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Homo floresiensis: a stone cast in the eye of the Human Evolution theory?

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posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 02:33 PM
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The Peace of God to all that belong to the Light,
Dear Readers,

This is a thread that is open to respond to one of the most intriguing questions ever was asked to me, and I think to any body in the History of Science, and it is
to try to determine the impact that some really strange human remains, or perhaps is better to say prehuman remains? will have in our conception of how the different forms of life have appeared in this planet?

I mean, we are confronted thanks to this anthropologic discovering with a very interesting crossway, even without knowing exactly in which direction advance:

if the human beings are we really the consequence of evolution as it was proposed by a series of extremly reputed scientists since the days of Charles Darwin

or

if there is some other acceptable explanation, from the point of view of Science, to explain about how our minds and bodies appeared in this corner of the Universe?

In the last seven years this is a constant doubt that many reputed anthropologists, paleontologists and biologists are trying to respond satisfactory, and I am not refering exclusively to the team of Mike Morwood that were the ones that found in the island of Flores, in Indonesia, this really strange dwarf hominid that look to defy all the principles in which it was based the modern human evolution theory.


However, this problem of how to match the Hobbit with our conceptions of life, it is making us to return to what were perhaps the very first and essential questions that the human specie has asked to itself:

Who am I?

How I arrived here?

and for What reason?


and let me say that these are not only questions that were proposed long time ago to the Science, but that were even sooner inspected and also responded by the Philosophy and the Religion, and even sooner by the Myths, the Magic, legends that are as old as our specie.


For the non experts in the subject, perhaps is better to say that in few words all the debate about the Homo floresiensis can be resumed in few words:


How can be possibly to classify this hominid or human remains in such a way that there is no drastic alteration or even demolition of all the theoretical building of the Human evolution?

Can the Hobbit push back the Evolution in General from the category of Theory to the one of mere Hypothesis?

How can we match these creatures that correspond morphologically in all aspects with an Australopithecus with their own time, just only probably 12000 years ago, in what it is called the begining of the Civilization?

Yes, you are reading well and it was not a typing mistake, I didn't ommit two or three zeroes of its actual age, we are talking of a hominid that is as primitive, biologically, as the very first stages that separate humans of apes, but it is as old as the Homo Sapiens!

if you want to be better informed before to start to post your opinions, pls give a glance to:

en.wikipedia.org...

www.talkorigins.org...

www.guardian.co.uk...


So lets start this thread that I expect can be one of the most interesting ever posted among my own ones and perhaps in the ATS predictions & Prophecies community.

Thanks for your attention,

The Angel of Lightness



[edit on 8/2/2010 by The angel of light]




posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 02:42 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 

This is an interesting thread, but I'm puzzled about why you're placing this in the "prophecies" forum.
This is "science", isn't it?
Or "Origins and creation".



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 03:39 PM
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Well... There are two hypotheses on how they got there.

1.
They got stuck on an island as a modern man and evolution did to them what it does to a lot more animals that got stuck on an island.
The got smaller. Which has also happened to elephants on Sicily for example. Birds loose the ability to fly when they got starnded on an island without predators.

2.
They are the direct descendants of the Australopithecus that simply ended up on the island and evolved to be an island dweller and never really got beyond their original ancestor.

2. is also the option that is seen as the probable option.


Both options do not have any effect on the theory of evolution whatsoever and even are evidence in favor of it. Even if they started out homo sapien, they got so small their brains were only the size of an orange. This could have a huge effect on their cognitive ability.

It isn't really surprising for an isolated species to take a different course in evolution and some species today have been the same as they were 100.000.000 million years ago.

When you take a look at a a millipede you will discover that they have hardly changed at all from the moment they started living on land and almost the exact same species still live in the seas to.


So No. IMHO Homo Floriensis does not change the theory of evolution at all.

The theory of evolution is a scientific theory which is based on massive amounte of evidence and observation and it still is a justed to new discoveries and so on.

A hypothesis is in fact what theory is in the uneducated world.



posted on Aug, 2 2010 @ 03:55 PM
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The discovery of Homo Floriensis shows how strong the theory of evolution is and undermines the typical criticisms that science is stuck in a paradigm of its own making.

The bones were discovered and science went through a period of investigation and doubt. Following that period, Floriensis was identified and encompassed in our ancestry.

Louise Leakey refers to the discovery in her TED talk on human origins...11 minutes in...



The Indonesian island of Flores reflects the same evolutionary processes as pointed out by Darwin in the Galapagos Islands...instead of lizards and birds, we see the result of isolated hominids.



