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Origins of Indonesian Hobbits Finally Revealed

Origins of Indonesian Hobbits Finally Revealed


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The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.

The study by The Australian National University (ANU) found Homo floresiensis , dubbed "the hobbits" due to their small stature, were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis -- one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago.

Data from the study concluded there was no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus , the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.

  • Humans Wiped Out the Hobbit: New Study Suggests Homo Sapiens Caused Extinction of Tiny Homo Floresiensis Species
  • Second Group of Tinier than Hobbit Hominins Found on Flores Island

Cave where the remains of Homo floresiensis were discovered in 2004, Lian Bua, Flores, Indonesia. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Study leader Dr Debbie Argue of the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology, said the results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered.

"The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis . It means these two shared a common ancestor," Dr Argue said.

"It's possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere."

Homo floresiensis is known to have lived on Flores until as recently as 54,000 years ago.

A model of a female Homo floresiensis. ( John Gurche, National Museum of Natural History, CC BY-SA )

The study was the result of an Australian Research Council grant in 2010 that enabled the researchers to explore where the newly-found species fits in the human evolutionary tree.

Where previous research had focused mostly on the skull and lower jaw, this study used 133 data points ranging across the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders.

Dr Argue said none of the data supported the theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from Homo erectus .

"We looked at whether Homo floresiensis could be descended from Homo erectus ," she said.

A reconstruction of a Homo erectus, exhibit at the Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Herne, Germany. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

"We found that if you try and link them on the family tree, you get a very unsupported result. All the tests say it doesn't fit -- it's just not a viable theory."

Dr Argue said this was supported by the fact that in many features, such as the structure of the jaw, Homo floresiensis was more primitive than Homo erectus .

"Logically, it would be hard to understand how you could have that regression -- why would the jaw of Homo erectus evolve back to the primitive condition we see in Homo floresiensis ?"

  • Sulawesi Discoveries: Earliest Human Occupation Pushed Back 60,000 Years and Some of the Oldest Cave Paintings in the World
  • The Faces of Ancient Hominids Brought to Life in Remarkable Detail

A reconstructed skull of Homo floresiensis. Credit: Stuart Hay, ANU

Dr Argue said the analyses could also support the theory that Homo floresiensis could have branched off earlier in the timeline, more than 1.75 million years ago.

"If this was the case Homo floresiensis would have evolved before the earliest Homo habilis , which would make it very archaic indeed," she said.

Professor Mike Lee of Flinders University and the South Australian Museum, used statistical modeling to analyse the data.

"When we did the analysis there was really clear support for the relationship with Homo habilis . Homo floresiensis occupied a very primitive position on the human evolutionary tree," Professor Lee said.

"We can be 99 per cent sure it's not related to Homo erectus and nearly 100 per cent chance it isn't a malformed Homo sapiens," Professor Lee said.


Are Hobbits Human?

Two of the most mysterious hominin fossils are in the news again, and opinions are flying every direction.

Are the little people of Indonesia and South Africa just small versions of us? Wherever they came from, and whatever they were doing in the caves in which they were found, they don’t fit evolutionary expectations.

The Hobbits: Homo floresiensis

Whenever you see an overconfident headline like Science Daily‘s “Origins of Indonesian Hobbits finally revealed“, you know some press department is trying to promote one of their university’s researchers. This one is from Australian National University, and the researcher is Dr. Debbie Argue.

The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.

Don’t be too sure about that. Darren Curnoe at The Conversation is less cocky “The Hobbit hits the headlines again, but is the mystery of its origins really solved?” He recounts the history of the mystery, showing this creature doesn’t fit the neat evolutionary expectations. It’s a mosaic of features, some very human-like, some not so. He thinks Dr. Argue’s study was done well, but is less confident of the conclusions: “there will always be uncertainty with these kinds of studies, and with the Hobbit in particular,” he says. He knows of one study that agreed with Argue’s, but another that concluded the Hobbit is a dwarf version of Homo erectus, a fire-making, tool-using, not-so-primitive version of Homo.

Implication? The Hobbit isn’t a new species at all, but just a dwarfed version of Homo erectus. But I think it’s too soon to jettison the name Homo floresiensis just yet. For a start, only Argue’s study has accounted for the Hobbit’s weird limb bones, and these must surely weigh heavily on any decision we make about how to classify it?

For me, the Hobbit continues to be best understood as a very primitive member of Homo, with all of the implications this brings for us. And wow! What implications they are!

Alice Roberts, also writing for The Conversation, argues with Dr. Argue that the Hobbit is not Homo erectus. Alice Klein on New Scientist concurs [Note: do not trust the artist’s portrayal no soft parts exist on bones]. But if they are right, this creature had to have migrated out of Africa separately long before Homo erectus did (in the evolutionary confabulation). Roberts ends by admitting that nobody knows the answers, and whatever they are, they are not helping evolution:

But can we really infer such an early, out-of-Africa migration on the basis of a handful of bones from one site in Indonesia? For many palaeoanthropologists, that’s a step too far. But it’s hard to know how else you can explain the presence of something so ancient looking on Flores. Brown knew he was looking at something strange, something that would challenge our ideas about human evolution, as soon as he laid eyes on that first skull from Liang Bua Cave.

