Human Hand Fossil Turns Back Clock 500,000 Years on Complex Tool Use

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posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 06:34 AM
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Human Hand Fossil Turns Back Clock 500,000 Years on Complex Tool Use

The discovery of a 1.4-million-year-old hand-bone fossil reveals that the modern human ability to make and use complex tools may have originated far earlier than scientists previously thought, researchers say.

A critical trait that distinguishes modern humans from all other species alive today is the ability to make complex tools. It's not just the extraordinarily powerful human brain, but also the human hand, that gives humans this unique ability. In contrast, apes — humans' closest living relatives — lack a powerful and precise enough grip to create and use complex tools effectively.

A key anatomical feature of the modern human hand is the third metacarpal, a bone in the palm that connects the middle finger to the wrist.

"There's a little projection of bone in the third metacarpal known as a "styloid process" that we need for tools," said study lead author Carol Ward, an anatomist and paleoanthropologist at the University of Missouri."This tiny bit of bone in the palm of the hand helps the metacarpal lock into the wrist, helping the thumb and fingers apply greater amounts of pressure to the wrist and palm. It's part of a whole complex of features that allows us the dexterity and strength to make and use complex tools." [In Images: The Oddities of Human Anatomy]

Until now, this styloid process was found only in modern humans, Neanderthals and other archaic humans....


Homo erectus, is back, well sorta.

Here is an interesting discovery. I wonder just how self aware they were? This proves they physically had the ability to manipulate their environment as we do, they were tool users and were around for a very long time. How far did they developmentally progress?

The following seems a little bit like the old "Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg" conundrum...

By revealing the early human lineage had a modern handlike anatomy, the fossil "suggests this feature may have [been] a pre-adaptation that helped set the stage for all the technology that came later," Ward said.


Did the hand develop so they could manipulate their environment better or was it because of the pre-adaptation it moved forward?




posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 07:09 AM
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I wonder why there seems to be so much information on subjects such as these lately. Has the suppression of information (admission of error) finally ceased?



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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I think that the hand developed before the tool use.
Early humans may have spent a great deal of time gathering various nut, berries and other vegetable matter requiring a grasping motion to attain.
Like primates they may have spent a fair amount of time grooming each other, in which case the change may have followed their establishing larger social groups.
There are 2 reasons completely unrelated to tool usage or manufacture that would explain it.
edit on 17-12-2013 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by Asktheanimals
 


Yes, but by that time humans had the brains to start making things, imnho.

And did I tell you about the time I learned we don't need our thumbs to do things? www.abovetopsecret.com... I still don't use them when I type (whoops, correction, I do use one when I grab the mouse to click)
edit on 17-12-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 



All this from one hand bone?


If appendages developed due to usage.....oh never mind.



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 07:58 AM
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This type of find is not surprising if you had always kept an open mind when it comes to human origin.

There have been many types of humans that lived upon this earth. Some we resemble and others far different. Humans have looked recognizable as humans for hundreds of thousands or millions of years. You have to understand and use your imagination to understand that millions if not billions of people existed before 10,500 b.c. These people, some of them were not brutes but quite opposite. These people would 'flock' together, form communities of rational minds which led them to dream, invent and progress and of course procreate forming small pockets of 'civilized man. One should not be fooled into believing were were savages before 5000 b.c because we dont find sky scrapers or other things that resemble our current petroleum, plastic age.

Here are some images to give you an idea of what kind of 'man' was living upon the earth. Some were brutes, others were industrias.
Australopithecus Africanus lived around two milion years ago. The hominid is thought to be one of our direct ancestors - already showing a larger brain
Homo rudolfensis lived around two million years ago. The remains were found in Kenya - it's still not entirely clear where this ancestor fits into human evolution
neanderthal, if you look closely you can see American indian, Aboriginie and caucasian features.
Another neanderthal. I dont know why they pose them as looking as if they were drunk and and spitting our some slurred story
Homo ergaster lived 1.5million years ago. Very similar to Home erectus, it originated in Africa. Ergaster is from the Greek word 'workman'. Very Asain looking no? But very modern considering this is man from over a million years ago.
Homo erectus lived one million years ago. One theory is that the species originated in Africa and migrated to India, China and Java. Another holds that they evolved in Asia and migrated to Africa
This guy Paranthropus boisei lived 2million years ago and had a skull highly specialised for heavy chewing. The species is known as 'Nutcracker man' as it had the biggest cheek teeth and thickest enamel of any known hominin. He look very asian as well.

