Thursday, May 29, 2008

Review - Mapping Our Ancestors

The most recent American Journal of Physical Anthropology (136:242–246 (2008)) has a review of a book I edited with Mike O'Brien, Mark Collard and Stephen Shennan - Mapping our Ancestors. The review is by someone who I strongly admire - John Relethford of SUNY-Oneonta- and it is a treat to have him comment on the volume. Relethford is a physical anthropologist who's work has been an inspiration for our studies of phylogenetic methods. In particular, his article "Genetics and Modern Human Origins" in Evolutionary Anthropology (1993) directly resulted in our critical look at linguistic claims about phylogeny in the Pacific (Hunt, Lipo and Madsen - The Flaws of Phylogeny as History). This paper doesn't necessarily reflect all that we have learned since this initial foray -- but it was the point at which we started questioning how these methods work and which assumptions upon which they rely. For this we have Relethford to thank. And now for his kind review.

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