Re: AAT (faces, fossils)

Fri, 29 Apr 94 04:07:08 GMT

In article <2ppa31$> VINCENT@ERICH.TRIUMF.CA (Pete Vincent) writes:

>Faces: If a short snout was all it took, chimps and gorillas would
>have downward pointing noses.

Chimps and gorillas have good sized snouts, especially compared to
anatomical modern humans. The facial profile that is so characteristic
of modern Homo sapiens is fairly recent.

I think people are forgetting the influence
>of `culture' (or `preculture'? when does culture start?) here. If
>there ever was a likely location for the influence of sexual selection,
>it must be the shape of the face. We still have that tendency built
>in, in both sexes. Would you marry someone with a face like a chimp?

A chimp would. If chimp faces were the standard on modern humans, so would
we. Facial reduction in hominid evolution is a complex trend and I don't
think sexual selection can encompass all of the changes observed. You
are right, however, that explanations often ignore the influence of
culture and preculture (i.e. learned behaviors) on hominid evolution.

For example, ventral-ventral copulation and human swimming are learned
behaviors and culturally variable.

Philip Nicholls "To ask a question,
Department of Anthropology you must first know
SUNY Albany most of the answer."