人种大杂烩

伦敦—如何定义现代人?生物学答案很简单:智人的一员,并具有相对较大的脑组织和容纳脑组织的球状脑壳,眼睛上方有较小的眉骨,较小的可伸缩的面部,下颚处有下巴,骨骼较轻。许多现代人的生物学特征——至少从保留下来的化石看——至少在10万多年前便已出现于非洲和以色列。

但其他要素——比如复杂的社会、礼仪、精神信仰、艺术、音乐、技术和语言——也是现代人类种群的特征。什么特征是定义“现代人”的关键要素,这一分类可以追溯到多远?

人的形态和行为特征的进化速度各有不同,因此这一问题颇具争议。事实上,研究智人生理起源的古生物学家必然会与重构构成早期现代人的远古行为的考古学家有所不同。

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