Re: archaic Homo sapiens

J. Moore (
Mon, 25 Sep 95 10:08:00 -0500

Vi> >The second paragraph was just one simple reason for rejecting that
Vi> >part of the "out of Africa" thesis which insists on the highly
Vi> >unlikely event of no interbreeding having occurred.
Vi> >
Vi> >Both short and simple.

Vi> We are dealing with two *different* species, Homo erectus and Homo
Vi> sapiens. It is a bit rare,especially in the animal kingdom, for two
Vi> different species to have progeny eventhough they can have sex. Please
Vi> don`t bring up the mule!

I certainly wouldn't think of bringing up an animal which is a
sterile hybrid... I might bring up animals such as wolves and
coyotes, or cattle and bison, or dogs and just about any wild
canine that's at all closely related to them. All produce fertile
hybrids, although with cattle and bison, there is reduced
fertility (but then they are different genuses).

This also gets into the perennial problem of recognising species
from fossils, which has been mentioned many times and doubtless
will again, since it's probably the least tractable problem in
paleontology. It's hard to do. When we have two groups that are
demonstrably different to some (somewhat arbitrary) large degree
and are apart, we might feel justified in saying they're two
different species. If they get together, though, what happens?
We don't know; but we do know that when different species get
together nowadays for some reason, they may mate and produce
viable offspring. They may not.

In some instances, we see two different populations in pretty much
the same areas for some great length of time (as per the recent
Neandertal / H.s.s thread here, or robust and gracile
australopithecines); that would indicate different species without
viable interbreeding. But what about other areas, or other
conditions? There the answer seems less clear. Suffice it to say
that by looking at what happens and what can happen with different
species today, we can't simply say "they were two different
species" and end it at that.

Vi> By the way: I am a follower and believer in the theory of evolution.
Vi> Vincent1

Do as you like, but belief is a dangerous position to hold in science.
And as for following, better you should maybe just be going the
same direction, but not actually following (any ex-racer will tell
you that ;-).

Jim Moore (

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