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Human Origins

Introduction


Welcome to our Human Origins quote collection. Many of the quotes in our collections have been verified for accuracy, but not all have been verified. Thus, we present our quote-collections as a starting point for research, and suggest you verify any individual quote before using it.

If you have information about problems or inaccuracies in any quotes, we welcome corrections. Please send them to us at: info@ideacenter.org.

The Quotes:

"When we consider the remote past, before the origin of the actual species Homo sapiens, we are faced with a fragmentary and disconnected fossil record. Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor...The earliest forms that are recognized as being hominid are the famous fossils, associated with primitive stone tools, that were found by Mary and Louis Leakey in the Olduvai gorge and elsewhere in Africa. These fossil hominids lived more than 1.5 million years ago and had brains half the size of ours. They were certainly not members of our own species, and we have no idea whether they were even in our direct ancestral line or only in a parallel line of descent resembling our direct ancestor." (Lewontin, Richard C. [Professor of Zoology and Biology, Harvard University], "Human Diversity," Scientific American Library: New York NY, 1995, p.163)

"In spite of recent findings, the time and pace of origin of order Primates remains shrouded in mystery." (Elwyn L. Simons (Dpt of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, USA and Co-Editor of Nuclear Physics), 'The origin and radiation of the primates'. Annals New York Academy of Sciences,vol. 167, 1969, p. 319)

"...the transition from insectivore to primate is not documented by fossils. The basis of knowledge about the transition is by inference from living forms." (A. J. Kelso (Professor of Physical Anthropology, University of Colorado), "Origin and evolution of the primates", in Physical Anthropology, J. B. Lippincott, New York, second edition, 1974, pg. 142)

"[t]he primary scientific evidence is a pitifully small array of bones form which to construct man's evolutionary history. One anthropologist has compared the task to that of reconstructing the plot of War and Peace with 13 randomly selected pages." (Holden, Constance. "The Politics of Paleoanthropology" Science, 8-14-81, p.737)

"[m]ost hominid fossils, even though they serve as a basis for endless speculation and elaborate storytelling, are fragments of jaws and scraps of skulls." (Gould, S. J., "The Panda's Thumb", 1980, p.126)

"the major problem has been the pitifully small number of hominid fossils on which prehistorians could exercise their interpretive talents" (Lewin, Roger. "A new focus for African prehistory", New Scientist (September 29, 1977) 792-794)

"However, there are not enough fossil records to answer when, where, and how H. Sapiens emerged" (Takahata, "A Genetic Perspective on the Origin and History of Humans" Ann Rv Ecology and Systemtaics, 1995)

"Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist's conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there…. Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips, or ears. Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it.... Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture. The guesswork approach often leads to errors." (Boyce Rensberger, writing in Science in 1981)

"I wanted to get a human soul into this apelike face, to indicate something about where he was headed." (artist John Gurche who said in reference to his work on Australopithecus afarensis in the March, 1996, issue of National Geographic)

"it is increasingly clear that Homo habilus has become a wastebasket taxon, little more than a convenient recipient for a motley assortment of hominid fossils" (The Many Faces of Homo Habilis, 1992, by Dr. Ian Tattersall in Evolutionary Anthropology pg. 33-37)

"Fully adult partial skeletons attributed to Australopithecus afarensis (AL 288-1, "Lucy") and to Homo habilis (OH 62, "Lucy's child"), respecitvely both include remains from upper nad lower limbs. Relationships between various limb bone dimensions of these skeletons are compared to those of modern African apes and humans. Suprisingly, it emerges that OH 62 displays closer similarities to African apes than does AL 288-1. Yet A. afarensis, whose sksleton is dated more than 1 million years earlier, is commonly supposed to be the ancestor of Homo habilis." (Scherer-Hartwig, S., and Martin, R. D., “Was “Lucy” more human than her “child”? Observations on early hominid postcranial skeletons,” Journal of Human Evolution 21:439-49 (1991))

"However, when we find that significant differences have developed, over a short time span, between closely related and contiguous peoples, as in Alaska and Greenland, and when we consider the vast differences that exist between remote groups such as Eskimos and Bushmen, who are known to belong within the single species Homo sapiens, it seems jusitifiable to conclude that Sinanthropus [Homo erectus] belongs within this same diverse species" (Laughlin, W. S., "Eskimos and Aleuts: Their Origins and Evolution," Science, Vol 142:633-645 (September 8, 1963))

"it is remarkable that the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the earliest known representatives of our own genus, Homo, remain obscure. Advances in techniques for absolute dating and reassessments of the fossils themselves have rendered untenable a simple unilinear model of human evolution, in which Homo habilis succeeded the australopithecines and then evolved via H. erectus into H. sapiens—but no clear alternative consensus has yet emerged." (1992, Bernard Wood, Nature)

"Yet despite more than a century of digging, the fossil record remains maddeningly sparse. With so few clues, even a single bone that doesn't fit into the picture can upset everything. Virtually every major discovery has put deep cracks in the conventional wisdom and forced scientists to concoct new theories, amid furious debated." (Time Magazine, May 1994, Michael D. Lemonick, "How Man Began")

"Here we report a systematic attempt to reconstruct the locomotor behaviour of early hominids by looking at a major com¬ponent of the mechanism for the unconscious perception of movement, namely by examining the vestibular system of living primates and early hominids. High resolution computed tomography was used to generate cross-sectional images of the bony labyrinth. Among the fossil hominids the earliest species to demonstrate the modern human morphology is Homo erectus. In contrast, the semi¬circular canal dimensions in crania from southern Africa attributed to Australopithecus and Paranthropus resemble those of the extant great apes. Among early Homo specimens, the canal dimensions of Stw 53 [Homo habilis] are unlike those seen in any of the hominids or great apes, whereas those of SK 847 [Homo ergaster] are modern-human-like." (Spoor, F., Wood, B., Zonneveld, F., "Implications of early hominid labyrinthine morphology for evolution of human bipedal locomotion," Nature, Vol 369:645-648 (June 23, 1994). )

