Researcher argues that there's more to the genus Homo than we may think

August 28, 2015 by Joe Miksch
Three mandibles accepted as representing Homo habilis. Note that each mandible presents a different configuration from the first molar (M1) to the last (M3). The dart (>) points to the part of the molar (anterior or posterior) that is narrower. The asterisk (*) denotes that the M3 of OH13 (Homo habilis) is ovoid. Fossils not to scale. Credit: © Jeffrey H. Schwartz

Among the many things that science is, it is a system of categorization. The human fossil record—file under genus, Homo; species, sapiens—is rather poorly categorized, contends the University of Pittsburgh's Jeffrey Schwartz, leading to a narrow view of what he believes to be a more complex and expansive evolutionary history than most anthropologists recognize.

In the Aug. 28 issue of the renowned journal Science, Schwartz, professor of anthropology and the history and philosophy of science, argues that, "the boundaries of both the and the genus remain as fuzzy as ever, new fossils having been haphazardly assigned to species of Homo, with minimal attention to morphology."

By this, Schwartz means that the form and structure of hominid (a group consisting of modern humans, extinct , and all our immediate ancestors) fossils are too often ignored in deference to tradition over objectivity.

As an example, Schwartz cites Jonathan and Mary Leakey's 1960 discovery of 1.8-million-year-old fossils in Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge. When the pair published their findings in 1964, they claimed the fossils represented a new species, Homo habilis.

"There was scant morphological justification for including any of this very ancient material in Homo," Schwartz writes. "Indeed, the main motivation appears to have been the Leakeys' desire to identify this hominid as the maker of the simple stone tools found in the lower layers of the gorge …"

According to Schwartz, including these fossils in Homo, when their age and appearance dictates otherwise, "so broadened the morphology of the genus that other hominids from other sites could be shoehorned into it almost without regard to their physical appearance. As a result, the largely unexamined definition of Homo became even murkier."

What is “early Homo”? (A to C, F, G, H) Specimens attributed to Homo with dental and mandibular features that resemble those of australopiths [e.g., posteriorly narrow/tapered molars; notch between cheek-facing/buccal cusps (*); anteriorly tall mandible], and (D, E, G) australopiths with features claimed to be specific to Homo [e.g., anteriorly narrow molars; no buccal-cusp notch; last molar not entirely masked by the ascending portion of the mandible (arrow)]. A: OH7 (Homo habilis); B: KNM-ER 992 (H. ergaster); C: Sangiran 6 (H. erectus); D and G: Omo 75-1969-14A (australopith, Paranthropus aethiopicus), (D) occlusal, (G) lateral; E: A.L.128-23 (Australopithecus afarensis); F: Tighenif 1 (H. erectus); H: Tabun II (H. neanderthalensis). The OH7, KNM-ER 992, Sangiran 6, and Tighenif 1 molars narrow posteriorly (A, B, C, and F), but in Omo 75-1969-14A and A.L.128-23 they are narrower anteriorly (D and E). A buccal notch (*) is present in KNM-ER 992 (B), Sangiran 6 (C), and Tighenif (F), but not in Omo 75-1969-14A (D) and A.L.128-23 (E). The last molar of Omo 75-1969-14A (G) would have been partially exposed in front of the ramus (arrow). The Tabun II mandible (H) is tall anteriorly. The fossils are not to scale. Credit: Jeffrey H. Schwartz

To ultimately understand what is Homo and what is not, Schwartz contends, anthropologists must approach their science in a more systematic fashion in order to truly understand the evolutionary past that led to the human of today.

"If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of (genus and species) names in which hominid specimens have historically been trapped and start from the beginning," he says.

Explore further: Ancient fossils reveal diversity in the body structure of human ancestors

More information: "Defining the genus Homo." Science 28 August 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6251 pp. 931-932 DOI: 10.1126/science.aac6182

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JVK
1 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2015
"If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of (genus and species) names in which hominid fossil specimens have historically been trapped and start from the beginning," he says.


I suggest that calibration of the fossil record should also include evidence of no morphological change in bacteria living in the ocean sediments for the past ~2 billion years, and "re-evolution" of the bacterial flagellum that occurred "over-the-weekend."

Somewhere in between may lie an accurate representation of how much biodiversity can arise in any given time in any or all species via the biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent protein folding chemistry that links RNA-mediated events to all extant biodiversity via the conserved molecular mechanisms of cell type differentiation and the physiology of reproduction in all genera.
FainAvis
5 / 5 (9) Aug 29, 2015
Can you say that again without getting crud stuck between your teeth?
docile
Aug 29, 2015
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Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (8) Aug 29, 2015
@FanAvis: LOL, seeing how the self serving (sells woo) troll spout irrelevant inanities and obvious lies as usual. (No one has predicted the timing of the different flagella or archella, I think. We only know nothing like them existed in the LUCA, it had the shared extrusion pore though and could likely punt itself along the ocean floor.)

