'THE DAWKINS DELUSION' New book responds to Dawkins 'The God Delusion'

by nicolaou 79 Replies latest social current

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    LT said:

    "Nic:Militancy bordering on proselytising.

    I had enough of it as a JW, don't like seeing it in Fundamentalist religion (be it Christian or otherwise), nor do I tolerate it well in other philosophies including the scientific and atheist. But you know this. We've been there "

    Um, Little Toe, since when is science philosophy? (As far as I am aware, it has not been regarded as such, nor has it sought to be regarded as such since before the 16th or 17th century). Now, I can certainly understand that atheism might come under the heading of philosophy, but to lump scientific thought and research into the realm of philosophy is quite an insult to the scientific community - both to those scientists who are "believers" and to those who are not - because the aim of science is to glean the natural, objective facts of reality about the world, wholly separate and apart from supernatural, subjective assumptions about it.

    Gumb asks 3 questions that ought to be addressed:

    " Madame Quixote, I would be grateful if you would answer the following questions for me:

    1. In what sense do you think evolution a 'fact'?

    2. In what sense do you think is it not 'logical' to believe in God?

    3. In what sense is there 'empirical' 'evidence' for evolution?"

    A number of scientists have answered all three questions quite well, but I will simply state, as I have before, that based on the enormous body of research evidence available from physical anthropology, paleontology, molecular biology, and geology, that evolution is a fact in the same way that germ theory is a fact and in the same way that Einstein's theory of relativity is a fact.

    In that these theories have passed the tests of what constitute true scientific theory, are tested and are backed by a large body of physical evidence, they have graduated to fact. Any one of these theories may be amended by new evidence, and they may be proved untrue; however, it is rather improbable and to date, no other scientific "theory" has established itself using as large a body of evidence as has the theory of evolution to establish itself among the peers of Dawkins in the scientific community. You will find some very good discussions of this at TalkOrigins.com. I will be back.

    If you read all of what I wrote above, you will understand that my reason for saying that it is illogical to believe in God and to believe in evolutionary theory is because evolutionary theory is a bottom-up proposition, not a top-down one. Life starts at the simplest, cellular level and moves up and out; therefore the designer too (whether he be god or an alien force) would have had to evolve bottom-up somewhere and would have had to reach some point similar to our advancement before surpassing us, his supposed creation. And the mathematical probability of that happening is so incomprehensibly small, that it is only logical to assume that we simply evolved without such a creator. This is one of the major flaws of intelligent design and one of the major successes of evolutionary theory. ID ultimately cannot account for its own origin, relying upon religious ideas (or on the possibility of an alien force), while evolutionary theory stands on its own and has established itself in the scientific community, with peer-reviewed publications and research - something ID continually fails to do.

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

    Evolution is a Fact and a Theory

    by Laurence Moran Copyright © 1993-2002 [Last Update: January 22, 1993]


    W hen non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution. Stephen J. Gould has put this as well as anyone else:

    In the American vernacular, "theory" often means "imperfect fact"--part of a hierarchy of confidence running downhill from fact to theory to hypothesis to guess. Thus the power of the creationist argument: evolution is "only" a theory and intense debate now rages about many aspects of the theory. If evolution is worse than a fact, and scientists can't even make up their minds about the theory, then what confidence can we have in it? Indeed, President Reagan echoed this argument before an evangelical group in Dallas when he said (in what I devoutly hope was campaign rhetoric): "Well, it is a theory. It is a scientific theory only, and it has in recent years been challenged in the world of science--that is, not believed in the scientific community to be as infallible as it once was."

    Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.

    Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. Evolutionists make no claim for perpetual truth, though creationists often do (and then attack us falsely for a style of argument that they themselves favor). In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

    Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution.

    - Stephen J. Gould, " Evolution as Fact and Theory"; Discover, May 1981

    Gould is stating the prevailing view of the scientific community. In other words, the experts on evolution consider it to be a fact. This is not an idea that originated with Gould as the following quotations indicate:

    Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.

    - Theodosius Dobzhansky "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution", American Biology Teacher vol. 35 (March 1973) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism , J. Peter Zetterberg ed. , ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983


    It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.

    The controversies about evolution lie in the realm of the relative importance of various forces in molding evolution.

    - R. C. Lewontin "Evolution/Creation Debate: A Time for Truth" Bioscience 31, 559 (1981) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism , op cit.

    This concept is also explained in introductory biology books that are used in colleges and universities (and in some of the better high schools). For example, in some of the best such textbooks we find:

    Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution.

    - Neil A. Campbell, Biology 2nd ed., 1990, Benjamin/Cummings, p. 434


    Since Darwin's time, massive additional evidence has accumulated supporting the fact of evolution--that all living organisms present on earth today have arisen from earlier forms in the course of earth's long history. Indeed, all of modern biology is an affirmation of this relatedness of the many species of living things and of their gradual divergence from one another over the course of time. Since the publication of The Origin of Species, the important question, scientifically speaking, about evolution has not been whether it has taken place. That is no longer an issue among the vast majority of modern biologists. Today, the central and still fascinating questions for biologists concern the mechanisms by which evolution occurs.

    - Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology 5th ed. 1989, Worth Publishers, p. 972

    One of the best introductory books on evolution (as opposed to introductory biology) is that by Douglas J. Futuyma, and he makes the following comment:

    A few words need to be said about the "theory of evolution," which most people take to mean the proposition that organisms have evolved from common ancestors. In everyday speech, "theory" often means a hypothesis or even a mere speculation. But in science, "theory" means "a statement of what are held to be the general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed." as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. The theory of evolution is a body of interconnected statements about natural selection and the other processes that are thought to cause evolution, just as the atomic theory of chemistry and the Newtonian theory of mechanics are bodies of statements that describe causes of chemical and physical phenomena. In contrast, the statement that organisms have descended with modifications from common ancestors--the historical reality of evolution--is not a theory. It is a fact, as fully as the fact of the earth's revolution about the sun. Like the heliocentric solar system, evolution began as a hypothesis, and achieved "facthood" as the evidence in its favor became so strong that no knowledgeable and unbiased person could deny its reality. No biologist today would think of submitting a paper entitled "New evidence for evolution;" it simply has not been an issue for a century.

    - Douglas J. Futuyma, Evolutionary Biology , 2nd ed., 1986, Sinauer Associates, p. 15

    There are readers of these newsgroups who reject evolution for religious reasons. In general these readers oppose both the fact of evolution and theories of mechanisms, although some anti-evolutionists have come to realize that there is a difference between the two concepts. That is why we see some leading anti-evolutionists admitting to the fact of "microevolution"--they know that evolution can be demonstrated. These readers will not be convinced of the "facthood" of (macro)evolution by any logical argument and it is a waste of time to make the attempt. The best that we can hope for is that they understand the argument that they oppose. Even this simple hope is rarely fulfilled.

    There are some readers who are not anti-evolutionist but still claim that evolution is "only" a theory which can't be proven. This group needs to distinguish between the fact that evolution occurs and the theory of the mechanism of evolution.

    We also need to distinguish between facts that are easy to demonstrate and those that are more circumstantial. Examples of evolution that are readily apparent include the fact that modern populations are evolving and the fact that two closely related species share a common ancestor. The evidence that Homo sapiens and chimpanzees share a recent common ancestor falls into this category. There is so much evidence in support of this aspect of primate evolution that it qualifies as a fact by any common definition of the word "fact."

    In other cases the available evidence is less strong. For example, the relationships of some of the major phyla are still being worked out. Also, the statement that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor is strongly supported by the available evidence, and there is no opposing evidence. However, it is not yet appropriate to call this a "fact" since there are reasonable alternatives.

    Finally, there is an epistemological argument against evolution as fact. Some readers of these newsgroups point out that nothing in science can ever be "proven" and this includes evolution. According to this argument, the probability that evolution is the correct explanation of life as we know it may approach 99.9999...9% but it will never be 100%. Thus evolution cannot be a fact. This kind of argument might be appropriate in a philosophy class (it is essentially correct) but it won't do in the real world. A "fact," as Stephen J. Gould pointed out (see above), means something that is so highly probable that it would be silly not to accept it. This point has also been made by others who contest the nit-picking epistemologists.

    The honest scientist, like the philosopher, will tell you that nothing whatever can be or has been proved with fully 100% certainty, not even that you or I exist, nor anyone except himself, since he might be dreaming the whole thing. Thus there is no sharp line between speculation, hypothesis, theory, principle, and fact, but only a difference along a sliding scale, in the degree of probability of the idea. When we say a thing is a fact, then, we only mean that its probability is an extremely high one: so high that we are not bothered by doubt about it and are ready to act accordingly. Now in this use of the term fact, the only proper one, evolution is a fact. For the evidence in favor of it is as voluminous, diverse, and convincing as in the case of any other well established fact of science concerning the existence of things that cannot be directly seen, such as atoms, neutrons, or solar gravitation ....

    So enormous, ramifying, and consistent has the evidence for evolution become that if anyone could now disprove it, I should have my conception of the orderliness of the universe so shaken as to lead me to doubt even my own existence. If you like, then, I will grant you that in an absolute sense evolution is not a fact, or rather, that it is no more a fact than that you are hearing or reading these words.

    - H. J. Muller, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough" School Science and Mathematics 59, 304-305. (1959) reprinted in Evolution versus Creationism op cit.

    In any meaningful sense evolution is a fact, but there are various theories concerning the mechanism of evolution.


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  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote



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    authorbio Max Ingman, an Australian, is completing his doctoral degree in medical genetics at Uppsala University, Sweden. Recently, he and his ...
    evolution : investigating human evolution Mitochondrial DNA Clarifies Human Evolution By Max IngmanAn ActionBioscience.org original article
    articlehighlights Recent DNA studies of several populations suggest that modern humans:
    • originated in Africa
    • appeared in one founding population
    • evolved around 170,000 years ago
    • migrated to other parts of the world to replace other hominids
    more on author

    May 2001Mitochondrial DNA Clarifies Human Evolution By Max Ingman

    Mutations in human DNA are used to show relationships and evolutionary history.

    "Where do we come from?" This has been one of the fundamental questions asked by humans for thousands of years. Physical anthropologists have been providing an answer for over a hundred years by studying morphological characteristics, such as skull shape, of the fossilised remains of our human and proto-human ancestors.

    For the last 15 years or so, molecular anthropologists have been comparing the DNA of living humans of diverse origins to build evolutionary trees. Mutations occur in our DNA at a regular rate and will often be passed along to our children. It is these differences (polymorphisms) that, on a genotypic level, make us all unique and analysis of these differences will show how closely we are related. However, different approaches used by molecular and physical anthropologists have led to opposing views on how modern humans evolved from our archaic ancestors.

    Multiregional view: modern humans evolved from earlier hominids in different parts of the world.

