Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Close Affinity Hypothesis

View that humans and apes are closely related, in contrast to Blumenbach’s separation of humans and nonhuman primates into completely different orders (Bimanus and Quadrumana, respectively). Thomas Henry Huxley suggested that humans and apes shared a recent common ancestor, a nineteenth century view championed also by Darwin and Haeckel but few others. In the early twentieth century, Schultz recognized close embryological similarities, as did Le Gros Clark, based on comparative anatomy. Later, Gregory and then Washburn supported this proposal, then still a minority view. The molecular studies of M. Goodman, A. C. Wilson, V. Sarich and R. Cann suggested an even closer genealogical relationship; the close affinity hypothesis is now the dominant view of relationships among the higher primates.

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