Re: Australopithecus, Homo erectus, single species hypothesis

Phil Nicholls (
17 Feb 1995 04:54:35 GMT

In article <3i0862$>,
Jim Foley <> wrote:
>In article <3hrq6a$>, <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

Yes, but then Tim White got to Johanson and convinced him that all of the
First Family materials were a single species. White was a student of
C.Loring Brace at Michigan. Brace is the grandfather of the single species
hypothesis re: australopithecines.

Philip "Chris" Nicholls Department of Anthropology
Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies SUNY Albany
University of Ediacara
"Semper Alouatta"