    Two main hypotheses
    The two main hypotheses agree that Homo erectus evolved in Africa and spread to the rest of the world around 1 - 2 million years ago; it is regarding our more recent history where they disagree.

    1) Multi-regional evolution
    • suggests that modern humans evolved from archaic forms (such as Neanderthal and Homo erectus) concurrently in different regions of the world
    • supported by physical evidence, such as the continuation of morphological characteristics between archaic and modern humans
    • now a minority standpoint

    Out of Africa view: modern humans evolved in Africa before colonizing the world.

    2) Recent African origin
    • proposes that modern humans evolved once in Africa between 100 - 200 thousand years ago
    • modern humans subsequently colonised the rest of the world without genetic mixing with archaic forms
    • supported by the majority of genetic evidence

    Mitochondrial DNA -- maternal DNA -- is used to construct evolutionary trees.

    Mitochondrial DNA

    DNA is present inside the nucleus of every cell of our body but it is the DNA of the cell's mitochondria that has been most commonly used to construct evolutionary trees.
    • Mitochondria have their own genome of about 16,500 bp that exists outside of the cell nucleus. Each contains 13 protein coding genes, 22 tRNAs and 2 rRNAs.
    • They are present in large numbers in each cell, so fewer samples is required.
    • They have a higher rate of substitution (mutations where one nucleotide is replaced with another) than nuclear DNA making it easier to resolve differences between closely related individuals.
    • They are inherited only from the mother, which allows tracing of a direct genetic line.
    • They don't recombine. The process of recombination in nuclear DNA (except the Y chromosome) mixes sections of DNA from the mother and the father creating a garbled genetic history.
    Mitochondrial DNA displays high mutation rates.

    Focussing on the D-loop

    Evidence from DNA studies generally supports a recent African origin but these conclusions have been criticised for a lack of statistical support. One possible reason for this is because these studies have focussed mainly on the polymorphisms in a small section of the mitochondrial genome called the D-loop, which comprises around 7% of the mitochondrial genome. The reason for this section's popularity lies in its particularly high mutation rate, meaning that scientists can analyse this relatively short sequence and still resolve differences between closely related sequences. Unfortunately, it is now becoming increasingly clear that this very high mutation rate is actually obscuring the informative information. Three main problems with data from the D-loop section have been identified:
    • back mutation - sites that have already undergone substitution are returned to their original state
    • parallel substitution - mutations occur at the same site in independent lineages
    • rate heterogeneity - there is a large difference in the rate at which some sites undergo mutation when compared to other sites in the same region; data shows evidence of 'hot spots' for mutation

    Now that the entire genome can be sequenced, we should get a clearer picture of the origins of modern humans.

    A solution?
    Although the mitochondrial genome is one of the first genomes to be sequenced in its entirety, it was not until recently that the progression of technology allowed sequences of that length to be obtained with relative ease and a study of any appreciable size using whole genomes was undertaken. This study became an important landmark in the field of population genetics and perhaps will be a precedent for a new field, already coined "population genomics." These researchers (Ingman et al., see references) found that although sequencing the whole genome was considerably more work, it provided some important advantages.
    • Although the D-loop was evolving at a much higher rate, the greater length of the complete genome allowed for the analysis of twice as many informative polymorphic sites (sites that show the same polymorphism in at least two sequences).
    • The numbers of back- and parallel mutations found outside of the D-loop were practically zero.
    • The rate of evolution of the rest of the genome was surprisingly even between different sites, different genes and also between the different gene complexes.

    A new study shows that modern humans appeared 171,500 years ago in Africa.

    Population genomics

    The robust phylogenetic tree reconstructed with this dataset of complete mitochondrial genomes gives strong support to the 'recent African origin' theory. By determining the substitution rate of the genomic sequences, it is possible to derive dates for points on the tree and build a chronology of events in the evolution and migration of our species.
    • The most important date, in relation to the competing evolutionary theories, is the time when all the sequences coalesce into one -- the 'mitochondrial Eve.'
    • From this study, a date of 171,500 years ago was obtained which fits remarkably well with that proposed in the recent African origin hypothesis.
    • For us to accept multi-regionality, we would expect a much older date, as it would represent the common ancestor of Homo erectus rather than of Homo sapiens.
    The evolutionary history of aboriginal populations still remains a mystery.This study is only the first and population genomics is in its infancy. The future will provide more studies with ever-increasing numbers of sequences from yet unanalysed populations and perhaps an interface between genetic data from different loci. For example, a recent study of ancient human remains in Australia integrated genetic data with the information collected by physical anthropology. There are many important questions that remain to be resolved such as how and when the Aborigines arrived in Australia and the evolutionary history and relationships of North and South American Indians.
    © 2001, American Institute of Biological Sciences. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact editor for reprint permission. See reprint policy.

    About the author : Max Ingman, an Australian, is completing his doctoral degree in medical genetics at Uppsala University, Sweden. Recently, he and his colleagues analysed the complete mitochondrial genomes of people selected from diverse geographical, racial, and linguistic backgrounds. It is considered to be the most thorough analysis to date. He continues to work on projects that deal with the evolutionary histories of certain, somewhat enigmatic, populations.

    Mitochondrial DNA Clarifies Human Evolution
    learnmore links

    get involved references educator resources back to top

    Human origins: paleoanthropology
    The human origins program at the Smithsonian Institution. A site intended to educate about human origins through the field of paleoanthropology.

    Human origins: archaeology
    An archaeology information site with details on the different forms of archaic humans and discussions on relevant topics. Provides a good list of links to more information on anthropology.

    Human origins: genetics
    University College London, Centre for Genetic Anthropology site with information on the use of Y-chromosome data in the study of human evolution. Includes a 'Beginners background' page on genetic (molecular) anthropology.

    Human evolution chart
    Click on this interactive chart of human evolution, stretching from 5 million years ago to the present, to learn about different hominid species.
    DNA Testing
    An Introduction For non-scientists, with illustrations and easy-to-follow text by by Donald E. Riley, Ph.D., University of Washington.

    Fossil evidence in 3D
    This gallery contains five modern primate crania and five fossil crania which can be rotated 360°. Each cranium is accompanied by a short description of its relevance to human evolution.http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/

    getinvolved links

    learn more references educator resources back to top

    The United Mitochondrial Disease FoundationThis site provides information and support to those who are affected by mitochondrial diseases -- hereditary disorders, now considered as common as childhood cancers, that affect the cell's ability to produce life-sustaining energy.

    learn more get involved educator resources back to top

    » Wilson, A.C. and Cann, R.L. "The recent African genesis of humans." Scientific American 266 (4) 68-73 (1992).
    » Thorne, A. G. Wolpoff, M. H. "The multiregional evolution of humans." Scientific American 266 (4) 76-9, 82-3 (1992).
    » Wills, C. Children of Prometheus: The Accelerating Pace of Human Evolution. (Perseus Books, Reading, MA, 1998).
    » Max Ingman, Henrick Kaessmann, Svante Pääbo, Ulf Gyllensten. "Mitochondrial genome variation and the origin of modern humans." Nature 408, 708-713 (Dec. 2000).
    » Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. Genes, Peoples, and Languages. (New York. North Point Press, 2000).
    educator resources

    learn more get involved references back to top

    ActionBioscience.org original lessonThis lesson has been written by a science educator to specifically accompany the above article. It includes article content and extension questions, as well as activity handouts for different grade levels.

    Lesson Title:mtDNA: So What Did You Inherit from Your Mom? Levels: high school - undergraduate
    Summary: This lesson examines the structure and function of mitochondria. Students can produce a page for an organelle catalog, conduct a mock radio interview, assess myths about Mitochondrial Eve… and more!

    Download/view lesson, click icon: (To open the lesson's PDF file, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader free software.)

    Useful links for educators
    Mitochondrial Control Region
    A how-to library which allows high school and college classes to isolate mtDNA, and to have it processed free of charge at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Click on "sequencing service."

    Useful links for student researchIn addition to the links in the "learn more" section above:» Genetics/Genome Glossary
    A glossary of genetic terms from the Human Genome Program.
    » MitoMaps and Other Data http://www.mitomap.org » Eve Theory
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/mitoeve.html » MtDNA Structure and Function
    http://www.rivendell-peds.com/hirsch/mito.htmhttp://www.cytochemistry.net/Cell-biology/mitoch1.htm» Organelles
    This is a segment of a website placed by the instructor of an AP Biology course in San Pasquale High School, California. An excellent resource listing all organelles, their functions, and complete with graphics.http://www.winterwren.com/apbio/cellorganelles/cells.html

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  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote

    Evidence for the fact of evolution? Okay, but you asked for it. Enjoy:


    L I N E A G E S O U R A N C E S T O R S

    Fossil DNA proves Neanderthals were not ancestors of humans http://expressindia.com/ie/daily/19970712/19350373.html This article provides an introductory level overview of the DNA evidence taken from fossil Neanderthal bones.

    Fossil Hominids: Type Specimens http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/typespec.html This page gives information on fossils chosen as their species type, as well as pictures.

    Journey into Phylogenetic Systematics http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad4.html Explores the ways that biologists reconstruct the pattern of events that have led to the distribution and diversity of life.

    Phyltree: Phylogeny and Reconstructing Phylogenetic Trees http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/Phyltree/cover.html Describes the problem of reconstructing phylogenetic trees with the help of a java applet.

    Prominent Hominid Fossils http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/specimen.html This site contains fossil pictures and information, as well as links to more information on hominid species.

    And More:

    A L L T O P I C S

    African Primates at Home http://www.indiana.edu/~primate/primates.html This site contains sounds, pictures, and life information of primates in Africa.

    Arch Net http://spirit.lib.uconn.edu/archnet A multilingual archeology resource page. Look in the subject areas, which include flora and fauna, artifacts, geoarcheology, and site tours.

    ArchaeologyInfo http://www.archaeologyinfo.com ArchaeologyInfo.com is an archaeology and human evolution resource that contains information about human origins and evolution as well as materials to assist in learning about and teaching anthropology, archaeology, and human origins.

    Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness http://assc.caltech.edu/ ASSC promotes research within cognitive science, neuroscience, philosophy, and other relevant disciplines in the sciences and humanities, directed toward understanding the nature, function, and underlying mechanisms of consciousness.

    Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/ The Institute cares for a unique family of five chimpanzees, including Washoe, who have acquired the signs of American Sign Language (ASL) and use those signs in conversations with each other and their human companions.

    Comparative Mammalian Brain Collections http://brainmuseum.org/index.html This web site provides browsers with images and information from one of the world's largest collection of well-preserved, sectioned and stained brains of mammals. Viewers can see and download photographs of brains of over 100 different species of mammals (including humans) representing 17 mammalian orders.

    Dating Techniques in Archaeology http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/anthro/exploratorium/Dating/DatingTech.html A college-level (Archeology 3) course site developed for UC system courses. The site includes excellent information and exercises on dating.

