Homo floresiensis - The "Hobbit"

Discussion in 'Science' started by UTEOTW, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    http://www.nature.com/news/specials/flores/index.html

    Someone might find this intereting.
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    We have dwarfs today. What's the big deal? Stands to reason if enough of them wanted to live together and not procreate with "normal" sized people, that the genes for the dwarfism would dominate.
     
  3. UTEOTW

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    These dwarves do not have the skelton of a modern human. They most closely resemble that of a dwarfed Homo erectus, though there are some diffeences. That is why this is a big deal. You have a cousin of humanity living to yesterday in geologic terms. Modern humans were sharing the world with another hominid even more recently than with the Neanderthaals.

    Here, go to this link.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6346939/

    They have a Homo erectus skull, the new find, and a human all lined up. Even from the small picture, the differences should be readily apparent to you.
     
  4. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    And they were all people. Maybe different "breeds," (what we call races) but still people. Think of the pygmies in Africa. God made animals. God made people. They did not grow out of each other.
     
  5. UTEOTW

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    But a breed is different.

    Look at all the variance in all the known humans around the world. They all still fit a common template.

    But not for the other hominids out there. Whether it be the new hobbits, or H. neanderthalis or H. erectus or H. ergaster or H. heidelbergensis or any of the others, they all have morphological differences. They all have physical traits that are well outside the extreme range of H. sapiens. They have traits that we just do not have and lack traits that we all have.

    Try taking a look at this image, it bigger. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/hominids.html

    You should be able to see the skull differences very easily.

    In the case of Neanderthals, we have also isolated sample of DNA. Their DNA was completely outside of the range of variation in DNA in H. sapiens.
     
  6. Helen

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    Still depending on TalkOrigins?

    Here's some other stuff:

    The link below is to a study demonstrating that human subpopulations can and, in rare instances, do begin to give birth to substantial number of proportionate dwarfs (formerly known as midgets). For the genetics literate, it also contains a good bit of technical meat.

    Consider the picture from the Indonesia story of the two brain sizes and then compare that to the picture of the average size comtemporary village standing beside his proportionate dwarf fellow villager here: http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/83/11/4065#T1

    "Adult midgets, with head size like that of pre-school children, have IQs completely on a par with average sized adults (Skoyles 1999). The midgets' head size measurements therefore greatly underestimate their IQs. The same regression of IQ on head size just does not apply to midgets and the rest of the population."

    See http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/psycoloquy/raw/2000.volume.11/psyc.00.11.004.intelligence-g-factor.24.jensen

    Then there is always Glenn Morton's post on
    TheologyWeb:

    Roger Lewin, "Is Your Brain Really Necessary,"

    Science, Dec. 12,1980, p. 1232.

    "'There's a young student at this university," says Lorber, 'who has an IQ of 126, has gained a first-class honors degree in mathematics, and is socially completely normal. And yet the boy has virtually no brain.' The student's physician at the university noticed that the youth had a slightly larger than normal head, and so referred him to Lorber, simply out of interest. 'When we did a brain scan on him,' Lorber recalls, 'we saw that instead of the normal 4.5-centimeter thickness of brain tissue between the ventricles and the cortical surface, there was just a thin layer of mantle measuring a millimeter or so. His cranium is filled mainly with cerebrospinal fluid."

    Conclusion: we have an isolated population of proportional dwarfs (midgets) here. No big deal.

    Not a new 'species' of human....
     
  7. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    "Still depending on TalkOrigins?"

    Nice, convenient place to get a comparison picture of different hominid skulls without having to send people to a bunch of different sites. I guess I could have done it the hard way.

    "The link below is to a study demonstrating that human subpopulations can and, in rare instances, do begin to give birth to substantial number of proportionate dwarfs (formerly known as midgets). For the genetics literate, it also contains a good bit of technical meat. "

    If these were just little H. sapiens that might be germane.

    "Conclusion: we have an isolated population of proportional dwarfs (midgets) here. No big deal."

    Nope. From the abstract.

    The physical traits of this find are not consistent with a population of dwarf humans. The most likely explanation is that they derived from a population of H. erectus. These are not just little modern humans.

    The details are important in this case.
     
  8. Helen

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    UTE, you are never going to agree with anything I say -- I think it's in your genes.... :D

    But the links are there if anyone else is watching.
     
  9. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    Well when you are trying to claim that dwarfed H. erectus are really H. sapiens without disputing the finders claims on morphology then there is not really much to listen to. Maybe there is something out there disputing those claims that you can link us to.
     
  10. Helen

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    Hey, we've already had every known bit of bone described as a new species of homo -- why not this stuff, too? It makes the evolutionists happy....

    But there's plenty of extant evidence against that conclusion as the links I posted demonstrate.

    They'll be digging for awhile. I can wait.
     
  11. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    ;)

    Yes, isn't it nice that we are getting to where we have such a complete record of the hominids that when new finds come along with a mixture of traits we have dispute over whether to put them in one or another existing species or in a new species.

    "But there's plenty of extant evidence against that conclusion as the links I posted demonstrate."

