International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Wolpoff M, Caspari R, 1996: An Unparalleled Parallelism. Anthropologie (Brno) 34, 3: 215-223'.
Neanderthals and Indigenous Aboriginal Australians are twin themes in Jan Jelínek's life work. Jelínek's understanding of these humans is quite different from the treatment accorded them by many other anthropologists who treat each as a model for understanding the other. These segments of humanity have been considered parallel races at various times, because of the similarities perceived in their "primitive" technologies and "primitive'" cranial form (invariably meaning brow ridges). But parallelism is understood a different way in paleoanthropology, where it refers to the homoplasies that mark independent development of the same features by different species. This use of parallelism could apply to the description of how the evolution of Neanderthals and Indigenous Aboriginal Australians is related if Neanderthals are a different species. This is because the same sequence of changes took place in Europe and Australasia, at the opposite ends of the earth. But as Jelínek has always emphasized, the interpretation of Neanderthals as a different species is very unlikely; the odds of the required homoplasies cannot be calculated, but their combined probability is quite clearly diminishingly small.
Neanderthal - Parallel evolution - Species

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