And he was right…

Berger Flips Critics on Homo naledi

Light could be shed on the Hobbit by looking at another miniature hominin that burst on the news in 2015. When Lee Berger announced hominin fossils brought out of a very tight cave chamber in South Africa, the paleoanthropology world didn’t know what to think. They still don’t. Was it human? Was it a missing link? Like the Hobbit, it seemed to have had a mosaic of features.

Now, New Scientist reports a new implication from detailed scans of the creature’s skull: “Mystery human species Homo naledi had tiny but advanced brain.” Advanced brain? We modern humans can relate to that. Would an advanced brain, with possible capabilities of speech and cooperative behavior, exist in a pre-human?

It’s not the size of your brain, it’s how you organise it. The most recently discovered species of early human had a skull only slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s, but its brain looked surprisingly like our own – particularly in an area of the frontal lobe with links to language.

This could back suggestions that these mysterious early humans showed advanced behaviours, such as teamwork and burial, even though we still don’t know exactly when they lived.

Anthropologists should have buried the notion that brain size alone tells you much about intelligence. Paleoanthropology has a dark history of ranking humans based on brain capacity. Besides, is a smartphone less intelligent than a desktop PC? We know that crows and honeybees accomplish remarkable feats with much smaller brains than mammals.

The face of H. naledi looks too sloped to be human, but the brain case is comparatively large for its dimensions. How much can one infer from this unexpected composite? Colin Barras continues,

The first official scientific reports were published in 2015, and they painted a confusing picture. The bones belonged to a never-before-seen early human, which was named Homo naledi.

It had a peculiar mix of anatomical features, which is part of what makes it hard to tell when the species lived. But what really set tongues wagging was the suggestion by Berger and his colleagues that H. naledi had deliberately disposed of its dead in this deep, dark, difficult-to-reach cave chamber full of remains.

Scientists at a meeting last week batted around ideas. Some argued that brain areas measured by skull casts indicate that the creatures had language and social skills. Others doubted the claims. One, however, felt that the work “supports the idea that parts of the brain became modern in their configuration before they grew large.” And team member John Hawks remarked, “You look at the naledi cast and you think – holy [[email protected]] this is just a tiny human.

You look at the naledi cast and you think – holy [[email protected]] this is just a tiny human.

Until researchers decide on a date for the find, secular scientists will continue to debate the significance of Homo naledi. Perhaps both the Indonesian and the South African specimens might just show that there is power in miniaturization.

Update 4/25/17: Science Magazine now claims that Lee Berger’s other famous fossil, Australopithecus sediba, is not on the human family line. See write-up in Evolution News & Science Today.

Update 4/26/17: Creationist Todd Wood, who takes a keen interest in the latest human-evolution stories, especially the recent finds in South Africa, wrote his first installment about the news on April 25. Without firm published dates, he is holding back on interpretation. This first blog entry mostly concerns open publishing.

New dating evidence places the species in a time period where Homo naledi could have overlapped with early examples of our own kind, Homo sapiens.

Update 4/27/17: News is coming out of a projected date for the bones at 200,000 to 300,000 years, which would be too recent for them to be an evolutionary link. “Primitive human ‘lived much more recently’,” writes Paul Rincon at the BBC News. “New dating evidence places the species in a time period where Homo naledi could have overlapped with early examples of our own kind, Homo sapiens.” At New Scientist, Colin Barras adds to the troubles for paleoanthropology. To keep H. naledi as an evolutionary ancestor, they have to believe it survived unchanged for hundreds of thousands of years while other versions of Homo were making great strides. And, “Conceivably, H. naledi might even have met early members of our species, H. sapiens.” What would you think if you saw one of these little people? Would you be a racist? “One could even speculate we had something to do with it going extinct.” To maintain the evolutionary sequence and long ages, paleoanthropologists like Chris Stringer are starting a narrative that pre-moderns are relict species, escaping evolution while the world around them changed. He draws a parallel with the Hobbits of Indonesia, but then has second thoughts: “There are obvious parallels with the late survival of H. floresiensis in Indonesia, but in that case island isolation probably accounts for its longevity,” says Stringer. “How did a comparably strange and small-brained species linger on in southern Africa, seemingly alongside more ‘advanced’ humans?

So what are creationists to make of these bones? I think first of all, they should point out that every new discovery messes up the evolutionary confabulation, even if one were to accept the long ages of the moyboys. As we have reported for 16 years now, we get the tale “Everything you know is wrong!” about once a year from these guys. There’s not a consistent evolutionary story when you have independent teams all looking for their time in the limelight, showing their bones as the Biggest Thing Yet. And we should never forget that even former Nature editor Henry Gee remarked that the “march of man” icon of evolution is false, and everyone knows it’s false.

That levels the playing field (i.e., everyone has problems and questions), but creationists need to deal with the brute facts of these bones, too. Are these extinct upright-walking apes? Not if they used tools, buried their dead, and migrated long distances those are human traits. Why are they so small and strange-looking, then? Could such extreme changes have occurred in a short time after the Flood? I ask, why not? Look at the extreme diversity of living humans. Our timeline is not as long, but after the Flood centuries went by thousands of years. A lot can happen in a century. Humans like to explore. How long would it take a tribe to cross land bridges during the Ice Age, set up camps, and accentuate their traits by inbreeding? If you took the largest humans and kept them together on one continent, and the smallest on another continent, and they bred within their own small groups, the differences would easily become so extreme within a few generations that we would consider them different species by their bones, if that’s all we had. What strikes me as the very most implausible story of all is to think that intelligent humans would just sit in caves for hundreds of thousands of years doing nothing.