"The overall impression that these [Dryopithecine] creatures give is that they were large and small versions of vaguely chimp-shaped animals. But they were not chimps. In many important features they were not like chimpas at all. Pilbeam believes that the early dryopithecids actually resembled monkeys more closely than they did modern apes. And yet the assumption must remain that they \vere the ancestors of modern apes. Some, indeed, seem to foreshadow orangs; others, gorillas; others, chimps. But this is impossible to prove. Dryopithe¬cid fossils disappear eight or nine million }TearS ago. There are no in¬between types known. There are, in fact, no ape fossils from anywhere after about eight million. (Johanson, D. C., and Edey, M. A., Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, pg. 363 (Simon and Schuster, 1981))

"The new ages raise the possibility that H. erectus overlapped in time with anatomically modern humans (H. sapiens) in Southeast Asia. (Swisher, C. C., Rink, W. J., Antón, S. C., Schwarcz, H.P., Curtis, G. H., Suprijo, A., Widiasmoro, "Latest Homo erectus of Java: Potential Contemporaneity with Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia," Science Vol 274:1870-1874 (December 13, 1996).)

"The paleoanthropology community must look quite Pavlovian to outsiders--we all drool predictably every time a new fossil is discovered." (Delson, E., “One skull does not a species make,” Nature, Vol 389:445-446 (October 2, 1997))

"We present a revised definition, based on verifiable criteria, for Homo and conclude that two species, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, do not belong in the genus." (Wood, B. and Collard, M., "The Human Genus," Science, Vol 284:65-71 (April 2, 1999).)

"In the February issue of the Bulletin international of the Academy of Sciences of Cracow, Mr. K. Stolyhwo describes a human skull dating from the historic period whihc presents strong indications of close affinity with the Spy-Neanderthal type, the so-called Homo primigenius, of the Palaeolithic epoch. The skull, it appears, formed part of a skeleton form a tomb in which was also buried a suit of chain-armour, together with iron spear-heads, &c. (Notes in Nature, Vol 77:587 (April 23, 1908))

"Human encephalization exhibits an ontogenetic transformation not found in other mammalian groups."
"The widely presumed correlation between relative brain size and intelligence is not easily defended in the context of these data"
"The most parsimonious assumption is that natural selection, with respect to information-processing parameters, is probably rarely expressed in chagnes of relative brain size.' Even in these rar caess (possible exampes may include the embryonoic encephelization of primates, cetaceans, and elephants and the encephalization differences between poikilothermic and homoeothermic vertebrates) the changes in brain size may be secondary to more critical reorgaination consequences ... it appears that brain size may be secondary to the selective advantages of allometric reorganization within the brain." (Deacon, T. W., "Problems of Ontogeny and Phylogeny in Brain-Size Evolution," International Journal of Primatology, Vol 11(3):237-282 (1990))

"Sir Peter Medawar, in a phase ambigously directed either to paleoanthropology in general, or perhaps more understandably to Teilhard de Chardin's practice of it, once spoke of a "comparatively humble and unexacting kind of science". Such implied criticism could be justified; it has certainly been possible to get away with being an unexacting practitioner." (Hill, A., "The gift of Taungs," Nature, Vol 323:209 (September 18, 1986))

"On the sole basis of a few bones and skulls, no one would have dared to propose the dramatic behavioral differences recognized today between the bonobo and the chimpanzee ... [this should serve as ] a warning for paleontologists who are reconstructing social life from fossilized remnants of long-extinct species." (Strier, K. B. in Tree of Origin edited by Frans B. M. de Waal, pg. 68 (Harvard University Press, 2001))

"Here, we see again the role of happenstance in evolution. IN this case there was no giant calamity suc as felled the great reptiles, only a simple displacement out of a groove. Had our ancestors gone on in forests, we may suppose that nothing would have happened; they would not have turned into bipeds; we woul dnot be here. It did not have to happen. But it did, with enormous consequences" (Getting Here the Story of Human Evolution, by William Howells (Harvard Anthropologist), The Compass Press, Washington D.C., 1993, pg. 73)

"I mean the stories, the narratives about change over time. How the dinosaurs became extinct, how the mammals evolved, where man came from. These seem to me to be little more than story-telling. And this is the result about cladistics because as it turns out, as it seems to me, all one can learn abou tthe history of life is learned from systematics, from groupings one finds in nature. The rest of it is story-telling of one sort or another. We have access to the tips of a tree, the tree itself is a theory and people who pretened to know about the tree and to describe what went on with it, how the branches came off and the twigs came off are, I think, telling stories." (Dr. Colin Patterson (Senior Palaeontologist, British Museum of Natural Hisotyr, London) in an interview on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television 4 March 1982.)

"Echoing the criticism made of his father's habilis skulls, he added that Lucy's skull was so incomplete that most of it was 'imagination made of plaster of Paris', thus making it impossible to draw any firm conclusion about what species she belonged to." (Referring to comments made by Richard Leakey (Director of National Museums of Kenya) in The Weekend Australian, 7-8 May 1983, Magazine, p. 3)

"Another part of Lovejoy's argument is that, because so drastic an anatomical rebuilding is required to transform an quadruped into a biped, an animal in which the evolutionary change is still incomplete would be an inefficient biped. "During this period, a reproductive advantage must have fallen to those in each generation that walked more frequently in bipedal posture despite their lack of efficiency," he reasoned." (Origins Reconsidered, by Richard Leaky and Roger Lewin (quoting Owen Lovejoy), Doubleday, 1992, pg. 87)

"And there is general agreement that Lucy's gait is not properly understood, and that it is not something simply transitional to ours, although it must have been successful in serving Lucy's purposes." (Getting Here the Story of Human Evolution, by William Howells (Harvard Anthropologist), The Compass Press, Washington D.C., 1993, pg. 79)

"In recent years several authors have written popular books on human origins which were based more on fantasy and subjectivity than on fact and objectivity. At the moment science cannot offer a full answer on the origin of humanity, but scientific method takes us closer to the truth..."
"As far as geologically more recent evidence is concerned, the discovery in East Africa of apparent remains of Homo in the same early fossil sites as both gracile and robust australopithecines has thrown open once again the question of the direct relevance of the latter to human evolution. So on is forced to conclude that there is no clear-cut scientific picture of human evolution." (Introduction to, and article by, Dr. Robert Martin (Senior Research Fello, Zoological Society of London), 'Man is not an onion', New Scientist, 4 August 1977, pp 283 and 285)

