By A. C. Danto

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2001) consider the European later Miocene hominids Dryopithecus and Graecopithecus as being closely related to the Asian apes, while Begun (1992a, 1994a, 2001, 2002), Begun and Kordos (1997), and Begun et al. (1997) consider these same taxa as basal “African” apes. Whether Dryopithecus and Graecopithecus are “African” or “Asian” hominids has important consequences for interpretations of hominid paleobiogeography. If we accept that they represent basal African hominids, then a Eurasian origin for the extant African hominids is possible, perhaps even likely.

1984; Stringer & Andrews, 1988; Stringer, 1989; Groves, 1989; Stringer & McKie, 1997). By 120,000 years ago, the modern humans of Africa began a second dispersal out of Africa into Europe and Asia. They eventually replaced the Neanderthal and Asian populations without much or any interbreeding. The “archaic” indigenous populations quickly succumbed to competition for the available resources by the more modern arrivals from Africa. According to a less extreme form, however, some paleoanthropologists who agree with much of the “Out of Africa” hypothesis suggest that there may have been some sexual contact between the moderns and the more primitive indigenous populations.

While the concept of the genus has biological implications, it is a category, not a real biological entity like that of a species. , over a 6 million year period, a maximum of only four or five species can exist. This is incorrect: A genus can potentially contain 1, 5, 20, 30, or 50 species. In living Old World monkeys, for example, there are at least 18 well recognized species within the genus Macaca, and at least 19 in the genus Cercopithecus; these numbers do not include the fossil species of these genera (see Fleagle, 1999; Groves, 2001, has 19 species in Macaca and 24 in Cercopithecus, both probably underestimates).

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Art, Evolution, and the Consciousness of History by A. C. Danto


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