    Enter Evolution: Theory and History: Paleontology Without Walls http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibit/exhibits.html This site contains three exhibits: phylogeny, geology, and evolution. The evolution exhibit includes information on specific scientists and provides a historical approach to the study of evolution, as well as a link to an exploration of plate tectonics.

    Europe Prehistoric Art http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~rkwok/ancientart/europe.html Provides links to prehistoric art from around the world.

    Evolution and Psychology: Links http://watarts.uwaterloo.ca/~acheyne/pce.html This is a link page to primary sources investigating the evolution of the brain, the evolution of signs and language, the evolution of consciousness, group selection, sociality and evolution, and evolution and affect. The articles require a 10th grade or higher reading level.

    Footsteps of Man http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/2384/links.html A central, massive linking page to rock art, rock art links, rock art information, maps, newspaper articles, and about sites all over the world.

    Fossil DNA proves Neanderthals were not ancestors of humans http://expressindia.com/ie/daily/19970712/19350373.html This article provides an introductory level overview of the DNA evidence taken from fossil Neanderthal bones.

    Fossil Hominids: Type Specimens http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/typespec.html This page gives information on fossils chosen as their species type, as well as pictures.

    Fossils, Rocks and Time http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/fossils/ On-line edition of "Fossils, Rocks and Time." The printed version of this publication is one of a series of general interest publications prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey to provide information about the earth sciences, natural resources, and the environment.

    Geologic Time http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/ The Earth is very old -- 4.5 billion years or more -- according to recent estimates. This vast span of time, called geologic time by earth scientists, is difficult to comprehend in the familiar time units of months and years, or even centuries. How then do scientists reckon geologic time, and why do they believe the Earth is so old? A great part of the secret of the Earth's age is locked up in its rocks, and our centuries-old search for the key led to the beginning and nourished the growth of geologic science.

    Glaciers: Clues to Future Climate http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/glaciers/ A glacier is a large mass of ice having its genesis on land and represents a multiyear surplus of snowfall over snowmelt. At the present time, perennial ice covers about 10 percent of the land areas of the Earth. Although glaciers are generally thought of as polar entities, they also are found in mountainous areas throughout the world, on all continents except Australia, and even at or near the Equator on high mountains in Africa and South America.

    Global Land Environments Since the Last Interglacial http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html This site has ecosystem maps, information on plant cover, language spread speculation, and other information.

    Grotte Chauvet http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/chauvet/en/ This is a bilingual site (French and English), created by the French Ministry of Culture, about the cave paintings in France. In addition to providing pictures and history, site also explains details of discovery and authentication.

    Harvard Biological Laboratories http://www.mcb.harvard.edu/Resources/Library/ This excellent links page brings together various Harvard biology projects and connections on the web. Included are links to selected biology resources, model organism databases, biological databases, other Harvard internet resources and more.

    Henry M. McHenry http://www.anthro.ucdavis.edu/faculty/mchenry/ Henry M. McHenry, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, researches differences in size.

    How Humans Evolved http://www.wwnorton.com/college/anthro/bioanth/hhehome.htm This is an evolution textbook online with links and some nice visuals.

    Human Evolution Education Network http://www.NatCenSciEd.org/heenhm.htm This is a resource page for teachers and scientists. It provides links to a newsletter, bibliographies, educational resources, and museums.

    Introduction to the Scientific Method http://teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html An explanation on what the scientific method is and does by Frank Wolfs, University of Rochester.

    John Gurche, Paleo Artist http://www.gurche.com John Gurche's academic training is in paleontology and anthropology and his work is backed up with a number of ongoing research efforts, including studies in primate anatomy and of fossil collections around the world.

    Journey into Phylogenetic Systematics http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/clad/clad4.html Explores the ways that biologists reconstruct the pattern of events that have led to the distribution and diversity of life.

    Laugerie Basse http://www.grandroc.com/laugerie/pionniers_uk.htm The cliff of Laugerie Basse lies in Périgord Noir, in Les Eyzies, France. This natural shelter was home to Cro-Magnon men.

    Monkey Trial http://www.pbs.org/amex/monkeytrial In support of the broadcast of Monkey Trial on PBS which aired Feburary 17, 2002, we have included their website as a link. John Scopes was arrested in Tennessee in 1925 for teaching evolution in defiance of state law. His trial became an all-out duel between science and religion, and one of the epic legal battles of the twentieth century

    Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira http://museodealtamira.mcu.es/ingles/avatares.html The new Altamira Museum recently opened its doors in Santillana del Mar Cantabria, Spain. The caves have been for a longtime out of reach to the main public for conservation reasons, with visits restricted down to 3,000 people per year, causing three- year waiting lists. It is a great museum and scientists have built a real size "neocave" from precise laser-measurements on the original, re-creating the cave for visitors to experience the beauty of its paintings. The website provides information on the cave and its paintings. Website in Spanish.

    National Center for Science Education http://www.natcenscied.org/ National Center for Science Education, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt membership organization working to defend the teaching of evolution against sectarian attack. We are a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice to keep evolution in the science classroom and \"scientific creationism\" out. While there are organizations that oppose \"scientific creationism\" as part of their general goals (such as good science education, or separation of church and state), NCSE is the only national organization that specializes in this issue.

    National Geographic Maps and Geography Portal http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/index.html Map Machine, Map Innovator, Round Earth - Flat Maps...

    National Geographic Outpost: In Search of Human Origins http://www.nationalgeographic.com/outpost/ Follow paleoanthropoligist Lee Berger's work in Botswana in the Field Journal, learn about interpreting fossil evidence in Interpretation Station, and explore resources in the Tool Kit.

    National Science Education Standards http://www.nap.edu/books/0309053269/html/index.html

    Phyltree: Phylogeny and Reconstructing Phylogenetic Trees http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/Phyltree/cover.html Describes the problem of reconstructing phylogenetic trees with the help of a java applet.

    Prehistoric Technology http://www.pma.edmonton.ab.ca/human/archaeo/aspects/technol.htm This site contains prehistoric tools from the Provincial Museum of Alberta. There is a nice arrowhead collection and useful, explanatory text. A good introduction to tools and technologies.

    Primate Gallery http://homepage.mac.com/wildlifeweb/primate/main.html This site includes many photographs, recordings of vocalizations, and animations.

    Primate Info Net http://www.primate.wisc.edu/pin/ A web site for people with an interest in the field of primatology. The site is maintained by the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Prominent Hominid Fossils http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/specimen.html This site contains fossil pictures and information, as well as links to more information on hominid species.

    Promoting Bioscience Literacy http://www.actionbioscience.org

    Quantitative Genetics Resources http://nitro.biosci.arizona.edu/zbook/book.html This site is for two current textbooks on quantitative genetics on-line. An excellent resource for advanced topics, the second text is about evolution and selection of quantitaive traits.

    Radiocarbon WEB-info http://www2.waikato.ac.nz/c14/webinfo/index.html This page links to information on how C-14 dating is done, on what it is commonly used, how accurate it is, etc.

    Stanford Human Genome Center http://www-shgc.stanford.edu/ This very complete site contains general information about genetics and the mapping of the human genome, as well as specific education pages.

    The cave of Lascaux http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/

    The Center for Consciousness Studies http://www.consciousness.arizona.edu/ The Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona encourages the promotion of open, scientifically rigorous and sustained discussions of all phenomena related to conscious experience.

    The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International http://www.gorillafund.org/ DFGFI is dedicated to the conservation and protection of gorillas and their habitat in Africa and committed to promoting continued research on gorilla's threatened ecosystems and education about their relevance to the world in which we live.

    The eSkeletons Project http://www.eskeletons.org/ The e-Skeletons Project website enables you to view the bones of a human, gorilla, and baboon and gather information about them from the osteology database.

    The ETE Consortium http://www.nmnh.si.edu/ete/ This site includes information on what exactly the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems is and why it is studied, links to a database for research on evolutionary paleoecology, a bibliography of fossil vertebrates, and other web resources

    The Gorilla Foundation http://www.gorilla.org/ This site is from the organization teaching gorillas sign language. It includes a section entitled Gorilla Facts which contains gorilla life information, plus photographs and video.

    The Gorilla Foundation / Koko.org http://www.koko.org TGF/Koko.org promotes the protection, preservation and propagation of gorillas. Project Koko, a primary focus of TGF/Koko.org, involves teaching a modified form of American Sign Language to two lowland gorillas, Koko and Michael.

    The Great Ice Age http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/ice_age/ The Great Ice Age, a recent chapter in the Earth's history, was a period of recurring widespread glaciations. Mountain glaciers formed on all continents, the icecaps of Antarctica and Greenland were more extensive and thicker than today, and vast glaciers, in places as much as several thousand feet thick, spread across North America and Eurasia.

    The Great Outdoor Recreation Page: Archeology/Cultural Sites http://www.gorp.com/gorp/resource/archaeol/main.htm Mesa Verde, Poverty Point, Chimney Rock, the Painted Caves of Europe, and much more. Maps, histories, myths, and site information for each site listed. Also includes links to archeology groups and specific sites.

    The Human Origins Program http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/ This Smithsonian Institution program works to enhance scientific knowledge and public awareness of human evolutionary history.

    The Jade Sea and a Treasure Trove of Fossils: Koobi Fora http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/academic/cult_sci/anthro/origins/Koobi/
    This is an African site excavated by the Leakey\'s. Follow the pages through maps and history to the tools themselves and an explanation of how they were made and used.

    The Jane Goodall Institute http://www.janegoodall.org/ The Jane Goodall Institute advances the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment of all living things.

    The Lithics Site http://anthropology.buffalo.edu/Lithics/ This site links to all sorts of rock tool resources on the web, from straight archeological sites to a page called "Knappers Anonymous" for the modern day stone knapper.

    The Long Foreground: Human Prehistory http://www.wsu.edu:8001/vwsu/gened/learn-modules/top_longfor/
    This site, from Washington State University's World Civilization course, provides an easily understood, visually interesting introduction to human evolution, the hominid species timeline, and human physical characteristics.

    The MCC Hominid Journey http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/academic/cult_sci/anthro/hominid_journey/
    This site, hosted by Mesa Community College Anthropology Department, provides a timeline of hominid development that can be explored.

    The Primates: Monkeys http://anthro.palomar.edu/primate/ This site presents a comparative anatomy lesson on Old World and New World Monkeys.

    The Scientific Research Method http://va.essortment.com/scientificresea_rqce.htm The scientific method is the means by which researchers are able to make conclusive statements about their studies with a minimum of bias.

    The Tree of Life http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/phylogeny.html The Tree of Life is a project designed to contain information about phylogenetic relationships and characteristics of organisms, to illustrate the diversity and unity of living organisms, and to link biological information available on the Internet in the form of a phylogenetic navigator.

