Hominid = Hybrid ? (An obvious hypothesis that goes unmentioned in paleoanthropology)

Allan Krill

This CARTA poster shows pictures of three hominid skulls: Toumaï, Ardi, and Little-Foot. Watch the videos of this CARTA symposium, and read about these three hominids Sahelanthropus, Ardipithecus, and Australopithecus. They all have some traits that are human-like, and some traits that are chimpanzee-like. From this, paleoanthropologists like to think that the last common ancestor of chimps and humans had many human-like traits. I think the last common ancestor was like a chimp, gorilla, and orangutan, and had no human-like traits.

An obvious hypothesis should be that these extinct, dead-end species are hybrids of early humans and apes (or a mix of bones from two species, like Lucy or Piltdown Man). But the hypothesis that early hominids could be hybrids goes unmentioned in paleoanthropology. It would diminish funding and status for working with these fossils. Paleoanthropologists give us lots of species, and lots of fascinating speculation, but avoid the hypothesis that for any of their species, hominid = hybrid. 


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