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Yes your question is pertinent and I thought for while where was the best place to open it.

The point is that well there are other threads of this same topic already open in Science, that has explored it deeply specially from the point of view of biological anthropology. However, the theme remains still almost inexplored from the angle of the moral, ethical, sociological and philosophical implications.

What I feel is here in game, it is not only the question of how can be classified this hominid, with respect to the classic theory of the human evolution, but also what are the consequences of this discovery for the History of Science in general.

This is not only a challenge for the genetics, the paleontology, the lovers of prehistory, but it is also a crucial aspect of the discussion in between at least two major currents of the thought that have carried out the advance of the Science along all the History of Civilization:

The Materialism, started by Aristoteles, and that develop the scientific method a powerful deductive tool used in Physics, and all the experimental sciences,

and

The Idealism, started by Plato, that priviledged the intution as a source of knowledge and that developed the inductive sciences like Mathematics, psychology, psycoanalysis and others.


What ever would be the conclusions of the many researches that are now open on the Homo Floresiensis, one thing is sure, this will alter the balance in between the two major currents of thought I have already described above but moroever among,

From one side who supports the fact that life is primarly the result of a series of fortunate coincidences, a randomic process, that we use to name Evolution by natural selection,

and

from other possibly the revival of the creationist hypotheses, you know there are also scientists that have serious doubts of the accuracy of Darwinism and now there are many even promoted a new improved version of it called as theory of the intelligent design.

We are so accostumed to think that Science is a buiding that is already finished in its foundations that we cannot see easy the possibility of major revolutions on it, although in the begining of XX Century there was one that pratically changed everything was known in Physics, the one of the Relativity theory and curiously started by a man that all his life confessedc to be believer of God: Albert Einstein.

A little before, in the XIX century other so huge revolution of the Biological sciences, the Genetics, was boosted by the observations of a religious man, the Agustinian friar Gregor Mendel, although in our time many believe that ironically the best proof of evolution of the Genoma research.

Thanks for your interesting question.

The Angel of Lightness



[edit on 8/3/2010 by The angel of light]



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 


I don't think you understand what "theory" in science means...it's not a "we think that" statement, it's rather a "we know".



A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena. Most theories that are accepted by scientists have been repeatedly tested by experiments and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.


Evolution is such a theory. It's SCIENTIFIC FACT, and not just guess work. They are using part of the evolutionary theory in modern gene research and pharmaceutical or bio-tech industries today.

The only ones trying really really hard to convince people it's not a scientific fact are the creationists...which is amusing considering their theory has ZERO evidence or facts



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by MrXYZ
 


Well MrXYZ,

as a scientist, and i am working seriously in various disciplines all my life, I cannot be dogmatic at all, and I am possibly the less interested to assume passionate positions in this kind of discussion.

I think the most can I do, is to try to see what it is evident:

That this incident of the Island of Flores is questioning in a so serious way the absolute veracity of many conclusions that were assumed to be precise along not years but almost two centuries.

Your point seems to be respectable, but it was almost the same situation what it happened with Physics when Albert Einstein dared to formulate his Relativity theory, there were a bunch of academians, many with very impressive credentials that trying to ridiculize him, saying that the Newtonian-Galilean Mechanics was a body of knowledge that didn't admit any kind of correction, since it was already proven in many experiments and inventions along more than 300 years!

Of course they were right in some sense, after all on that conception of physics was supported the entire Industrial revolution.

However, the fact that we are already using what we knows to solve problems does not mean necessarily that we really understand it in essence, that sound to me a very arrogant attitude.

We could be, lets say making very intelligent recipes to fix issues just of fragments of knowledge, in expectation of the arrival of some Giant mind able to grasp the whole Picture or a huge discovering that moves all the ground of the status quo in Science.

It is interesting the recall that Nicola Copernico, also a Catholic friar, like Mendel, was the first one to question the Geocentrism, and with that all the Ptolomean Astronomy, a theory that functioned with great precision to track all the astronomical events during more than 1000 years.

I like to remain a little more cautious in my judgements of this subjects, more in the line of Socrates that used to say: I only know that I almost nothing know.

Thanks for your comment,

The Angel of Lightness



[edit on 8/3/2010 by The angel of light]



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by The angel of light
 


The only ones trying really really hard to convince people it's not a scientific fact are the creationists...which is amusing considering their theory has ZERO evidence or facts


In your opinion. They have evidence and facts, you may not accept them as valid or may interpret them differently, but they are there. What I see in the above sentiment is jumping onto a team and cheering for 'your side'. That is not objective science.



