Genetics and the human lineage

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4020-5664-2_1 In book: The Influence of Genetics on Contemporary Thinking, pp.3-23


Genetics has greatly contributed to current knowledge about the evolution of the human lineage. Immunological techniques and
the molecular clock have addressed the time divergence of human and chimpanzee lineages, disproving the late divergence model.
The much-debated question about the origin of anatomically modern humans has been greatly by investigations of mitochondrial
DNA, Y-chromosome DNA, and other genetic polymorphisms, all of which have also shed light on the size of human populations
through hominid history. The persistent controversy concerning the relationship between Neanderthal and modern human populations
has recently been constrained by the analysis of mitochondrial DNA fossil Neanderthals and early modern humans. Finally, recent
genetic discoveries have contributed to unravelling the phylogenetic history of distinctive human traits, such as language
and the masticatory apparatus

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