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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews the biological evidence for the evolution of Homo sapiens. That evidence derives from both genetic and morphological data, which together throw light onto different aspects of a continuous process. Genetic inferences are largely drawn from patterns of variation in living people today and thus reflect the history of those populations and individuals who survived the vicissitudes of climate change and population competition over the last 200,000 years. Together, genetic and morphological data allow the building of a relatively confident picture of the process that led to the evolution of modern humans. That picture has no defined beginning, as humans appear to be the most recent phase of an evolutionary process characterised by demographic change as the main adaptive response to rapidly changing environments.

Keywords: Homo sapiens, human evolution, genetic interferences, climate change, population competition

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