"A chance discovery made by looking at a cast of the bones of "Lucy," the most famous fossil of Australopithecus afarensis, shows her wrist is stiff, like a chimpanzee's, Brian Richmond and David Strait of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., reported. This suggests that her ancestors -- and ours -- walked on their knuckles. The stiff wrist limits the flexibility of the hand but makes the forearm strong enough to carry the weight of a heavy primate" ("Man's early ancestors were knuckle walkers" by Maggie Fox, San Diego Union Tribune Quest Section, March 29th, 2000)

"The fossil record pertaining to man is still so sparsely known that those who insist on positive declarations can do nothing more than jump from one hazardous surmise to another and hope that the next dramatic discovery does not make them utter fools ... Clearly some refuse to learn from this. As we have seen, there are numerous scientists and popularizers today who have the temerity to tell us that there is 'no doubt' how man originated: if only they had the evidence..." (William R Fix, The Bone Pedlars, New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1984, p.150)

"[P]erhaps generations of students of human evolution, including myself, have been flailing about in the dark; . . . our data base is too sparse, too slippery, for it to be able to mold our theories. Rather, the theories are more statements about us and ideology than about our past. Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves than it does about how humans came about." (David Pilbeam, "Book Review of Leakey's Origins," 66 _American Scientist_ (1978): 379 [cited in Bird, 1:226]).

"There are increasing indications that some of the early hominies are associated with closed woodland / forest environments, and it has also been shown that, although they had bipedal adaptations, hominies like A. afarensis retained some adaptations to an arboreal way of life. The recent description of four articulating footbones from 3-3.5 Myr deposites in the South African cave site of Sterkfontein supports this, for although primarily adapted for bipedalism, the divergent big toe indicates some degree of prehensile grasping as in apes. Developmental patterns were also more ape-like than human. Whether they were phylogenetically hominines or not, it seems to me that ecologically they may still be considered as apes" (Andrews, Peter, "Ecological Apes and Ancestors," Nature, 376:555-556 (August 17, 1995))

"Gradualists and saltationists alike are completely incapable of giving a convincing explanation of the quasi-simultaneous emergence of a number of biological systems that distinguish human beings from the higher primates: bipedalism, with the concomitant modification of the pelvis, and, without a doubt, the cerebellum, a much more dexterous hand, with fingerprints conferring an especially fine tactile sense; the modifications of the pharynx which permits phonation; the modification of the central nervous system, notably at the level of the temporal lobes, permitting the specific recognition of speech. From the point of view of embryogenesis, these anatomical systems are completely different from one another. Each modification constitutes a gift, a bequest from a primate family to its descendants. It is astonishing that these gifts should have developed simultaneously. Some biologists speak of a predisposition of the genome. Can anyone actually recover the predisposition, supposing that it actually existed? Was it present in the first of the fish? The reality is that we are confronted with total conceptual bankruptcy." (Schutzenberger M-P., in "The Miracles of Darwinism: Interview with Marcel-Paul Schutzenberger," Origins & Design, Vol. 17, No. 2, Spring 1996, pp.10-15. )

"I demonstrate that each step leading to the evolution of intelligent life on earth was highly improbable and that the evolution of the human species was the result of a sequence of thousands of these highly improbable steps. It is a miracle that man ever happened, and it would be an even greater miracle if such a sequence of improbabilities had been repeated anywhere else." (Mayr E. [Emeritus Professor of Zoology, Harvard University], "Toward a New Philosophy of Biology: Observations of an Evolutionist," Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, 1988, p5)

"The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin." (Dr. Lyall Watson, Science Digest, May 1982, page 44.)

"What has become of our ladder if there are three coexisting lineages of hominids (A. africanus, the robust australopithecines, and H. habilis), none clearly derived from another? Moreover, none of the three display any evolutionary trends during their tenure on earth" (S. J. Gould, Natural History, Vol 85, 1976, p. 30)

"We've got to have some ancestors. We'll pick those. Why? Because we know they have to be there, and these are the best candidates. That's by and large the way it has worked. I am not exaggerating." (Nelson, Gareth [Chairman and Curator of the Department of Herpetology and Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, New York], interview, Bethell T., The Wall Street Journal, December 9, 1986, in Johnson P.E., "Darwin on Trial," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove Ill., Second Edition, 1993, p76)

"The outcome of this discussion has important implications: for many years, paleoanthropologists have accepted that upright-walking behavior originated on the savanna, where it most likely provided benefits such as keeping the hot sun off the back or freeing hands for carrying food. Yet our evidence suggests that the earliest bipedal hominid known to date lived at least part of the time in wooded areas." (Leaky, M., Walker, A., "Early Hominid Fossils from Africa," Scientific American, pg. 74-79 (June 1997))

"Judged by the amount of evidence upon which it is based, the study of fossil man (paleoanthropology) hardly deserves to be more than a sub-discipline of palaeontology or anthropology. The entire hominid collection known today would barely cover a billiard table, but it has spawned this science because it is distingiushed by two factors which inflate its apparent relevance far beyond its merits. First, the fossils hint at the ancestry of a supremely important animal--ourselves. Secondly, the collection is so tantalisingly incomplete, and the specimens themselves are often so fragmentary and inconclusive, that more can be said about what is mission than about what is present. Hence the amazing quantity of literature on the subject."
"We already know that the fuss attached to some [fossils] revealed more of human nature than of human origins; eventually we will know the truth about them all." (John Reader (author of Missing Links), in "Whatever happened to Zinjanthropus?" (New Scientist, March 26, 1981, pg. 802-805)

"Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether." (Return to Gee, H., "Return to the planet of the apes," Nature, Vol 412:131-132 (July 12, 2001))

"...the origin of the simian primates is obscure..." (Martin, R. D., "Primate Origins: plugging the gaps" Nature, Vol 363:223-233 (May 20, 1993))

