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SCI/TECH: More Evidence Points to Hobbits

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posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 05:05 PM
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Paleontologists digging on the remote Indonesian island of Flores say they've found more bones of Homo floresiensis. The findings, a jawbone and right arm, have ignited a controversy unlike any other in the often-contentious study of human origins for a species affectionately dubbed the "Hobbit".
 



abcnews.go.com
Scientists digging in a remote Indonesian cave have uncovered a jaw bone that they say adds more evidence that a tiny prehistoric Hobbit-like species once existed.

The jaw is from the ninth individual believed to have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago. The bones are in a wet cave on the island of Flores in the eastern limb of the Indonesian archipelago, near Australia.

In the latest Nature study, the same team of Australian and Indonesian scientists working in trenches dug in Liang Bua cave found a variety of additional bones at various depths, suggesting the cave had been occupied for tens of thousands of years by several generations.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The small minority of scientists that disagree this in not a new species should dwindle even more. Hobbits are becoming more a reality and less a myth.


Unlike modern humans, H. floresiensis has little in the way of a chin

Related News Links:
news.bbc.co.uk
edition.cnn.com
www.nature.com



[edit on 11-10-2005 by Regenmacher]




posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 06:24 PM
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Awesome! These creatures are absolutely fascinating and I'm glad to learn that we have another example of their existence - 8 little guys invite pseudo-scientific skepticism galore, but maybe 9 will do the trick!


I have been eagerly awaiting some kind of IMax movie or PBS special about this species - is anyone aware of something like this that we can look forward to?

Zip



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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I'm no archaeologist or anthropologist for that matter, but how do we make a determination based on finding a jawbone and one arm? I'm not arguing against the conclusion, like i said i'm not qualified, but seems to be an extraordinary amount of extrapolation here. Often the case in interpreting fossils, atleast it seems that way to me imho.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 07:36 PM
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a couple of links

www.mnsu.edu...

www.crimeandclues.com...

The long and short (no pun intended) of this is the reasonable assumptions of proportions of different bones and extrapolating an educated guess. Emphasis on guess. From the bone caps, forensic anthopologists can estimate age, so it's reasonable that they can eliminate these as bones from children.

This is an issue that will be hotly debated in academic circles untill more conclusive evidence is uncovered. THe Tolkenian in me is very much hoping that some poportionally large hairy feet will show up!

Proto-Frodo lives!



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 07:45 PM
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Rren,

With archaeological finds regarding bones, there's a pretty specific set of rules from which certain assumptions become generally accepted. For instance, the size of the body can be roughly determined by the size of an arm bone (given overall size, placement on the body, approximate age of death, and general wear on the bone itself). Jaw bones can also be used to understand the rough size of a living creature by seeing the overall size, number of teeth, type of teeth, wear on the bone, and wear on the teeth (seeing the wear of certain bones can provide a lot of information on overall weight, size, and usage of certain bones, thus determining the rough size of the animal).

As far as the find, every find regarding this species has fascinated me. I believe that there's a LOT that we don't know about our own planet, or even our own history. I find it hard to believe that there's only the handful of known human-like species over time, when there's hundreds of species of primate, which is our closest known ancestor. If the primate line can evolve into so many hundreds of species, why wouldn't the human line evolve into many hundreds of species? In addition, seeing as how there are species of various animal types (including primates) that only exist in small numbers in a single place on earth (such as Madagascar, for instance, which contains a couple dozen unique species of Lemur). This said, it's reasonable to think that humans could have evolved in such a way on an isolated island.

Fascinating discovery, and I always look forward to finding out more about them.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 08:09 PM
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Thanks for the links shantyman and explaination obsidian.
I need all the help i can get.


Here's a story from abc.net from leading opponent of the Hobbits are a new species hypothesis, Professor Teuku Jacob, chief palaeontologist from Gajah Mada University. You're correct this 'theory' is indeed controvercial.


ABC.net

"It is not a new species. It is a sub-species of homo sapiens classified under the Austrolomelanesid race. If it's not a new species, why should it be given a new name?" the professor said.

Australian scientists last month made world headlines by announcing the discovery of a new twig in mankind's family tree, 'homo floriensis', a one-metre hominid with a grapefruit-sized skull which was described as hobbit-like.

Their theory, published in the British weekly scientific journal Nature, was that it was the smallest of the 10 known species of the genus Homo, the hominid that arose out of Africa about 2.5 million years ago.

Mr Jacob said his team will aim to prove that the skeleton is from a 25 to 30-year-old omnivorous sub-species of man, not a 30-year-old female from the new species as previously announced.

They believe the skeleton's small skull is related to mental defects rather than being evidence that it is a different species.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


And here's another good link from the opponent's perspective arkeologi.net...

