We are all Africans

Patty Lee Shipman

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

In the study of human evolution, dueling hypotheses are commonplace because of long-standing, frequently erupting feuds about the interpretation of the fossil record. The field is so argumentative, in part, because the theories reflect directly on the nature and origin of humans. There is immense room for giving and taking offense when the subject is oneself. Too, the primary data of paleoanthropology-fossilized remains of our ancestors and near-relatives-are rare and difficult to obtain. Hence, it is not a simple matter to collect more evidence to clarify or support hypotheses. Fossil hunting requires tremendous knowledge and effort, good organizational skills, substantial grants, and a huge dollop of luck. New theories are, sadly, easier to come by than new primary evidence. Thus it is a joyous occasion when my paleoanthropologist colleagues appear to resolve one of the most bitterly debated questions in the discipline: the issue of when, where and how modern humans evolved. For simplicity, I use "modern humans" or "recent humans" to denote the species to which I (and all the readers of this magazine) belong, but the formal term is either "anatomically modern Homo sapiens" or "Homo sapiens sapiens." Humans who lived in the past and did not have modern anatomy are often referred to as archaic or primitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages496-499
Number of pages4
Volume91
No6
Specialist publicationAmerican Scientist
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

Fingerprint

human evolution
fossil record
ancestry
anatomy
hunting
fossil

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

Shipman, Patty Lee. / We are all Africans. In: American Scientist. 2003 ; Vol. 91, No. 6. pp. 496-499.
@misc{e9c180675c25496693406fb9f3defa7e,
title = "We are all Africans",
abstract = "In the study of human evolution, dueling hypotheses are commonplace because of long-standing, frequently erupting feuds about the interpretation of the fossil record. The field is so argumentative, in part, because the theories reflect directly on the nature and origin of humans. There is immense room for giving and taking offense when the subject is oneself. Too, the primary data of paleoanthropology-fossilized remains of our ancestors and near-relatives-are rare and difficult to obtain. Hence, it is not a simple matter to collect more evidence to clarify or support hypotheses. Fossil hunting requires tremendous knowledge and effort, good organizational skills, substantial grants, and a huge dollop of luck. New theories are, sadly, easier to come by than new primary evidence. Thus it is a joyous occasion when my paleoanthropologist colleagues appear to resolve one of the most bitterly debated questions in the discipline: the issue of when, where and how modern humans evolved. For simplicity, I use {"}modern humans{"} or {"}recent humans{"} to denote the species to which I (and all the readers of this magazine) belong, but the formal term is either {"}anatomically modern Homo sapiens{"} or {"}Homo sapiens sapiens.{"} Humans who lived in the past and did not have modern anatomy are often referred to as archaic or primitive.",
author = "Shipman, {Patty Lee}",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1511/2003.38.3400",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "91",
pages = "496--499",
journal = "American Scientist",
issn = "0003-0996",
publisher = "Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society",

}

Shipman, PL 2003, 'We are all Africans' American Scientist, vol. 91, no. 6, pp. 496-499. https://doi.org/10.1511/2003.38.3400

We are all Africans. / Shipman, Patty Lee.

In: American Scientist, Vol. 91, No. 6, 01.01.2003, p. 496-499.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

TY - GEN

T1 - We are all Africans

AU - Shipman, Patty Lee

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - In the study of human evolution, dueling hypotheses are commonplace because of long-standing, frequently erupting feuds about the interpretation of the fossil record. The field is so argumentative, in part, because the theories reflect directly on the nature and origin of humans. There is immense room for giving and taking offense when the subject is oneself. Too, the primary data of paleoanthropology-fossilized remains of our ancestors and near-relatives-are rare and difficult to obtain. Hence, it is not a simple matter to collect more evidence to clarify or support hypotheses. Fossil hunting requires tremendous knowledge and effort, good organizational skills, substantial grants, and a huge dollop of luck. New theories are, sadly, easier to come by than new primary evidence. Thus it is a joyous occasion when my paleoanthropologist colleagues appear to resolve one of the most bitterly debated questions in the discipline: the issue of when, where and how modern humans evolved. For simplicity, I use "modern humans" or "recent humans" to denote the species to which I (and all the readers of this magazine) belong, but the formal term is either "anatomically modern Homo sapiens" or "Homo sapiens sapiens." Humans who lived in the past and did not have modern anatomy are often referred to as archaic or primitive.

AB - In the study of human evolution, dueling hypotheses are commonplace because of long-standing, frequently erupting feuds about the interpretation of the fossil record. The field is so argumentative, in part, because the theories reflect directly on the nature and origin of humans. There is immense room for giving and taking offense when the subject is oneself. Too, the primary data of paleoanthropology-fossilized remains of our ancestors and near-relatives-are rare and difficult to obtain. Hence, it is not a simple matter to collect more evidence to clarify or support hypotheses. Fossil hunting requires tremendous knowledge and effort, good organizational skills, substantial grants, and a huge dollop of luck. New theories are, sadly, easier to come by than new primary evidence. Thus it is a joyous occasion when my paleoanthropologist colleagues appear to resolve one of the most bitterly debated questions in the discipline: the issue of when, where and how modern humans evolved. For simplicity, I use "modern humans" or "recent humans" to denote the species to which I (and all the readers of this magazine) belong, but the formal term is either "anatomically modern Homo sapiens" or "Homo sapiens sapiens." Humans who lived in the past and did not have modern anatomy are often referred to as archaic or primitive.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2342436253&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2342436253&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1511/2003.38.3400

DO - 10.1511/2003.38.3400

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:2342436253

VL - 91

SP - 496

EP - 499

JO - American Scientist

JF - American Scientist

SN - 0003-0996

ER -