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Anthropology - A New Evolution Paradigm

The Ontogeny - Phylogeny Evolution Model ( )

Rothbart (2014) introduced the Ontogeny - Phylogeny Evolution Model as a means to decipher the linear prototypic line for homo sapiens.  Succinctly, this evolution model suggests that foot ontogenesis (the fetal/embryonic development of the human foot) mirrors phylogenesis (the evolutionary development of the human foot).

Rothbart believes that the adage - ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny - embodies the 'smoking gun' (e.g., in determining the ancestrally lineage of homo sapiens):

During embryogenesis, first the fetal foot bud emerges, then it develops into the the Clubfoot Structure, then as it continues to develop, it becomes a PreClinical Clubfoot Structure, then a Primus Metatarsus Supinatus Foot Structure, and finally the Plantargrade Foot.

Using this same methodology, Rothbart believes we can trace back our homo sapien prototypes. That is, our earliest ancestors (who were bipedal obligates) would have the PreClinical Clubfoot Structure (twisted calcaneus and talar head). This would rule out A. afarensis. The A. sebida fossil's do have the twisted calcaneus.

The PreClinical Clubfoot Structure/deformity forces the foot to hyperpronate. If the Laetoli footprints indicate that foot did not hyperpronate, following the above methodology, that upright walker would not be in our direct prototype, but rather a divergent line.

It is suggested that this line of reasoning will help uncomplicate our understanding of hominine taxonomy; which is consistent with my own research. That is, the closer you get to the truth, the easier it becomes to understand.

Anthropology - Why Our Hominine Prototypes (Ancestors) Left the Trees and Became Savanna Dwellers

Rothbart's evolutionary theory that our prototypes basically followed the evolutionary model - Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny  - explains why our hominine prototypes left the trees and lived on the savanna - quite simply - the evolution of their foot structure facilitated and allowed them to do so.

That is, our earliest ancestors, who lived in the trees, had the clubfoot like foot structure. Very efficient for gasping, but totally inadequate for walking. (Just observe the gait patterns of children born with clubfoot deformities today.) Those hominids born with the PreClinical Clubfoot Structure found walking on the ground much easier and with it all the advantages of doing so (e.g., more efficient hunter, able to traverse longer distances on the ground with less energy expenditure, etc.)

All this dovetails very nicely into the theory that the human foot evolved first.

Well, just food for thought.

Professor/Dr Brian A Rothbart

Director of Research, International Academy RPT