Len Piotrowski (
Mon, 26 Aug 1996 17:50:14 GMT

In article <4vo2ds$> (E.G. Land) writes:



> _The New American Desk Encyclopedia_ says this: ""...Recent
>researches have suggested that they may be the result of interbreeding
>between between an original population of "Homo erectus" and the earliest
>membrs of "Homo sapiens."

> What is being said here -- that Australian Aborigines are some
> sort of sub Homo sapien species?

I don't know what the basis for the statement of "Recent researches" implies
(does the Encyclopedia elaborate?), but the uniqueness of Aborigine physiology
I think, would not suggest a "sub Homo sapien species" classification
(which isn't correct systematics), even by the wildest stretch of the
imagination. They are classified the same as you or I, which is
largely verified by the capacity for fertile inter-breeding.

I would guess that by this hyperbole the Encyclopedia is suggesting that the unique
qualities of Aboringine biology may have resulted from a unique ancestry. How
two "species" (Homo erectus and Homo sapiens) could have interbred is
mystifying. I believe the unique character of Aborigine populations has been
accounted for in the past, as much of Australia's unique fauna and flora has,
by a relatively early migration to the continent and subsequent isolation from
the rest of the world.