    I believe the links only show that dwarfism is possible which no one is disputing. The question is that the bones that have been found do not have the morphology of a modern human which remains unaddressed.
     
  12. UTEOTW

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    Just to continue the ongoing thought, I found an inteview with the discover that sheds some light on the things we are discussing.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa004&articleID=00082F87-7D35-117E-BD3583414B7F0000&pageNumber=1&catID=4

    Just to underscore that the find has a skelton different than that of H. sapiens and different that specific dwarf H. sapiens, too. It is possible to tell that something was just a little modern person. And this is not such a case.
     
  13. Gup20

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    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2004/1108hobbit.asp


    This is a brief update to our article on “Flores man,” also nicknamed “The Hobbit” after one of Tolkien’s fantasy groups of quasi-humans. Those who have not yet done so are recommended to read the article titled Soggy Dwarf Bones.

    This tiny 1m (3’4”) alleged evolutionary sensation was found on the Indonesian island of Flores and regarded as a “new species” of human (Homo floresiensis). It was said to be at least “18,000 years” old, with the site dated as up to “800,000.”

    In a recent development, Indonesian scientists have strongly refuted many of the sensational evolutionary claims about Flores man (so called in spite of the fact that the skeleton was claimed to actually be that of a woman). The country’s influential Jakarta Post (JP) ran an article on 8 November 2004 titled “RI scientists refute Flores Man finding.” (RI = Republic of Indonesia.)

    The article reports Dr. Teuku Jacob, a paleoanthropology professor from Gadjah Mada University, as saying:

    “The skeleton is not a new species as claimed by these scientists, but simply a fossil of a modern human, Homo sapiens, that lived about 1,300 to 1,800 years ago.”

    While acknowledging the small brain size (380 cc, less than that of a chimp) and obvious differences with typical modern humans, he apparently stated that the remains were those of a member of the “Australomelanesid race, which had dwelled across almost all of the Indonesian islands.”

    Referring to the skeleton’s eye socket shape and hip bone curves, Jacob suggested that it was not of a woman at all, but a male who died aged around 30. Interestingly, he also criticized as unethical the action of the Australian scientists who announced the discovery. Both Jacob and Prof. Dr. R. P. Soejono, head of Indonesia’s National Archaeology Institute, said that the Australians should have involved them when making the announcement, especially considering that the Australian scientists were not there when the discovery was made. Soejono claimed that the work on Flores was actually started by Indonesian scientists in 1976, and forced to a halt by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

    Whether the refutation was influenced in part by “turf wars,” and/or national sensitivities, it is interesting that professional academic paleoanthropologists could have two such radically different views about both the identification and particularly the age of the same specimen. Certainly our view (that this is likely a miniature human being exhibiting part of the same range of post-Babel human variation as encompasses the larger so-called Homo erectus) is not harmed, if anything the opposite, by this Indonesian opinion.

    The mysterious “little people”
    The Indonesian comments about a pygmy Australomelanesian group of people is interesting in light of the many reports one used to hear from missionaries, mostly from the early part of last century and before, about what they often called “the little people.” These reports, mostly concerning far northern regions of Australia (hence closer to Indonesia) were of an allegedly distinct (but now no longer extant) population of very small humans, i.e., a group quite distinguishable from the local Aboriginals. Could at least some of these have been the same (or a closely related) people group as those whose skeleton has been found on Flores? Controversial Australian historian Keith Windschuttle recently published a definitive study on Australia’s short-stature tribes, referred to variously as Pygmies, Negritos, Tasmanoids, and Barrineans.1


    A couple of photographs claiming to be of these people appear in the autobiographical book by Will and Marjorie Sharpe called What an Experience (Boolarong Publications, Esperance Western Australia, 1989, p. 9) and that page is shown here
    .

    But wait, there’s more...
    The non-European in the bottom photo is clearly of normal skull-body ratio. An article in Britain’s Observer quotes Dr. Jacob as suggesting the abnormality known as microcephaly (in which a human is born with a lower brain size) was responsible for Flores man’s small brain/skull size.2 This is disputed by well-known human evolution authority, Britain’s Dr. Chris Stringer, who points out that Flores Man has other features, not just a reduced brain, distinct from the typical human today.


    However, an item posted on 1 November by Anatomy Professor Maciej Henneberg gives significant support to the “Flores Man was a microcephalic” view.3 Henneberg is the Head of the Department of Anatomy at South Australia’s Adelaide University, and has studied human evolution for 32 years. He says that the dimensions of the face, nose and jaws do not differ significantly from those of modern humans, unlike the very small braincase. He says, “The bell rang in my head” as he recalled a Minoan period human skull from Crete, which has long been identified as that of a microcephalic. Prof. Henneberg says that doing a statistical comparison of the two skulls (using the meticulous dimensions provided on the Nature website) “shows that there is not a single significant difference between the two skulls though one is reputedly that of the ‘new species of human’, the other a member of a sophisticated culture that preceded classical Greek civilisation.”

