Professor Bernard Wood

A sceptic's guide to human evolution (Professor Bernard Wood, George Washington University)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 7th January 2021
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
  • Admission: Free. Register via Eventbrite.
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This webinar will offer some suggestions to help future generations of researchers improve our understanding of human evolution. Firstly, approach data with caution, as not all data are relevant, reliable, accurate or useful. Secondly, work out better ways of recognising hominin taxa. Thirdly, not all of the taxa recognised in the hominin fossil record are likely to be human ancestors, so we need better ways of distinguishing ancestors from non-ancestral close relatives. Fourthly, avoid giving comprehensive answers to temptingly interesting questions (e.g., ‘why’ and ‘where’ innovations took place) when we know we only have part, likely a small part, of the evidence. Lastly, resist the temptation to give the impression we know more than we do. Bernard Wood’s presentation will illustrate this advice with personal examples of failing to heed it.