Re: Archaic H. sapiens???

3 Jan 1997 17:51:19 GMT

Al Curtis ( wrote:
: I asked this question in a recent post but got no responses. Just what
: distinguishes archaic H. sapiens from H. erectus (besides brain size)
: and were they actually slightly more evolved H. erecti? Who decided
: that they were in fact sapiens? The term "archaic" H. sapiens seems
: rather vague to me. Thanks in advance

The main measureable difference between H. erectus and modern H. sapiens
is the brain, but there is significant overlap, with some living people
with fully modern intelligence and behavior having brains no larger than
those of early H. erectus. There are also some skeletal differences,
which are most pronounced in early H. erectus--the Turkana boy shows
evidence for a recent climbing phase. Culturally, H. erectus was very
conservative, which suggests that analytic and creative intelligence were
relatively backward, but the same pattern is seen in H. neand. and in some
otherwise modern H. sapiens from the Levant. My personal opinion is that
there were three late Homo species--H. sapiens, H. neanderthalensis
(western race), and H. erectus--and two to three early Homo species--
habilis and rudolfensis--emerging from more gracile A. africanus about 3
MYr ago.

Harry Erwin, Internet:, Web Page:
49 year old PhD student in computational neuroscience ("how bats do it" 8)
and lecturer for CS 211 (data structures and advanced C++)