@docile: No, biologists doesn't want to "prove" evolution, it was accepted a century ago based on tests (not 'proof'). It just happens to be the most prolific theory we have due to its massive scale on an inhabited world.
[ https://en.wikipe...volution ]

By the way, "prove" "sensationalism and record hunting" for the above, a result among others. Can you tell the name of the current 'record holder'?

Do try to keep up!
docile
Aug 29, 2015
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JVK
1 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2015
We only know nothing like them existed in the LUCA...


No experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect has ever been linked to the imaginary/emergent LUCA. The sequencing of the octopus genome links RNA-mediated events from the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes to cell type differentiation in all genera via nutrient-dependent microRNAs, adhesion proteins, and the innate ability of the immune system to protect organisms from virus-driven genomic entropy.

Anyone who thinks that any aspect of evolution has been placed into the context of neo-Darwinian theory should revisit Darwin's claims about "conditions of life" and Koonin's claims that the role of viruses was ignored.
Vietvet
4.6 / 5 (9) Aug 29, 2015


Anyone who thinks that any aspect of evolution has been placed into the context of neo-Darwinian theory should revisit Darwin's claims about "conditions of life" and Koonin's claims that the role of viruses was ignored.


You left out that Koonin still upholds the role of mutations and natural selection in evolution.

Why don't you take your creationist crap to Answers in Genesis and stop spamming a science site.
docile
Aug 29, 2015
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docile
Aug 29, 2015
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Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2015


No experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect has ever been linked to the imaginary/emergent LUCA.

@JVK

If you were honest you would admit your problem with LUCA is religious not scientific

Considering how often you've mis-represented the work of others and quoted out of context and that you hawk a perfume based on pseudoscience it's evident honesty and you are strangers.

docile
Aug 29, 2015
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JVK
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2015
...these insights have nothing to do with JVK's articles about pheromones...


Are you claiming to know something I don't know about how the nutrient-dependent energy and biolphysically constrained protein folding chemistry links cell type differentiation in the context of ecological variation and ecological adaptation?

The RNA and viruses are also engaged in horizontal gene transfer, which represents the dual, i.e. Lamarckian form of otherwise Darwinian evolution.


Greg Bear placed my model of RNA-mediated cause and effect into the context of his novels, which linked viruses to the evolution of a new human subspecies that communicated with pheromones -- like all species from microbes to man.

The Darwin Code by Greg Bear http://rna-mediat...eg-bear/
JVK
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2015
You left out that Koonin still upholds the role of mutations and natural selection in evolution.


Thanks for assuring others that he intends to continue touting pseudoscientific nonsense even after admitting that the role of viruses was never considered in the context of the Modern Synthesis.
JVK
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2015
During last century the mainstream science (both physics both biology) evolved into a strictly deterministic system of thinking, so it did a decent bit of work in revealing of deterministic connections of our reality - but what it missed systematically are the dual, emergent/holistic mechanisms.


Is "docile" too uninformed to realize that mainstream science is what we reported in our 1996 Hormones and Behavior review in a section titled "molecular epigenetics"?

From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior http://www.hawaii...ion.html

Watch as yet another anonymous fool challenges the accurate representations I have made, with and without others, during a 20 year-long history of published works.

docile
Aug 29, 2015
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docile
Aug 29, 2015
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Vietvet
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2015


that communicated with pheromones -- like all species from microbes to man.

Humans don't communicate with pheromones, despite your huckster business plan.

http://www.ncbi.n...K200980/

docile
Aug 29, 2015
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docile
Aug 29, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
docile
Aug 29, 2015
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JVK
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2015
Humans don't communicate with pheromones, despite your huckster business plan.


Global Survey of Variation in a Human Olfactory Receptor Gene Reveals Signatures of Non-Neutral Evolution http://chemse.oxf...abstract

Excerpt: "The underlying adaptive context of possible selective pressures acting on olfactory receptor genes is not known but may be linked to food (Matsui et al. 2010; Jaeger et al. 2013; McRae et al. 2013) and health (Spehr et al. 2003; Griffin et al. 2009; Neuhaus et al. 2009; Pluznick et al. 2009; Gu et al. 2014; Busse et al. 2014)."

That is precisely what was shown via the link from microRNAs to adhesion proteins in the context of the sequencing of the octopus genome and by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Florida who linked microRNAs and adhesion proteins to all pathology.
docile
Aug 30, 2015
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JVK
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2015
I wrote:
That is precisely what was shown via the link from microRNAs to adhesion proteins in the context of the sequencing of the octopus genome and by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Florida who linked microRNAs and adhesion proteins to all pathology.


Does anyone understand what "docile" just wrote:
evolution has many mechanisms for speciation hardwired, which provide, that newly established species don't mix together.