Read more: SOURCE

So there is a little idea of what less than 10 men looked like within 2.5 million years.


Food for thought: Did you know that there are tribes, and modern humans that have yet to reach the stone age and have no idea of our modern world while living mere hundreds of kilometers from a metropolis.

Here is modern man

In the past was the same.

edit on 17-12-2013 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)
edit on 17-12-2013 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 08:05 AM
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reply to post by Shadow Herder
 


From another thread on a related topic Homo Erectus

They didnt look too different eh?


* I guess we were both editing our posts almost at the same time LOL

Great info. thank you.
edit on 17-12-2013 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I rarely comment but always read your threads ... I just love the presentation and the fantastic (usually brand new) content.

S&F and please keep them coming. Woody )O(



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 08:28 AM
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Got me thinking that the ancients studied the stars and more so calculated the precession (Earth wobbles on her axis, similar to a top. The circle in the illustration shows where our North Pole points, throughout the cycle of a single wobble; each cycle taking approximately 25,700 years).

Would it be fair to say that we have been calculation astrological movements intelligently for atleast 25000 years?

For millions of years man looked up and wondered. It is what makes us...us.
edit on 17-12-2013 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Interesting indeed, but one can not help but think on what the opinion of people would be if such a find was made on for example mars by curiosity and how they would instantly start shouting STONE or ROCK and I also can not help but think on how the automatic and conditioned psychological reaction of many people would be if the fossil was from a far earlier period such as before primates let alone humans were supposed to exist and yet such possible finds do exist and are derided with more and more fantastical excuses made to discredit them.

Here is one famous one that is NOT disproven despite the assertion of many on this site,
www.thelivingmoon.com...
And here is a sceptical analysis that does indeed do a good job of trying to explain it away,
paleo.cc...
Now in an ideal world I would want to see the fossil in situ with a geologist and not just a anthropologist or archaeologist present at such sites as the (Classing the anthropologist and archaeologist as the same discipline) two disciplines often clash and geologists despite being the scientists in that matter (The archaeologist may claim to be scientists but they are most certainly not and are indeed practical historian or historic ground researchers (admittedly a discipline but not a true science in itself when taken in isolation) though the anthropologists at least are medically related so are arguably scientists) often loses in the argument despite undeniable scientific analysis with there reputation and competence often called into question when they tread on archaeologists toes.

Nice story S+F



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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Why do my old drinking budies always get their pictures posted in these ancient articles?

I even see myself in one of those pictures.
edit on 17-12-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 

Slayer, you must have one hell of a modified search engine to be able to find all these interesting stories.

Always interesting and entertaining.



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 09:58 AM
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rickymouse
Why do my old drinking budies always get their pictures posted in these ancient articles?

I even see myself in one of those pictures.
edit on 17-12-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)


Now that was funny--partly because I was thinking along the same lines.



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 10:17 AM
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Now in an ideal world I would want to see the fossil in situ with a geologist and not just a anthropologist or archaeologist present at such sites as the (Classing the anthropologist and archaeologist as the same discipline) two disciplines often clash and geologists despite being the scientists in that matter (The archaeologist may claim to be scientists but they are most certainly not and are indeed practical historian or historic ground researchers (admittedly a discipline but not a true science in itself when taken in isolation) though the anthropologists at least are medically related so are arguably scientists) often loses in the argument despite undeniable scientific analysis with there reputation and competence often called into question when they tread on archaeologists toes.
reply to post by LABTECH767
 


Anthropology and Geology aren't mutually exclusive. Most archaeologist are also damn good geologist; as that was my experience digging for early man in grad school.

Dating however is always problematic; I agree...



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 10:18 AM
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Shadow Herder
Got me thinking that the ancients studied the stars and more so calculated the precession (Earth wobbles on her axis, similar to a top. The circle in the illustration shows where our North Pole points, throughout the cycle of a single wobble; each cycle taking approximately 25,700 years).

Ancient humans could have discovered precession but you'd be hard pressed to find any evidence of this.

That is, evidence for such a discovery likely doesn't, and never did, exist.


Shadow Herder
Would it be fair to say that we have been calculation astrological movements intelligently for atleast 25000 years?

Regarding solar and lunar positions, I'd say that it would be more than fair to make such a statement. IMO, it is a certainty.

After all, we're talking about a time before Cable TV and Duck Dynasty here. What else was there to do in the evenings?

