PerspectiveAnthropology

Defining the genus Homo

Science  28 Aug 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6251, pp. 931-932
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac6182

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Summary

Almost 300 years ago, Linnaeus defined our genus Homo (and its species Homo sapiens) with the noncommittal words nosce te ipsum (know thyself) (1). Since then, fossil and molecular biology studies have provided insights into its evolution, yet the boundaries of both the species and the genus remain as fuzzy as ever, new fossils having been rather haphazardly assigned to species of Homo, with minimal attention to details of morphology.