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by Chillimac

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by The angel of light
 


The only ones trying really really hard to convince people it's not a scientific fact are the creationists...which is amusing considering their theory has ZERO evidence or facts


In your opinion. They have evidence and facts, you may not accept them as valid or may interpret them differently, but they are there. What I see in the above sentiment is jumping onto a team and cheering for 'your side'. That is not objective science.


It's not debatable what "facts" are. A fact is something you can TEST and VERIFY. So far I've heard NOTHING from creationists that comes even close to facts. It isn't called a belief for nothing



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 


I commend you on your "I admit when I don't have the answers" attitude, that's a nice trait to have. The thing is, some things are proven facts because they can be recreated and verified.

Here's 2 videos you might find interesting...the first one blew my mind







posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by MrXYZ
 


Well dear MrXYZ,

As far as I know evolutionism works very well in sciences that, like biology or anthropology works on interpretation of natural facts and also the use primarly measurements of what is perceived by the senses.

But even in some experimental sciences there are many events in which the measurements are indirect and not on facts that are visible or detectable by any sense, that is for instance the case of Electricity or Electronics.


Now, in sciences in which prevails the pure reason, that is for instance in mathematics, no body is interested even to discuss on the possibility that structures that are present all a long the nature, in the modeling of great variety of events, like Groups, semigroups, Rings, semirings, Algebras, ideals, Manifolds, and many more could be evoluting or be the result of any evolultion process.

That idea in Mathematics is almost unthinkable, those abstract structures exist and that is all, it is irrelevant how they arrived to us, but the only thing that at most we can say of them is that they altogether seems to reveal the existence of an intelligence behind every portion of the Universe, even behind the inanimated matter.

That is the begining of the hypothesis of the intelligent design, that try to explain why this arrangement is present in almost everything, even in catastrophic events like the explosions of stars, there is a pattern even on flocks of animals, chaos theory is based on that proven fact, there is some kind of arrangement present even there.

We know with our present science what is evolution, but even we really don't know what spurs it, why there are species that almost don't evolute in millions of years while others look to drastically do so in some hundred of thousands, that is something that remains in mystery.

Now, if somebody ask me what is more easy to accept: that the life on this planet was carried by aliens or if it is the result of an intelligent design of some kind of invisible intelligence acting continuously, well possibly as a scientist I would be more interested in the second choice, since the first one anyway will drive us to the point to ask how those aliens also evoluted in other world.

So, again my suggestion is to try to follow the trully spirit of Science and remain open to any possibility, even to the ones that can question many of our paradigms.

Thanks,

The Angel of Lightness




[edit on 8/3/2010 by The angel of light]



posted on Aug, 3 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 




if there is some other acceptable explanation, from the point of view of Science, to explain about how our minds and bodies appeared in this corner of the Universe?


If there was some other explanation there wouldn't be scientific consensus on Evolution. All the evidence we've found points toward evolution and away from magical creation.



Can the Hobbit push back the Evolution in General from the category of Theory to the one of mere Hypothesis?


You are aware that the term Hobbit was given to this species as a NICKNAME right? It isn't actually a Tolkein, mythical, Shire-dwelling Hobbit, it's merely a nickname because of its diminutive size. Also, the find casts no doubt whatsoever on Evolution, it just shows us that we have another evolutionary relative. The only way the finding of a new species like this could cast doubt on Evolution was if we found it in the wrong strata, for instance if we found its fossils on the same strata level as, let's say, dinosaurs.

As for how they ended up stranded on the island, the answers to the mystery have yet to be found but there are quite a few HYPOTHESES on how that happened. Some claim they might have had a language or could build rafts. The more we learn about our human ancestors the more we realize that although they didn't have the repository of knowledge we have thanks to written language they were just as smart as we are (though we're not sure exactly how smart our non-human ancestors, like Homo Floresiensis, were).



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by The angel of light
 


I don't think you understand what "theory" in science means...it's not a "we think that" statement, it's rather a "we know".



A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena. Most theories that are accepted by scientists have been repeatedly tested by experiments and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.


Evolution is such a theory. It's SCIENTIFIC FACT, and not just guess work. They are using part of the evolutionary theory in modern gene research and pharmaceutical or bio-tech industries today.

The only ones trying really really hard to convince people it's not a scientific fact are the creationists...which is amusing considering their theory has ZERO evidence or facts



I'm not going to offer an opinion on evolution v creationists.

I'm aware evolution is a scientific fact. Though you make it sound like the theory of the evolution of our species is a scientific fact. Is this so?