    The Way We Were: The Path of Human Evolution http://www.trollart.com/evo.html A summary overview of human evolution using cartoons and personal perspectives.

    The World of Chimpanzees http://jinrui.zool.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ChimpHome/chimpanzeeE.html This site provides information on chimp life and social behavior, as well as drawings and photographs.

    Traditional Technology Links http://www.usd.edu/anth/courses/a230/techlinks.html A page of links to specific technologies offered by an anthropology professor.

    Trust for African Rock Art http://www.tara.org.uk/ TARA, Trust for African Rock Art, aims at creating public awareness about the wide distribution and variety of rock paintings and engravings throughout Africa.

    Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center Library Audiovisual Archive http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/ This site has a large collection of images, slide shows, and primates-in-films bibliography.

  • Madame Quixote
    Madame Quixote
    Anthropology @ Mesa Community College

    Anthropology at MCC
    Social/Cultural Anthropology: study of contemporary cultures and the more general underlying patterns of human culture derived through cultural comparisons.

    We invite you to learn about yourselves and the world of

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    © 1995 MCC Anthropology -Last Edited September 2006

    NMNH Home | Research & Collections | Paleobiology | Anthropology | Search

    Welcome to ETE

    Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program

    The Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems (ETE) Program was formed by a group of professional researchers in paleontology who study the evolutionary paleoecology of land ecosystems. We share a conviction that long-term patterns of evolutionary change cannot be fully understood without knowledge of changes in ecology (at many scales) over geologic time periods, and an understanding of the interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes. Thus, we are interested not only in how the environment has changed, but how ecosystems themselves have changed, and how evolution has occurred in its ecological context over the last 400 million years. The ETE database captures and organizes fossil evidence concerning land biotas in support of ETE’s research objectives. The ETE Program is is affiliated with the Departments of Paleobiology and Anthropology (Human Origins Program) at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

    AAAS Symposium, Denver

    ETE researchers have organized two symposia at the 2003 meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    ETE members, A. K. Behrensmeyer and S. L. Wing arranged the symposium entitled, "Disruptions in Ancient Land Ecosystems: Lessons from the Fossil Record." ETE member R. Potts and A. Brooks from The George Washington University organized, "Revolution and Evolution in Modern Human Origins: When, Where, Why?" Follow the links to details on each of these symposia from the AAAS website.

    ETE Relational Database and ETE DataNet

    The ETE relational database is now partially united with the Paleobiology Database Project's (PBDB) relational database. All primary database functions (queries, entries and updates) are available through the PBDB home page. The new combined database compiles information from the terrestrial and marine record, but lacks some of the data fields present in the original ETE database. ETE is currently updating and revising its database and web interfaces. Descriptions and a schema of the original ETE database are provided in the ETE Database Manual.

    ETE data sources and related links

    Other ETE links and resources

    NMNH Home | Research & Collections | Paleobiology | Anthropology | Search

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    Award winning site!

    This list of resources is maintained as an electronic supplement to our forthcoming two volume textbook on Quantitative Genetics to be published by Sinauer Associates. Links to web pages, particular programs, and notes/comments on all issues in quantitative genetics (i.e., animal breeding, plant breeding, evolutionary genetics, human genetics) can be found under the appropriate chapters for each volume.

    The authors are Mike Lynch (in the Department of Biology at Indiana University at Bloomington) and myself ( Bruce Walsh in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona). E-mail the authors.

    Volume 1: Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits

    Published December 1997. Deals with basic biology and estimation of quantitiative characters.

    Expanded Table of Contents

    Current list of Typos and Other Still Errors (last updated 25 August 2003)

    Details and Ordering information

    Topics Covered (Complete list of chapters)

    • Resemblance between relatives
    • Genetic variance components
    • Detecting major genes
    • Polygenes and polygenetic mutation
    • QTL mapping in inbred and outbred populations
    • Line cross analysis, inbreeding and outbreeding depression
    • Distribution theory, matrix methods, scaling and transformation
    • Estimation: regression, ANOVA, BLUP, and REML
    • Sibs, dialleles, correlated characters, GxE, maternal effects, sex-linked, threshold characters

    For updates, programs, notes on new material, see the webpage for the appropriate chapter

      • Comments to the publisher from original reviewers of the manuscript (W. G. Hill, James Crow, Ruth Shaw)
      • Reviews:
        1. Warren Ewens, American Journal of Human Biology 11: 798-800. [ review
        2. Trudy MacKay, Evolution 53: 307-309. [ review ]
        3. Jim Cheverud, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 108: 375-376. [ review ]
        4. J. J. Colleau, Genetics, Selection, Evolution 30: 203-204. [ review ]
        5. Nick Barton, Genetical Research 72: 73. [ review ]
        6. Paul Siegel, Journal of Heredity 90: 256-257. [ review ]
        7. Mary Marazita, Trends in Genetics 15: 120. [ review ]
        8. Outi Savolainen, Forest Genetics 6: 88 [ review ]
        9. William A. Nelson and Elizabeth E. Crone, The Quarterly Review of Biology 74: 225. [review ]
        10. Christopher Basten, Theoretical Population Biology 57: 307 [review ]
        11. Suzanne Leal, American Journal of Human Genetics 68: 548-549. [ review ]

        Courses using Volume 1 (partial list):

        [ Please drop us an e-mail so we can add your course to this list! ]

        1. BioStatistics 578, Statistical Methods in Quantitative Genetics. Stephanie Monks, University of Washington (Winter Quarter, 2000).
        2. Biometrical Genetics and Plant Breeding, Chris Cramer, New Mexico State University.
        3. Module 8: Quantitative Trait Gene Mapping I, NCSU Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics, Z-B. Zeng, C. J. Basten, and R. Doerge.
        4. Module 10: Quantitative Trait Gene Mapping II , NCSU Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics, Z-B Zeng, C.J. Basten, B. Yandell and I. Hoeschele.
        5. Short Course in QTL mapping, as part of the Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis MSc degree at the University of Edinburgh. S. Knott (and others).

        Volume 2: Evolution and Selection of Quantitative Traits

        This is about 70 percent finished) will follow, and deals with natural and artificial selection on quantitative characters. Draft chapters can be downloaded from the Vol. 2 webpage.

        Topics Covered (Complete list of chapters)

        • Genetic drift, including changes in non-additive variances
        • Selection theory: changes in means and variances, short and long-term response, effects of finite population size, index selection.
        • Measuring selection in natural populations
        • Phenotypic evolution models: applications to ecology, paleobiology, marcoevolution, sexual selection
        • Maintenance of quantitative genetic variability

          Guest log

          Please sign in with the Guest log , as I'm trying to get some idea who uses this page. The log requires a browser supporting forms. If yours does not, just sent me a quick e-mail. Thanks!

          Notes on Program Links

          • Most programs are listed under the appropriate chapters.
          • There is a seperate list of general-purpose educational programs .
          • Only programs that are available free to the general community will be listed!!
          • To include your listing or report of errors, please e-mail me. Thanks!

          Recent Books on Quantitative Genetics

          Recent books not cited in our book.

          • Gallais, A. 2003. Quantitative Genetics and Breeding Methods in Autopolyploid Plants INRA, Paris 513 pp.

          • Sorensen, D., and D. Gianola. 2002 Likelihood, Bayesian, and MCMC Methods in Quantitative Genetics. Springer 739 pp. ISBN 0-387-95440-6. $89.95 webpage

          • Bernardo, Rex 2002 Breeding for Quantitative Traits in Plants. Stemma Press 369 pp. ISBN 0-9720724-0-5. $65. Webpage

          • Knoury, Muin J., Terri H. Beaty, and Bernice H. Cohen. 1993. Fundamentals of Genetic Epidemiology. Oxford. 383 pp. ISBN 0-19-505288-9. $59.50

          • Lange, K. 1997. Mathematical and statistical methods for genetic analysis. Springer. 288PP. HARDCOVER $54.95 ISBN 0-387-94909-7 (Available at amazon.com)
            • An excellent short text with a strong emphasis on probablistic and statistical issues, with a focus on human applications.

            • Introduction: During the past decade, geneticists have constructed detailed maps of the human genome and cloned scores of Mendelian disease genes. They now stand on the threshold of sequencing the genome in its entirety. The unprecedented insights into human disease and evolution offered by mapping and sequencing will transform medicine and agriculture. This revolution depends vitally on the contributions of applied mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists. Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Genetic Analysis is written to equip graduate students in the mathematical sciences to understand and model the epidemiological and experimental data encountered in genetics research. Mathematical, statistical, and computational principles relevant to this task are developed hand in hand with applications to gene mapping, risk prediction, and the testing of epidemiological hypotheses. The book includes many topics currently accessible only in journal articles, including pedigree analysis algorithms, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, reconstruction of evolutionary trees, radiation hybrid mapping, and models of recombination. Exercise sets are included.

            • Contents: 1. Basic principles of population genetics; 2. Counting methods and the EM algorithm; 3. Newton's method and scoring; 4. Hypothesis testing and categorical data; 5; Genetic identity coefficients; 6. Applications of identity coefficients; 7. Computation of Mendelian likelihoods; 8. The polygenic model; 9. Markov chain Monte Carlo methods; 10. Reconstruction of evolutionary trees; 11. Radiation hybrid mapping; 12. Models of recombination; 13. Poisson approximation; Appendix A: Molecular genetics in brief.

          • Simm, G. 1998. Genetic Improvement of Cattle and Sheep. Farming Press. ISBN 0-85236-351-6. Softcover $49.95 (Available at amazon.com, search on title, not author)

          • Haines, J. L. and M. A. Pericak-Vance (eds). 1998 .Approaches to Gene Mapping in Complex Human Diseases . ISBN 0-471-17195-6. Softcover $79.95. 320 pages. (Available at amazon.com )

          • Sham, Pak. 1998. Statistics in Human Genetics ISBN 0-340-662417 Softcover $44.95 (Available at amazon.com ). 304 pages. Topics covered include the estimation of allele frequencies; the testing for Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium; classical and complex segregation analysis; linkage analysis for Mendelian and complex diseases and quantitative traits; the detection of allelic associations; the estimation of heritability for multifactorial traits; and path analysis.

