Comment on Dr. Wolpoff's review of Уthe origin of modern humans and the impact of chronometric datingФкод для вставкиСкачать
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 96:183-184 (1995) Notes and Comments Comment on Dr. Wolpoff’s Review of “The Origin of Modern Humans and the Impact of Chronometric Dating” C.B. Stringer Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, England I wish to respond to Wolpoffs recent (1994) review of the publication which resulted from the 1992 Royal Society meeting on modern human origins. That review presents an unpleasant mixture of selective fact and innuendo, In order not to waste this journal’s valuable space with a long reply, I would like to provide some references which will deal with most of the detailed points raised, and finish with a few more direct responses. Most of the questions that Wolpoff raises about the dating of the Middle/ Upper Palaeolithic and Neanderthavearly modern interface in Europe were covered in a previous exchange in Nature (Wolpoff and Frayer, 1992; Stringer 1992a). Opinions or misrepresentations repeated by Wolpoff concerning the Recent African Origin model (misleadingly dubbed by him “The Eve Theory”) and the Klasies, Border Cave, Skhul and Qafzeh, WLH-50, Irhoud, Ngandong, and Laetoli 18 hominids have been dealt with in American Anthropologist (Stringer and Brauer, 1994). Opinions or misleading comments about replacement scenarios, language in Neanderthals, and the uses of genetic data in palaeoanthropology have been covered in the Cambridge Archaeological Journal (Stringer and Gamble, 1994). Wolpoffs view that no connections between behavioural and morphological differences can be made in the Levantine Middle Palaeolithic has been effectively challenged in a recent paper by Trinkaus (1993). Those who believe, like Wolpoff, that Templeton’s critiques have eliminated genetic support for a Recent African Origin for modern humans 0 1995 WILEY-LISS, INC. should also keep an eye on current publications (see, for example, Harpending et al., 1993; Hasegawa et al., 1993; Nei and Roychoudhury 1993; Ruvolo et al., 1993; Rzhetsky and Nei, 1993). I dispute Wolpoffs suggestion of bias in our planning of the meeting which was not, in fact, primarily about Multiregional versus Recent African Origin models. Wolfpoff and several like-minded colleagues were invited t o attend, with one (Fred Smith) invited to present a paper; and Wolpoff s close associate, Alan Thorne, had been allotted time to speak a t the accompanying CIBA symposium, but had to withdraw because of ill health. Readers should carefully compare Wolpoffs review with my own account of the meetings (Stringer, 1992b).For example, he quotes my comment “We have seen significant growth in support for a Recent African Origin of modern humans” as an example of bias, but fails to quote the succeeding sentence: ‘(Therehas, however, been a parallel increase in doubts about interpretations of the new evidence.” As a final comment on the question of unbalanced meetings, I would like to conclude with a short quotation from Lewin (1993, pp. 63-64) about a meeting held two years before the one I coorganized in London: The program [of a session on “TheFossil Evidence for Eve” at the 1990 American Association for the Advancement of Science] appeared to promise a balanced assessment of the fossil data, characterizedas “the only direct evidence with the power of refutation.” In fact, the half-dozen speakers organized by the University of Michigan’s Milford Wolpoff consistently reiterated a single point of view, declaring the opposing interpretation demolished by their evidence. There is no absolute requirement, of course, that scientific symposia balance equal opportunities for proponents on both sides of any question. In the context of general scientific gatherings like the AAAS, however, one-sidedness is unusual. ‘It was meant to be a sales pitch,”Wolpoff later admitted to a Received February 2,1994; accepted April 7,1994. 184 C.B. STRINGER reporter for Discover magazine: "we planned the whole thing, rehearsed it, worked over the exact phrasing."' LITERATURE CITED Harpending H, Sherry S, Rogers A, and Stoneking M (1993) The genetic structure of ancient human populations. Curr. Anthropol. 34:483-496. Hasegawa M, Di Rienzo A, Kocher T, and Wilson A (1993) Towards a more accurate time scale for the human mitochondrial DNA tree. J. Mol. Evol. 37:347354. Lewin R (1993) The Origin of Modern Humans. New York Scientific American Library, pp. 63-64. Nei M, and Fbychoudhury AK (1993) Evolutionary relationships of human populations on a global scale. Mol. Biol. Evol. 10:927-943. Ruvolo M, Zehr S, von Dornum M, Pan D, Chang B, and Lin J (1993) Mitochondria1 COII sequences and modern human origins. Mol. Biol. Evol. 10:1115-1135. 'For the original Wolpoff quote, see Shreeve (1990),p. 57 Rzhetsky A, and Nei M (1993) Theoretical foundation of the minimum-evolution method of phylogenetic inference. Mol. Biol. Evol. 10:1073-1095. Shreeve J (1990) Argument over a woman. Discover 11(8):52-59. Stringer CB (1992a) Neanderthal dates debated. Nature. 356:201. Stringer CB (1992b) Exploring modem human origins: Progress and prospects. Curr. Anthropol. 33:600-603. Stringer CB, and Gamble C (1994) The Neanderthal world: Flat Earth or new horizons? Cambridge Arch. J. 4:9&119. Stringer CB, and Brauer G (1994) Methods, misreading and bias. Am. Anthropol. 96:416-424. Trinkaus E 11993) Femoral neck-shaft angles of the Qafzeh-Skhul early modem humans, and activity levels among immature Near Eastern Middle Palaeolithic hominids. J. Hum. Evol. 25:393-416. Wolpoff MH, and Frayer D (1992) Neanderthal dates debated. Nature. 356:20&201. Wolpoff MH (1994) Book Review. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 93:131-137.