Simon Worrall opines in a book review for National Geographic that creativity drove human evolution.

What makes us human? Is war an inevitable part of the human condition? These are some of the questions that anthropologist Augustín Fuentes explores in his new book, The Creative Spark: How Imagination Made Humans Exceptional. Harnessing the latest findings in evolution, biology, and archaeology he creates a new synthesis to show that the great drivers of human progress have been creativity and cooperation, and that many of the things we believe about ourselves, from religion to race, are wrong.

Stop right there. Why would you trust anything else Worrall or Fuentes say? It’s another example of “Everything you know is wrong!” So now they’re going to tell us what is right? Baloney. Our mistake is to even listen to these know-nothings, especially as leftist Worrall takes potshots at Donald Trump in the next paragraph. If they can’t figure out a man they can observe, how on earth can they figure out where humans came from, and what makes us human? Then leftist-lib Fuentes goes off on other tangents, promoting LGBT, criticizing monogamy, and speaking on other matters this admitted know-nothing knows nothing about. These are the people who tell us about evolution. Everything is backwards! They confuse cause with effect. Creativity didn’t drive human evolution creativity is a manifestation of our shared humanity. The only thing creativity drove about evolution is the creative storytelling of those who teach it.


Origins of Indonesian hobbits finally revealed

The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.

The study by The Australian National University (ANU) found Homo floresiensis, dubbed “the hobbits” due to their small stature, were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis — one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago.

Data from the study concluded there was no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.

Study leader Dr Debbie Argue of the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology, said the results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered.

“The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. It means these two shared a common ancestor,” Dr Argue said.

“It’s possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere.”

Homo floresiensis is known to have lived on Flores until as recently as 54,000 years ago.

The study was the result of an Australian Research Council grant in 2010 that enabled the researchers to explore where the newly-found species fits in the human evolutionary tree.

Where previous research had focused mostly on the skull and lower jaw, this study used 133 data points ranging across the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders.

Dr Argue said none of the data supported the theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from Homo erectus.

“We looked at whether Homo floresiensis could be descended from Homo erectus,” she said.

“We found that if you try and link them on the family tree, you get a very unsupported result. All the tests say it doesn’t fit — it’s just not a viable theory.”

Dr Argue said this was supported by the fact that in many features, such as the structure of the jaw, Homo floresiensis was more primitive than Homo erectus.

“Logically, it would be hard to understand how you could have that regression — why would the jaw of Homo erectus evolve back to the primitive condition we see in Homo floresiensis?”

Dr Argue said the analyses could also support the theory that Homo floresiensis could have branched off earlier in the timeline, more than 1.75 million years ago.

“If this was the case Homo floresiensis would have evolved before the earliest Homo habilis, which would make it very archaic indeed,” she said.

Professor Mike Lee of Flinders University and the South Australian Museum, used statistical modeling to analyse the data.

“When we did the analysis there was really clear support for the relationship with Homo habilis. Homo floresiensis occupied a very primitive position on the human evolutionary tree,” Professor Lee said.

“We can be 99 per cent sure it’s not related to Homo erectus and nearly 100 per cent chance it isn’t a malformed Homo sapiens,” Professor Lee said.


Origins of Indonesian ‘hobbits’ finally revealed

The most comprehensive study on the bones of Homo floresiensis, a species of tiny human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus as has been widely believed.

The study by The Australian National University (ANU) found Homo floresiensis, dubbed "the hobbits" due to their small stature, were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis - one of the earliest known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago.

Data from the study concluded there was no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.

Study leader Dr Debbie Argue of the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology, said the results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered.

"The analyses show that on the family tree, Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis. It means these two shared a common ancestor," Dr Argue said.

"It's possible that Homo floresiensis evolved in Africa and migrated, or the common ancestor moved from Africa then evolved into Homo floresiensis somewhere."

Homo floresiensis is known to have lived on Flores until as recently as 54,000 years ago.

The study was the result of an Australian Research Council grant in 2010 that enabled the researchers to explore where the newly-found species fits in the human evolutionary tree.

Where previous research had focused mostly on the skull and lower jaw, this study used 133 data points ranging across the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders.

Dr Argue said none of the data supported the theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from Homo erectus.

"We looked at whether Homo floresiensis could be descended from Homo erectus," she said.

"We found that if you try and link them on the family tree, you get a very unsupported result. All the tests say it doesn't fit - it's just not a viable theory."

Dr Argue said this was supported by the fact that in many features, such as the structure of the jaw, Homo floresiensis was more primitive than Homo erectus.

"Logically, it would be hard to understand how you could have that regression - why would the jaw of Homo erectus evolve back to the primitive condition we see in Homo floresiensis?"

Dr Argue said the analyses could also support the theory that Homo floresiensis could have branched off earlier in the timeline, more than 1.75 million years ago.

"If this was the case Homo floresiensis would have evolved before the earliest Homo habilis, which would make it very archaic indeed," she said.

Professor Mike Lee of Flinders University and the South Australian Museum, used statistical modeling to analyse the data.

"When we did the analysis there was really clear support for the relationship with Homo habilis. Homo floresiensis occupied a very primitive position on the human evolutionary tree," Professor Lee said.