Harte



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 02:21 PM
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Snarl
I wonder why there seems to be so much information on subjects such as these lately. Has the suppression of information (admission of error) finally ceased?


Its because as technology advances it gets cheaper, its a trickle down effect.

Look at the students who scrapped paint from the pyramids to date it, smaller labs are getting the equipment now to do things that used to require a university grant to test.

The more ubiquitous technology gets, the more "amateur" or independent researchers can begin to do their own testing and studying.

All around advancements will only increase in every field because of this, this includes things like Archaeology.

Thats why discoveries (Not just in these fields but in every field) seem to becoming faster and more often than previously.



posted on Dec, 17 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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SLAYER69
The discovery of a 1.4-million-year-old hand-bone fossil reveals that the modern human ability to make and use complex tools may have originated far earlier than scientists previously thought, researchers say.


DUH.. why are scientists so stupid?

Why do they think for one second, early man was not able to make complex tools as soon as he had the ability to chase, catch and eat flesh?

There is some strange unscientific notion that early man's brain and mental capacity was not as formed as it is now.. as if early man was retarded! There is NO scientific evidence to back this up at all. Man could have been just as smart as we are today from the first time man became self aware.

( I believe Man was always self aware and his thinking and reasoning capacity was as great as ours is now - there is nothing that says this could not have been the case)
edit on 17-12-2013 by JohnPhoenix because: sp



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 02:06 AM
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JohnPhoenix
DUH.. why are scientists so stupid?

Why do they think for one second, early man was not able to make complex tools as soon as he had the ability to chase, catch and eat flesh?


This discovery has nothing to do with the cognitive aspects of early hominid tool making though. It's about the earliest known example of the styloid process which gives members of the genus Homo the level of manual dexterity we posess, our fine motor skills. It's about the physical ability to make as well as utilize tools, not the mental capacity to understand innovation and making things easier with tools.


There is some strange unscientific notion that early man's brain and mental capacity was not as formed as it is now.. as if early man was retarded! There is NO scientific evidence to back this up at all. Man could have been just as smart as we are today from the first time man became self aware.


I think you're confusing public perception/misconception with what science thinks about early man. There is no disagreement in consensus that I am aware of in regards to the intelligence of H. Erectus. Their cranial capacity was within a comparable range to modern humans with the higher end of theirs over lapping with the lower end of ours. They could well have been smarter than us and were also likely better at bipedalism than we are currently. However I must point out that equal brain power isn't the same as being on equal footing. modern humans have the benefit of nearly 2 million years of heavy lifting already in the bag which gives us a leg up in terms of improving upon earlier innovations where H. Erectus had to start in the mail room and work his way up so to speak. They had to lay the groundwork so for that alone they deserve a hell of a lot of credit.


( I believe Man was always self aware and his thinking and reasoning capacity was as great as ours is now - there is nothing that says this could not have been the case)
edit on 17-12-2013 by JohnPhoenix because: sp


Again, who is saying that is the case?



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 03:03 AM
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Slayer,

Question - Does the presence of a Third Metacarpal bone with styloid Process in one single fossil be the evidence that the Homo erectus did use and handle tools?

Couldn't this have been a bone deformation?

Have they found other skeletal remains from the same period or closer periods in our around the same location?
Do those skeletal finds have the styloid process on their third metacarpal bone?

Just a single bone doesn't make a statement!

They are speculating only and they can never make a statement that homo erectus did make and handle tools.

Just because the bone was found in a location where ancient tools have been found doesn't make it a fact that the hand the bone belonged to did make tools and handle them. If we found tools from the same era from the same location/surroundings , it could be closer to a fact or a statement.

edit on 18/12/13 by coredrill because: too add some more stuff. any issues???



posted on Dec, 18 2013 @ 06:55 AM
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JohnPhoenix

SLAYER69
The discovery of a 1.4-million-year-old hand-bone fossil reveals that the modern human ability to make and use complex tools may have originated far earlier than scientists previously thought, researchers say.


DUH.. why are scientists so stupid?

Generally speaking, it is non-scientists that are "stupid" on this subject.


JohnPhoenix
Why do they think for one second, early man was not able to make complex tools as soon as he had the ability to chase, catch and eat flesh?

That's an excellent example right there.

See, science has to go off of what they know, not what they think.

So, the reason scientists believe what they believe about Erectus is because we've only ever found simple stone tools from these people and nothing complex. Would you have them claim that H. Erectus made and used complex tools without ever having found a single complex tool from Erectus?

Harte





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