Interbreeding of Neanderthals & Modern humans

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Thu Oct 21 09:48:58 CDT 2004


> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Ken Kinman

I just think the boundary between neanderthals and
> modern humans is a whole lot fuzzier than between erectus and
> neanderthals, and such gaps are what make biological classifications
> possible (even populations are very fuzzy when you consider the time
> dimension).  And I dont think we have the same kind of evidence for
> erectus-modern hybrids that we do for neanderthal-modern hybrids.  

I would just add emphasis to the tricky nature of these fossils and
formal taxonomic categories, not to mention relationships. I have no
personal inclinations about the relative taxonomic status of
neanderthals and interbreeding status (I am fine with the idea of
interbreeding species), but H. erectus seems to be a real mess so far as
'species' status goes. I understand that the designation of 'Homo
erectus' over Europe, Asia, and African is problematic because of the
lack of consistency in comparisons between different materials and the
holotype for erectus. I understand that some fossils are not congruent
with the type.

John




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