"We can be 99 per cent sure it's not related to Homo erectus and nearly 100 per cent chance it isn't a malformed Homo sapiens," Professor Lee said.

Dr Argue undertook the study along with ANU Professor Colin Groves, and Professor William Jungers from Stony Brook University, USA. The findings have been released in the Journal of Human Evolution.


Neanderthals and Homo sapiens used identical Nubian technology

Long held in a private collection, the newly analyzed tooth of an approximately nine-year-old Neanderthal child marks the hominin's southernmost known range.


Analysis of the associated archaeological assemblage suggests Neanderthals used Nubian Levallois technology, previously thought to be restricted to Homo sapiens.

With a high concentration of cave sites harboring evidence of past populations and their behavior, the Levant is a major center for human origins research.

For over a century, archaeological excavations in the Levant have produced human fossils and stone tool assemblages that reveal landscapes inhabited by both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, making this region a potential mixing ground between populations.

Distinguishing these populations by stone tool assemblages alone is difficult, but one technology, the distinct Nubian Levallois method, is argued to have been produced only by Homo sapiens.

In a new study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History teamed up with international partners to re-examine the fossil and archaeological record of Shukbah Cave. Their findings extend the southernmost known range of Neanderthals and suggest that our now-extinct relatives made use of a technology previously argued to be a trademark of modern humans.

This study marks the first time the lone human tooth from the site has been studied in detail, in combination with a major comparative study examining the stone tool assemblage.

"Sites where hominin fossils are directly associated with stone tool assemblages remain a rarity—but the study of both fossils and tools is critical for understanding hominin occupations of Shukbah Cave and the larger region," says lead author Dr. Jimbob Blinkhorn, formerly of Royal Holloway, University of London and now with the Pan-African Evolution Research Group (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History).

Shukbah Cave was first excavated in the spring of 1928 by Dorothy Garrod, who reported a rich assemblage of animal bones and Mousterian-style stone tools cemented in breccia deposits, often concentrated in well-marked hearths. She also identified a large, unique human molar. However, the specimen was kept in a private collection for most of the 20th century, prohibiting comparative studies using modern methods. The recent re-identification of the tooth at the Natural History Museum in London has led to new detailed work on the Shukbah collections.

"Professor Garrod immediately saw how distinctive this tooth was. We've examined the size, shape and both the external and internal 3-D structure of the tooth, and compared that to Holocene and Pleistocene Homo sapiens and Neanderthal specimens. This has enabled us to clearly characterize the tooth as belonging to an approximately nine-year-old Neanderthal child," says Dr. Clément Zanolli, from Université de Bordeaux. "Shukbah marks the southernmost extent of the Neanderthal range known to date," adds Zanolli.

Although Homo sapiens and Neanderthals shared the use of a wide suite of stone tool technologies, Nubian Levallois technology has recently been argued to have been exclusively used by Homo sapiens. The argument has been made particularly in southwest Asia, where Nubian Levallois tools have been used to track human dispersals in the absence of fossils.

"Illustrations of the stone tool collections from Shukbah hinted at the presence of Nubian Levallois technology so we revisited the collections to investigate further. In the end, we identified many more artifacts produced using the Nubian Levallois methods than we had anticipated," says Blinkhorn. "This is the first time they've been found in direct association with Neanderthal fossils, which suggests we can't make a simple link between this technology and Homo sapiens."

"Southwest Asia is a dynamic region in terms of hominin demography, behavior and environmental change, and may be particularly important to examine interactions between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens," adds Prof Simon Blockley, of Royal Holloway, University of London. "This study highlights the geographic range of Neanderthal populations and their behavioral flexibility, but also issues a timely note of caution that there are no straightforward links between particular hominins and specific stone tool technologies."

"Up to now we have no direct evidence of a Neanderthal presence in Africa," said Prof Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum. "But the southerly location of Shukbah, only about 400 km from Cairo, should remind us that they may have even dispersed into Africa at times." ■


In support of Serena Williams

A message from Gill, of the Face Activities management team, to Serena Williams:

Dear Ms. Williams, I saw your game yesterday, and you performed brilliantly. I’m so sorry how you were treated. I believe the referees treated you unfairly, as they often do. I support you and thank you for your hard work and love of the sport! —-Gill of facecativities.com, @SerenaWillams


The Hobbit Man

The new discovery of course reminds one of another East Asian island hominin, the famous hobbit man, Homo floresiensis, discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. Homo luzonensis not only shares with Homo floresiensis the estimated tiny height of less than 4 feet (1.2 meters), but also the strange (but different) mixture of primitive and derived traits, which may suggest a common origin from an early australopithecine-like form similar to the controversial wastebasket taxon “Homohabilisthat may rather represent an australopithecine according to many critical paleoanthropologists. It is interesting that the most recent phylogenetic analysis (Argue et al. 2017) of Homo floresiensis revealed that it is not a dwarf descendent of Homo erectus, as had become the majority view, but a descendent of an archaic African hominin close to Homo habilis. It should neither exist at that remote place outside of Africa nor at that late time more than 1.75 million years after the supposed extinction of such forms (Australian National University 2017). Likewise, Homo luzonensis was found at the wrong place and at the wrong time. Such a primitive hominin should not have been living on the Philippines at all, and certainly not just 50,000 years ago as a contemporary of modern humans. So much for the popular evolutionist myth that there are no out-of-place fossils thwarting Darwinian expectations.

