Re: Wolpoff v. Swisher

Susan S. Chin (
Sat, 11 Jan 1997 17:36:16 GMT

Al Curtis ( wrote:
: I have just finished reading a new article by Milford Wolpoff at
: in which Prof.
: Wolpoff declines to criticize the new dates proposed by Swisher, et al
: for the Ngandong fossils and the Sambungmachan skullcap. Instead, he
: questions the assignment of the aforementioned specimens to H. erectus
: when it should be clear (according to him) that they bear far more
: resemblance to nearby H. sapiens. Here, quoted, is the initial summary
: of his position:

: >.......there are a number of reasons why Ngandong and
: >Sambungmachan must be regarded as Homo sapiens and not "Homo erectus":
: >
: >1.Ngandong and Sambungmachan show notable similarities to Late Pleistocene
: >Native Australians;

: >2.The Kabuh Indonesians are among the ancestors of Holocene and living
: >Native Australians and Ngandong and Sambungmachan are temporally and
: >anatomically intermediate between them. If they were both "Homo erectus"
: >and dated as recently as suggested, it would suggest the interpretation of
: >polygenism - different populations became Homo sapiens at different times -
: >and this is unacceptable;
: Ouch!
: >3.The evolutionary trends in a Kabuh to Ngandong lineage are the same as
: >trends in other evolving Homo sapiens populations and it is unlikely these
: >changes reflect parallelisms between species.

: While the article goes on to make some cogent points, I find some of
: Wolpoff's reasoning to be convoluted at best. I do, however, feel very
: uncomfortable with the new dates. Has anyone with a better knowledge
: than I of the Java specimens read the article? Where does the argument
: fall down? Or does it?

: Alfred A. Curtis

One of the researchers, S.C. Anton, has an article cited as "in
publication" in the Science article...hopefully, this will explain the
Homo erectus designation.