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The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens$
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T. J. Crow

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263112

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.001.0001

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Sexual Selection, Timing and an X–Y Homologous Gene: Did Homo Sapiens Speciate on the Y Chromosome?

Sexual Selection, Timing and an X–Y Homologous Gene: Did Homo Sapiens Speciate on the Y Chromosome?

Chapter:
(p.196) (p.197) Sexual Selection, Timing and an X–Y Homologous Gene: Did Homo Sapiens Speciate on the Y Chromosome?
Source:
The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens
Author(s):

Tim J. Crow

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0011

This chapter provides a theory of the speciation of modern Homo sapiens, that a single gene played a critical role in the transition from a precursor species. The theory is founded upon the following: firstly, the premise that hemispheric asymmetry is the defining feature of the human brain and the only plausible correlate of language; secondly, an argument for a specific candidate region (the Xq21.3/Yp11.2 region of homology) based upon the reciprocal deficits associated with the sex chromosome aneuploidies, and the course of chromosomal change in hominid evolution; and thirdly, a particular evolutionary mechanism (sexual selection acting on an X-Y-linked gene) to account for species-specific modification of what initially was a saltational change. These postulates relate to the case of modern Homo sapiens. On the basis of the recent literature, the discussion argues that the third premise has general significance as a mechanism of speciation.

Keywords:   Homo sapiens, X chromosome, Y chromosome, hemispheric asymmetry, hominid evolution, saltational change

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