Toward the Resolution of Discrepancies between Phenetic and Paleontological Data Bearing on the Question of Human Origins

  • L. O. Greenfield
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


Since the publication of comparative serological data and the protein clock (Sarich, 1968; Sarich and Wilson, 1967; Wilson and Sarich, 1969; Goodman, 1963, 1975, 1976), there has been a continuing controversy among serologists and paleoanthropologists over the timing of the divergence between human and Great Ape lineages. Based upon the high degree of similarity in the blood proteins and DNA of Pan, Gorilla, and Homo (King and Wilson, 1975), serologists have suggested a late divergence (5 m.y.a.), while most paleoanthropologists, citing middle Miocene “Ramapithecus”(Simons, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1977; Simons and Pilbeam, 1965, 1972; Tattersall, 1975; Conroy, 1972) or middle Miocene “thick-enameled” dryopithecines (Pilbeam et al., 1977) as evidence of an independent human lineage, suggested an earlier divergence date of 15–20 m.y.a. (the early date possibilities are hereafter referred to as the early divergence hypotheses).


Middle Miocene Human Origin Cheek Tooth Human Lineage Divergence Hypothesis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. O. Greenfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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