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SCI/TECH: Anthropologist Resigns After he Fabricated Date of Neanderthal Origins

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posted on Feb, 20 2005 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I have seen skulls of Australopithecus afarensis, and they're are barely half the size of modern day man or the neandertals. furthermore, the cranial cavity size is somewhere in the 400-600 cm^3 range, hardly in the "bell curve range" of anyone able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

And the Neandertal skulls, while being the approximate same size as ours (indeed, the cranial capacity of H. neanderthalensis is statistically larger than today's people), are completely different, with the occipital bun, the brow ridge, a hypertrophied maxilla, etc.


And I have seen the Apple PowerBook commercial featuring Mini-Me and Yao Ming. Difference in size is not necessarily a basis on which to determine species.

There are also fewer than 30 examples of Neanderthals on which to base any conclusions, hardly a representative sample.

The link to the article in the Telegraph detailing Prof. Henneberg's findings: "Believe it or not, they're all the same species"




posted on Feb, 20 2005 @ 09:25 PM
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"and the Homo Sapiens as we know them today. Are you attempting to refute this?"

I think I just did.



posted on Feb, 20 2005 @ 09:44 PM
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Even the good professor says that:

"...All hominims appear to be a single gradually evolving lineage containing only one species at each point in time."

So his point is that we're not all one species but that there were not at any particular time any more than a single species of hominid.

But, like you say, size has little to do with it. An ewe is the same size as a Newfoundland, therefore, dogs and sheep are the same species, right?

Of course not!

There are other considerations besides size, and some of the ones I mentioned previously, like cranial capacity, occipital buns, etc. sound like pretty good indicators to me that H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, which probably lived at the same time, are not the same species.

As a matter of fact, if you go to www.cs.unc.edu...
you will get some pretty interesting insights on the extraction of DNA from specimens of H. neanderthalensis and the resulting belief that they are not the same species we are.

To quote the article:

"This process [DNA extraction] was done twice, and the same sequence was obtained both times. The resulting sequence was compared with 986 distinct sequences from living humans. The sequence differed from these in an average of 25.6 positions. Living humans differ in this region in an average of 8 positions, but the maximum difference is 24 positions. But the pattern of mutations in the Neanderthal sequence was different than in modern humans. For comparison, in this region, there are 55 differences between humans and chimpanzees.


Based on that article, it should be pretty clear that H. neanderthalensis is a different species from H. sapiens, but closer from a taxonomic point of view than we are to Pan paniscus.

But then, that shouldn't be too surprising; people and chimpanzees are in different genera as well as different species.



posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
"and the Homo Sapiens as we know them today. Are you attempting to refute this?"

I think I just did.


Perhaps you misunderstood my post, or I misunderstood yours
I didn't mean to imply that todays hominids are a different species than those of 200,000 years ago, simply that todays variation of "humanity" is quite different than early hominids.

Even the slightest differences in the evolutionary process can crystalise, creating marked differences between even members of the same species.

I agree that there is sufficent evidence to suggest that Neanderthal's are a different species. But what evidence is there to suggest that the Homo Sapiens of today are a different species than the Homo Sapiens of 200,000 years ago? Aren't the differences simply the result of genetic variations due to evolutionary processes within the same species.

Of course I'm going by the 'Out of Africa' theory, which would suggest that the first Homo Sapiens were relatively alike, and that as they travelled out of Africa, and began to experience differences in conditions, evolutionary variations began to crystalise, indicated by what we see today as Race.

There is the Multi-Regional theory that suggests that modern Humans evolved from archaic Hominids native to one particular region, or more. If this theory is right, which it could be, than there is a good basis for saying that "early" Humans were a different species.




[edit on 21-2-2005 by Volksgeist]



posted on Feb, 21 2005 @ 11:01 PM
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volksgeist, I agree; there seemed to have been a breakdown in communication, for which I apologize. I agree that the out-of-Africa guys were pretty much like we are; at least I'd heard that the skeletal remains found in South Africa are indistiguishable from modern H. sapiens.

