Re: Brain Development

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Tue, 7 Feb 1995 10:27:18 -0500

I think Todd Nims has a good point. Many discussions regarding
palaeoanthropology ignore long-time duration of fossil groups. On the
other hand, we don't have anywhere near enough evidence to assert whether
one group or another (including Neandertals) were "out competed and were
too specialized". Maybe they were stupid, but it becomes simply post hoc
fun and games to get religious about it all, as some anthropologists seem
to be doing. Hell, with A. afarensis, we can still find arguments
regarding how many species are reprsented by this and that tooth. The
444-2 skull helps a lot in keeping A. afarensis as one species (with A.
ramidus earlier), but a little humility regarding just how and why they
died out ought to be practised until we know more. Ralph Holloway.

On Mon, 6 Feb 1995, Todd N
Nims wrote:

> A. afarensis was
> around practically unchanged for 900,000 yrs and the robust A.'s were
> around quite some time as well. H. s. s. has been around less than a
> third of that time and an even lesser amount of time as the single living
> representative of the hominid line. The various A.'s didnt die because
> they were stupid, they were out competed and were too specialized.
> Todd N. Nims
> {}
> Auburn University, AL
> On Sat, 4 Feb 1995, Read, Dwight ANTHRO wrote:
> > James B. writes:
> >
> > " Dumb species don't hang around for very long."
> >
> > Let's see. Cockroaches have been around for about 400 million years with
> > little change. That must put them pretty high on the intelligence scale.
> >
> > D. Read
> >