The Origin of Dogs Gets More Mysterious

dogs not descended from wolves?It’s been conventional scientific wisdom for a long time now that dogs are descended from some wolves that somehow became domesticated many thousands of years ago, but this theory has been at the very least complicated by new genetic research which finds that dogs are in fact not descended from any wolves like those alive today. So in effect the evidence now shows that dogs are descended from another, unknown animal, a proto-dog, if you like, although scientists are currently theorizing that it was another kind of “wolf” that is now extinct, and that wolves and dogs of today share a common ancestor.


It’s a small reminder, if nothing else, that there is really no such thing as “settled science.” Scientific theories are settled only until new facts are discovered which require them to be adjusted. And that’s just fine, so long as everyone understands it. It’s not totally clear, however, that everyone always does.

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