The Missing Link That Wasnt

The Missing Link That Wasnt

Sir Mark Frederick McKinney

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The myth of the Missing Link--the idea that there must be a specimen that partly resembles an ape but also partly resembles a modern human--is persistent. But the reality is that there is no missing link in our lineage, because that’s not how evolution works.


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References:

Lovejoy, A.O. 1936. The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press

Ackermann, R.R., Rogers, J., Cheverud, J.M. 2006. Identifying the morphological signatures of hybridization in primate and human evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 51 (6): 632-645.

Theunissen, L.T. 2012. Eugène Dubois and the Ape-Man from Java: The History of the First ‘Missing Link’ and Its Discoverer. Springer Science & Business Media, Berlin, Germany.

Berger, L.R, De Ruiter, J., Churchill, S.E., Schmid, P., Carlson, K.J., Dirks, P.H.G.M., Kibii, J. 2010. Australopithecus sediba: A New Species of Homo-Like Australopith from South Africa. Science, 328: 195-204.

Warren, K.A., Ritzman, T.B., Humphreys, R.A., Percival, C.J., Hallgrímsson, B. and Rogers Ackermann, R. 2018. Craniomandibular form and body size variation of first-generation mouse hybrids: A model for hominin hybridization. Journal of Human Evolution, 116: 57-74

Hawks, J., & Cochran, G. 2006. Dynamics of adaptive introgression from archaic to modern humans. PaleoAnthropology, 101-115.

Gould, S.J. 1980. The Piltdown conspiracy. Natural History 89:8-28.

Balter, M. , 2010 . Candidate human ancestor from South Africa sparks praise and debate. Science 327, 154-155.

Dirks, P.G. H .M, Kibii, J.M., Kuhn, B. F. et al. 2010. Geological setting and age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa. Science 328, 205-208

McHenry, H. 1998. Body proportions in Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus and the origin of the genus Homo, Journal of Human Evolution, 32 1-22.

Lewin, R. 1987. Bones of Contention: Controversies in the Search for Human Origins, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-47651-3.

D’Costa, K. 2014. The Missing Link that Wasn’t. Scientific American, available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice/the-missing-link-that-wasne28099t/
https://www.nature.com/articles/139269a0.pdf


#MissingLink #HumanEvolution #PBSEons

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