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Arguments on evolution. A paleontologist's perspective. By Antoni Hoffman New York Oxford University Press. 1989. xiii + 274 pp. references index. $29

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nae” presents a monograph itself within this
volume. Though his methods of analysis are
quite traditional, it is useful to have such a
wealth of intergeneric comparative anatomical data presented in one source.
Many other chapters also deserve special
mention, but space in this review does not
permit more than just a passing comment. I
greatly enjoyed reading Marshall and Sugardjito’s review of gibbon systematics and
listening to the two records of gibbon vocalizations presenting duets of all the species. I
also was fascinated by MacPhee and Cartmill’s well-illustrated study of basicranial
structures and primate systematics. Their
character analysis and proposed phylogeny
of euprimates on pages 222-223 is a wonder
to study and ponder. In summary, this important work edited by Swindler and Erwin
is a must for every university library and for
any physical anthropologist or anatomist
who has hidden away a few extra dollars for
that “special book.” It is expensive, but it is
well worth it.
2nd ed.
By Daniel L. Hartl and Andrew G. Clark.
Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.
1989. xiii + 682 pp., figures, tables, index.
$39.95 (cloth)
ily covered in the book, such as drift and
mutation, “evolve” slowly over scientific
time; these topic-chapters offer little in new
information to the practicing physical anthropologist.
The topic with the greatest neoinformation in the book is covered in the (long)
chapter on molecular population genetics.
Here are crisp expositions on Southern blotting, DNA sequencing, the polymerase chain
reaction, concerted evolution, cryptic genes,
transposons, and the rest of the high-tech
landscape, all of it currently, or eventually,
applicable t o human studies. For this chapter alone the text deserves an honored place
on the physical anthropologist’s reference
shelf. For providing a comprehensive review
of population-genetical thinking to interested students, it also deserves a place in an
accessible spot in the broader departmental
Biological anthropology embraces both
molecular evolution and ecological genetics
in its expanding world. The discipline of
population genetics is one of the underlying
supports of this world. Hartl and Clark‘s
textbook considers the population genetics of
Homo sapiens among a myriad of other
earthly forms, but the basic concepts of population genetics and molecular evolution are
a boon to human studies, whether they were
developed by work on Drosophila or on mice.
After reviewing the evolution of mendelian populations, the text moves on to give
detailed scrutiny to genetic drift, mutation,
selection, nonrandom mating, population
structure and dynamics, molecular evolution, quantitative traits, and, lastly, ecology
and speciation. The writing is smooth, and
the mathematical formulations not excessive. However, many of the topics necessar-
Department of Anthropology
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Department of Zoology
Oregon State University
Corvall is, Oregon
cism”--I expected to enjoy his lengthy, unilARGUMENTS
lustrated essay on macroevolution and
megaevolution. Moreover, I was prompted to
think that a review of unabashed criticism
would be in order. The first impression was
correct; the second is unmerited.
Although Hoffman’s concise, lucid prose is
From the opening line of Hoffman’s Pref- engaginglo read, it was unsettling tdsee the
ace-“This is a book of unabashed criti- thoughtful, stimulating theories of several
By Antoni Hoffman. New
York: Oxford University Press. 1989. xiii
+ 274 pp., references, index. $29.95
friends and fellow evolutionary biologists at
the University of Chicago so thoroughly dissected. Clearly, Hoffman is an iconoclast.
However, his manner of incisively challenging all novelties is not personalized, and he
stays well above curmugeonhood. Paleoanthropologists had better pray that he will not
turn his attention their way.
Hoffman argues persuasively that the neodanvinian paradigm remains unscathed by
the champions of punctuated equilibrium,
which is a core concept of those who recently
attempted t o dismantle the synthetic theory
of evolution. Accordingly, macroevolution-the
pattern of supraspecific phenomena in space and time-and megaevolution-a subset of macroevolutionary
phenomena that encompasses a substantial
realm of life, perhaps even the entire bios p h e r e a r e not special phenomena that
must be explained by recourse to processes
that are different from microevolutionary
LANGUAGES. By Grover Krantz. New York:
Peter Lang Publishing Inc. 1988. x + 207
pp., figures, bibliography, index. $30.50
Hoffman’s gem probably will not attract a
wide readership among anthropologists because it is focused on early ranges of time
and on nonprimate organisms (erroneously
including bovids with antlers instead of
horns). I recommend it wholeheartedly to all
who wish to catch up on or to keep abreast of
discussions on transformed cladism, limitations of the paleontological record and temporal correlations, the several forms of punctuated equibilibrium theory, Marxist influence in evolutionary biological theory, the
foci or possible units of natural selection, the
causes and consequences of mass extinctions, and biotic diversification.
Department of Anthropology
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
becomes a matter of more efficient Neolithic
food-producers slowly replacing Mesolithic
hunters and gatherers who had existed in far
fewer numbers.
Krantz deals with precisely the same topic
as Colin Renfrew (1987a,b), who reached
similar conclusions. Like Childe (19501, and
Renfrew (1987a), Krantz locates the InFor 200 years, scholars have tried to un- doeuropean homeland in Anatolia and, like
ravel the prehistory of the Indoeuropean Renfrew, dates it to c. 7000 B.C. Previously
languages in Europe and Asia. The distribu- postulated homelands for Indoeuropeans intions of the European languages and peoples clude eastern Europe or the Pontic Steppe, or
have been explained on the basis of lengthy farther east where it was easier to account
movements from some “homeland.” Accord- for a massive migration into northern India.
ing to Krantz and to many other recent Krantz and Renfrew are therefore forced to
writers, movements of large numbers of peo- disagree with much specialist linguistic and
ple over long distances seldom occurred in archaeological opinion, particularly in Eastancient times and were rarely the cause of ern Europe, as well as with those who emcultural or linguistic change, for which other phasize religious, mythological, and social
explanations should be sought if at all possi- structural evidence.
ble. The European “barbarian migrations” of
Looking beyond Europe (and Krantz has
the early first millennium A.D., affecting the undertaken similar studies of western North
distributions of Germanic and Slavic peo- America stressing the “non-migration” of
ples, were therefore exceptional and not ap- hunting peoples), we may wonder why Mepropriate models for Neolithic or Bronze Age soamerican crops spread into eastern and
conditions. Instead, population shifts or re- central North America north of Mexico withplacements should be seen mainly as grad- out also bringing in Mesoamerican lanual, infiltrative phenomena, produced by guages. Was the absence of plowing and
technoeconomic and environmental factors domestic ungulates the reason for the differsuch as cereal agriculture, the plow, and ence? The Bantuization of much of Subsaclimatic changes. Indoeuropeanization thus haran Africa occurred without benefit of
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xiii, evolution, 274, university, references, index, argumenty, new, york, hoffmann, paleontologist, 1989, perspectives, pres, anton, oxford
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