Re: Savannah strawman

Karen (
Thu, 04 Jul 1996 23:01:41 GMT

Mike Muller <> wrote:

>:This messeage is not from Mike Muller.
>:Re: Holloway and Shreeve
>:I accept your most impassioned defense of Tim White's motives. But that
>:still does not change the fact that the discovery of the new ramidus
>:material will not impact the Savanna hypothesis negatively. And as one
>:who will be working towards her Ph.D. in paleoanthropology next year I
>:will be lusting for a better understanding of how mankind evoles and
>:hoping that the field of paleoanthropology will evolve also and catch up
>:with the research that is being done with isotopes and laser ablation,
>:along with genetic research.
>: Studying morphology alone is no longer enough. Other fields
>:have moved forward and let go off the old dogma of the last fifty years
>:Only paleoanthropology seems to be clinging to it with its last dying

I agree with you that studying morphology alone is not enough but I
don't know why you have the idea that paeloanthropology hasn't
evolved. I am a student also and have studied isotope analysis
research in anthropology classes as well as genetic research, etc.
The analysis of trace elements is an exciting field and a lot of
research is being done even with all the problems such as diagenesis.
Amino acid analysis is being developed that may be able to show what
the body temperatures of an extinct species was. Even Devonian era
fossils have been found with collagen available for analysis.
Paleoanthropologists are doing this sort of work.

Idon't know Tim White but I very much doubt that he relies solely on
morphology for defining his fossils. Perhaps you got your idea that
paleoanthropologists rely only on morphology in their studies because
of pop science media which informs people with an interest in hominid
evolution but wouldn't be as interested in isotopic analysis, etc.
The papers haven't come out on the finds yet and when White does write
up and publish his finds, I doubt seriously that you will find that
deals only with morphology.