"It appears from the hominid fossil record of pelvic bones that two periods of stasis exist and are separated by a period of very rapid evolution corresponding to the emergence of the genus Homo." (Marchal, F., "A New Morphometric Analysis of the Hominid Pelvic Bone," Journal of Human Evolution, Vol 38:347-365 (2000))

"This australopithecine material suggests a form of locomotion that is not entirely upright nor bipedal. The Rudolf australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the 'knucklewalker' condition, not unlike the extant African apes." ("Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf North Kenya," Nature, Vol 231:241-245 (May 28, 1971))

"A reanalysis of the wrist bones of early human fossils provides the first good evidence that humans evolved from ancestors who 'knuckle-walked', as chimps and gorillas do today." ('From forelimbs to two legs,' Mark Collard and Leslie C. Aiello, Nature 404:339-340 (March 23, 2000))

"The genus Homo may, in fact, be so ancient as to parallel entirely the genus Australopithecus, thus denying the latter a direct place in the human lineage." (Oxnard, C. E., "The place of the Australopithecines in human evolution: grounds for doubt?," Nature, Vol 258:389-395 (Dec 4, 1975))

"To attempt to restore the soft parts is an even more hazardous undertaking. The lips, the eyes, the ears, and the nasal tip leave no clues on the underlying bony parts. You can with equal facility model on a Neanderthaloid skull the features of a chimpanzee or the lineaments of a philosopher. These alleged restorations of ancient types of man have very little if any scientific value and are likely only to mislead the public... So put not your trust in reconstructions. (Earnest A. Hooton, Up From The Ape, New York: McMillan, 1931, p. 329)

"Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps in the evidence.' The author goes on to say: 'David Pilbeam [a well-known expert in human evolution] comments wryly, "If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and showed him the meagre evidence we've got he'd surely say, 'forget it: there isn't enough to go on'." (Richard E. Leakey, The Making of Mankind, Michael Joseph Limited, London, 1981, p. 43)

"In each case although initial studies suggest that the [australopithecine] fossils are similar to humans, or at the worst intermediate between humans and African apes, study of the complete evidence readily shows that reality is otherwise. These fossils clearly differ more from both humans and African apes, than do these two living groups from each other. The australopithecines are unique. ..."
"The various australopithecines are, indeed, more different from both African apes and humans in most features than these latter are from each other. Part of the basis of this acceptance has been the fact that even opposing investigators have found these large differences too, used techniques and research designs that were less biased by prior notions as to what the fossils might have been"...
In this case, also, most of the new studies have come from laboratories independent of those representing individuals who have found the fossils." (Dr. Charles E. Oxnard (formerly Professor of Anatomy and Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, now Professor of Anatomy and Human Biology, University of Western Australia) in Fossils, Teeth and Sex--New Perspectives on Human Evolution, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 1987, pg. 227)

"It was expected that the embryo would recapitulate the features of its ancestors from the lowest to the highest forms in the animal kingdom. Now that the appearance of the embryo at all stages are known, the general feeling is one of disappointment; the human embryo at no stage is anthropoid in its appearance." (Sir Arthur Keith, The Human Body (1932), p. 94. Cited by Wysong, ref [7], p. 399)

"When it [KNM-ER 1470, alleged missing link between Australopithecus and Homo] was first reconstructed, the face was fitted to the cranium in an almost vertical position, much like the flat faces of modern humans. But recent studies of anatomical relationships show that in life the face must have jutted out considerably, creating an ape-like aspect, rather like the faces of Australopithecus." (Tim Bromage, New Scientist, vol 133, 1992, p. 38-41)

"Dr. Waddington recognizes a trend or tendency in evolutionary changes; so do I. Now, when statesmen control human affairs so that they move towards a definite end, we say that a policy is being pursued. Do not the trends and tendencies we note in evolutionary changes represent a policy, although no council meeting has been held and no written draft ever prepared? I hold that the factors which control evolutionary events are so regulated as to produce automatically the direction of change, giving all the appearance of a devised policy. Mr. Robertson and I agree that man has been evolved, but whereas he regards man's evolution as a result of chance, I see in it the successful result of a trend or policy which affected progressively the development and equipment of the human brain. The brain, from being an instrument fit for anthropoids, passed on to a state in which the range of feeling, understanding, and of manipulative skill, became fit for men. To ask me to believe that the evolution of man has been determined by a series of chance events is to invite me to give credit to what is biologically unbelievable." (Keith, Sir Arthur. [British anthropologist and leading Darwinist], "Replies to Critics," in "Essays on Human Evolution," [1946], Watts & Co: London, Third Impression, 1947, p.217)

"Homo sapiens, however, is emphatically not an organism that does what its predecessors did, only a little better; it's something very-and potentially very dangerously-different. Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species. And although the human biological past stretches back over five million poorly known years or more, it is the nature of that very recent yet still obscure happening that poses the true enigma of human evolution." (Tattersall, Ian [Head of the Anthropology Department at the American Museum of Natural History], "The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution," Oxford University Press: New York NY, 1995, p.246)

"As you are reading these words, you are taking part in one of the wonders of the natural world. For you and I belong to a species with a remarkable ability: we can shape events in each other's brains with exquisite precision. I am not referring to telepathy or mind control or the other obsessions of fringe science; even in the depictions of believers these are blunt instruments compared to an ability that is uncontroversially present in every one of us. That ability is language. Simply by making noises with our Mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other's minds. The ability comes so naturally that we are apt to forget what a miracle it is."
"Language is obviously as different from other animals' communication systems as the elephant's trunk is different from other animals' nostrils. Nonhuman communication systems are based on one of three designs: a finite repertory of calls (one for warnings of predators, one for claims to territory, and so on), a continuous analog signal that registers the magnitude of some state (the livelier the dance of the bee, the richer the food source that it is telling its hivemates about), or a series of random variations on a theme (a birdsong repeated with a new twist each time: Charlie Parker with feathers). As we have seen, human language has a very different design. The discrete combinatorial system called "grammar" makes human language infinite (there is no limit to the number of complex words or sentences in a language), digital (this infinity is achieved by rearranging discrete elements in particular orders and combinations, not by varying some signal along a continuum like the mercury in a thermometer), and compositional (each of the infinite combinations has a different meaning predictable from the meanings of its parts and the rules and principles arranging them). Even the seat of human language in the brain is special. ..." (Pinker S., "The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind," [1994], Penguin: London, 2000, reprint, p.1, 365)

