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SCI/TECH: Scientific Infighting Preventing Important Research

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posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 02:13 PM
A cave in Kampung Teras, Indonesia has yielded an important archealogical discovery, a species of previously unknown Humans. The newly discovered species is not without controversy however. Jealousy among research teams, accusations of fraud and unehtical processes are among the controversies surrounding the find. Recent lack of cooperation between the Indonesian government and archeaologists has halted further excavation and possible new evidence of the ancient people, while feuds between researchers has prevented further examination of what has been found.
The little people stood 3 foot 3 and had a brain the size of a grapefruit, the archeologists say. Making sophisticated stone tools, they hunted pygmy elephants, giant rats and Komodo dragons. They used fire to cook and almost certainly had a spoken language. The archeologists named them Homo floresiensis, or Flores Man.
Based on the discovery of stone tools elsewhere on Flores, scientists believe the species' ancestors landed on the island east of Bali more than 800,000 years ago and survived there long after modern humans arrived in the region. Most likely they built rafts to reach Flores, which would make them the earliest known sailors. A volcanic eruption may have caused their extinction around 10,000 BC.
In the search for human origins, some experts call this one of the most important finds of the last century. The discovery challenges the conventional view of human evolution, particularly the belief that having a big brain is an essential part of being human. According to the discovery team, these little people carried out complex tasks with brains smaller than a chimpanzee's.

Not everyone has welcomed the discovery.

In Indonesia, the October announcement of Flores Man in the respected British journal Nature ignited controversy within the scientific community and sparked jealousy among experts who were not part of the excavation. The discovery was front-page news around the world.
Teuku Jacob, Indonesia's preeminent paleoanthropologist, accused the Australians of stealing the limelight from Indonesian archeologists by holding their own news conference, and he challenged the conclusion that the bones represented a separate species.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

As is often the case with important new discoveries emotional rather than logical problems are preventing the understanding of this species. As scientists and professionals the research teams have an ethical responsibilty to put their differences behind them and get to the truth. This could be an extremely important discovery for mankind because it challenges many long held beliefs about modern man and his origins. It is a shame the infighting among the researchers is stopping the further discovery of this species.

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posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 02:27 PM

As scientists and professionals the research teams have an ethical responsibilty to put their differences behind them and get to the truth. T

Not for nothing, but hte indonesian researcher on flores man is the one that is the obstructionist. The orignial research team was a group of australians. They loaned the specimin to the indonesian researcher because he was well resepected in the field and region. He denounced the finds after a cursory examination. He made casts of them, and thru simple incompetence and negligence, destroyed lots of information from the specimin, and refuses to return it to the original researchers. The indonesians, in general, seem to be treating it as an 'imperialism' issue, with ausssies coming into their country and changing their history and fighting with their researchers.

I don't see how the original team is to blame for any of this. Often when discoveries are made there is controversey, but generally the scientific community can reach a consensus and lots of work comes out of it. A case in point is the issue of the origings of birds. Most researchers now strongly agree that birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs, there was debate and controversy, but it didn't get 'in the way' of the study.

There are still some 'hold outs', but this doesn't prevent reserach from being done, and in those cases its actually gotten quite personal, with the accusation that the "BAND" members (Birds Are Not Dinosaurs people) are being unscientific (since their arguements are,well, generally rather poor and far to reliant upon authority of bird researchers and subjectivity).

But it doesn't prevent research, these controversies and the emotions that go along with them.

In the case of flores man tho, yes, that is what has happened, the specimin is literally being held hostage.

posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 02:55 PM
Anytime you upset people's lovely little delusions about themselves they try to evade the truth.

Look at this country, with perhaps a majority of Americans wanting to re-write creationism/religion into the science texts and classes, because evolution upsets them so much.

When you upset people's mental apple carts they get upset.

Towers of babylon in our minds.

Everyone who was re-incarnated was a Queen or King of egypt.
Darn they must not have recorded them all in the hieroglyphics.

In my mind, I am a GOD.

In reality i am a dweeb.


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