"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," Jacob told a press conference.
He said the skeleton was of a member of the Australomelanesid race, which had dwelled across almost all of the Indonesian islands.
"So, if they (the Australian scientists) say the skeleton was the ancestor of the Indonesian people, forget it," he added.

He acknowledged, however, the skeleton was indeed dwarf-sized with a minuscule brain, and therefore, was different from common Homo sapiens.
Jacob said the relatively smaller size of the skeleton was a result of the inciter evolution, which took place as an impact of the environment -- tiny islands -- in which the species had been living in.


I've read that these bones weren't actually fossilized so they will be able to do DNA testing, anyone know if this has been completed?

(edit)forgot to put the link to the abc.net story




[edit on 11-10-2005 by Rren]



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 12:52 AM
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Ren asks how scientists can determine whether a single tooth or a partial jaw is one species or another. It's a good question... let me give you an answer since I did some looking into forensic anthropology.

Bones of different species vary widely. For example, the femur (leg bone) of a Neanderthal (who would look really ordinary to you) is squarish in cross-section. But homo sapiens has a round cross section to their leg bones.

Homo erectus had almost no chin (like the hobbits) whereas homo sapiens has an outward jutting chin. The teeth, too, are different... tiny little differences that you wouldn't notice unless you studied a lot of teeth.



Hobbit skull:
www.talkorigins.org...

Neanderthal (look at the large nasal bone and the brow ridges!)
www.talkorigins.org...

Here's some general info about differences:
www.dundee.ac.uk...

Here's a page of some of the more famous skulls. Look at them and notice the differences in the hape of the jaws and the shape of the cheeks and the shape of the eyes as well. A forensic anthropologist actually sees MORE than the obvious here.
www.talkorigins.org...



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 01:12 AM
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I don't believe this is as controversial as the press is leading everyone to believe. Wasnt the "Top Skeptic" also the same guy that defaced the first set of remains found?

Also isn't 10-15 thousand years too little time for fossilisation to occur? I was under the impression it took millions of years for a fossil to form.

It really should be an open and shut case once we get two pieces of the puzzle all put together. A. Full Skeleton(too silence the critics) and B. A full genome analysis (To silence the Theologins more commonly known as ... well you know
)

I can't wait for more news. And PLEASE DON'T JUST HAND THE REMAINS OVER TO STRANGE "RESEARCHERS" WITHOUT SUPERVISION!!!

[edit on 12-10-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 07:26 AM
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could it be possible that they're from a pygmy community indigenous to Indonesia? i see that as being a possibility.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 08:26 AM
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Posted by: sardion2000
On: Tue October, 11 2005 @ 19:12 GMT
I don't believe this is as controversial as the press is leading everyone to believe. Wasnt the "Top Skeptic" also the same guy that defaced the first set of remains found?

That's exactly right.


Also isn't 10-15 thousand years too little time for fossilisation to occur? I was under the impression it took millions of years for a fossil to form.


That matches what I know -- but the bones are only 1,500 years old.


It really should be an open and shut case once we get two pieces of the puzzle all put together. A. Full Skeleton(too silence the critics) and B. A full genome analysis (To silence the Theologins more commonly known as ... well you know
)

I can't wait for more news. And PLEASE DON'T JUST HAND THE REMAINS OVER TO STRANGE "RESEARCHERS" WITHOUT SUPERVISION!!!



Posted by: atlscribe
On: Wed October, 12 2005 @ 01:26 GMT
could it be possible that they're from a pygmy community indigenous to Indonesia? i see that as being a possibility.

Not really. Look at the set of skulls here (hobbits are the second from left, right between homo erectus and homo sapiens.)
www.godandscience.org...

The skull shape is really similar to erectus (which isn't a modern human.) Look at the shape of the chin (how the tip of sapeins' chin juts out) and the heaviness of the teeth (sapeins' are much smaller and there's a lot more of them), the proportion of the cranium (back of skull) to face (sapiens has a smaller face), the heavy rounded jaw, the lack of a nose bridge.

Racial differences aren't that great in homo sapiens. Let me show you -- Click HERE: Note that these are NOT the real bones; they are casts of skulls found by archaeologists... but they are accurate replicas www.skullsunlimited.com...

...Now scroll down to the different races near the end of the page. I can tell the difference... but you probably can't. Even the Australian skull isn't that different. Now look back at the hobbit skull again.

See how different they are from modern human skulls? Indonesians are modern humans; not homo erectus. You can also scroll through the other pictures there and satisfy yourself that it's not a human with a peculiar medical condition.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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florensis apparently has an entirely different brain shape, in addition to haveing a very small brain size, such that florensis is thought, last I read, to have descended from erectus, rather than be a pygmy human (which of course exist and are nothing like florensis), or a new species descended from sapiens.

