Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Hominization, Issues in
Alberto A. Makinistian
One of the most important discoveries of recent times, related to our origins, is the verification of a close genetic affinity between human beings and chimpanzees. Such affinity is so significant (98.8%) that it is estimated that both phylogenetic lines that led to the two species had a common ancestor approximately 6 to 8 million years ago. Since that moment, and after the branching occurred, begins the most amazing and passionate history, that of our own family. The “hominization process” refers to the origin and evolution of the hominid family (forms that comprise both our ancestors and ourselves). When trying to reconstruct this process, paleoanthropology acquires an especial relevance, because while giving us the historic evolutionary fundamentals of man, it shows us the same basics of anthropology as science. If the uniqueness of this is its approach to man as a bio–psycho–socio–cultural unity, that of paleoanthropology resides in its intent ...