          • Ott, Jurg. 1999. Analysis of Human Genetic Linkage (3rd ed). ISBN 0-801-861403. Johns Hopkins Univ Press. Softcover $55.00. 424 pages. (Available at amazon.com )

          • Plomin, Robert, John C. DeFries, Gerlad E. McClearn, and Peter McGuffin. Behavioral Genetics (4th ed). ISBN 0-7167-5159-3. Worth Publishers, New York. $89.50 449 pages. (Available at amazon.com )

          • Thompson, Elizabeth A. 2000. Statistical Inferences from Genetic Data on Pedigrees . ISBN 0-940600-49-8 .
            • This monograph is based on lectures presented at a 1999 CBMS Summer Research Conference. It develops the probability models for genetic data on related individuals, from the meiosis level to data on extended pedigrees. The focus is on simple Mendelian traits, such as DNA markers, but on joint models for data at multiple genetic loci, such as arise in modern genome scan studies. The statistical approach is that of likelihood, maximum likelihood estimation, and methods for the analysis of latent-variable and hidden-Markov models including the EM algorithm, the Baum algorithm, and Monte Carlo imputation methods. The first half of the monograph develops the basic concepts and approaches, focusing on the ideas of gene identity by descent and the tracing of gene descent in pedigrees using meiosis indicators or inheritance vectors. This material should be accessible to first-year graduate students in statistics or biostatistics. Only a basic understanding of discrete probability and mathematical statistics (likelihood inference) are assumed. No genetic knowledge is presupposed, although some familiarity with basic terminology will be helpful. Building on these foundations, the second half of the monograph develops Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and Monte Carlo likelihood methods for the analysis of data on individuals in a known pedigree structure. This material is more specialized, but should be accessible to those who have mastered the earlier chapters, or who have studied hidden Markov models and MCMC methods. The objective is Monte Carlo estimation of likelihood surfaces and conditional probabilities, rather than Bayesian sampling of parameter spaces and posterior distributions. The penultimate chapter illustrates the methods presented, through detailed analysis of two examples, using recently implemented MCMC samplers and likelihood estimation procedures. The final chapter discusses related research areas and the potential for further development of methods.

            • Ordering information ($30.00)

          • Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis in Animals , by Joel Weller. $50.00 (US) 304 pages. More details

          Links to webpages on Quantitative Genetics

        • Class Notes (Some of these links appear to only be active when the class is taught)
          1. Statistical Genetics, with a focus on Animal and Plant Breeding . Wyman Nyquist, Purdue University. Very extensive notes (essentially an on-line textbook)
          2. Armidale Animal Breeding Summer Course 2003 . David Lindsay, Julius van der Werf, Mike Goddard, Ben Hayes, University of New England, Armidale NSW.
          3. Armidale Animal Breeding Summer Course 2004.
          4. 2003 Nordic postgraduate course: Quantitative Genetics in Animal Breeding. Bruce Walsh and Bill Muir, Helsinki, Finland.
          5. Quantitative Genetics and Animal Models . L. R. Schaeffer, University of Guelph.
          6. Estimation of Genetic Parameters . L. R. Schaeffer, University of Guelph.
          7. EEB 348: Population Genetics . Kent Holsinger, Univ. Conn.
          8. Genomes
            1. AnimalGenome Size Database ( C-values for over 2,100 species and subspecies of vertebrates and 800 invertebrates)
            2. Human
            3. Mouse
            4. Fugu (Puffer fish)
            5. Arabidopsis
            6. Flybase (Drosophila)
            7. Mosquito
            8. Wormbase (C. elegans)
            9. Dictyostelium
            10. TIGR Microbial Database
            11. Karen Ayres (University of Reading ) very extensive Statistical Genetics webpage

            12. Software

            13. Meetings
            14. (7th WCGALP) August 19-23, 2002. Montpellier, France.

            15. Population and Evolutionary Genetics of Forest Tree Species Star‡ Lesn‡, Slovakia, August 25-29, 2002
            16. Gordon Conference on Quantitative Genetics, February 18-23, 2001. Ventura, California.

            17. Quantitative Genetics and Plant Breeding in the 21st Century. A Symposium held by the LSU Chapter of Sigma Xi from March 26 thru March 28, 2001 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
            18. Summaries from Previous meetings
              1. Report and Recommendations from the NIH meeting on The Genetic Architecture of Complex Traits held at the (US) National Institutes of Health on December 10-11, 1997.

              2. Reports from Sixth World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, University of New England, Australia (January 11-16th 1998).
              3. Advanced Classes/Workshops

              4. Summer Institute in Statistical Genetics, from University of Washington

              5. The M.Sc./Diploma in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis at the University of Edinburgh.
              6. Quantitative-Genetics related listserves
                • ANGENMAP (ANimal GENe MAPpers) is an internet discussion group for all gene mappers and interested parties

              7. Directories for Finding People
                1. Evolution and population genetics
                2. Animal Breeders and Geneticists
                3. Animal Gene Mapping Community Directory
                4. Animal Breeding and Genetics

                5. Plant Breeding

                6. Forest Breeding

                  • Evolution

                  • Human Genetics

                  • Departments and Programs

                  • Journals

                  • Searchable bibliographices

                    Home Pages: [ Walsh] - [ Volume One] - [ Volume Two] - [ What's new ]
                    Created 25 February 1995, last updated 31 Jan 2002

                    Bruce Walsh. [email protected] . Comments welcome.

                    About Nitro, your WWW faithful server.

                    Prominent Hominid Fossils

                    Sahelanthropus tchadensis
                    Ardipithecus ramidus
                    Australopithecus anamensis
                    Australopithecus afarensis
                    Kenyanthropus platyops
                    Australopithecus africanus
                    Australopithecus garhi
                    Australopithecus aethiopicus
                    Australopithecus robustus
                    Australopithecus boisei
                    Homo habilis
                    Homo georgicus
                    Homo erectus
                    Homo ergaster
                    Homo antecessor
                    Homo heidelbergensis
                    Homo neanderthalensis
                    Homo floresiensis
                    Homo sapiens

                    This list includes fossils that are important for either their scientific or historic interest, or because they are often mentioned by creationists. One sometimes reads that all hominid fossils could fit in a coffin, or on a table, or a billiard table. That is a misleading image, as there are now thousands of hominid fossils. They are however mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth. Complete skulls and skeletons are rare.

                    The list is sorted by species, going from older to more recent species. Within each species, finds are sorted by the order of their discovery. Each species has a type specimen which was used to define it.

                    Each entry will consist of a specimen number if known (or the site name, if many fossils were found in one place), any nicknames in quotes, and a species name. The species name will be followed by a '?' if suspect. If the fossil was originally placed in a different species, that name will also be given.

                    The following terminology is used. A skull refers to all the bones of the head. A cranium is a skull minus the lower jaw. A braincase is the cranium minus the face and upper jaw. A skullcap is the top portion of the braincase.

                    Abbreviations: ER East (Lake) Rudolf, Kenya WT West (Lake) Turkana, Kenya KP Kanapoi, Kenya SK Swartkrans, South Africa Sts,Stw Sterkfontein, South Africa TM Transvaal Museum, South Africa OH Olduvai Hominid, Tanzania AL Afar Locality, Ethiopia ARA-VP Aramis Vertebrate Paleontology, Ethiopia BOU-VP Bouri Vertebrate Paleontology, Ethiopia TM Toros-Menalla, Chad 

                    TM 266-01-060-1 , "Toumai", Sahelanthropus tchadensis
                    Discovered by Ahounta Djimdoumalbaye in 2001 in Chad, in the southern Sahara desert. Estimated age is between 6 and 7 million years. This is a mostly complete cranium with a small brain (between 320 and 380 cc). (Brunet et al. 2002, Wood 2002) It has many primitive apelike features, such as the small brainsize, along with others, such as the brow ridges and small canine teeth, which are characteristic of later hominids.

                    "ARA-VP, Sites 1, 6 & 7", Ardipithecus ramidus
                    Discovered by a team led by Tim White, Berhane Asfaw and Gen Suwa (1994) in 1992 and 1993 at Aramis in Ethiopia. Estimated age is 4.4 million years. The find consisted of fossils from 17 individuals. Most remains are teeth, but there is also a partial lower jaw of a child, a partial cranium base, and partial arm bone from 2 individuals.
                    ARA-VP-6/1 consists of 10 teeth from a single individual.
                    ARA-VP-7/2 consists of parts of all three bones from the left arm of a single individual, with a mixture of hominid and ape features.

                    KP 271 , "Kanapoi Hominid", Australopithecus anamensis
                    Discovered by Bryan Patterson in 1965 at Kanapoi in Kenya (Patterson and Howells 1967). This is a lower left humerus which is about 4.0 million years old. (Creationist arguments)

                    KP 29281 , Australopithecus anamensis
                    Discovered by Peter Nzube in 1994 at Kanapoi in Kenya (Leakey et al. 1995). This is a lower jaw with all its teeth which is about 4.0 million years old.

                    KP 29285 , Australopithecus anamensis
                    Discovered by Kamoya Kimeu in 1994 at Kanapoi in Kenya. This is a tibia, missing the middle portion of the bone, which is about 4.1 million years old. It is the oldest known evidence for hominid bipedalism.

                    AL 129-1 , Australopithecus afarensis
                    Discovered by Donald Johanson in 1973 at Hadar in Ethiopia (Johanson and Edey 1981; Johanson and Taieb 1976). Estimated age is about 3.4 million years. This find consisted of portions of both legs, including a complete right knee joint which is almost a miniature of a human knee, but apparently belongs to an adult.

                    Lucy AL 288-1, "Lucy", Australopithecus afarensis
                    Discovered by Donald Johanson and Tom Gray in 1974 at Hadar in Ethiopia (Johanson and Edey 1981; Johanson and Taieb 1976). Its age is about 3.2 million years. Lucy was an adult female of about 25 years. About 40% of her skeleton was found, and her pelvis, femur (the upper leg bone) and tibia show her to have been bipedal. She was about 107 cm (3'6") tall (small for her species) and about 28 kg (62 lbs) in weight. (Creationist arguments)

                    AL 333 Site, "The First Family", Australopithecus afarensis?
                    Discovered in 1975 by Donald Johanson's team at Hadar in Ethiopia (Johanson and Edey 1981). Its age is about 3.2 million years. This find consisted of remains of at least 13 individuals of all ages. The size of these specimens varies considerably. Scientists debate whether the specimens belong to one species, two or even three. Johanson believes they belong to a single species in which males were considerably larger than females. Others believe that the larger specimens belong to a primitive species of Homo.

                    "Laetoli footprints" , Australopithecus afarensis?
                    Discovered in 1978 by Paul Abell at Laetoli in Tanzania. Estimated age is 3.7 million years. The trail consists of the fossilized footprints of two or three bipedal hominids. Their size and stride length indicate that they were about 140 cm (4'8") and 120 cm (4'0") tall. Many scientists claim that the footprints are effectively identical to those of modern humans (Tattersall 1993; Feder and Park 1989), while others claim the big toes diverged slightly (like apes) and that the toe lengths are longer than humans but shorter than in apes (Burenhult 1993). The prints are tentatively assigned to A. afarensis, because no other hominid species is known from that time, although some scientists disagree with that classification. (Creationist arguments)

                    AL 444-2 , Australopithecus afarensis
                    Discovered by Bill Kimbel and Yoel Rak in 1991 at Hadar in Ethiopia (Kimbel et al. 1994). Estimated age is 3 million years. This is a 70% complete skull of a large adult male, easily the most complete afarensis skull known, with a brain size of 550 cc. According to its finders, it strengthens the case that all the First Family fossils were members of the same species, because the differences between AL 444-2 and the smaller skulls in the collection are consistent with other sexually dimorphic hominoids.