The only person objecting to florensis is the same man who 'accidentally' destroyed part of the original specimins, and who is also holding them hostage, refusing to let anyone see or study the remains or return them to the people who found them. There's also a certain amount of politics involved, with indonesians apparently somewhat incensed that caucasian australians are telling them what's going on in their island. This professor also has a very large collection of specimins from indonesia and the surrounding areas, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has other really interesting stuff that he's not recognizing as being such.

Most importantly tho, the objections leveled against florensis are simply weak, and the evidence for it being a seperate species are strong.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 08:57 AM
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I was on the bus home from college today and noticed an article in the news paper. 'More evidence hobbits existed' or something along them lines.

I'll try and pick up a copy sometime today and report back.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by Spreadthetruth]



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by Byrd

Posted by: sardion2000
On: Tue October, 11 2005 @ 19:12 GMT
I don't believe this is as controversial as the press is leading everyone to believe. Wasnt the "Top Skeptic" also the same guy that defaced the first set of remains found?

That's exactly right.


Also isn't 10-15 thousand years too little time for fossilisation to occur? I was under the impression it took millions of years for a fossil to form.


That matches what I know -- but the bones are only 1,500 years old.


It really should be an open and shut case once we get two pieces of the puzzle all put together. A. Full Skeleton(too silence the critics) and B. A full genome analysis (To silence the Theologins more commonly known as ... well you know
)

I can't wait for more news. And PLEASE DON'T JUST HAND THE REMAINS OVER TO STRANGE "RESEARCHERS" WITHOUT SUPERVISION!!!



Posted by: atlscribe
On: Wed October, 12 2005 @ 01:26 GMT
could it be possible that they're from a pygmy community indigenous to Indonesia? i see that as being a possibility.

Not really. Look at the set of skulls here (hobbits are the second from left, right between homo erectus and homo sapiens.)
www.godandscience.org...

The skull shape is really similar to erectus (which isn't a modern human.) Look at the shape of the chin (how the tip of sapeins' chin juts out) and the heaviness of the teeth (sapeins' are much smaller and there's a lot more of them), the proportion of the cranium (back of skull) to face (sapiens has a smaller face), the heavy rounded jaw, the lack of a nose bridge.

Racial differences aren't that great in homo sapiens. Let me show you -- Click HERE: Note that these are NOT the real bones; they are casts of skulls found by archaeologists... but they are accurate replicas www.skullsunlimited.com...

...Now scroll down to the different races near the end of the page. I can tell the difference... but you probably can't. Even the Australian skull isn't that different. Now look back at the hobbit skull again.

See how different they are from modern human skulls? Indonesians are modern humans; not homo erectus. You can also scroll through the other pictures there and satisfy yourself that it's not a human with a peculiar medical condition.


okay, I understand all this. isn't it also possible that it could be the version of the homo erectus pygmy? or more specifically a homo-erectus pygmy?

what do you make of this article?:

dsc.discovery.com...


[edit on 12-10-2005 by atlscribe]

[edit on 12-10-2005 by atlscribe]

[edit on 12-10-2005 by atlscribe]



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 11:24 AM
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It's worth mentioning that these little guys were originally discovered in 1999. The researchers took around 5 years to be sure that they were dealing with a separate species before presenting their findings.

Zip



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by atlscribe
or more specifically a homo-erectus pygmy?

No, because its different enough to qualify as a different species. Its probably a species that came from a population of homo erectus that, over time, changed and also shrank dramatically. A human pygmy is still homo sapiens. A homo erectus pygmy would just be a small homo erectus, this thing is small and different enough to be a different species.



(the article) If the newly found community of 77 pygmy families in Rampapasa village can be directly linked to the tiny ancient remains, Jacob and Henneberg could strengthen their argument that Homo floresiensis never existed.

For what its worth, this seems odd. All of a sudden there are pygmies living on this island, and this guy is one of the big researchers in the area? Seems odd. Also, the same article notes that these pygmies, and indeed all pygmies, are much bigger than florensis, and, of course, don't have shrunken erectus-like brains, nor the other skeletal differences that floresensis has.

It is interesting that they are pygmies there tho, since a relatively common process in evolution is for large species, when inhabiting a small island, to become dwarfs of themselves. So here we see erectus probably becoming florensis, mammoths shrinking into dwarf mammoths, and even sapiens becomming pygmies (tho still sapiens), all on the same island.

[edit on 12-10-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Oct, 18 2005 @ 03:46 PM
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FRODO LIVES!

Sorry, I remember a time when this was the popular intellectual graffetti - I could'nt resist



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