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HUMAN EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY - PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES with Dr. Bernard Wood

  • Saint Michael's College One Winooski Park Colchester, VT 05439 United States (map)

We have been accumulating evidence, fossil and otherwise, that bears on human evolutionary history for close on two centuries. This talk will review the history of that accumulation and consider what lessons have been learned. How good are we at telling our recent ancestors and close relatives from those of the apes? How good are we at working out how many species preceded our own? How good are we at telling which of those species are our ancestors, and which are non-ancestral close relatives? What does the evidence tell us about current concerns with climate change and dwindling biodiversity? If we are not good at these tasks, how can we do better? We need to be realistic about what we are likely to know, and not know, about our evolutionary history. 

Bernard Wood is University Professor of Human Origins at the Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology at George Washington University.