Domenico Dodaro

In this essay I introduce and criticize Gehlen’s arguments about homination. The hypothesises of Gehlen are based on his assumption that the human body is – and has always been – unspecialized. Gehlen seeks support of the scientific literature to justify his premise. For instance, he refers to neoteny and to Bolk’s fetalization theory. He then refers to Dollo’s law of irreversibility in order to argue that from specialized ancestors – such as primates similar to monkeys – cannot derive unspecialized descendants – namely, humans. His hypothesis is that man descends from a very old primate who was already quite similar to man. Hence this primate was an unspecialized form like man. I show that these and other Gehlen’s statements are groundless. For instance, I criticize his thesis according to which the human being is unspecialized and I do the same as for his proposed human evolutionary lineage. I show that he fails to refer correctly to both Dollo and Darwin’s thought, I point out some inconsistencies in his dissertation, and I criticize his endogenous perspective of evolution. I also criticize his method of research, and referring to a book of Pansera, I indicate a bias at the heart of Gehlen’s work. I then show that he fails to give deserved appreciation to other far more plausible explanations for homination.

Per una critica alle ipotesi di Arnold Gehlen
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