Another obvious problem that bothers scientists is: How did this primitive man get there at all? Some have suggested that archaic hominins reached SE Asian islands like Flores, Luzon, and Sulawesi (Talepu site stone tools from 118,000 years ago, van den Bergh et al. 2016, Greshko 2016), as well as the Mediterranean island of Crete (Associated Press 2011, Davis 2018), accidently with driftwood during storms or tsunami events, while others say that these extinct humans were smarter than we thought and could deliberately build ocean-going rafts. Hawks (2018, 2019b, 2019c) agrees and remarks that this would better explain three independent colonizations of East Asian islands that could not all have been reached by land bridges. However, the earliest archaeological evidence for boat building (the famous Pesse canoe from the Netherlands) is only from the Mesolithic period, less than 10,000 years ago.

Last but not least, I would like to disagree with a critique of the new discovery that is, in my humble opinion, not warranted. Blogger and writer Dr. J.R. Miller is cited at Uncommon Descent (Anonymous 2019) with the claim that the Wall Street Journal article (Hotz 2019) strips its headline (“Fossil Evidence of New Human Species Found in Philippines”) of any meaning. He lists four quotes from the article to support his claim:

  • “Small-jawed with dainty teeth, able to walk upright but with feet still shaped to climb, these island creatures were a mix-and-match patchwork of primitive and advanced features in a unique variation of the human form, …”
  • “So far, the scientists haven’t found evidence that these creatures used tools to hunt or to process their food…”
  • “The scientists also have been unable to isolate DNA from the bones and teeth that could be used to understand how closely they were related to other human species.”
  • “The scientists also don’t know how these creatures reached the island.”

However, the first point actually confirms the status as a new species, and the other three points are mostly irrelevant to the claim in the Journal’s headline and the title of the scientific paper. I mention this because I think that skeptics of Darwinism should be careful not to cavil about new evolutionary studies, but should rather strive to accurately point out real scientific flaws and limits, and most of all show how an inference to the best explanation of all the scientific evidence indeed points against Darwinism.


Fossil Footprints from Crete Deepen Controversy on Human Origins

It looks like 2017 could become some kind of genuine annus horribilis for the established scientific consensus on human evolution. It all began with five discoveries that made worldwide headlines earlier this year:

  1. After years of hot debate, a new phylogenetic analysis by Argue et al. (2017) finally revealed that the “Hobbit,” Homo floresiensis from Indonesia, is not a dwarfed descendent of Homo erectus, as had become the majority view, but a descendent of an archaic African hominin close to Homo habilis that should neither exist at that remote place outside of Africa nor at that late time more than 1.75 million years after the supposed extinction of such forms (Australian National University 2017).
  2. A new study by Dirks et al. (2017) proved that Homo naledi from a cave in South Africa, which was celebrated as missing link between ape-like australopithecines and our own genus Homo, is really only 250,000 years old and a contemporary of more modern humans. Consequently, it is much too young to be an evolutionary link (Barras 2017a), but on the other hand also much too primitive for its young age.
  3. As reported by Gibbons (2017), Australopithecus sediba, another failed “missing link,” was refuted as an ancestor in the Homo lineage by paleoanthropologist Bill Kimble in a new phylogenetic analysis, and instead attributed to a far removed South African australopithecine clade of more ape-like beasts (Evolution News 2017).
  4. Next, a further story of the standard narrative of human origins fell apart: Holen et al. (2017) demonstrated in the journal Nature that humans did not first arrive in America only 14,000 years ago, but roamed in southern California some 130,000 years ago. This discovery rewrites the history of mankind and, as we read at the time, “will spark a firestorm of controversy” (Greshko 2017).
  5. Finally, in June the discovery of 315,000-year-old early Homo sapiens skull fragments and stone tools from Jebel Irhoud in Morocco (Hublin et al. 2017, Richter et al. 2017) overturned the established wisdom that Homo sapiens originated more than 100,000 years later and 3,000 miles farther east in Ethiopia. This discovery did indeed “shake [the] foundations of the human story” (Sample 2017) by showing that “our species evolved much earlier than thought” (Tarlach 2017a) and by “disputing the popular notion that there’s an East African ‘Eden’ or cradle of humanity” (Newitz 2017).

So five previously “undisputable facts” of human evolution turned out to be nothing but bogus claims this year. But of course evolutionary storytelling is flexible enough to accommodate all these new “facts” in a revised just-so story. Alternatively, it may prefer simply to dismiss the evidence as false, as in the last case of the oldest Americans. But 2017 is not done with human evolution yet.

On August 31, news from Uppsala University in Sweden announced, “Fossil footprints challenge established theories of human evolution.” The discovery indeed is a bombshell that will likely create considerable further controversy. The technical publication by Gierliński et al. describes fossil footprints from Trachilos in western Crete that are reliably dated to a Late Miocene age of about 5.7 million years. These footprints are indubitably from a large bipedal primate with human-like feet, and it is precisely the shape of our foot “that is one of the defining characteristics of being part of the human clade” (Ahlberg & Bennett 2017). As Discover Magazine reports, “In a year of big shake-ups in the story of human evolution, a study published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association may be the biggest shock yet” (Tarlach 2017b). That is because of the following enigmas:

