Paleo-demes, species clades, and extinctions in the pleistocene hominin record

Authors
Citation
Fc. Howell, Paleo-demes, species clades, and extinctions in the pleistocene hominin record, J ANTHR RES, 55(2), 1999, pp. 191-243
Citations number
186
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Sociology & Antropology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0091-7710 → ACNP
Volume
55
Issue
2
Year of publication
1999
Pages
191 - 243
Database
ISI
SICI code
0091-7710(199922)55:2<191:PSCAEI>2.0.ZU;2-D
Abstract
Human evolutionary studies exist in their own right due to our own anthropo centricity, but Particularly through developments within the natural scienc es. The emergence of an autonomous evolutionary biology has largely engulfe d human evolutionary studies. Most perspectives of earlier workers are inex plicit in regard to phylogenetic inference, taxonomic resolution, process p attern, tempo, and other aspects of hominin evolution, and thus are archaic , irrelevant, or both. Matters of epistemology have scarcely merited explic it, critical consideration; even inference as to the best explanation (abdu ction) has rarely been employed, or employed consistently. Human populations, their genic structure, variability, affinities and histo ries are now elucidated and directly quantified through molecular biology a nd population genetics. Past hominin populations are increasingly composed of samples necessary and sufficient to characterize paleo-demes (p-demes) a nd, ultimately, species clades representative of spatio-temporally bounded entities, the nature and affinities of which are informed through functiona l, cladistic, and morphometrical investigation. Diverse aspects of earlier hominin habitats, distributions, adaptations and behavioral parameters are increasingly revealed through multifaceted approaches, all within the frame work of paleoanthropology and focused on fuller recovery and elucidation of the Pleistocene archaeological record Here, some central aspects of Pleist ocene hominin evolution are broadly set out from such perspectives. Controv ersial issues exist, of course, but overall are secondary, in view of the p revalence of normal scientific practice.