"Considering the very close genetic relationship that has been established by comparison of biochemical properties of blood proteins, protein structure and DNA and immunological responses, the differences between a man and a chimpanzee are more astonishing than the resemblances. They include structural differences in the skeleton, the muscles, the skin, and the brain; differences in posture associated with a unique method of locomotion; differences in social organization; and finally the acquisition of speech and tool-using, together with the dramatic increase in intellectual ability which has led scientists to name their own species Homo sapiens sapiens - wise wise man. During the period when these remarkable evolutionary changes were taking place, other closely related ape-like species changed only very slowly, and with far less remarkable results. It is hard to resist the conclusion that something must have happened to the ancestors of Homo sapiens which did not happen to the ancestors of gorillas and Chimpanzees." (Morgan, Elaine [writer], "The Aquatic Ape: A Theory of Human Evolution," [1982], Souvenir Press: London, 1989, reprint, pp.17- 18)

"The missing link between man and the apes...is merely the most glamorous of a whole hierarchy of phantom creatures. In the fossil record, missing links are the rule: the story of life is as disjointed as a silent newsreel, in which species succeed one another as abruptly as Balkan prime ministers." (John Adler with John Carey: Is Man a Subtle Accident, Newsweek, Vol.96, No.18 (November 3, 1980, p.95)

"Restricting analysis of fossils to specimens satisfying these criteria, patterns of dental development of gracile australopithecines and Homo habilis remain classified with African apes. Those of Homo erectus and Neanderthals are classified with humans." (Holly Smith, American Journal of Physical Antropology, Vol 94, 1994, pp. 307-325. )

"One would also see differences in the shape of the [Homo Erectus] skull, in the degree of protrusion of the face, the robustness of the brows and so on. These differences are probably no more pronounced than we see today between the separate geographical races of modern humans. Such biological variation arises when populations are geographically separated from each other for significant lengths of time. (Richard Leakey, The Making of Mankind, London: Sphere Books, 1981, p. 62)

"When we consider the vast differences that exist between remote groups such as Eskimos and Bushmen, who are known to belong within the single species of Homo sapiens, it seems justifiable to conclude that Sinanthropus [an erectus specimen-ALC]belongs within this same diverse species." (Marvin Lubenow, Bones of Contention, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1992. p. 136. )

"For example, no scientist could logically dispute the proposition that man, without having been involved in any act of divine creation, evolved from some ape-like creature in a very short space of time--speaking in geological terms--without leaving any fossil traces of the steps of the transition.
"As I have already implied, students of fossil primates have not been distinguished for caution when working within the logical constraints of their subject. The record is so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether science much science is yet to be found in this field at all." (Lord Solly Zuckerman, M.A., M.D., D.Sc. (anatomy) in Beyond the Ivory Tower, Taplinger Pub. Co., New York, 1970, p. 64)

"[With human evolution] We then move right off the register of objective truth into those fields of presumed biological science, like extrasensory perception or the interpretation of man's fossil history, where to the faithful anything is possible - and where the ardent believer is sometimes able to believe several contradictory things at the same time." (Solly Zuckerman, Beyond The Ivory Tower, New York: Toplinger Publications, 1970, p. 19)

"And in man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe." (Dr. Isaac Asimov (biochemist; was a Professor at Boston University School of Medicine; internationally known author), "In the game of energy and thermodynamics you can't even break even.". Smithsonian Institute Journal, August 1970, p. 10)

"The present state of play may be summarised as follows. Four of the most outstanding mysteries about humans are: (1) why do they walk on two legs? (2) why have they lost their fur? (3) why have they developed such large brains? (4) why did they learn to speak? The orthodox answers to these questions are: (1) 'We do not yet know'; (2) 'We do not yet know'; (3) 'We do not yet know', and (4) 'We do not yet know'. The list of questions could be considerably lengthened without affecting the monotony of the answers." (Morgan, Elaine [writer], "The Scars of Evolution", Souvenir Press: London, 1990, p.5)

"We expected something big, something large, something inflated... you know, something "primitive". Our expectation of an 800,000 years old boy was something like Turkana Boy. And what we found was a totally modern face.... To me this is most spectacular... These are the kinds of things that shake you. Finding something totally unexpected like that. Not finding fossils; finding fossils is unexpected too, and it’s okay. But the most spectacular thing is finding something you thought belonged to the present, in the past. It’s like finding something like... like a tape recorder in Gran Dolina. That would be very surprising. We don’t expect cassettes and tape recorders in the Lower Pleistocene. Finding a modern face it’s the same thing. We were very surprised when we saw it." ("Is This The Face of Our Past", Discover, December 1997, pp. 97-100. )

"...not being a paleontologist, I don't want to pour too much scorn on paleontologsists, but if you were to spend your life picking up bones and finding little fragments of head and littel fragments of jaw, there's a very strong desire to exaggerate the importance of those fragments..." (Dr. Greg Kirby (Senior Lecturer in Population Biology, Flinders University, Adelaide) in an address on the case for evolution given at a meeting of the Biology Teachers' Association (South Australia) in 1976)

"The entire hominid collection known today would barely cover a billiard table, but it has spawned a science because it is distinguished by two factors which inflate its apparent relevance far beyond its merits. First, the fossils hint at the ancestry of a supremely self-important animal--ourselves. Secondly, the collection is so tantalizingly incomplete, and the specimens themselves often so fragmented and inconclusive, that more can be said about what is missing than about what is present. Hence the amazing quantity of literature on the subject. Very few fossils indeed afford just one, incontrovertible interpretation of their evolutionary significance. Most are capable of supporting several interpretations. Different authorities are free to stress different features with equal validity ... but ever since Darwin's work inspired the notion that fossils linking modern man and extinct ancestor would provide the most convincing proof of human evolution, preconceptions have led evidence by the nose in the study of fossil man." (John Reader (photo-journalist and author of "Missing Links"), "Whatever happened to Zinjanthropus?" New Scientist, 26 March 1981, p. 802)

