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No. 89: Sep-Oct 1993

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Homo erectus never existed!

Skulls of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
(Left) Homo erectus skull. (Right) Homo sapiens skull. Are these markedly different skulls representative of two different species or merely variants of the same species?
The record of human evolution is littered with skeletons -- not only the legitimate bones of early hominids but also with discarded evolutionary charts and discredited taxons. A taxon is a welldefined biological classification, such as a phylum or species. We modern humans are given the label Homo sapiens. We are told with great assurance that we evolved from earlier hominids, such as Homo erectus and, perhaps, Homo nean derthalis. Homo erectus has long been a key feature of all those charts of human evolution decorating our textbooks. But this venerable taxon is getting fuzzier and fuzzier.

"Reappraisal by Cornell University paleontologists of a 200,000-year-old skull from India's Narmada River suggests that the fossil was probably a Home sapiens -- not a Homo erectus -- and marks another spot of the globe where humans may have evolved. .....

"The reappraisal of Narmada Man preceded the recently announced discovery of two Middle Pleistocene fossils from Yunxian, China, that seem to share the traits of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Kennedy would like to bury the taxon Homo erectus altogether, "Those who would like to keep the taxon see a 200,000year-old Narmada Man as a last gasp for Homo erectus," he said."

What will the anthropologists do now with all those skulls they labeled so confidently as Homo erectus? Actually, the possibility underscored by Narmada Man is that modern humans evolved almost simultaneously in several parts of the planet, not just in Africa.

(Anonymous; "Homo erectus Never Existed?" Geotimes, 37:11, October 1992.)

Reference. Human evolution and paleontological evidence are subjects covered in BHE in Biological Anomalies: Humans III. To order this catalog, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #89, SEP-OCT 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987