  1. The fossil footprints are out of place because they are much too old: even though radiometric datings seem to be lacking, the biostratigraphic dating is very well established by marine microfossils called foraminifera as index fossils in the layers above and below the horizon with the footprints, as well as a typical signature for the climax of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (5.6 ma) in the sediments directly above them (Ahlberg & Bennett 2017). With an age of 5.7 million years, these footprints are 2.5 million years older than the iconic Lucy fossil and even 1.3 million years older than Ardi. Among the alleged hominin ancestors only the two dubious taxa Sahelanthropustchadensis from Chad (about 7 million years old) and Orrorin tugenensis from Kenya (about 6 million years old) as well as the imprecisely dated Ardipithecus kadabba from Ethiopia (5.8-5.2 million years old) may be older. However, none of them has the feet preserved, so that we do not know whether they were ape-like or human-like.
  2. The fossil footprints are out of place because they occur in the wrong geographical region: all of the early hominins that are older than 1.8 million years have only been found in Africa, which led to the well-known standard textbook knowledge that humans originated in Africa and only after the advent of our own genus Homo migrated to other continents in several “Out of Africa” events. A European hominin at such an early age simply does not fit the common narrative and refutes the beautiful “Out of Africa” story.
  3. The fossil footprints are far too modern in their appearance: with their long sole with characteristic ball and big toe in line with the other toes (all lacking claws), these footprints differ from those of all other land animals, including the more ape-like feet (without ball and with the big toe sticking out sideways) of the much younger Ardipithecus ramidus, which is the earliest hominin with well-preserved feet, discovered in 4.4-million-years-old layers from Ethiopia. The Crete footprints rather resemble the famous Laetoli footprints from Tanzania that have been dated to an age of 3.66 million years and attributed to Australopithecus afarensis as the oldest known human footprints until now, but look rather similar to modern human footprints.

This implies that the well-established scenarios of human evolution must be false, not only concerning their geographical location and timing, but also concerning the pattern of character origins and the alleged lineage leading from Ardipithecus via australopithecines to humans. When the oldest known evidence for hominin feet predates the alleged African ancestors such as Ardi and Lucy but already shows relatively modern human footprints, what is more congruent with this new evidence when looked at without bias: a gradual Darwinian evolution, or rather a saltational origin that requires intelligent design?

Another obvious and apparently difficult question is how such bipedal animals, whether hominin or ape, could reach the island of Crete at all. However, in this case there could be an elegant solution indeed: right at the geological time when the footprints originated, Crete was connected to mainland Greece because the Mediterranean Sea had largely evaporated during an event, already noted, that is called the Messinian Salinity Crisis (5.96-5.33 million years ago), caused by a closure of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Interestingly, earlier this year Fuss et al. (2017) published an article in PLOS ONE that proposed hominin affinities of Graecopithecus (also called “El Graeco”) from the Late Miocene (c. 7.2 million years old) of Greece and Bulgaria. There are only a few jaw fragments, but they are claimed to allow an attribution of El Graeco to the human lineage. This is based on the small roots of the canine teeth, suggesting their reduced size as in hominins, as well as a fusion of the roots of the premolar teeth that is typical for hominins, but very rare in recent chimps. If this attribution is correct, it would make Graecopithecus the oldest known hominin, and the possible ancestor of the hominin that produced the Trachilos footprints in Crete (Ahlberg & Bennett 2017, Gierliński et al. 2017). Fuss et al. suggested that the chimp-human split may have occurred about 8 million years ago in Southeast Europe rather than in Africa. Yet even though this hypothesis did not in any way contradict the idea of a Darwinian evolution of humans, it still attacked the cherished scientific consensus of the “Out of Africa” hypothesis, which of course invited strong criticism of these “heretical” ideas (Barras 2017b, Curnoe 2017).

Unsurprisingly, such criticism was not restricted to the technical arguments but extended to ad hominem attacks on the character of the researchers. For example, David Alba from the Catalan Institute of Paleontology in Barcelona said that the study’s co-author David Begun has been arguing for twenty years that the great apes first appeared in Europe, so that “It is not surprising at all that Begun is now arguing that hominins as well originated in Europe” (Barras 2017b). “Sergio Almécija, … at George Washington University, says it is important to bear in mind that primates seem particularly prone to evolving similar features independently. ‘Single characters are not reliable to make big evolutionary [claims]’” (Barras 2017b). It is interesting that the latter argument is very rarely used by paleoanthropologists to question the attribution of the African alleged hominins like Lucy to the human lineage. Apparently, questionable evidence is acceptable as long as it agrees with the preferred evolutionary narrative.

It is revealing that the title of the new article is followed by a question mark, since the authors have no other reason to be skeptical about their discovery than the inconvenient age and geographical location of the fossil footprints. This is actually admitted by the last author of the study, distinguished paleontologist Per Ahlberg from Uppsala University, who says “What makes this controversial is the age and location of the prints, … This discovery challenges the established narrative of early human evolution head-on and is likely to generate a lot of debate” (Uppsala Universitet 2017).

It is already becoming evident that many evolutionists will try to get rid of this cumbersome conflicting evidence by considering these footprints as having been made by an European Miocene ape, which convergently evolved a bipedal locomotion. This is even though the fossil footprints themselves do not suggest any difference from human tracks that could support such an ad hoc assumption (Ahlberg & Bennett 2017). In any event, independent (convergent) origin of similar structures is a very common phenomenon in the history of life, which is quite unexpected if Darwinian evolution would be true. Therefore, such an assumption of convergence would create another problem in this particular case: there are only a few characters that allow an attribution of the earliest hominin fossils to the human lineage, such as small canine teeth and adaptations for bipedal locomotion. However, if bipedal locomotion evolved several times among unrelated apes, as may also be suggested by Oreopithecus bambolii from the Late Miocene of Italy (Rook et al. 1999 but see Russo & Shapiro 2013), then one of the strongest character complexes looses much of its force.