"Lucy, alias Australopithecus afarensis, had a skull very like a chimpanzee's, and a brain to match" (Cherfas, Jeremy. "Trees have made man upright" New Scientist, Jan 20, 1983 pg. 172)

"The Rudolf australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the "knucklewalker" condition, not unlike the extant African apes." (Leakey, R.E.F., "Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya", Nature: Vol 231, May 28, 1971, pg. 245)

"Lucy's fossil remains match up remarkably well with the bones of a pygmy chimp." (Zihlman, Adrienne, "Pygmy chimps, people, and the pundits", New Scientist: Nov. 15 1984 Pg. 39)

"From the shape of the pelvis and the angle between the thighbone and knee, it is clear that Lucy and her fellows were adapted to some form of upright walking. These anatomical features were much more humanlike than apelike. In fact, Owen Lovejoy, who performed the initial anatomical studies on these bones, concluded that the species' bipedal locomotion would have been indistinguishable from the way you and I walk. Not everyone agreed, however. For instance, in a major scientific paper in 1983 Jack Stern and Randall Susman, two anatomists at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, offered a different interpretation of Lucy's anatomy: "It possesses a combination of traits entirely appropriate for an animal that had traveled well down the road toward full-time bipedality, but which retained structural features that enabled it to use the trees efficiently for feeding, sleeping or escape." One of the crucial pieces of evidence that Stern and Susman adduced in favor of their conclusion was the structure of Lucy's feet: the bones are somewhat curved, as is seen in apes but not in humans-an arrangement that would facilitate tree climbing. Lovejoy discounts this view and suggests that the curved foot bones are a mere evolutionary vestige of Lucy's apelike past. ... Even stronger support for this [Stern and Susman's] view comes from the innovative use of computerized axial tomography (CAT scanning) to discern the details of the inner ear anatomy of these early humans. Part of the anatomy of the inner ear are three C- shaped tubes, the semicircular canals. Arranged mutually perpendicular to each other, with two of the canals oriented vertically, the structure plays a key role in the maintenance of body balance. At a meeting of anthropologists in April 1994, Fred Spoor, of the University of Liverpool, described the semicircular canals in humans and apes. The two vertical canals are significantly enlarged in humans compared with those in apes, a difference Spoor interprets as an adaptation to the extra demands of upright balance in a bipedal species. What of early human species? Spoor's observations are truly startling. In all species of the genus Homo, the inner ear structure is indistinguishable from that of modern humans. Similarly, in all species of Australopithecus, the semicircular canals look like those of apes. ... if the structure of the inner ear is at all indicative of habitual posture and mode of locomotion, it suggests that the australopithecines were not just like you and me, as Lovejoy suggested and continues to suggest. In promoting his interpretation, Lovejoy seems to want to make hominids fully human from the beginning, a tendency among anthropologists that I discussed earlier in this chapter." (Leakey R.E., "The Origin of Humankind," 1995, pp.34-36)

"A five million-year-old piece of bone that was thought to be a collarbone of a humanlike creature is actually part of a dolphin rib, ...He [Dr. T. White] puts the incident on par with two other embarrassing [sic] faux pas by fossil hunters: Hesperopithecus, the fossil pig's tooth that was cited as evidence of very early man in North America, and Eoanthropus or 'Piltdown Man,' the jaw of an orangutan and the skull of a modern human that were claimed to be the 'earliest Englishman'."

"The problem with a lot of anthropologists is that they want so much to find a hominid that any scrap of bone becomes a hominid bone.'" (Dr. Tim White (anthropologist, University of California, Berkeley). As quoted by Ian Anderson "Hominoid collarbone exposed as dolphin's rib", in New Scientist, 28 April 1983, p. 199)

"No feature of this uncanny "tuning" of the human mind to the workings of nature is more striking than mathematics. Mathematics is the product of the higher human intellect, yet it finds ready application to the most basic processes of nature, such as subatomic particle physics. The fact that "mathematics works" when applied to the physical world--and works so stunningly well--demands explanation, for it is not clear we have any absolute right to expect that the world should be well described by our mathematics ... If mathematical ability has evolved by accident rather than in response to environmental pressures, then it is a truly astonishing coincidence that mathematics finds such ready application to the physical universe. If, on the other hand, mathematical ability does have some obscure survival value and has evolved by natural selection, we are still faced with the mystery of why the laws of nature are mathematical. After all, surviving "in the jungle" does not require knowledge of the laws of nature, only of their manifestation." (Paul Davies, "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of science," in Templeton, p. 554)

"Make no mistake about it,... They [Laetoli footprints] are like modern human footprints. If one were left in the sand of a California beach today, and a four-year old were asked what it was, he would instantly say that somebody had walked there. He wouldn't be able to tell it from a hundred other prints on the beach, nor would you" (Donald C. Johanson & M. A. Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981, p. 250)

"The arch [in the Laetoli footprints] is raised-the smaller individual had a higher arch than I do-and the big toe is large and aligned with the second toe... The toes grip the ground like human toes. You do not see this in other animal forms." (Science News, Vol 115, 1979, pp. 196-197.)

"In sum, the 3.5 million-year-old footprint traits at Laetoli site G resemble those of habitually unshod modern humans. None of their features suggest that the Laetoli hominids were less capable bipeds than we are. If the G footprints were not known to be so old, we would readily conclude that there were made by a member of our genus Homo... In any case, we should shelve the loose assumption that the Laetoli footprints were made by Lucy's kind, Australopithecus afarensis." (Ian Anderson, New Scientist, Vol 98, 1983, p. 373.)