    Henneberg also says that deeper down in the same cave on Flores, a radius (forearm bone) was discovered. Its length of 210 mm suggests that its owner was 151-162 cm (5’ to 5’3”) tall, well within the normal human range today. And probably consistent with a healthy, good-sized member of the “little people” as depicted in the photo above.

    Interestingly, the JP news report also highlighted the same fact we did, namely that the specimen was not really fossilized (mineralized). This of course is more consistent with a much younger age for the skeleton than in the Nature announcement. Dr. Soejono was quoted as saying, “...we were able to find soft tissue so that we could carry out a DNA test. We couldn’t do that if it was already a fossil.” Interestingly, a media release posted by Australia’s Southern Cross University, on 8 November 2004, suggests that the Flores (or Ling Bua, as the site is also known) people may have inhabited the island up to about “500 years ago.”

    I hope the DNA results are announced soon, and we await them with great interest. The more identifiable stretches of DNA that are present, the better. We would expect that the results will be consistent with the human identification. The very fact that DNA is still present in an unfossilized specimen is another indicator for a young age, much more likely to be in the ballpark of the figure cited by the Indonesian scientists than the one reported in Nature. (DNA is a fragile molecule that falls apart very quickly, as far as laboratory measurements are concerned—see Salty Saga.)

    References
    Keith Windschuttle and Tim Gillin, The extinction of the Australian pygmies, Quadrant, June 2002, &lt;http://www.sydneyline.com/Pygmies Extinction.htm&gt;. Return to text.
    John Aglionby and Robin McKie, Hobbit folk “were just sick humans,” &lt;http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1345519,00.html&gt;. Return to text.
    &lt;www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/000884.html&gt;Return to text.​
     
  14. Helen

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    Thanks, Gup. I was just getting ready to link that. "Evolutionist" and "ethical" both start with an 'e', but sometimes I think that is the only link between them!

    Seriously, you think they would learn! They are fooled by a pig's tooth, a doctored skull, a forged fossil, a microcephalic skull.... caution is not a bad thing! A little research before rushing to print would save them a lot of embarrassment.

    I've gotten to the point now that whenever an evolutionist apologist makes a claim of some wonderful new discovery supporting evolution, all I have to do is wait a bit to find out the truth instead.
     
  15. UTEOTW

    UTEOTW
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    So it is the word of the folks who have found it and examined it against those who have not. I'll refer you to your second link where it says.

    I will also refer you back to the quote from the discoverer above. The things you posted have been considered and rejected.

     
  16. jcrawford

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    Neandertals were completely human and "interbred" sucessfully with Cro-Magnons and other breeds of humans.

    Inbreeding leads to morphological mutations within a human population and accounts for all the differences found in the fossil record of extinct human beings.
     
  17. UTEOTW

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    "Neandertals were completely human and "interbred" sucessfully with Cro-Magnons and other breeds of humans."

    Where is your evidence for this? At best there are a few individual finds that might be part of each. But studies have failed to find Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.

    Furthermore you should see the following.

    Ovchinnikov, I. V., Gotherstrom, A., Romanova, G. P., Kharitonov, V. M., Liden, K., GoodwinW. Molecular analysis of Neanderthal DNA from the northern Caucasus. Nature 404, 490 (2000).

    http://www.nature.com/nsu/000330/000330-8.html

    The paper talks about tests of a sample DNA from a Neanderthal from the Caucasus mountains of Russia and comparisons of that DNA to that of the first Neanderthal specimen found, the Feldhofer, and to that of modern humans. I will provide a link to and quote from an article written about the paper.

    "But the Feldhofer Neanderthal DNA seems to be distinct from the DNA of any modern human, irrespective of racial or geographical origin. The Caucasus Neanderthal DNA now confirms this: it is closer to the Feldhofer DNA than to any modern human... But the Caucasus DNA and the Feldhofer DNA are quite distinct, having a 3.48&percnt; difference in sequence. This is comparable to differences between humans of different ethnic or geographic origins, and is not surprising given that the Feldhofer and Caucausus individuals lived 2,500 kilometres and tens of thousands of years apart."

    DNA testing thus confirms that Neanderthals were not modern humans.

    Just where do you think that they got those physical traits that no other humans have? Do any of your neighbors have brow ridges? The Neanderthals do!

    "Inbreeding leads to morphological mutations within a human population and accounts for all the differences found in the fossil record of extinct human beings."

    Evidence please. Show me that H. neanderthalsis, H. erectus, H. ergaster, H. hablis, H. heidelbergensis were all just the result of inbreeding. What humans have their traits to come out in a new mixture through inbreeding.

    False assertion!
     
  18. jcrawford

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    False claim based on a peice of paper you read!
     
  19. UTEOTW

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    False assertion that you have not and cannot support.

    If you disagree, tell us what was wrong.

    Tell us why the DNA of Neaderthals would not match that of humans if they are really humans.

    Tell us why they would have physical traits well outside the bound of humans if they are really humans.

    You found someone with brow ridges yet?
     
  20. jcrawford

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    No, but there seem to be a lot of biology professors running around these days with less cranial capacity in their skulls than the Neandies had.

    Seen any?
     

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