Re: so H sapiens evolved from H. erectus?

Susan S. Chin (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 16:06:55 GMT

A R Millard ( wrote:
: Susan S. Chin ( wrote:

: : Homo erectus and Homo sapiens are obviously two separate species, if not
: : always distinctly so (archaic H.s. vs. late H.erectus) But the two
: : species are separated not only morphologically, but in most instances
: : aside from that just mentioned (the parenthetical example cited above)
: : the two species are separated by *time* as well. That in itself is an
: : isolating mechanism, which as far as I'm aware, constitutes basis for
: : calling them distinct species.

: Surely separation in time can't form a basis for calling them separate
: species? That would make 20th century humans a different species to 17th
: century humans. Separation is a mechanism by which one species may give
: rise to two, but in itself it does not constitute a basis for calling
: two creatures distinct species.

: Andrew Millard

Separation in time can't form *the* basis for calling them separate
species, but it is one criteria in this instance, along with distinct
morphological differences.

I think you've overlooked one very important point, and that is Homo
erectus and Homo sapiens, are separated "not only morphologically...
[but] by *time* as well." You can't say the same about 20th Century vs
17th Century humans. That's a measly what, 300 (if my math is correct)
years! Rather insignificant in evolutionary time.