[edit on 4-8-2010 by Cogito, Ergo Sum]



posted on Aug, 4 2010 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by Cogito, Ergo Sum
 


Yes, of course. All the evidence we have points towards evolution (and we have A LOT of evidence), and none points against it or in favor of an alternative theory like creationism.

Furthermore, scientists practically apply what they learned from the theory of evolution in modern medicine, anthropology, agriculture, forensics and a myriad of other applications. The theory holds up in every single case and there is no alternative theory that comes even close when it comes to evidence. There's no evidence for creationism for example...but a ton for evolution.

The theory even forms a basis for a lot of gene technology related research.

So again, yeah, I believe the theory of evolution is sound given the overwhelming amount of evidence and the total absence of an alternative theory.

Btw, I think your question is a bit weird. First you are stating that you know evolution is scientific fact...and then you ask me whether I believe that applies to humans as well. Why wouldn't it?? Of course I believe that...sry to burst your bubble there, but we aren't that special




[edit on 4-8-2010 by MrXYZ]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 12:14 AM
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Not such a weird question really. As far as I am aware evolution in some form has been observed in certain life forms, to some extent (has been mentioned on these boards before, will see if I can find it if you like, though you probably know a lot more about this than I do). There's no doubt it's a very sound theory concerning humans and widely accepted. Though I thought there were still too many gaps to be considered a scientific fact.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by Cogito, Ergo Sum
 


Yes, it is very well accepted theory, but that comes from the fact that matches, in almost everywhere, perfectly with the fossil records of the life on the earth, so it is mainly supported by its remarkable consistency.

The problem with the remains that were found in the Island of Flores is that appearantly they are breaking such so solid consistency that evolution has shown until now.


There is no way to claim that evolution remains intact as a theory when we have a none extinct Austrolopythecus entire community still living in the same time in which the very first foundations of the oasis of Jericho, in the middle east, started the Civilization around the 9200 BC !


pls check:
books.google.com... 1QdM&hl=en&ei=oQNbTL-HNsT68AbR76G5Ag&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCQQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=oasis%20of%20jericho%20civilization&f=false

Pardon for my insistence and skepticism, but I cannot comulgate with mill stone wheels of this size.

The Hobbit will necesarily change all our present conceptions of how the life supposely evoluted in the planet, if not , if really they evoluted at all?

Since this discovery can even force the scientist community to analyze deeper if we were or not , following the Darwin's conclusions, just trying to find the way to link extincted forms of life, that were actually separated species all the time, on the last 200 years?.


Thanks

The Angel of Lightness .




[edit on 8/5/2010 by The angel of light]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 


Not at all really...the fact that another separate species developed and died out on an island isn't really changing anything when it comes to evolution. Some evolutionary developments end in dead-ends...like this one.

So in short: Cool that they found another species, but the thread title is VERY misleading given that it doesn't disprove evolution in the slightest



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 02:47 PM
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Thanks Angel of Light. There might be some misconception here that I am speaking from the point of view of a creationist. This isn't so.

Evolution and "the theory of evolution" seem two different things. One is a biological and scientific fact, the other theorises how this fact might have brought life on this planet to it's present point, ie. natural selection etc. One is a scientific fact, the other a scientific theory, as far as I know. In a similar way (though not exactly the same, obviously) as we have gravity and theories of gravity. This was really my point.

I will read the link. Not exactly sure how Homo Floresiensis would have to be at odds with evolutionary theory.





[edit on 5-8-2010 by Cogito, Ergo Sum]



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by The angel of light
 



There is no way to claim that evolution remains intact as a theory when we have a none extinct Austrolopythecus entire community still living in the same time in which the very first foundations of the oasis of Jericho, in the middle east, started the Civilization around the 9200 BC !


What on earth does it have for an effect on evolution ?

It is not the only period in history where there were several humanoid species in existence on earth. Take for example homo sapience and Neanderthal.

Another thing about evolution...

It is possible for a species to be so successful that it endured the passing of ages.
The crocodile, shark and the horseshoe crab where there are fossils found that link it 450 million years back in time. The same species can also evolve into new species while another group stays the same.

A species does not have to evolve at all. When a species is fit to survive it survives.
An island will probably stay the same without any noticeable change for a long time so any species on this island do not develop as much as it would in an always changing habitat.
That is the same reasons for birds on islands that have lost their wings, like the kiwi or the now extinct dodo. Not being hunted , the birds simply stayed on the ground eventually this caused them to loose the ability to fly.

