Re: Australopithecus, Homo erectus, single species hypothesis

Jim Foley (
16 Feb 1995 19:14:10 GMT

In article <3hrq6a$>, <cc3265@albnyvms.bitnet>

>In article <3hrdbh$62s@jupiter.WichitaKS.NCR.COM>,
> (Jim Foley) writes:

>>Given that Louis Leakey et al had apparently disproved the single
>>species hypothesis 12 years previously, why were R. Leakey and Walker in
>>1976 writing as if it was still widely accepted?
>>Was the 1964 evidence for different hominid species living side by side
>>not as strong as claimed?

>Personally, I think it was very strong evidence. However, you have to
>understand the field of paleoanthropology -- a very contentious group, full
>of big egos. The Single Species Hyp. was championed by some very big names
>in the field (notably Don Johanson, of "Lucy" and PBS specials fame) and
>so required quite a bit of evidence to be laid to rest.

I can't understand this. Johanson was nobody until he made his big
finds in 1973 (knee joint), 74 (Lucy) and 75 (First Family). He (and
Taieb) published a paper in early 1976 (a few months before Leakey's
paper), in which I believe he claimed that the First Family finds were a
mixture of Homo and Australopithecus specimens (I haven't yet read this
paper). That doesn't make Johanson sound like an advocate of the single
species hypothesis.

> C.R. Cooper
> Dept. of Anthropology
> SUNY Albany

Jim Foley (303) 223-5100 x9765
Jim.Foley@FtCollinsCO.NCR.COM Symbios Logic, Fort Collins