Skip to comments.Viewpoint: Has 'one species' idea been put to bed?
Posted on 12/30/2011 12:06:29 PM PST by decimon
Here, Prof Clive Finlayson looks back at the year's developments in human evolution research and asks whether recent discoveries rule out a well known idea about our ancestors.
Hobbits on Flores, Denisovans in Siberia, Neanderthals across Eurasia and our very own ancestors.
Given this array of human diversity in the Late Pleistocene, we might well be forgiven for thinking that Ernst Mayr's contention that "in spite of much geographical variation, never more than one species of man existed on Earth at any one time" had finally been put to bed.
It now seems that a high degree of diversity was also present in the Middle Pleistocene, revealed in the latest analysis of human teeth from that period.
Mayr, one of the great evolutionary biologists of modern times, proposed his single species idea in a Cold Spring Harbor Symposium, published in 1950.
The idea of a single species of human has received a great deal of criticism since Mayr's day but it has also had its vociferous advocates.
So, can we really conclude that the concept was fundamentally flawed on the basis of all the new - fossil and genetic - evidence? That depends on how we understand and define species.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Mayr take me home ping.
Liberals are a diffent species.
Some people claim that there are currently more than one species of humans on planet Earth. Any serious research regarding this assertion is of course forbidden due to claims of racism and political correctness. Even if the argument for separate species is debatable it’s hard to argue that several subspecies don’t exist.
But palaeontologists use other definitions of species and these have allowed them to classify fossils that cannot be otherwise categorised on the basis of Mayr's biological species concept.
Tom here: The Australian black tip shark (Carcharhinus tilstoni) and the common black tip shark (C. limbatus) have overlapping distributions along the northern and eastern Australian coastline. These shark species have been known to interbreed. -tom
As I sit here watching my daughter’s pug play with my Boston bull, I wonder just how clear our idea of species is? Herto man, Neanderthal, Rodesinsis, and others are found over wide areas going back to the earliest Homo Sapiens some 206 k years ago in China no less. The oldest date for Homo Sapiens I’m aware of for Africa is 160 k to 190 k for White’s Awash discoveries.
There are lots of egos involved in human origins research. There are also complications by folks who don’t believe all “people” are human. Am I a Homo Sapiens Sapiens or some lesser creature. It all depends on who is making the definitions.
I’ve always thought there’s a strong chance all these ancient hominids are just variations of the same species. I really think a person could recreate a neanderthal or a cro magnon with a breeding program of existing living human beings. Just round up all the individuals with neanderthalish traits and start selectively breeding them. In about 20 generations you will have one.
A species is a group that is capable of creating offspring by mating within the group. Members of different species within a genus can mate and create offspring, but those offspring will be infertile.
I think we can equate subspecies with races, or breeds, if we are talking about horses or dogs. Members of different subspecies can mate and produce fertile offspring. Theoretically, a great dane can mate with a miniature poodle and produce puppies, but I suspect the mechanics would defeat it. And we know for fact that the three acknowledged subspecies of homo sapiens have interbred for generations.
That’s what I remember about this from high school biology, and that was a very long time ago.
Recent dna testing of an alleged yeti finger turned up as ‘human’; what else would one expect? What is human? Homo Sapiens Sapiens only? Isn’t there evidence of Homo blank blank from the recent past? Didn’t Linneus include Homo Sylvestris in his classification system? Carl was onto something.
“Some people claim that there are currently more than one species of humans on planet Earth.”
They are as different as night and day.
H. sapiens I don’t know about, but I think p. paniscus deserves its own genus.
Agreed. The differences physically, while marked, could be from geographical isolation but short of speciation.
Since by the reproductive tests, humans are related enough there has not been found a sub-group that could not produce viable offspring mating with members of any other sub grouping, a better question might be (and this will blow your mind) am I entirely human, or are the lines blurred in other ways?
Plant RNAs Found in Mammals
MicroRNAs from plants accumulate in mammalian blood and tissues, where they can regulate gene expression.
From an embedded link in the above;
These small membrane vesicles do much more than clean up a cells trashthey also carry signals to distant parts of the body, where they can impact multiple dimensions of cellular life.
Which in light of how humans also are said to have more abundance of cells of other microscopic life, than they have of their own larger-celled human body cells, makes me wonder if instead of saying, "hello, my name is --- " a person could say, "hello, you are speaking with the spokes creature portion of the colony named [insert name here].
Now, it's about time to go tell a little bite of lunch, and another cup of coffee or tea, "you will be assimilated. resistance is futile" hehheh....
But, as I understand it, a race and a subspecies, biologicaly speaking, are the same thing.
And everybody knows that, in humans, “race” is a social construct.
Liberals. I think they are pod people myself.
There are two species of humans now.
Makers and Takers.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks decimon.To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.The Neandertal EnigmaFrayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
I've repeatedly said that all the attributes that make a Neanderthal can be found in the human population today.We are Neanderthals.
The brow ridges of the Australian Aboriginies is more severe than the Neanderthals.
It does appear, though, that the neanderthalish traits are getting scarcer. It seems to me the human genome is shrinking and people all over the world are becoming more similar to each other. My theory is that technology and globalization has caused the distinct cultures around the world to coalesce their concept of an “ideal” appearance. Fashion trends and “beauty” are becoming unified concepts that don’t vary so much from one place to the next. I think this has an effect on the way humans breed and ends up being similar effect as if someone was actually selectively breeding them against their will.
It's already been done. Today they are called the Irish.
Yup...I believe something like that is going on too.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.