Ramapithecus and Pan paniscus

Significance for Human Origins
  • A. L. Zihlman
  • J. M. Lowenstein
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


Attempts to explain human origins go back at least several thousand years, but only in the past 100 years or so have scientific methods begun to make headway against mythical and theological versions of creation. In the short time since Darwin’s The Origin of Species provided a coherent framework for the evolution of life on earth, not only has the data base of fossil discoveries increased enormously, but rapid advances in atomic and molecular techniques have provided, even within the last decade, significant new information on the timing of human evolution and the genetic relations of humans to other primates. Traditional paleoanthropology has been slow to admit the existence and validity of the new information, with the result that many current textbooks in anthropology and much of the current literature fail to present views of human evolution that are compatible with the most objective available evidence—namely, the implications of the molecular data showing the very close relationship of humans to African apes.


Sexual Dimorphism World Monkey Human Origin Fossil Evidence Early Hominid 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. L. Zihlman
    • 1
  • J. M. Lowenstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine (122 MR2)University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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