Wood and Grabowski are both fully committed to an evolutionary paradigm, but they close their chapter with a striking admission. Although “it is difficult to believe,” they note, “the last time a review looked at the whole of what we now call the hominin fossil record” was in 1964 in a book by the British primatologist Wilfrid Le Gros Clark. Since that time, they explain that paleoanthropologists have enjoyed “an order of magnitude increase in the [amount of] fossil evidence,” but at the same time have seen “the absence of equivalent progress in how we analyze the fossil record.”
If their meaning isn’t clear, they’re discussing our continued inability to determine how different species are related and thereby “improve our understanding of macroevolution within the hominin clade.”
Essentially, they’re admitting that 50 years ago we had few hominin fossils and knew little about how species were related and whether any were directly ancestral to humans. Today we have more bones, but we still have little idea of how most hominin species—including humans—evolved. As Harvard paleoanthropologist Daniel Lieberman stated in a different Slate article in 2010, “The origins of the genus Homo remain as murky as ever.”
Yer news hound O’Leary turned 65 yesterday, so is past suggesting social insurrections of any kind. But can’t help thinking, don’t go into debt for any education proferred by profbots.
You get the bot, if you want it, and that’s all.