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Out of Africa

Marc Roussel mroussel at alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca
Wed Nov 20 12:29:58 EST 1991

In article <1991Nov19.224202.7072 at cco.caltech.edu> morphy at cco.caltech.edu
(Jones Maxime Murphy) writes:
>The molecular [...]
>shows the the closest living relatives of homo are genera found only in Africa.

     Now I'm really confused.  I thought that the current discussion was
about the origin of the species homo sapiens (and perhaps about the
subspecies homo sapiens sapiens) and NOT about the genus homo.  I
thought that the fossil record was quite clear on the origin of the
genus: it arose in Africa.  Have I misinterpreted both the ongoing
discussion and my readings in the nonspecialist literature?
     While we're at it, if I really have understood the ongoing
discussion and we are trying to ascertain the origin of homo sapiens
(sapiens), why does the genus pan keep entering into this discussion?  I
honestly don't understand this tree-rooting business.  (I do however
understand what the genus pan has to do with the current discussion if
we are in fact discussing the origin of the genus, especially
considering the controversy about the date of divergence of pan and

				Marc R. Roussel
                                mroussel at alchemy.chem.utoronto.ca

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