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2013 Skomp Distinguished Lecture in Anthropology

Kim R. Hill

Professor of Anthropology

School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Arizona State University


“Origins of Human Uniqueness”


Humans are outliers. We have evolved a combination of non-unique traits, which arose through non-unique processes but produced a unique outcome that constitutes a “spectacular anomaly.” Our species would be immediately singled out by any extraterrestrial visitor to Earth! During the past few years many scientists have begun to seriously investigate how Homo sapiens could have evolved properties that make us an outlier in terms of biological success and socio-technological complexity compared to all other life forms on the planet. The key research is currently occurring across a broad set of disciplines that cover the sciences of cognition, cultural capacity, cooperation, life history and human evolution. The pace of advance in each of these areas has been remarkable in recent years, and we are close to a significant integrated consensus. This consensus, when achieved, will unite the social and biological approaches to the study of humans and explain one of the greatest mysteries that humans have pondered over the centuries – how and why did our species diverge so notably from other life forms on this planet?


Thursday, March 28 at 5 pm

in Swain Hall West, room 119

(727 E. 3rd St.)


Reception to follow at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology

(423 N. Fess St.)


Prof. Hill’s theoretical interests cover the evolutionary ecology of human behavior, and the evolutionary history of later hominins. His applied work has included conservation biology and resource management, land rights issues, health issues, and the ethics of anthropological research. Information about his research can be found at http://www.public.asu.edu/~krhill3/Index.html.


The Skomp Distinguished Lecture Series in Anthropology is made possible by an endowment provided to the Indiana University Anthropology Department in 1983 by David Skomp (AB 1962; MS 1965).

Thursday March 28, 2013 05:00 PM
Thursday March 28, 2013 06:00 PM
Swain Hall West, Room 119
Michael Muehlenbein
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