Chapter 10 - Chapter 10: The evolution and nature of Modern...

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Chapter 10: The evolution and nature of Modern humanity 1. The major models in an ongoing debate a. The recent African Model (RAO) i. The hypothesis that Homo sapiens evolved recently as a separate species in Africa and then spread to replace more archaic populations. ii. View that modern Homo sapiens is a separate species that branched from preexisting archaic Homo species in Africa around 200,000 to 150,00ya. This new species then spread over the old world. iii. Sometimes called the replacement model. iv. If this model is correct: 1. There must be traits that all Homo sapiens share that are not found in premoderns, and traits found in premoderns that are lacking in modern humans. b. The multiregional evolution model (MRE) i. The hypothesis that Homo sapiens is about 2 million years old and that modern human traits evolved in geographically diverse locations and then spread through the species. ii. Still agrees that H.Sapiens arose in Africa iii. A successful advantageous adaptive feature arose; they were dispersed across the species through gene flow. Ideas and technologies spread and were exchanged as well. 1. Physical features we associate with modern humans appeared everywhere but may have been manifested in different environments. iv. If correct: 1. We should no clear evidence that modern H.sapiens is a separate species from the so called premodern groups. 2. There should be no biologically meaningful definition of modernity. 3. Populations with transitional sets of traits should be found in many locations 4. Should be evidence of interbreeding. 2. The evidence a. The fossil record
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i. Modern traits did not all arise in one location but in many and that they spread throughout the species through gene flow, to be expressed differently in different geographical locations. ii. There is a sufficient variation among humans and excludes all other proposed species. iii. A physical definition of modernity thus seems to be in the eye of the beholder, based on one’s interpretation and choice of populations and characteristics. 1. In regards to this debate, the fossil record is ambiguous. It can clearly be interpreted to support either point of view. iv. It is hard to translate physical features into species classification b. The cultural evidence i. Africa 1. The artifacts recovered, at some, through certainly not all, early modern human sites in Africa do show some sophisticated technology than contemporary tool assemblages in Europe and Asia associated with premodern humans. 2.
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2010 for the course ISS 220 taught by Professor Bailey during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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Chapter 10 - Chapter 10: The evolution and nature of Modern...

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