If you prefer this kind of pseudoscientific nonsense, say nothing. That's what you will be left with.
docile
Aug 30, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
JVK
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2015
You seem to have confused me with you. The difference is that I am not a Wiki-idiot.

I am the founder of PerfumingtheMind.com http://perfumingthemind.com/ and RNA-mediated.com http://rna-mediated.com/ where accurate representations of biologically-based cell type differentiation are linked across species via the conserved molecular mechanisms I have detailed (with others) in a series of published works that began with book publication in 1995.
JVK
1 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2015
Re: Humans don't communicate with pheromones, despite your huckster business plan.

Vietvet (aka Steven Taylor) confirmed the link from my published works to Greg Bear's accurate representations of biologically-based cause and effect in his novels "Darwin's Radio" and "Darwin's Children." See: http://www.gregbe...?id=8064

See also: "The Darwin Code: Intelligent Design without God" http://rna-mediat...eg-bear/

What kind of biologically uniformed science idiot thinks he can take everything known to serious scientists and science fiction authors and portray them as if they were all uninformed theorists who do not know how to link food odors and pheromones from ecological variation to ecological adaptations via the physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man?

See also: Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction http://www.ncbi.n...16290036
AGreatWhopper
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2015
Don't you have a cousin to knock up, you ignorant Georgia redneck?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2015
It's known, that women or men choose their partners by smell
@zephir/docile et al
No, it is a possible influence, not "the" selection criterion

as [even you] noted, there are other factors at play, and given that there are also people who are desensitized to smell still getting married, this claim is [given all evidence] falsifiable

it is the same as saying:
you believe in daw
you believe yourself to be logical
you believe yourself to be methodical
all scientists tend to be logical and methodical
therefore, you are a scientist and thus, all scientists believe in daw
(despite all evidence to the contrary)
dumb downvoters
twitchy? maybe
Quick? yes

1- they rate based upon past experience, and
2- your past is filled with pseudoscience and trolling with daw

it is neither dumb nor instinctive
you've not given enough reason to justify reading all your posts & you tend to be a prolific poster of pseudoscience

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2015
The difference is that I am not a Wiki-idiot
nope! just a plain old religious pseudoscience idiot (that doesn't comprehend or accept definitions)
as for your links and trolling advertisement for your sites, which CONTAIN PSEUDOSCIENCE
that post is reported for PSEUDOSCIENCE

you are ALSO a:
TROLL
PSEUDOSCIENCE POSTER
RELIGIOUS ACOLYTE
PONTIFICATING and PROSELYTIZING
LIAR
and all these things are proven repeatedly here on PO... along with your inability to comprehend science and studies, ALSO proven here on PO

ANY link you post that goes to your personal sites will be reported because your personal sites are NOT VALID SCIENTIFIC SITES
they contain creationist dogma and information, therefore they promote pseudoscience as valid
considering that is proven false https://en.wikipe...Arkansas

we can then conclude you are lying above based primarily upon your links

thanks
JVK
1 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2015
http://www.the-sc...st122986

Excerpt: "p-coumaric acid is probably only part of the caste-determination story..."

The rest of the story has been detailed by others, like Ryszard Maleszka, who was interviewed for this article, which links what is known about the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes from the light-induced de novo creation of nucleic acids to the RNA-directed DNA methylation and the conserved molecular mechanisms that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all species.

Ryszard Maleszka once commented that he did not want to see any of this "creationist crap," which has since linked the differences between nutrient-dependent microRNAs and adhesion proteins from viral microRNAs to pathology, when nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated DNA repair can no longer effectively prevent the accumulation of damage that leads to genomic entropy.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Sep 01, 2015
Ryszard Maleszka once commented that he did not want to see any of this "creationist crap," which has since linked
@jk
1- the creationist crap does NOT link anything
because
2- there is NO SCIENCE in the creationist movement
https://en.wikipe...Arkansas

your claims are proven invalid simply by that one link...
your credibility has been proven negligible by your insistence that creationism is science

you still haven't been able to validate any of your other claims, now you want to start promoting creationist PSEUDOSCIENCE?

go troll elsewhere
JVK
1.3 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2015
De novo creation of olfactory receptor genes
http://perfumingt...r-genes/

Excerpt: Is there one evolutionary theorist who will accept the facts known to serious scientists about the odor-induced de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes?

See also:

See also: An Epigenetic Trap Stabilizes Singular Olfactory Receptor Expression

My comment: The epigenetic trap is nutrient-dependent and controlled by the physiology of reproduction. See for examples: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2015
http://perfumingt...r-genes/
PSEUDOSCIENCE SITE promoting creationist dogma
it is NOT a science site when you mix PSEUDOSCIENCE
if you can't link it through a reputable peer reviewed journal, then it is immediately suspect as PSEUDOSCIENCE considering the linked source

reported

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