The Speciation of Modern Homo sapiens

The Speciation of Modern Homo sapiens

by Tim J. Crow
     
 

ISBN-10: 0197263119

ISBN-13: 9780197263112

Pub. Date: 04/01/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

This is the first volume to address directly the question of the speciation of modern Homo sapiens. The subject raises profound questions about the nature of the species, our defining characteristic (it is suggested it is language), and the brain changes and their genetic basis that make us distinct. The British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have

Overview

This is the first volume to address directly the question of the speciation of modern Homo sapiens. The subject raises profound questions about the nature of the species, our defining characteristic (it is suggested it is language), and the brain changes and their genetic basis that make us distinct. The British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences have brought together experts from palaeontology, archaeology, linguistics, psychology, genetics and evolutionary theory to present evidence and theories at the cutting edge of our understanding of these issues.

Palaeontological and genetic work suggests that the transition from a precursor hominid species to modern man took place between 100,000 and 150,000 years ago. Some contributors discuss what is most characteristic of the species, focussing on language and its possible basis in brain lateralization. This work is placed in the context of speciation theory, which has remained a subject of considerable debate since the evolutionary synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwinian theory. The timing of specific transitions in hominid evolution is discussed, as also is the question of the neural basis of language. Other contributors address the possible genetic nature of the transition, with reference to changes on the X and Y chromosomes that may account for sex differences in lateralization and verbal ability. These differences are discussed in terms of the theory of sexual selection, and with reference to the mechanisms of speciation.

These essays will be vital reading for anyone interested in the nature and origins of the species, and specifically human abilities.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780197263112
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Series:
Proceedings of the British Academy Series, #106
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Acknowledgements
Introduction, Tim J. Crow
I. THE ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES
The Morphological and Behavioural Origins of Modern Humans, Chris Stringer
Archaeology and the Origins of Modern Humans: European and African Perspectives, Paul Mellars
The Case for Saltational Events in Human Evolution, Ian Tattersall
Grades and Transitions in Human Evolution, Mark Collard
II. LANGUAGE AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRAIN
From Protolanguage to Language, Derek Bickerton
Is the Neural Basis of Vocalisation Different in Non-Human Primates and Homo sapiens?, Detlev Ploog
Laterality and Human Speciation, Michael C. Corballis
When Did Directional Asymmetry Enter the Record?, James Steele
Bihemispheric Language: How the Two Hemispheres Collaborate in the Processing of Language, Norman D. Cook
III. THE SEARCH FOR A CRITICAL EVENT
Sexual Selection, Timing, and the X-Y Homologous Gene: Did Homo sapiens Speciate on the Y Chromosome?, Tim J. Crow
What Can the Y Chromosome Tell Us about the Origin of Modern Humans?, Chris Tyler-Smith
Do the Hominid-Specific Regions of X-Y Homology Contain Candidate Genes Potentially Involved in a Critical Event Linked to Speciation?, Carole A. Sargent, Patricia Blanco, and Nabeel A. Affara
Preferential Sex Linkage of Sexually Selected Genes: Evidence and a New Explanation, Klaus Reinhold

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