The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)


Session 38. The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis and Human Origins: Paleoanthropological Perspectives. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Robert A. Benitez Co-organizers: Robert Acio Benitez (School of Anthropology, University of Arizona); John K. Murray (School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human Origins, Arizona State University)

April 17, 2020 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Diamond 4 Add to calendar

The theoretical framework in which researchers examine and interpret data influences the primacy of questions posed, hypotheses tested, and, ultimately, knowledge produced. For paleoanthropologists, the Modern Synthesis (MS) has historically guided inquiry and interpretation of the hominin fossil record. Recently, scholars in several disciplines have found MS to be lacking in its explanatory power, particularly with relevance to the emergence and evolution of the human lineage. Proponents of a theoretical revision, coined the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES), argue for a broader framework of contemporary theory that places emphasis on the role of diverse and reciprocally interacting evolutionary forces (e.g., developmental plasticity, niche construction) and inheritance systems (e.g., genetic, ecological, cultural). This symposium will address what an alternative perspective means for framing paleoanthropological inquiry. In particular, we aim to discuss the possibilities and limitations of exploring human origins under a larger suite of theories encapsulated within EES.

2:00PM Add to calendar Extending the reach of paleoanthropology with the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Marc Kissel.
2:15PM Add to calendar Large-scale cooperation in small-scale societies. Robert Boyd, Peter J. Richerson.
2:30PM Add to calendar Paleolithic mobility shifts as hominin niche construction. Julien Riel-Salvatore, Fabio Negrino, Geneviève Pothier Bouchard.
2:45PM Add to calendar Cultural Inheritance Through Bead Manufacture: An Argument from Grassridge Rockshelter, South Africa. April Nowell, Benjamin Collins, Christopher J. H. Ames.
3:00PM Add to calendar Reassessing the accumulated copying error model with an eye toward detecting high-fidelity cultural transmission during the Paleolithic. L. S. Premo.
3:15PM Add to calendar Hominin community structure: ecological patterns and niche construction. Amy L. Rector, Kaye E. Reed.
3:30PM Add to calendar The human stress response, deep homology, and paleoanthropology: opportunities to study context, plasticity, and constraint in the ancient past. Daniel H. Temple.
3:45PM Add to calendar Phenotypic plasticity and adaptability in the genus Homo: implications from studies of modern human diversity. Jay T. Stock, Manuel Will, Jonathan CK. Wells.
4:00PM Add to calendar Monkeys in the Middle: Modeling ecological flexibility and niche construction in African cercopithecid primates. Irene E. Smail.
4:15PM Add to calendar Hominin species as anthropological units. Jonathan Marks.
4:30PM Discussants: Susan Antón and Alison Brooks