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11-06-2010 9:43 PM
New Statistical Model Moves Human Evolution Back Three Million [more] Years
ScienceDaily (Nov. 5, 2010) — Evolutionary divergence of humans and chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests.
The revised estimate of when the human species parted ways from its closest primate relatives should enable scientists to better interpret the history of human evolution, said Robert D. Martin, curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum, and a co-author of the new study appearing in the journal Systematic Biology.
Working with mathematicians, anthropologists and molecular biologists, Martin has long sought to integrate evolutionary information derived from genetic material in various species with the fossil record to get a more complete picture.
I am posting this as an example of how science works, and how it improves it's models (theories) step by step as new data are discovered and as new approaches are explored.
Also, this illustrates the changes in our understanding of human evolution that are coming from the biological sciences. We no longer have to rely just on paleontology and fossils.
But most importantly, we see that two independent lines of investigation are pointing in the same direction: what paleontology has shown us dimly, biological studies are showing us much more clearly. And it is likely that this trend will continue, and accelerate, in the future.
I have no idea where this should be placed.
Edited by Admin, : Change title.
Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
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