                    KNM-WT 40000 KNM-WT 40000, Kenyanthropus platyops
                    Discovered by Justus Erus in 1999 at Lomekwi in Kenya (Leakey et al. 2001, Lieberman 2001). Estimated age is about 3.5 million years. This is a mostly complete, but heavily distorted, cranium with a large, flat face and small teeth. The brain size is similar to that of australopithecines. This fossil has considerable similarities with, and is possibly related to, the habiline fossil ER 1470.

                    Taung Child "Taung Child", Australopithecus africanus
                    Discovered by Raymond Dart in 1924 at Taung in South Africa (Dart 1925). The find consisted of a full face, teeth and jaws, and an endocranial cast of the brain. It is between 2 and 3 million years old, but it and most other South African fossils are found in cave deposits that are difficult to date. The teeth of this skull showed it to be from an infant about 5 or 6 years old (it is now believed that australopithecines matured faster than humans, and that the Taung child was about 3). The brain size was 410 cc, and would have been around 440 cc as an adult. The large rounded brain, canine teeth which were small and not apelike, and the position of the foramen magnum(*) convinced Dart that this was a bipedal human ancestor, which he named Australopithecus africanus (African southern ape). Although the discovery became famous, Dart's interpretation was rejected by the scientific community until the mid-1940's, following the discovery of other similar fossils.

                    (*) Anatomical digression: the foramen magnum is the hole in the skull through which the spinal cord passes. In apes, it is towards the back of the skull, because of their quadrupedal posture. In humans it is at the bottom of the skull because our head is balanced on top of a vertical column. In australopithecines it is also placed forward from the ape position, although not always as far forward as in humans.

                    TM 1512, Australopithecus africanus (was Plesianthropus transvaalensis)
                    Discovered by Robert Broom in 1936 at Sterkfontein in South Africa (Broom 1936). The second australopithecine fossil found, it consisted of parts of the face, upper jaw and braincase.

                    Sts 5 Sts 5, "Mrs Ples", Australopithecus africanus
                    Discovered by Robert Broom in 1947 at Sterkfontein in South Africa. It is a very well preserved cranium of an adult. It has usually been thought to be female, but there has been a recent claim that it is male. It is the best specimen of africanus. It is about 2.5 million years old, with a brain size of about 485 cc. (It has recently been claimed that the fossils Sts 5 and Sts 14 (see next entry) were from the same individual)

                    Sts 14 Sts 14, Australopithecus africanus
                    Discovered by Robert Broom and J.T. Robinson in 1947 at Sterkfontein (Broom and Robinson 1947). Estimated age is about 2.5 million years. This find consisted of a nearly complete vertebral column, pelvis, some rib fragments, and part of a femur of a very small adult. The pelvis is more human than apelike, and is strong evidence that africanus was bipedal (Brace et al. 1979), although it may not have had the strong striding gait of modern humans (Burenhult 1993).

                    BOU-VP-12/130 , Australopithecus garhi
                    Discovered by Yohannes Haile-Selassie in 1997 at Bouri in Ethiopia (Asfaw et al. 1999). This is a partial skull including an upper jaw with teeth which is about 2.5 million years old.

                    Stw 573, "Little Foot", Australopithecus
                    Discovered by Ron Clarke between 1994 and 1997 at Sterkfontein in South Africa. Estimated age is 3.3 million years. This fossil consists, so far, of many bones from the foot, leg, hand and arm, and a complete skull. More bones are thought to be still embedded in rock. (Clarke and Tobias 1995, Clarke 1998, Clarke 1999)

                    (An increasing number of scientists are placing the following three species, aethiopicus, robustus and boisei, in the genus Paranthropus)

                    KNM-WT 17000 , "The Black Skull", Australopithecus aethiopicus
                    Discovered by Alan Walker in 1985 near West Turkana in Kenya. Estimated age is 2.5 million years. This find is an intact, almost complete cranium. The brain size is very small for a hominid, about 410 cc, and the skull has a puzzling mixture of primitive and advanced features. (Leakey and Lewin 1992)

                    TM 1517 , Australopithecus robustus (was Paranthropus robustus)
                    Discovered by a schoolboy, Gert Terblanche, in 1938 at Kromdraai in South Africa (Broom 1938). It consisted of skull fragments, including five teeth, and a few skeletal fragments. This was the first specimen of robustus.

                    SK 48, Australopithecus robustus (was Paranthropus crassidens)
                    Discovered by Mr. Fourie in 1950 at Swartkrans in South Africa (Johanson and Edgar 1996). It is a cranium, probably belonging to an adult female, and 1.5-2.0 million years old. It is the most complete skull of robustus.

                    DNH 7DNH 7, "Eurydice", Australopithecus robustus
                    Discovered by André Keyser in 1994 at the Drimolen cave in South Africa. Estimated age is between 1.5 and 2.0 million years. This is an almost complete skull and lower jaw of a female, one of the most complete hominid skulls ever found, and the first significant fossil of a female robustus. A fossil of a male robustus lower jaw, nicknamed Orpheus (DNH 8), was found a few inches away from it. (Keyser 2000)

                    OH 5 OH 5, "Zinjanthropus", "Nutcracker Man", Australopithecus boisei
                    Discovered by Mary Leakey in 1959 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania (Leakey 1959). Estimated age is 1.8 million years. It is an almost complete cranium, with a brain size is about 530 cc. This was the first specimen of this species. Louis Leakey briefly considered this a human ancestor, but the claim was dropped when Homo habilis was found soon afterwards.

                    KNM-ER 406 KNM-ER 406, Australopithecus boisei
                    Discovered by Richard Leakey in 1969 near Lake Turkana in Kenya. This find was a complete, intact cranium lacking only the teeth (Lewin 1987). Estimated age is about 1.7 million years. The brain size is about 510 cc. (see also ER 3733)

                    KNM-ER 732, Australopithecus boisei
                    Discovered by Richard Leakey in 1970 near Lake Turkana in Kenya. The cranium is similar to that of OH 5, but is smaller and has other differences such as the lack of a sagittal crest. The estimated age is about 1.7 million years. The brain size is about 500 cc. Most experts believe this is a case of sexual dimorphism, with the female being smaller than the male.

                    KGA10-525 , Australopithecus boisei
                    Discovered by A. Amzaye in 1993 at Konso in Ethiopia (Suwa et al. 1997). This fossil consists of much of a skull, including a lower jaw. The estimated age is 1.4 million years. The brain size is estimated to be about 545 cc. Although it has many features specific to boisei, it also lies outside the previously known range of variation of that species in many ways, suggesting that boisei (and maybe other hominid species) may have been more variable than is often thought (Delson 1997).

                    Homo habilis
                    Discovered by the Leakeys in the early 1960's at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. A number of fragmentary specimens were found (Leakey et al. 1964).

                    • OH 7 , "Jonny's Child", found by Jonathon Leakey in 1960 (Leakey 1961), consisted of a lower jaw and two cranial fragments of a child, and a few hand bones. Estimated age is 1.8 million years, and the brain size was about 680 cc.
                    • OH 8: found in 1960, consisted of a set of foot bones, complete except for the back of the heel and the toes. Estimated age is about 1.8 million years. They have a mixture of human and ape traits, but are consistent with bipedal locomotion. (Aiello and Dean 1990)
                    • OH 13 , "Cindy": found in 1963, consisted of a lower jaw and teeth, bits of the upper jaw and a cranial fragment. Estimated age is 1.6 million years, and the brain size was about 650 cc.
                    • OH 16, "George": found in 1963, consisted of teeth and some very fragmentary parts of the skull. (George was unfortunately trampled by Masai cattle before he was found, and much of the skull was lost.) Estimated age is 1.7 million years, and the brain size was about 640 cc.

                    OH 24 (Twiggy) OH 24, "Twiggy", Homo habilis
                    Discovered by Peter Nzube in 1968 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It consisted of an fairly complete but very badly crushed cranium and seven teeth. It is about 1.85 million years old and has a brain size of about 590 cc.

                    ER 1470 KNM-ER 1470, Homo habilis (or Homo rudolfensis?)
                    Discovered by Bernard Ngeneo in 1972 at Koobi Fora in Kenya (Leakey 1973). Estimated age is 1.9 million years. This is the most complete habilis skull known. Its brain size is 750 cc, large for habilis. It was originally dated at nearly 3 million years old, a figure that caused much confusion as at the time it was older than any known australopithecines, from whom habilis had supposedly descended. A lively debate over the dating of 1470 ensued (Lewin 1987; Johanson and Edey 1981; Lubenow 1992). The skull is surprisingly modern in some respects. The braincase is much larger and less robust than any australopithecine skull, and is also without the large brow ridges typical of Homo erectus. It is however very large and robust in the face. A number of leg bones were found within a couple of kilometers, and are thought to probably belong to the same species. The most complete, KNM-ER 1481, consisted of a complete left femur, both ends of a left tibia and the lower end of a left fibula (the smaller of the two lower leg bones). These are quite similar to the bones of modern humans. (Creationist arguments)

                    KNM-ER 1805 , "The Mystery Skull", Homo habilis??
                    Discovered by Paul Abell in 1973 at Koobi Fora in Kenya (Leakey 1974). Estimated age is 1.85 million years. This find consisted of much of a heavily built cranium containing many teeth. Its brain size is about 600 cc. Some features, such as the sagittal crest, are typical of A. boisei, but the teeth are too small for that species. (Willis 1989; Day 1986) Various workers have assigned it to almost every conceivable species, but many studies have attributed it to Homo habilis (e.g. Wood 1991). A recent cladistic study has placed it outside of Homo and most similar to robust australopithecines, though different from any named species. (Prat 2002)

                    KNM-ER 1813 KNM-ER 1813, Homo habilis?
                    Discovered by Kamoya Kimeu in 1973 at Koobi Fora in Kenya (Leakey 1974). This specimen is similar to 1470, but is much smaller, with a brain size of 510 cc. Estimated age is 1.8-1.9 million years. Some scientists believe this a case of sexual dimorphism, others believe that the brain architecture is different and that 1813 is another species of Homo, and others believe it is an australopithecine. Like the previous skull, 1805, this one is in the "Suspense Account". (Willis 1989)

                    Stw 53 Stw 53, Homo habilis?
                    Discovered by Alun Hughes in 1976 at Sterkfontein in South Africa (Hughes and Tobias 1977). Estimated age is 1.5 to 2 million years. It consisted of a number of cranium fragments including teeth. Many stone tools were found in the same layer.

