Re: Polycentric or Rapid-Placement?

Lemonhead (
Fri, 26 May 1995 20:11:27 -0500

On 26 May 1995, HARRY R. ERWIN wrote:

> More or less cladistically, H. sapiens seems now to be descended from the
> East African H. erectus, since the Asian H. erectus has a number of
> autapomorphic character states that the African population (OH9, OH12,
> KNM-ER 15000, etc.) lacks.
I'm assuming the autapomorphic stuff you're talking about is
stuff like their shovel-shaped insicors. But modern Asians have the same
shovel-shaped insicors, don't they?
I asked my TA this question last semester and all he said was
"yeah, some people use that to argue the polycentric theory, but I don't
belive it" And that's all he said, he didn't say *why* he didn't belive
it. So could someone please explain why this isn't considered to be
evidence for the polycentric model?
I think I just answered my own question-- perhaps there is some
element of the Asian environment that results in shovel-shaped incisors,
like eating rice or something.
Maybe I haven't answered my own question-- do Asians retain the
shovel shaped incisors when they move somewhere else, say America? If
they do, then the trait is probably genetic, right? And that could mean
it's ancestral from H. erectus.

kev k