I wasn't aware that those same H. sapiens remains were 200k years old, what I'd read (ant this was several years ago) was that they were about 90 k years old.

But I think we can agree that when they got to Europe there were H. neanderthalensis people there, and given the mitochondrial DNA evidence, they were certainly of a different species (but same genus, probably) than the Africans (that is, we) were.

Dang. This means tht not only am I an "interloper" in the New World (in the eyes of the "Native American" fans), but even in my homeland, I'm an interloper and destroyer of the Native Peoples of Europe.

I am so politically incorrect, I can barely stand it.

God, the guilt!!



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
But there's not an intrinsic flaw in cargon-14 dating, although there are those that want there to be errors. In case you don't know how C14 dating works, a good although a bit simplistic, place to find out is here.


Don't worry, OTS. I'm sure you've got a base sequence or two of those Thalers in there- read Clan of the Cave Bear to see what I mean.

And, there is an intrinsic flaw:


Olsson (1974), and Gupta and Polach (1985:129-134) have considered the nature of this relationship between sample, contaminant and magnitude of error. They suggested that by "guesstimating" the age difference between the 'true' sample age and that of the contaminant, and calculating the relative size of the contaminant in the sample, it was possible to determine the extent of the error caused by the contaminant and apply a correction.


When we submit samples to be assayed by the laboratory, they 'guesstimate'. If we provide bogus data? We get a bogus date. That is the sad state of 'science' today. I won't call it science; I call it experiment, and I will not call the results valid with so many unrecognized variables.

I am not a creationist: I am a scientific skeptic. I want a better method.


[edit on 22-2-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Dang. This means tht not only am I an "interloper" in the New World (in the eyes of the "Native American" fans), but even in my homeland, I'm an interloper and destroyer of the Native Peoples of Europe.

I am so politically incorrect, I can barely stand it.

God, the guilt!!


Tis' only one more thing to feel guilty about. God lifes hard when you're a white male



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 01:55 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I wasn't aware that those same H. sapiens remains were 200k years old, what I'd read (ant this was several years ago) was that they were about 90 k years old.


I apologise for not backing up my claim of 200,000 years.

news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 10:26 AM
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chakotay says:

"Don't worry, OTS. I'm sure you've got a base sequence or two of those Thalers in there- read Clan of the Cave Bear to see what I mean."

Not only did I read Clan of the Cave Bear when it first came out, I also read The Valley of Horses when it first came out; ditto The Mammoth Hunters, followed by Plains of Passage, and finally, after a long wait, Shelters of Stone.

Jean Auel is a great fiction writer and I'd read anything she ever publishes. But her information is not necessarily true. Remember, she did most of her research for Clan in the early eighties (it was first published in 1984), and a whole lot has been learned about H. neanderthalensis since then, including their genetic distance from H. sapiens.

Auel herself says: "Neanderthals are still unknowns, but they were far more advanced than most of us imagine; they were also human with brains larger than the average today. There were differences, but they were our close cousins." ( www.randomhouse.com... ).


[re: Carbon-14 dating] "And, there is an intrinsic flaw... Olsson (1974), and Gupta and Polach (1985:129-134) have considered the nature of this relationship between sample, contaminant and magnitude of error. They suggested that by "guesstimating" the age difference between the 'true' sample age and that of the contaminant, and calculating the relative size of the contaminant in the sample, it was possible to determine the extent of the error caused by the contaminant and apply a correction."

Are you saying that C-14 dating is not perfect and exact?

What a surprise!

Of course it's not perfect and exact! What in science is? But the interesting point is that we now can apply a correction, and even if the first step is an approximation, the correction makes the sample -- assuming that enough tests are run and it is done carefully -- capable of being dated to within five or at most ten percent of its true age.

"If we provide bogus data? We get a bogus date." Of course you get a bogus date! Garbage in, garbage out, right? That's why you have to be careful not to provide bogus data and to redo the measurements to throw out the statistical outliers.

"That is the sad state of 'science' today. I won't call it science..."

And you call cut-and-paste from Jean Auels's novels "science", then?;

"...and I will not call the results valid with so many unrecognized variables."

