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Event Details 
Science Pop-Up Talks - Visiting the Ancestors – Archaic Africans, Neandertals and the Beginnings of People Like Us
Fred Smith, University Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences Emeritus, Illinois State University “Visiting the Ancestors – Archaic Africans, Neandertals and the Beginnings of People Like Us” ABSTRACT: Genetic and genomic data show conclusively that modern humans first emerged in Africa and then radiated out into Eurasia and ultimately the Americas. While the genetic evidence generally takes center stage, the fact is that morphological studies of fossil human (hominin) and archaeological material demonstrated this pattern first and remains a robust indicator of the pattern of modern human origins and migrations. We will review this evidence, particularly the fossil human record, and discuss the contributions this non-genetic data make to the understanding of human evolution. Although the fossils clearly show the African origin of modern people, they also demonstrate that Eurasian archaic humans, like the Neandertals, contributed to early modern humans in Eurasia. The genetic/genomic data subsequently supported the morphological evidence. So while modern humans are primarily derived from an African ancestry, Neandertals are our ancestors, too! BIO: Fred H. Smith is a paleoanthropologist who has studied Neandertals, other archaic people, and the origins of modern humans for more than 50 years. Trained in zoology, anthropology and German as an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, he received his Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1976. Currently, he is University Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences Emeritus at Illinois State University and an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His primary research has focused on Central Europe, where he began work when much of this area was behind the “Iron Curtain.” However, he also has carried out extensive research on fossil humans from other areas of Europe, West Asia and Africa. The author of some 300 scholarly articles, chapters, books and monographs, Smith is a AAAS, Alexander von Humboldt, and Fulbright Fellow and has received awards for his work from several institutions in the U.S. as well as in Croatia, Germany, and Ireland. He has taught at the University of Tennessee, Northern Illinois University, Loyola University Chicago, ISU, and internationally at the Universities of Hamburg, Tübingen and Zagreb.
Event Type : Study Groups      
Category : Science Pop-Up Talks - Series Three
Date(s) : 03/24/2022
Time : 1:00 - 2:30 PM
Location : Online
Instructor : Varied, see description
Fee : $10.00
Event Status : COMPLETED