Re: I have a question...

Jim Foley (
17 May 1995 19:02:38 GMT

In article <3otqna$>,
Jack Dart <> wrote:
>Can anyone tell me if there has been research done looking for the
>ancestors of non human primates. All that I've ever heard about
>or have been taught is that Homo arises from Australopithecus.
>I want to know if maybe it is possible that the so called robust species
>of Aust. are actually precursors to modern Gorilla.

This sounds like the theory expounded by John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas
in their book "The Monkey Puzzle", early 80's I think. Their idea was
that africanus evolved into Homo, robustus into chimps, and boisei into
gorillas. I remember that they liked the correspondance between the
three species of piths, and the three modern African hominid species.
That is extraordinarily weak reasoning; all the piths seem more closely
related to us than to chimps or gorillas. I can't remember if they had
any more substantial evidence or not.

When I read it, I thought the idea was laughable, which fit in with some
of the other stuff I had read by John Gribbin. However Cherfas used to
write on paleoanthropology for New Scientist, so one would have thought
he would have known what he was talking about. Did this book have any
merit at all?

Johanson and Edey, in "Lucy" (1981) say that not a single fossil chimp
has been found (and maybe gorillas, too).

Jim Foley Symbios Logic, Fort Collins (303) 223-5100 x9765
The clinching proof of my reasoning is that I will cut anyone who argues
further into dogmeat. -- Sir Geoffery de Tourneville, ca 1350 A.D.