                    OH 62 , "Dik-dik hominid", Homo habilis
                    Discovered by Tim White in 1986 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania (Johanson and Shreeve 1989; Johanson et al. 1987). Estimated age is 1.8 million years. The find consisted of portions of skull, arm, leg bones and teeth. Almost all the features of the skull closely resemble habilis fossils such as OH 24, ER 1813 and ER 1470, rather than the australopithecines. But the estimated height is very small, maybe about 105 cm (3'5"), and the arms are very long in proportion to the legs. These are australopithecine traits, and in fact the skeletal bones are very similar to those of Lucy. This find is significant because it is the only fossil in which limb bones have been securely assigned to habilis. Because of the small size, this was almost certainly a female. As with the australopithecines, males would have been considerably larger.

                    OH 65 OH 65, Homo habilis
                    Discovered in 1995 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. This fossil consisted of a complete upper jaw and part of the lower face, dated at 1.8 million years. Because of its similarities to the fossil ER 1470, its finders have suggested that OH 65 may lead to a reclassification of the habiline fossils. (Blumenschine et al. 2003, Tobias 2003)

                    Java Man Trinil 2, "Java Man", "Pithecanthropus I", Homo erectus (was Pithecanthropus erectus)
                    Discovered by Eugene Dubois in 1891 near Trinil on the Indonesian island of Java. Its age is uncertain, but thought to be about 700,000 years. This find consisted of a flat, very thick skullcap, and a few teeth (which may belong to orang-utans). The following year a femur was found about 12 meters away (Theunissen 1989). The brain size is about 940 cc. The femur is fully modern, and many scientists now believe that it belongs to a modern human. (Creationist arguments)

                    Peking Man "Peking Man Site", Homo erectus (was Sinanthropus pekinensis)
                    Between 1929 and 1937, 14 partial craniums, 11 lower jaws, many teeth, some skeletal bones and large numbers of stone tools were discovered in the Lower Cave at Locality 1 of the Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian (formerly Choukoutien), near Beijing (formerly Peking), in China. Their age is estimated to be between 500,000 and 300,000 years old. (A number of fossils of modern humans were also discovered in the Upper Cave at the same site in 1933.) The most complete fossils, all of which were braincases or skullcaps, are:

                    • Skull III, discovered at Locus E in 1929 is an adolescent or juvenile with a brain size of 915 cc.
                    • Skull II, discovered at Locus D in 1929 but only recognized in 1930, is an adult or adolescent with a brain size of 1030 cc.
                    • Skulls X, XI and XII (sometimes called LI, LII and LIII) were discovered at Locus L in 1936. They are thought to belong to an adult man, an adult woman and a young adult, with brain sizes of 1225 cc, 1015 cc and 1030 cc respectively. (Weidenreich 1937)
                    • Skull V: two cranial fragments were discovered in 1966 which fit with (casts of) two other fragments found in 1934 and 1936 to form much of a skullcap with a brain size of 1140 cc. These pieces were found at a higher level, and appear to be more modern than the other skullcaps. (Jia and Huang 1990) (Creationist arguments)

                    Most of the study on these fossils was done by Davidson Black until his death in 1934. Franz Weidenreich replaced him and studied the fossils until leaving China in 1941. The original fossils disappeared in 1941 while being shipped to the United States for safety during World War II, but excellent casts and descriptions remain. Since the war, other erectus fossils have been found at this site and others in China.

                    Sangiran 2, "Pithecanthropus II", Homo erectus
                    Discovered by G.H.R. von Koenigswald in 1937 at Sangiran on the Indonesian island of Java. This fossil is a braincase that is very similar to the first Java Man skull cap, but more complete and smaller, with a brain size of only about 815 cc.

                    OH 9OH 9, "Chellean Man", Homo erectus
                    Discovered by Louis Leakey in 1960 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania (Leakey 1961). Estimated age is 1.5 million years. It consisted of a partial braincase with massive browridges and a brain size of 1065 cc.

                    OH 12 , "Pinhead", Homo erectus
                    Discovered by Margaret Cropper in 1962 at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It is similar to but less complete than OH 9, and smaller, with an estimated brain size of only 750 cc. It is estimated to be between 800,000 and 1200,000 years old. Anton (2004) has found a few more pieces of this skull, but it remains very fragmentary.

                    Sangiran 17 Sangiran 17, "Pithecanthropus VIII", Homo erectus
                    Discovered by Sastrohamidjojo Sartono in 1969 at Sangiran on Java. This consists of a fairly complete cranium, with a brain size of about 1000 cc. It is the most complete erectus fossil from Java. This skull is very robust, with a slightly projecting face and huge flaring cheekbones. It has been thought to be about 800,000 years old, but a recent dating has given a much older figure of nearly 1.7 million years. If the older date is correct, it means Homo erectus migrated out of Africa much earlier than previously thought.

                    KNM-ER 3733, Homo erectus (or Homo ergaster)
                    Discovered by Bernard Ngeneo in 1975 at Koobi Fora in Kenya. Estimated age is 1.7 million years. This superb find consisted of an almost complete cranium. The brain size is about 850 cc, and the whole skull is similar to the Peking Man fossils. The discovery of this fossil in the same stratum as ER 406 (A. boisei) delivered the coup de grace to the single species hypothesis: the idea that there has never been more than one hominid species at any point in history. (Leakey and Walker 1976)

                    KNM-WT 15000 KNM-WT 15000, "Turkana Boy", Homo erectus (or Homo ergaster)
                    Discovered by Kamoya Kimeu in 1984 at Nariokotome near Lake Turkana in Kenya (Brown et al. 1985; Leakey and Lewin 1992; Walker and Leakey 1993; Walker and Shipman 1996). This is an almost complete skeleton of an 11 or 12 year old boy, the only major omissions being the hands and feet. (Some scientists believe erectus matured faster than modern humans, and that he was really about 9 years old (Leakey and Lewin 1992).) It is the most complete known specimen of erectus, and also one of the oldest, at 1.6 million years. The brain size was 880 cc, and it is estimated that it would have been 910 cc at adulthood. The boy was 160 cm (5'3") tall, and would have been about 185 cm (6'1") as an adult. This is surprisingly tall, indicating that many erectus may have been as large as modern humans. Except for the skull, the skeleton is very similar to that of modern boys, although there are a number of small differences. The most striking is that the holes in his vertebrae, through which the spinal cord goes, have only about half the cross-sectional area found in modern humans. One suggested explanation for this is that the boy lacked the fine motor control we have in the thorax to control speech, implying that he wasn't nearly as fluent a speaker as modern humans are (Walker and Shipman 1996).

                    D2700 D2700, Homo georgicus
                    Discovered in 2001 at Dmanisi in Georgia. Estimated age is 1.8 million years. It consisted of a mostly complete skull, including a lower jaw (D2735) belonging to the same individual. (Vekua et al. 2002, Balter and Gibbons 2002) At around 600 cc, this is the smallest and most primitive hominid skull ever discovered outside of Africa. This skull and two others discovered nearby form a near-perfect transition between H. habilis and ergaster.

                    ATD6-69 ATD6-69, Homo antecessor?
                    Discovered at Atapuerca in Spain. This is a partial face of a child who was probably about 10 to 11.5 years old. This fossil is over 780,000 years old. (Bermudez de Castro et al. 1997)

                    Mauer "Heidelberg Man", "Mauer Jaw", Homo sapiens (archaic) (also Homo heidelbergensis)
                    Discovered by gravel pit workers in 1907 near Heidelberg in Germany. Estimated age is between 400,000 and 700,000 years. This find consisted of a lower jaw with a receding chin and all its teeth. The jaw is extremely large and robust, like that of Homo erectus, but the teeth are at the small end of the erectus range. It is often classified as Homo heidelbergensis, but has also sometimes been considered to be a European Homo erectus.

                    Kabwe "Rhodesian Man", "Kabwe", Homo sapiens (archaic) (was Homo rhodesiensis)
                    Discovered by a laborer in 1921 at Broken Hill in Northern Rhodesia (now Kabwe in Zambia) (Woodward 1921). This was a complete cranium that was very robust, with large brow ridges and a receding forehead. Estimated age is between 200,000 and 125,000 years. The brain size was about 1280 cc. (Creationist arguments)

                    Arago Arago XXI, "Tautavel Man", Homo sapiens (archaic) (also Homo heidelbergensis)
                    Discovered at Arago in southern France in 1971 by Henry de Lumley. Estimated age is 400,000 years. The fossil consists of a fairly complete face, with 5 molar teeth and part of the braincase. The brain size was about 1150 cc. The skull contains a mixture of features from archaic Homo sapiens and Homo erectus, to which it is sometimes assigned.

                    Petralona Petralona 1, Homo sapiens (archaic)
                    Discovered by villagers at Petralona in Greece in 1960. Estimated age is 250,000-500,000 years. It could alternatively be considered to be a late Homo erectus, and also has some Neandertal characteristics. The brain size is 1220 cc, high for erectus but low for sapiens, and the face is large with particularly wide jaws. (Day 1986)

                    Altapuerca 5 Atapuerca 5, Homo sapiens (archaic)
                    Discovered in the Sima de los Huesos ("Pit of Bones") at the Atapuerca cave site in northern Spain in 1992 and 1993 by Juan-Luis Arsuaga. It is about 300,000 years old, with a brain size of 1125 cc. The face is broad with a huge nasal opening, and resembles Neandertals in some traits but not in others. This is the most complete pre-modern skull in the entire hominid fossil record. (Arsuaga et al. 1993; Johanson and Edgar 1996)

                    Feldhofer Neandertal Feldhofer, Neanderthal 1, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Discovered by Johann Fuhlrott in 1856 in a small cave at Feldhofer in the Neander Valley in Germany. The find consisted of a skullcap, thigh bones, part of a pelvis, some ribs, and some arm and shoulder bones. The lower left arm had been broken in life, and as a result the bones of the left arm were smaller than those of the right. Fuhlrott recognized it as a primitive human, but the German establishment headed by Rudolf Virchow rejected this view, incorrectly claiming that it was a pathological modern human. (Trinkaus and Shipman 1992) In 1999, the original site was rediscovered, and more bones from the same specimen were recovered. (Creationist arguments)

                    (There were actually two earlier Neandertal finds. A partial cranium of a 2.5 year old child found in 1829 in Belgium was not recognized until 1936. An adult cranium found on Gibraltar in 1848 gathered dust in a museum until it was recognized as a Neandertal in 1864.)

                    "Spy 1 and 2", Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Discovered by Marcel de Puydt and Max Lohest in 1886 at the Grotto of Spy (pronounced Spee) d'Orneau in Belgium. Estimated age is about 60,000 years. This find consisted of two almost complete skeletons. The excellent descriptions of the skeletons established that they were very old, and largely discredited the idea that the Neandertal physique was a pathological condition, but also erroneously concluded that Neandertal Man walked with bent knees.