"If, as follows from the foregoing, it is the fact of being 'reflective' which constitutes the strictly 'intelligent' being, can we seriously doubt that intelligence is the evolutionary lot proper to man and to man only? If not, can we under the influence of some false modesty, hesitate to admit that man's possession of it constitutes a radical advance on all forms of life that have gone before him? Admittedly the animal knows. But it cannot know that it knows: that is quite certain. If it could, it would long ago have multiplied its inventions and developed a system of internal constructions that could not have escaped our observation. In consequence it is denied access to a whole domain of reality in which we can move freely. We are separated by a chasm-or a threshold- which it cannot cross. Because we are reflective we are not only different but quite another. It is not merely a matter of change of degree, but of a change of nature, resulting from a change of state." (Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre, [French Jesuit priest and paleontologist], "The Phenomenon of Man," [1955], Fontana: London, 1967, Fifth Impression, pp.183-184. Emphasis in original)

"In light of what we know about evolution, it seems most likely that our extraordinary cognitive capacity was somehow acquired as a unit, rather than in a gradual process of modular accretion, for it is plainly wrong to regard natural selection as a long-term fine-tuning of specific characteristics, however much we like the resulting stories. And it's important to remember that even today we are still testing the limits of this generalized capacity that makes so much possible..." (Letters, Page 12, Scientific American April 2002. Ian Tattersall, Reply to letter by Dudley Miles, concerning Tattersall's article "How We Came to Be Human" in Scientific American, Dec 2001, pages 56-63)

"The study of human origins seems to be a field in which each discovery raises the debate to a more sophisticated level of uncertainty." (Christopher B. Stringer, Scientific American; May 1993, p.138)

"Amid the bewildering array of early fossil hominoids, is there one whose morphology marks it as man's hominid ancestor? If the factor of genetic variability is considered, the answer appears to be no." (Robert B. Eckhardt [Prof of Anthropology, Penn State University]'Population genetics and human origins,' Scientific American, Vol 226(I), January 1972, pg. 94)

"I know that, at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations. Theories have, in the past, clearly reflected our current ideologies instead of the actual data." (Dr. David Pilbeam (Physical Anthropologist, Yale University, USA), 'Rearranging our family tree'. Human Nature, June 1978, pg. 45)

"Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans--of upright, naked, toolmaking, big-brained beings--is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter." (Lyall Watson (anthropologist), 'The Water People,' Science Digest, Vol 90, May 1982, pg. 44)

"Ironically enough, science, which can show us the flints and the broken skulls of our dead fathers, has yet to explain how we have come so far so fast, nor has it any completely satisfactory answer to the question asked by Wallace long ago. Those who would revile us by pointing to an ape at the foot of our family tree grasp little of the awe with which the modern scientist now puzzles over man's lonely and supreme ascent. As one great student of paleoneurology, Dr. Tilly Edinger, recently remarked, "If man has passed through a Pithecanthropus phase, the evolution of his brain has been unique, not only in its result but also in its tempo.... Enlargement of the cerebral hemispheres by 50 per cent seems to have taken place, speaking geologically, within an instant, and without having been accompanied by any major increase in body size." The true secret of Piltdown, though thought by the public to be merely the revelation of an unscrupulous forgery, lies in the fact that it has forced science to reexamine carefully the history of the most remarkable creation in the world-the human brain." (Eiseley, Loren C. [Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania], "The Real Secret of Piltdown," in "The Immense Journey," [1946], Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, pp.93-94. Ellipses Eiseley's)

"Without giving anything away beforehand he said evolution had come to a halt, not because we had reached perfection, but because we had stepped outside the process two million years ago." (Ronald Strahan (former senior research scientist and Director of Taronga Park Zoo, Sdney, and Honorary Secretary of ANZAAS, now workgin with th eAustralian Museum, Sydney) Reported in Northern Territory News, 14 Sept. 1983, pg. 2)

"At the present time the way in which mutation and selection (survival of the fittest) has worked over evolutionary time no longer seems to apply to Homo sapiens." (Said in reference to the further of humans race. The Seven Pillars of Life Daniel E. Koshland Jr., Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, March 22, 2002, issue of Science (pages 2215-2216))

"We're not just evolving slowly. For all practical purposes we're not evolving. There's no reason to think we're going to get bigger brains or smaller toes or whatever--we are what we are." (Stephen Jay Gould (Prof Geology and Paleontology, Harvard University) in a speech in October 1983. As reported in "John Lofton's Journal", The Washington Times, 8 Feb 1984)

"The oldest human fossils are less than 4 million years old, and we do not know which branch on the copious bush of apes budded off the twig that led to our lineage. (In fact, except for the link of Asian Sivapithecus to the modern orangutan, we cannot trace any fossil ape to any living species. Paleontologists have abandoned the once popular notion that Ramapithecus might be a source of human ancestry.) Thus, sediments between 4 and 10 million years in age are potential guardians of the Holy Grail of human evolution--the period when our lineage began its separate end run to later domination, and a time for which no fossil evidence exists at all." (Gould, Stephen Jay, "Empire of the Apes," Natural History, vol. 96 (May 1987), pp. 20-25. )

"The present results lead to the conclusion that the bipedalism of the Australopithecus must have differed from that of Homo. Not only did Australopithecus have less ability to maintain hip and knee extension during the walk, but also probably moved the pelvis and lower limb differently. It seems that the australopithecine walk differed significantly from that of humans, involving a sort of waddling gait, with large rotary movements of the pelvis and shoulders around the vertebral column. Such a walk, likely required a greater energetic cost than does human bipedalism. The stride length and frequency of australopithecines, and consequently their speed, should have differed from that of Homo in contrast to some recent hypotheses of dynamic similarity among hominids. A previous paper has suggested that the pelvic proportions of Australopithecus could provide some arguments for an arboreal locomotion. The results of the present study suggest amplification of this opinion." (Berg, Christine, "How Did the Australopithecines Walk? A Biomechanical Study of the Hip and Thigh of Australopithecus Afarensis," Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 26 (April 1994), pp. 259-273. Berg is at the Natural History Museum in Paris, France.)

"Her [Luc's] pelvis has evolved sufficiently for her to become a biped. But she has not yet taken the second step: further evolution of the pelvis to permit the birth of large-headed infants." (Johanson D.C. & Edey M.A., "Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind," [1981], Paladin: London, 1982, reprint, pp351-352)

"If ontogeny repeated phylogeny exactly, then an ancestor of man would have lived on milk all his life and a more remote ancestor would have spent his days attached to his mother by the umbilical cord!" (Cohen, Jack & Massey, Brendan [embryologist, University of Birmingham], "Living Embryos," [1963], Pergamon Press: Oxford, Third Edition, 1982, p149.)

