There's a story in today's New York Times about the
finding of a bone fragment which is believed to provide a crucial
link in the hominid family. What I am curious about is the
family tree which was diagrammed in the article, which shows
the line leading to humans splitting away from a chimp-gorilla
common ancestor. The Boston Globe article on the same finding
had the leader of the research team, Dr.Glenn Conroy of Washington
University, making a similar statement.
I thought the molecular evidence was rather strong that
it was gorillas which split first, not humans, and that this
evidence was widely accepted. Is this another case of the
anthropologists refusing to believe the molecular evidence,
or is this still an open question in the molecular field?
Program in Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
robison at ribo.harvard.edu