                    "Krapina Site" , Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Discovered by Dragutin Gorjanovic-Kramberger in 1899 near Krapina in Croatia. This site yielded significant remains from two to three dozen individuals, and teeth and jaw fragments from dozens more. When Gorjanovic published on his finds in 1906, it confirmed for once and for all that Neandertals were not pathological modern humans.

                    La Chapelle "Old Man", Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Discovered by Amedee and Jean Bouyssonie in 1908 near La-Chapelle-aux-Saints in France. It is about 50,000 years old, with a brain size of 1620 cc. This nearly complete skeleton was reconstructed by Marcellin Boule, who wrote a definitive and highly influential paper on it which managed to be totally wrong in many of its conclusions. It exaggerated the apelike characteristics of the fossil, popularizing the stereotype, which would last for decades, of a stooping ape-man shuffling along on bent knees. This specimen was between about 30 and 40 when he died, but had a healed broken rib, severe arthritis of the hip, lower neck, back and shoulders, and had lost most of his molar teeth. The fact that he survived as long as he did indicates that Neandertals must have had a complex social structure.

                    "Shanidar Site" , Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Ralph Solecki discovered 9 Neandertal skeletons between 1953 and 1960 at the Shanidar cave in Iraq. They are thought to be between 70,000 and 40,000 years old. One of them, Shanidar 4, had apparently been buried with offerings of flowers (although this interpretation has been disputed). In 1971 Solecki wrote a book, "Shanidar, the First Flower People " , reversing the earlier stereotypes of semi-human brutes. Another skeleton, Shanidar 1, was partially blind, one-armed and crippled. His survival also is evidence of a complex social structure.

                    "Saint-Cesaire Neandertal", Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
                    Discovered by Francois Leveque in 1979 near the village of Saint-Cesaire in France. It consisted of a badly crushed skeleton. The skull was mostly complete, with only the back of the cranium missing. It is dated at about 35,000 years old, and is one of the latest Neandertals known. This find was of special interest because it was found with tools that had previously been assumed to belong to the Cro-Magnon culture, instead of the usual Neandertal tool kit.

                    LB1, "Hobbit", Homo floresiensis
                    Discovered by an Australian/Indonesian team in 2003 at the Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. This find consisted of an almost complete skull and a partial skeleton consisting of leg bones, parts of the pelvis, hands and feet, and some other fragments. LB1 was an adult, probably female, about 1 meter (3'3") tall with an extremely small brain size of 417cc. The skull has human-like teeth with a receding forehead and no chin. The fossil is 18,000 years old and was found with stone tools. This species is thought to be a dwarf form of Homo erectus. (Brown et al. 2004, Morwood et al. 2004, Lahr and Foley 2004)

                    Cro-Magnon "Cro-Magnon Site", Homo sapiens sapiens (modern)
                    Discovered by workmen in 1868 at Cro-Magnon in France. Estimated age is 30,000 years. The site yielded skeletons of 5 buried individuals, along with stone tools, carved reindeer antlers, ivory pendants, and shells. The Cro-Magnons lived in Europe between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago. They are virtually identical to modern man, being tall and muscular and slightly more robust than most modern humans. They were skilled hunters, toolmakers and artists famous for the cave art at places such as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Altamira.


                    There are a number of clear trends (which were neither continuous nor uniform) from early australopithecines to recent humans: increasing brain size, increasing body size, increasing use of and sophistication in tools, decreasing tooth size, decreasing skeletal robustness. There are no clear dividing lines between some of the later gracile australopithecines and some of the early Homo, between erectus and archaic sapiens, or archaic sapiens and modern sapiens.

                    Creationist Wayne Jackson quotes the paragraph to the left in an online article. Read my response here.

                    Despite this, there is little consensus on what our family tree is. Everyone accepts that the robust australopithecines (aethiopicus, robustus and boisei) are not ancestral to us, being a side branch that left no descendants. Whether H. habilis is descended from A. afarensis, africanus, both of them, or neither of them, is still a matter of debate. It is possible that none of the known australopithecines is our ancestor.

                    A number of new genera and species have been discovered within the last decade (Ar. ramidus, Au. amanensis, Au. bahrelghazali, Au. garhi, Orrorin, Kenyanthropus, Sahelanthropus) and no consensus has yet formed on how they are related to each other or to humans. It is generally accepted that Homo erectus is descended from Homo habilis (or, at least, some of the fossils often assigned to habilis), but the relationship between erectus, sapiens and the Neandertals is still unclear. Neandertal affinities can be detected in some specimens of both archaic and modern sapiens.

                    This page is part of the Fossil Hominids FAQ at the talk.origins Archive.

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                    Psychology, Culture, and Evolution

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                    Psychology, Culture, and Evolution

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                    Human Origins & Evolution All Links
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                    Listing of All Links for Human Origins & Evolution
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                    Welcome to our human evolution links section: We suggest that you check out these sites out to see some other human evolution sites. If you know of a site that you think should be included in this section, send us an email.
                    This Month's Featured Site:
                    This month's featured site comes from some of the world's most famed anthropologists. , The Leakey family. Their new site, Leakey.com is filled with information about their family, as well as information on past, present and future projects. Definitely worth the trip.
                    Indiana Unversity's Anthropology Section
                    What do we know about human origins and evolution in Africa? Researchers have culled information from many different fields to address this question. This page was established by Professor Jeanne Sept to maintain links to this constantly growing scientific database, and teaching resources for her students.
                    The Society for American Archaeology
                    The mission of the Society for American Archaeology is to expand understanding and appreciation of humanity's past as achieved through systematic investigation of the archaeological record.
                    The Talk Origins Archive
                    Widely regarded as one of the web's best resources for human evolution and fossil discovery and discussion, Talk Origins has earned their keep. This is a link to the Evolution FAQ section which will be sure to answer most commonly asked questions.
                    The Evolution Wing at UCAL Berkeley

                    The University of California at Berkeley is the institution where many of today's biggest contributors to the field of evolutionary study have earned their degrees. Check out the Evolution Wing to learn more about the history of evolutionary thought and those that have paved the way for today's evolutionary theorists.
                    Becoming Human Documentary
                    Join renound archaeologist, Donald Johanson on a journey through time as he explores our origins through discussions about our hominid ancestors.
                    Origins of Humankind Website
                    This site includes news, updated a couple of times a month, articles on general topics or specific early species like Homo Habilis, live chat rooms and discussion bulletin boards, plus a space for papers on controversial theories of evolution and, of course, a collection of related links.
                    More links involving human evolution
                    This page is great for further research. Not only can you can browse their extensive list of links, but you can read the reviews before visiting each site.
                    Human Origins At Thinkquest
                    Teachers can use our site for lessons. We have included some questions that can be used to test whether the substance has been understood. Students can use this site as a source of information for essays and projects on this subject.
                    National Center for Science Education
                    The National Center for Science Education, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt membership organization working to defend the teaching of evolution against sectarian attack.
                    Handprint.com's Ancestral Section
                    This is an interesting site that provides a great looking map of the likely migration of Anatomically Modern Human's dispersal from Africa.

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                    What is the evidence for evolution?

                    Sub-topics (containing additional resources):

                    Homology and analogy , Observations of evolution


                    Clair Patterson: Radiometric dating
                    Clair Patterson used radiometric dating to provide evidence that Earth (and the life on it) is ancient.
                    This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

                    Evo in the news: What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?
                    This news brief, from May 2006, reviews what is likely to be the most important fossil find of the year: Tiktaalik helps us understand how our own ancestors crawled out of the water and began to walk on dry land.

                    Lines of evidence: The science of evolution
                    The theory of evolution is broadly accepted by scientists — and for good reason! Learn about the diverse and numerous lines of evidence that support the theory of evolution.

                    Similarities and differences: Understanding homology and analogyGreat for students
                    This interactive investigation explains what homologies and analogies are, how to recognize them, and how they evolve.

                    Wallace and Wegener: Biogeography
                    Alfred Russel Wallace's studies of species ranges and Alfred Wegener's conception of continental drift provide compelling evidence that much of a species’ present distribution can be explained by its evolutionary history.
                    This article is located within History of Evolutionary Thought.

                    Webcast: Fossils, genes, and embryosAdvanced
                    In lecture three of a four part series, evolutionary biologist David Kingsley examines the original objections to Darwin's theory and shows how modern evidence supports the theory.
                    This lecture is available from Howard Hughes' BioInteractive website.

                    Sub-topics (containing additional resources):

                    Homology and analogy , Observations of evolution

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                    Read how others have recognized the Understanding Evolution website.

                  • Madame Quixote
                    Madame Quixote

                    And More:

                    Click the TV
                    to evolve a
                    single cell into
                    that lovable ape
                    we call the
                    Human Being.

                  • Abaddon


                    I'll have a go too;

                    1. In what sense do you think evolution a 'fact'?

                    The word refers to the evidence of simple forms of life developing into more complex ones that we find around us, and the theory of how this takes place. The former is a fact.

                    2. In what sense do you think is it not 'logical' to believe in God?

                    Pfff... define what is 'reasonable to beleive' from this list;

                    • The Apollo Moon Landings
                    • The Battle of Hastings
                    • LIfe after death
                    • WTC collapse being caused by demolition charges
                    • The tooth fairy
                    • Odessyus
                    • Mithras
                    • Jesus
                    • T Rex (dinosaur not band)
                    • God

                    ... your answers will be intresting in themselves but my question is chiefly to illustrate there is little semantic ground to be won over the word logical if one's definiton of reasonable isn't in itself reasonable.

                    3. In what sense is there 'empirical' 'evidence' for evolution?

                    Two random examples; look into 'ring species'; the herring gull/lesser black-backed gull, and a group of salamanders are good examples of these. Empirical evidence. Another; a species of plant found in the car park of York train station that was a natural hybrid of two other wild plants, self-fertile, but not back fertile with the originating species.

                    Over to you...

                  • RAF

                    k, k, k,

                    God (Essence of everything) or Not God (a cell self evoluting with and without interaction) = same thing viewed in a different way

                    the difference God (intelligente essence) keep some controle but a cell wouldn't actually at our stage of evolution with the faculty of evoluting with interaction over the time from 1 cell ... it would be exponential (in evoluation and new creation) is it what we can see? NO

                  • tetrapod.sapien
                    a species of plant found in the car park of York train station

                    lol! yes, i love it.


                  • Madame Quixote
                    Madame Quixote

                    Probability and statistics are not my strong suit, but I do understand that science - particularly evolutionary theory - must rely on those fields to ascertain the likelihood of theories. As Abbadon has so simply pointed out, some things are more reasonable to believe than others.

                    Additionally, science relies on more than mere "naive empiricism" for its assumptions, which are based in testable and falsifiable hypotheses, not in mere observation (see: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/sciproof.html).

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