Other Quotes:

"The field of paleoanthropology naturally excites interest because of our own interest in origins. And, because conclusions of emotional significance to many must be drawn from extremely paltry evidence, it is often difficult to separate the personal from the scientific disputes raging in the field.
[...]
The primary scientific evidence is a pitifully small array of bones from which to construct man's evolutionary history. One anthropologist has compared the task to that of reconstructing the plot of War and Peace with 13 randomly selected pages. Conflicts tend to last longer because it is so difficult to find conclusive evidence to send a theory packing." ("The Politics of Paleoanthropology," Science, p.737 (August 14, 1981).)

"Gibbons, who reports on human evolution for Science magazine, gives a lucid account of the science involved in finding fossils, establishing how old they are, and ascertaining whether they in fact belong to the ancestors of humankind. She also shows how difficult and sometimes dangerous the work of hunting for 7 million-year-old fossils can be. And that, like most humans, anthropologists are subject to such emotions as ambition and jealousy, especially when they're Indiana Jonesing for the next big find." (Discovering fossils can be difficult and dangerous by Charles Matthews, San Jose Mercury News, April 23, 2006)

"We're not talking about complete skeletons but about teeth, the occasional jawbone or skull or thighbone, sometimes on the verge of crumbling into chalky dust.
[...]
"Together, the fossils collected in the 1990s and early 2000s would cover a large desk and would represent a few dozen individuals at least,'' she notes. But too many pieces are still missing from the puzzle -- including fossils of the ancestors of our closest relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas -- to allow for a clear picture of the evolutionary lineage." (Discovering fossils can be difficult and dangerous by Charles Matthews, San Jose Mercury News, April 23, 2006)

"Evolutionary biologists have traced the origins of laughter back 4 m[illion] years to pre-humans slipping and stumbling in their first faltering attempt to walk on two legs....when they saw a member of their group lose his footing they would laugh as a sign to each other that something was amiss, but nothing too serious." -(from “Sorry old Bean, the apes got there first,” in The London Sunday Times, April 30, 2006, by Roger Dobson; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2157946,00.html)

“H. ergaster marks such a radical departure from previous forms of Homo (such as H. habilis) in its height, reduced sexual dimorphism, long limbs and modern body proportions3 that it is hard at present to identify its immediate ancestry in east Africa4. Not for nothing has it been described as a hominin “without an ancestor, without a clear past” (Robin Dennell & Wil Roebroeks, An Asian perspective on early human dispersal from Africa, Nature Vol 438: 1099-1104, Dec. 22/29, 2005)

“One would also see differences in the shape of the skull, in the degree of protrusion of the face, the robustness of the brows and so on. These differences are probably no more pronounced than we see today between the separate geographical races of modern humans.” (Richard Leakey, The Making of Mankind, London: SphereBooks, 1981, p.62)

But also, a Newsweek magazine dated December 23, 1996, quoted Carl Swisher, a geologist at the Berkeley Geochronology Center, that, "It is no longer chronologically plausible to argue that Homo sapiens evolved from Homo erectus." This was following Swisher's re-evaluation of Homo erectus skulls found in Java in the 1930's, using the most advanced techniques to date human fossils. --- Swisher kept making the same starling find: the bones were 53,000 years old at most and possibly no more than 27,000 years--a stretch of time contemporaneous with modern humans [and with] Neanderthals, who became extinct about 30,000 years ago. -- Now Swisher's find implies that all three hominid species were contemporaneous. Says Swisher: "It looks like today is unique in that there is only one single species."

[Early forms of erectus] mar[k] such a radical departure from previous forms of Homo (such as H. habilis) in its height, reduced sexual dimorphism, long limbs and modern body proportions that it is hard at present to identify its immediate ancestry in east Africa. Not for nothing has it been described as a hominin “without an ancestor, without a clear past” (Robin Dennell & Wil Roebroeks, "An Asian perspective on early human dispersal from Africa," Nature, Vol 438:1099-1104 (Dec. 22/29, 2005).)

“The fossil record of human evolution is like a pointillist painting: one sees a different picture close up from when one stands back.” (Palaeoanthropology: Homing in on early Homo, by Daniel E. Lieberman Nature 449, 291 - 292 (2007).)

“Other paleontologists and experts in human evolution said the discovery strongly suggested that the early transition from more apelike to more humanlike ancestors was still poorly understood.” (“Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution,” by John Noble Wilford, New York Times, August 9, 2007, at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/science/09fossil.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=world&adxnnlx=1190251306-bd0mimh3naHn6sRHLOlP/A )

“’The human fossil record goes back 6 to 7 million years, but we know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes,’” (press release from Ethiopian and Japanese research team regarding paper published in Nature, quoted in Michael Kahn, “Fossil hints at earlier split in our family tree,” MSNBC, August 22, 2007, at http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/20394668/)

“The new findings, Dr. Lieberman said, highlight the need for obtaining more fossils that are more than two million years old. In addition, he said, they show ‘just how interesting and complex the human genus was and how poorly we understand the transition from being something much more apelike to something more humanlike.’” (Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University quoted in “Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution,” by John Noble Wilford, New York Times, August 9, 2007, at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/science/09fossil.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=world&adxnnlx=1190251306-bd0mimh3naHn6sRHLOlP/A )

"The earliest fossils of Homo, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, are separated from Australopithecus by a large, unbridged gap. How can we explain this seeming saltation? Not having any fossils that can serve as missing links, we have to fall back on teh time-honored method of historical science, the construction of a historical narrative." (pg. 198, Ernst Mayr, "What Makes Biology Unique?: Considerations on the Autonomy of a Scientific Discipline," (Cambridge University Press, 2004).)

“There are aspects of human subjective consciousness that are deeply mysterious. Neither Steve Pinker nor I can explain human subjective consciousness – what philosophers call qualia. In ‘How the Mind Works’ Steve elegantly sets out the problem of subjective consciousness, and asks where it comes from and what’s the explanation? Then he’s honest enough to say, ‘Beats the heck out of me.’ That is an honest thing to say, and I echo it. We don’t know. We don’t understand it.” (Dawkins, Richard. "Edge 53." Edge 53. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2012. .)

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