Given the fact that the evolutionary trees are built on only a few characters, which have weak support because of incongruent (homoplastic) distribution, these trees do not justify the often bold claims about the allegedly well-established lineage of intermediate hominin fossils bridging the gap between chimps and modern humans. At the very least, after the dramatic experiences of the 2017 discoveries, paleoanthropologists should be more humble and admit that we know far less than we thought and what we know is much less certain than what is still taught to pupils and students as well as presented to the general public by science popularizers in the media. Human evolution is still a highly controversial field, and given the large number of data studied with the most modern methods, this might give some reason for pause.

Tarlach (2017b) comments that “In a year when we’ve learned our species is at least twice as old as we thought, and some researchers have claimed that hominins were in the Americas more than 100,000 years before the conventional arrival date, hey, anything goes.” Well, “anything” surely only refers to anything that does not question the Darwinian paradigm of human origins as such, even when more and more evidence accumulates against it.

But 2017 is still not over. Maybe further surprises are ahead.

  • Ahlberg P, Bennett MR 2017. Our controversial footprint discovery suggests human-like creatures may have roamed Crete nearly 6m years ago. The Conversation August 31, 2017.
  • Argue D, Groves CP, Lee MSY, Jungers WL 2017. The affinities of Homo floresiensisbased on phylogenetic analyses of cranial, dental, and postcranial characters. Journal of Human Evolution 107: 107-33.
  • Australian National University 2017. Origins of Indonesian Hobbits finally revealed. Science Daily April 21, 2017.
  • Barras C 2017a. Homo naledi is only 250,000 years old — here’s why that matters. New Scientist 25 April 2017.
  • Barras C 2017b. Our common ancestor with chimps may be from Europe, not Africa. New Scientist 22 May 2017.
  • Curnoe D 2017. Did humans evolve in Europe rather than Africa? We don’t have the answer just yet. The Conversation May 23, 2017.
  • Dirks PHGM et al. 2017. The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa. eLife 20176:e24231.
  • Evolution News 2017. Science Magazine: Australopithecus sediba “Ousted from the Human Family.” Evolution News April 25, 2017.
  • Fuss J, Spassov N, Begun DR, Böhme M 2017. Potential hominin affinities of Graecopithecus from the Late Miocene of Europe. PLOS ONE.
  • Gibbons A 2017. A famous “ancestor” may be ousted from the human family. Science April 23, 2017.
  • Gierliński GD et al. 2017. Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete? Proceedings of the Geologist’s Association.
  • Greshko M 2017. Humans in California 130,000 Years Ago? Get the Facts. National Geographic April 26, 2017.
  • Holen SR et al. 2017. A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA. Nature 544: 479-83.
  • Hublin J-J et al. 2017. New fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco and the pan-African origin of Homo sapiens. Nature 546: 289-92.
  • Newitz A 2017. 300,000 year-old “early Homo sapiens” sparks debate over evolution. Ars Technica June 11, 2017.
  • Richter D et al. 2017. The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age. Nature 546: 293-96.
  • Rook L, Bondioli L, Köhler M, Moyà-Solà S, Macchiarelli R 1999. Oreopithecus was a bipedal ape after all: evidence from the iliac cancellous architecture. PNAS 96(15): 8795-9.
  • Russo GA, Shapiro LJ 2013. Reevaluation of the lumbosacral region of Oreopithecusbambolii. Journal of Human Evolution 65(3): 253-65.
  • Sample I 2017. Oldest Homo sapiens bones ever found shake foundations of the human story. The Guardian June 7, 2017.
  • Tarlach G 2017a. Meet The New Oldest Homo Sapiens — Our Species Evolved Much Earlier Than Thought. Discover Magazine June 7, 2017.
  • Tarlach G 2017b. What Made These Footprints 5.7 Million Years Ago? Discover Magazine September 1, 2017.
  • Uppsala Universitet 2017. Fossil footprints challenge established theories of human evolution. Press release 2017-08-31.

Photo: Trachilos footprints, by Andrzej Boczarowski, via Uppsala University.


Conspiracy [ edit | edit source ]

Annunaki [ edit | edit source ]

Anunnaki are depicted on steles and murals as winged humanoid beings of mysterious origin. According to Akkadian legends, they were supposedly the creators of a humanoid species, possibly even Homo sapiens.

Dwarves [ edit | edit source ]

Long thought to be myths, Dwarves are now labeled with the scientific name Homo floresiensis, and nicknamed the Hobbit. Some scientists are still unable to accept this fact, and suggest that dwarfism could be the reason for their short stature, Ώ] while others have said they could have migrated 'Out of Africa' around 1.75 million years ago. ΐ]

Faerie [ edit | edit source ]

Faerie/Pixie/Leprechaun/Pygmy are tiny inter-dimensional humanoid biengs. They are a very elucive species, so not much information is available about them.

Atacama skeleton, nicknamed Ata is a 6" skeleton found in La Noria town in the Atacama region of Chile. She had hardened teeth, 10 ribs instead of the usual 12, giant eye sockets and a long skull that ended in a point. Comparing Human bone development, her age was identified as a 6-8 year old.

