Re: Hominid speciation

Phil Nicholls (
Sun, 06 Aug 1995 18:57:55 GMT

A species is a group of ancestor-descendent populations, not just
populations in the here and now. In my opinion, a species may undergo
directional change over time in terms of morphological characteristics
but this itself is not enough to justify calling it a new species.
For example, if we are going to maintain that a single unbranched
lineage connects Homo habilis, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, what is
our justification for using three species names? If no speciation
event has occurred then no new species has emerged.

Phil Nicholls
"There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having
been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and
that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of
gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most
wonderful have been and are being evolved."
[Last sentence from _On the Origin of Species_, by Charles Darwin