1. bookVolumen 84 (2021): Heft 3 (September 2021)
24 Jan 2008
4 Hefte pro Jahr
access type Uneingeschränkter Zugang

Paleospecies as cognitive construct: The meme of “Homo floresiensis”

Online veröffentlicht: 01 Oct 2021
Volumen & Heft: Volumen 84 (2021) - Heft 3 (September 2021)
Seitenbereich: 317 - 336
Eingereicht: 12 May 2021
Akzeptiert: 31 Aug 2021
24 Jan 2008
4 Hefte pro Jahr

Creation and subsequent abandonment of a number of earlier species considered human ancestors: Eoanthropus dawsoni, Hesperopithecus haroldcooki, Homo gardarensis and Ramapithecus punjabicus is presented using cases from the history of science. This review indicates that the fossil evidence for these species has been questionable from the beginning but that mental images – memes – they invoked were attractive to students of human evolution and as such persisted even if not confirmed by further finds, with new research still being disputed. Against this background the status of the recent construction of the hominin species “Homo floresiensis” is discussed showing that despite dubious interpretations of the objective data and a relatively long time of non-confirmation due to paucity of newly discovered skeletal remains, the “species” still exists in minds of scholars and in the scientific literature extending into textbooks.

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