Her DNA was mostly Human of local origin, except for "2.7 million variants throughout the genome", including "54 rare mutations" that would have caused instant self-abortion in the fetus stage, let alone living for 6 years. Α] In scientific terms, there were 3,356,569 Single Nucleotide Variations (SNVs) and 1047 Structural Variations (SVs). Β]

Vavita mummy was found in Peru, among other mummies, one of which was tested to be 98.5% primate and 1.5% unknown DNA. The remains have been stolen.

Alyoshenka was a living breathing 9" telepathic humanoid creature, found in 1996, in the forest of Kyshtym, Russia. Γ] Δ]

After it's death, forensic examination confirmed it to be a deformed "human foetus" Ε] Kyshtym is a town near the Kyshtym disaster, the 3rd worst Nuclear disaster, after Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters. So, mutations are very much possible. Maybe, even the whole society of tiny inter-dimensional humanoid biengs with superpowers have actually evolved(mutated) from humans. Or, maybe they have evolved in parallel to Homo sapiens, from a branch of tiny apes.

Pedro was the mummified remains of one of many Little people, found in western USA.

An estimated 100,000 Little People were found buried in Tennessee in USA, each of them under 18" or 1.5'. The name Little People is from Native American folklore. For more info, see: Wikipedia:En:Little People of the Pryor Mountains

mummy found in Tutankhamun's tomb, labelled as a fetus based on bone length

Giants [ edit | edit source ]

Long known to the World, records of Giants were erased by the scientific community, possibly because it contradicted Darwins' Theory of Evolution, and the 'Out of Africa' model.

Greys [ edit | edit source ]

The species we call 'Greys' are not native to the Earth, and may be extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional species.

Greys have been accused of moving around in circular disk like flying vehicles, and abducting humans for experimentation and/or impregnation.

Vanara [ edit | edit source ]

Vanara (Sanskrit: वानर, pronounced: Vānar) were a group of humanoid-like apes, from Ramayan. They were like Humans in speech, clothing, habitations, funerals, consecrations etc. They were like monkeys, in respect to leaping, facial-hair, fur and a strong muscular tail.

Nagas [ edit | edit source ]

Indian religions have legends of a species known as Naga (Sanskrit: नाग, snake) and Nāga-rāja (King of Snakes), a powerful, proud, semidivine(angel/Ultraterrestrials) pre-historic race that can shapeshift their physical form either as human, partial human-serpent or full serpent. Their domain is in the Underground cities or underwater, a realm called Nag-lok or Patal-lok.

Mirza Khan's 'Tuhfat al-hind' (1676) states that Prakrit was known as Patal-bani ("Language of the underground") or Nag-bani ("Language of the snakes")

According to legends, most Nagas are benevolent, such as Patanjali, Quetzalcoatl, and Guardians of various 'Gods' like Vishnu, Shiva, etc. Some Nagas do have Malevolent agendas, such as the Greek Hydra.

In Buddhist scripture of Pali Canon, Nāga Saṃyutta, also known as the Linked Discourses on Dragons Ζ] , provides basic accounts on the nature of the Nagas. According to Saṃyutta Nikāya 45:151, Η] "based upon the Himalayas, the king of mountains, the Nagas nurture their bodies and acquire strength. When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body."

If the definition of 'Nagas' is extended to mean snake-like, then their legends can be found in almost every continent.

  • lóng : Chinese Dragons, snake-like with four legs
  • Ryū : Japanese dragons, snake-like with four clawed feet
  • Greek Hydra : snake-like with multiple heads
  • Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan : snake-like with feathers
  • Sumerian Tiamat : sea serpent with rattle-snake's tail

Egyptian pharaohs viewed Wadjet, a snake-like goddess as the symbol of divine authority, represented by Uraeus the sculpture of an Egyptian cobra, on their crown.

Sightings of Nagas in their partial human-serpent form, in the water, may have given rise to legends of mermaids.

According to Native American legends, these snake-like creatures were forced underground, thousands of years ago in order to escape a “disaster that burnt their cities to the ground!” So, the Naga species may have been the residents of Atlantis.

Oblong heads [ edit | edit source ]

Oblong heads (ancient elongated skulls) were bieng explained away as Artificial Cranial Deformation(ACD), which is a practice in certain tribal cultures, of purposely binding a baby's head to elongate it. But the size & volume of the ancient oblong skulls make them stand out from other human skulls, including artificially deformed ones.

The modern explanation is that it is a genetic deformity, Craniosynostosis. ⎗] The truth is, this genetic trait was introduced into Human genome through interbreeding with Oblong heads race/species. This information is derived from two facts ⎘] :

  • Paracas skulls have mitochondrial DNA(mtDNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far.
  • Paracas skulls appeared to share DNA links with other elongated skulls found between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea
  • (Paracus skulls) cranial volume being up to 25 per cent larger and 60 per cent heavier than conventional human skulls

Names of people with Oblong Heads:

The mainstream label of every oblong head as Artificial Cranial Deformation makes it hard to differenciate between the Genetically Oblong heads and artificially oblong heads. The Ancient Oblong heads or atleast people trying to emulate them through ACD were found around the world.


They may have been the same as Annunaki of Sumeria, residents of Atlantis, or a completely different race/species.