Darren Curnoe, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia.
"Fossils reveal new species of late-occuring human in China: did our species kill it off?"
For more than 50 years Asia has been thought of as a backwater in the human evolutionary story, being largely peripheral to the main game in Africa and Europe. Discoveries over the last decade, however, have begun to dramatically challenge this view. This region seems to have been home to a wide variety of late surviving human-like groups – species different to us – with Asia showing even greater diversity than Africa or Europe during the last Ice Age. Some of these groups shared the environment with our own kind (modern humans), interacting in complex and surprising ways. It’s even likely that we sent the last of these close relatives to extinction as our species began to settle down and develop farming. This talk will present some current and highly controversial scientific discoveries about later human evolution in Asia made over the last few years. These discoveries are challenging not only scientific orthodoxy, but also established notions about what it means to be human.
Location and Address
125 Frick Fine Arts, 8 pm