 100,000 years ago
|   |   | 
|   |   | 
\   |   /    ~ .5 million years ago
 \  |  / 
  \ | /  
   \|/       ~ 1 million years ago
    |
    |

(Europe, Africa and Asia, respectively)

Noah's Ark:

^  ^  ^
|  |  |  
|  |  |    ~ 100,000 years ago
\  |  /  
 \ | /   
_ \|/ _    <----(approx. time of mass migrations,
|  |  |              indigenous species die off)
|  |  |    ~ .5 million years ago
|  |  |
\  |  /
 \ | /   
  \|/      ~ 1 million years ago
   |
   |

As for which one to believe, I don't quite know for sure. I'm no Archaeologist, but I tend to go with the Candelabra theory myself; it seems to me that the emergence of the different races from each of the continental regions mentioned by the theories would point towards candelabra. But then again, it's also a bit of a stretch to think that in 3 completely different geographical areas, man evolved into something very much similar beyond skin color / facial features...

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