homo species

Howard Wiseman (h.wiseman@auckland.ac.nz)
6 Jul 1995 05:55:22 GMT

Hello everyone,

I have been heartened to see a recent increase in serious posts in this
group discussing things other than the AAH. So I thought I'd throw out
some topics I (a strict amateur)
am interested in to try to get some more discussion.

It seems to me that the lumping/splitting pendulum has definitely swung
back the other way (i.e. towards splitting) this past decade. Some people
are now talking about many homo species (instead of just habilis,
erectus, sapiens). These include (please correct me if I'm wrong because
I'm writing from memory here)

h. rudolfensis = KNMER1470 and related big-brained finds
h. sp. = KNMER1813 (small brain but small teeth)
h. habilis = original Olduvai finds (moderate brains)
h. ergaster = KNMER3883, 3733, "turkana boy" etc.
h. erectus = asian "erectus" only - java and china
h. heidelbergensis = european and post-ergaster african "erectus"
(Olduvai?, Broken
Hill?), maybe later asian as well
(Solo?, China?)
h. neanderthalensis = european and west asian only
h. sapiens = african from 120 kYA, then over the rest of the world

Any comments?
What is the relation between these groups, and the
australopithecus/paranthropus species?
Should any (eg rudolfensis) not be homo?
Where does KNMER1805 fit in?
What about the very early (c. 1.8 MYA) "erectus" from Georgia and java?
Is this likely to be a conclusive list, or might other species be claimed?
Is this list likely to be completely overturned as we discover more
fossils? If so, should we give up naming fossil homonids indefinitely?

Hoping to get some lively arguments,
Howard Wiseman.