Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Language: English

Pages: 131

ISBN: 0192803603

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The recent discovery of the diminutive Homo floresiensis (nicknamed "the Hobbit") in Indonesia has sparked new interest in the study of human evolution. In this Very Short Introduction, renowned evolutionary scholar Bernard Wood traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to today's latest fossil finds. Along the way we are introduced to the lively cast of characters, past and present, involved in evolutionary research. Although concentrating on the fossil evidence for human evolution, the book also covers the latest genetic evidence about regional variations in the modern human genome that relate to our evolutionary history. Wood draws on over thirty years of experience to provide an insiders view of the field, and demonstrates that our understanding of human evolution is critically dependent on advances in related sciences such as paleoclimatology, geochronology, systematics, genetics, and developmental biology. This is an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the origins and development of humankind.














then there are good reasons to conclude that only one species is represented in the collection of fossils. Because of the extra time involved with fossil samples palaeoanthropologists try to make an educated guess about the amount of variation they are prepared to tolerate in their fossil sample before they declare that 43 Fossil hominins: analysis and interpretation The second problem is time. Each species has a history, with a beginning (speciation), a middle, and an end. Species either die

a hominin-controlled fire it is not always so easy. The earliest archaeological evidence of the ability to control fire presently comes from the c.800 KY-old site of Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in Israel: evidence of stone hearths does not come until much later (c.300 KYA) in the archeological record. The long lower limbs of H. ergaster are similar to those of modern 85 Pre-modern Homo Homo ergaster is the first hominin with a body whose size and shape is more like that of modern humans than any of the

human origins now support a less extreme version. 106 Let battle commence So the battles lines were drawn. In the ‘red corner’ the weak multiregional hypothesis (WMRH), and in the ‘blue corner’ the weak recent out of Africa hypothesis (WROAH). Remember that some researchers who were unwilling to support the strong version of the multiregional hypothesis were more inclined to support a weaker interpretation that included gene flow between regions. Similarly, when other researchers tried to

herds of mammoths ventured unwittingly into 112 the New World, but we do not find any evidence of a modern human occupation site in Alaska until 12 KYA. The conventional wisdom is that the immigrants made their way south along a relatively ice-free corridor in Alaska and western Canada, and then went on to populate all of North, Central, and South America relatively rapidly. However, there is remarkably little evidence of human occupation along what is presumed to be the route south. And some

Creation 11 creation science 9 Crick, Francis 15 Cro-Magnon 101 CT 39, 41 E Early African Homo erectus 85 electron spin resonance dating 33 Engis 95, 97 Essay on the Principle of Population 17 Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature 19 exposure 28 D F dating – absolute 31 dating – methods 31–34 dating – relative 34 Dark Ages 9 Dart, Raymond 75 Darwin, Charles 7, 12, 17, 20, 27, 28 Dederiyeh 96 deductive method 9–10 De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem 11 Descent of Man 20 dendrochronology 34

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