Modern humans are known to walk the earth for at least 50.000 years. The separation from a common ancestor that lead to us and chimps started 5.million years ago. That is about 100 times further back in time then the 50.000 years we are here.

The time scale where evolution takes place is so unimaginably long that 50.000 years mean nothing.

What this shows is our understanding of our history and that we can be very wrong. Evolution however takes place on a far greater time scale then what we can imagine.
For small changes to occur this will happen the fastest in times of need, but for it to effect an entire species is rare and small or isolated groups are most often the place where a changes get passed on, because they only reproduce amongst themselves or are the only survivor of whatever happened at the time.

So...

I'm of the opinion that we simply do not know our history very well. We are simply wrong or we do did not have found any evidence that would proof or suggest that we need to change our understanding.

Evolution happens far beyond our limited sense of time and our current understanding is based on what we know. There is still much we don't know, and when we learn something new we apply this to our understanding and incorporate it.

Basically evolution is a fact. We have a massive fossil library that shows evolution. We have observed evolutionary change in both micro and macro organisms and there are even observations of changes where the specific species got so distinct they developed a different diet, appearance and they will not even mate with their close relative anymore. This all happened within a century when only one species of Cyclades was, do to a flooding of the area, introduced in a freshwater lake in Africa.

But species like the crocodile did not change a bit in millions of years.

You see... Evolution is nothing more then small changes that happen over time, so much time that eventually the whole original ancestor was completely different.
Or... nothing happens for a long time.

Evolution is not a cause of change taking place. It is an explanation for changes that have taken place. Life does not have to evolve, it just happens or not at all.



posted on Aug, 5 2010 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by Sinter Klaas
 


Dear Sinter Klaas,

Of course this is not the first time that hominids of different specie were living at the same time on earth, but the thing that makes this case unique is the extremly long distance in the timeline in between them, well if we are going to accept what has been the way to show the chronology of human evolution along almost a century in Anthropology.

It is well known that either Cromagnon, Neanderthal and the modern man were living so close one each to other in Europe during the last glacial period, but they were three different subspecies of Homo Sapiens, and supposely only one could pass that period until our days.

Now pay attention to this point, also MrXYZ please:

The Hobbit, instead, is clearly not a Homo Sapiens subspecie, but a completly separate one in the evolution tree of the hominids, moreover, at best can be classifed as a subspecie of the Austrolopythecus, a hominid that lived millions of years ago, not a hundred thousand years as is the case of the Neanderthal or Cromagnon.

So this is like to have found remaining of modern birds in the stomach of a dinosaur, something that makes appear the most fantastic fictions like Jurasic park or the Lost world as a serious thing in comparision.

The crisis that this discovery has created in the scientific community is such that, there were any kind of disparate hypothesis to deal with it, including the ones that it was an isolated case of an individual with some strange illness or that it was a dwarf Homo Erectus, but all have been rejected after very serious tests.

The last propositions from experts, to classify this hominid is as a continuator of the linage of the so famous Lucy, that was until our time considered the predecessor of all the human evolution.

So again, this is pointed not only to refinement of one of the branches of the Evolution tree, but to the very core of it, it is pointed directly to the credibility of the role of the remains that were found in the Riff or Awash valley in Ethiopia, the olduvai ones, as well as in South Africa and that supposely are the roots of the theory, the very deep foundational basement of it.

Again, this discovery would be saying to us that the root of a Tree appears at the level of the most high branches of it, lets say at the height of the canopy, a complete absurdity of course, only factible in an upside down universe for the eyes of the classic evolution theory, of course if we insist to assume its absolute consistency.

Scientists have exchanged bones of the Hobbitt with the squeleton of the African Austrolopythecus Lucy and have found a so remarkable coincidence that overcome 95% in all the body!, not only in certain parts, not in certain specific bones but all along it.

So there is no doubt that morphologically this is a Hominid of the most antique genre, something that cannot be living together with Homo sapiens if the Evolution theory would be consistent, this look as the most tremendous spelling "error" with respect to the stablished dogma in Evolution somebody have ever imagined, a genuine scientific heresy, and not only with respect to the human one, an insolit case never found before in any other animal specie evolution.

I suggest the readers of the thread to watch the video of Nova, titled Alien from Earth, since there is more information about these aspects on it.

Of course it is always possible to hid the sun with one finger or to do like Pythagoras to deny the existence of the root square of Two just only to protect the prestige of a theory and the academic circles that support it, but to minimize the impact of this issue will not solve it.

Pls check:
www.pbs.org...

Thanks,

The Angel of Lightness



[edit on 8/6/2010 by The angel of light]



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