But that's the whole point of your citation, Chakotay; the variables are recognized and, as best as can be done, corrected for.

For further insights into what science is and isn't, I suggest you check out teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu... .

"I am not a creationist: I am a scientific skeptic. I want a better method."

So do I, Chakotay; so do I. But people in hell want ice water, too. You need to understand that "science" is not a bunch of guys in white coats drawing incomprehensible equations on a marker-board or watching strange-shaped bottles of colored fluids bubble.

Science is a way of looking at things that implies coming up with the best possible way to explain the universe, with the understanding that next week or next year or next century, someone will come up with a better way to measure it, which will probably refine our existing measurements.

But meanwhile, we go with the very best data we have, and for short-term measurements of organic material, C-14 is the way to do it.



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 10:29 AM
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To Volksgeist:

"The original dating in 1967 found the fossils to be 130,000 years old Two skulls originally found in 1967 have been shown to be about 195,000 years old, making them the oldest modern human remains known to science."

Whoa! We be old!



posted on Feb, 22 2005 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
And you call cut-and-paste from Jean Auels's novels "science", then?


Jeez, I will not offer you coffee or try to cheer you up with inanity ever again. Brace yourself for facts.


For further insights into what science is and isn't, I suggest you check out teacher.nsrl.rochester.edu... .


Wow, you must be a real scientist. Not like me, I just work as one. I really should go back to undergrad school, now that I have my doctorate. Not to teach, but to learn what science is. I stand corrected!


Science is a way of looking at things that implies coming up with the best possible way to explain the universe, with the understanding that next week or next year or next century, someone will come up with a better way to measure it, which will probably refine our existing measurements.

But meanwhile, we go with the very best data we have, and for short-term measurements of organic material, C-14 is the way to do it.


For some, science is about falsifying data to gain grant funding. Intentional falsification aside, C-14 is fundamentally flawed, as are all forms of radiometric dating. The consensus is coming back, we have a problem here, and it would be unimportant if political pressure was not brought to bear on, for example, indigenous people- politicians (including academicians) are using this flawed, falsified data to rationalize policy decisions from creationism/evolution in the schools to genocidal practices against the Saami in Sweden.

You see, OTS, science is used to project power. And that power is only legitimate if it is honest- and accurate. Radiometric dating is neither. As an engineer, you have a golden opportunity to make a fortune by creating a better way. Oh shoot, there I go being nice again.

Want some coffee?

[edit on 22-2-2005 by Chakotay]



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
volksgeist says:

Remember that the best definition of "species" is a group where all of the members can interbreed with other members. If we change to the point where we can no longer interbreed and produce fertile, viable, offspring, then we are different species.


By this definition, tigers and lions must be of the same species.

[edit on 12-7-2008 by applebiter]



posted on Jul, 12 2008 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by MrOtis

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I have seen skulls of Australopithecus afarensis, and they're are barely half the size of modern day man or the neandertals. furthermore, the cranial cavity size is somewhere in the 400-600 cm^3 range, hardly in the "bell curve range" of anyone able to walk and chew gum at the same time.

And the Neandertal skulls, while being the approximate same size as ours (indeed, the cranial capacity of H. neanderthalensis is statistically larger than today's people), are completely different, with the occipital bun, the brow ridge, a hypertrophied maxilla, etc.


And I have seen the Apple PowerBook commercial featuring Mini-Me and Yao Ming. Difference in size is not necessarily a basis on which to determine species.

There are also fewer than 30 examples of Neanderthals on which to base any conclusions, hardly a representative sample.

The link to the article in the Telegraph detailing Prof. Henneberg's findings: "Believe it or not, they're all the same species"


That's a terrible, terrible argument, because you just proved his point.

Actually size and shape is exactly what you need to determine species, as well as the position and development of facial and cranial features.


On the rest of it, I don't see how this is a surprise. The wiki article on him says he was banned in 2004 for being a bull# artist.

en.wikipedia.org...

This article is in no way revelatory, and in no way even vaguely challenges the precepts of modern evolutionary theory. It's just one less bull# artist in business, that is all.



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