Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Human origin narrative ‘a big mess’

A new review in the journal Science looks at the major discoveries in hominin origins in the 150 years since Charles Darwin speculated that humans got their start in Africa and argues that fossil apes can inform us about essential aspects of ape and human evolution, including the nature of our last common ancestor. To understand hominin origins, paleoanthropologists aim to reconstruct the physical characteristics, behaviour, and environment of the last common ancestor of humans and chimps. “When you look at the narrative for hominin origins, it’s just a big mess—there’s no consensus whatsoever,” said Sergio Almécija, a senior research scientist in the American Museum of Natural History’s Division of Anthropology and the lead author of the review. “People are working under completely different paradigms, and that’s something that I don’t see happening in other fields of science.”

 

https://phys.org/news/2021-05-human-stories-compatible-fossils.html

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