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Milford H. Wolpoff
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'''Milford H. Wolpoff''' (born 1942
, Chicago, Illinois
) is a paleoanthropologist
, and since 1977
, a professor of anthropology
and adjunct associate research scientist, Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan
. He is the leading proponent of the Multiregional hypothesis multiregional evolution hypothesis
that attempts to explain the evolution of ''Human Homo sapiens
''. He is the author, with Rachel Caspari, of ''Race and Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction'', which reviews the scientific evidence and conflicting theories about human evolution.
His work and theories on a multiregional model of human evolution
challenge the predominant 'Mitochondrial Eve African Eve
' theory. His basis for advancing the multiregional interpretation of human evolution derives from the punctuated equilibrium theory
, in which changes occur when new species are formed and only rarely are slowly and gradually accumulated during the stable periods between speciations.
Wolpoff received an A.B. in 1964
and a Ph.D., both in anthropology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois
in Urbana, Illinois
Multiregional evolution and the punctuated equilibrium theory
Wolpoff suggests that after an Africa
n origin of Homo sapiens (evolving from Homo ergaster
), local evolutionary events took place in several places (Africa, Europe
, etc.). According to Wolpoff, populations of ''Homo erectus'' and ''Homo ergaster'' evolved separately into populations of ''Homo sapiens'' through a range of intermediate species (all the time the geographically distinct populations maintained small amounts of gene flow). This idea directly challenges the 'Out of Africa' model, which suggests ''Homo sapiens'' evolved in Africa and then dispersed throughout the old world replacing in situ populations of other hominin
In another example of puctuated evolution preceding the global diffusion of modern Homo sapiens genes from the 'African Eve', Wolpoff points to evidence of an earlier 'genetic revolution' that took place in a small group isolated from other human forebears. "The earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details," he notes. "Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual."
His research and theories have been covered in ''The New York Times
'', ''New Scientist
'', ''Discover (magazine) Discover
'', and ''Newsweek
Books and monographs
, ''Metric Trends in Hominid Dental Evolution'', Case Western Reserve
Studies in Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University Press, Cleveland
''An Archaeological Investigation on the Loboi Plain, Baringo District, Kenya'', with William R. Farrand, Richard W. Redding, and Henry T. Wright, III, The University of Michigan
Technical Reports Number 4, Research Reports in Archaeology, Contribution 1, Ann Arbor
, ''Paleoanthropology'', Knopf, New York, ISBN 0394321979
, ''The Krapina Hominids: An Illustrated Catalog of the Skeletal Collection'', with Jakov RadovÄ?iÄ‡, Fred H. Smith, and Erik Trinkaus, Mladost Press and the Croatian Natural History Museum
, ''Paleoanthropology'' (Preliminary publication of 2nd edition), College Custom Series, McGraw-Hill, New York, ISBN 007071679X
, ''Human Evolution'', College Custom Series, McGraw-Hill, New York. ISBN 0070718334
, ''Race and Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction'', with Rachel Caspari, Simon and Schuster, New York, ISBN 0684810131 (Recipient of the 1999
W.W. Howells Book Prize in Biological Anthropology, presented by the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association
, ''Paleoanthropology'' (2nd edition), McGraw-Hill, New York. ISBN 0070716765.
* Erik Trinkaus
- Milford Wolpoff homepage, University of Michigan
- Milford H. Wolpoff personal page
- 'New study suggests big bang theory of human evolution' (January 10, 2000)
Category:1942 births Wolpoff, Milford H.
Category:Living people Wolpoff, Milford H.
Category:American anthropologists Wolpoff, Milford H.
Category:Paleoanthropologists Wolpoff, Milford H.