Another Hobbit!

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Another Hobbit!

Postby Minimalist » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:47 am

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/scie ... ss&emc=rss

An Ancient Human Species Lived in This Island Cave

Archaeologists in the Philippines have turned up the bones of a previously unknown species, Homo luzonensis, further expanding our family tree.


In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree.

At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:47 pm

What are the criteria for making it a "homo" as opposed to what ever a chimpanzee is?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:52 am

kbs2244 wrote:What are the criteria for making it a "homo" as opposed to what ever a chimpanzee is?


Chimps & bobobos are from the Pan genus. Humans are from the Homo genus...


Chimpanzee–human last common ancestor - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee–human_last_common_ancestor

Speciation between Pan and Homo occurred over the last 9 million years. ... Richard Wrangham (2001) argued that the CHLCA species was very similar to the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) — so much so that it should be classified as a member of the genus Pan and be given the taxonomic name Pan prior.
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:36 pm

So who and how is it determined if a discovery is one or the other?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:40 am

kbs2244 wrote:So who and how is it determined if a discovery is one or the other?


An ape is an ape, a monkey is a monkey, a hominid is a hominid. They're all primates. However, anyone who is even moderately trained in anatomy can tell the difference.

Just like with camelids... You would never mistake a llama, vicuna or guanaco for a dromedary or Bactrian camel, would you?

This isn't a big woo-woo mystery kbs... Nor are the finds arbitrarily assigned to one genus or the other on a whim. They must meet certain physical criteria to be classified one way or another. This classification system is monitored and/or corrected through the peer review process. Your doubts are pretty telling though. You want to believe that academia is lying to the general public for nefarious reasons known only to themselves. :roll:
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:21 pm

So it is all based on visual perception?
And that is based on historical differences?

I don't know the differences.
That is why I asked.
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:09 am

kbs2244 wrote:So it is all based on visual perception?
And that is based on historical differences?

I don't know the differences.
That is why I asked.


No, not visual perception or historical differences. That simply doesn't make a bit of sense.

Try to wrap your mind around this... Anatomists are persons who are trained/educated to learn the physical anatomy of living things. With fossils, they usually work with skeletal material... i.e. Bones. The skeleton of a living organism contains all or most of the characteristics needed to identify that organism. Fossils are usually fragmentary. So the anatomist's job is to look for whatever characteristics that can be found in a skeletal material. This is done by making a visual inspection & making a preliminary identification. (a rodent is a lot smaller than a dog or a horse or an elephant - get it? "preliminary") Then they proceed by taking measurements & then making comparisons to known, suspected examples. Often, there is not enough material to make a definitive identification & the anatomists will either make a suggestion as to a possible identification or they will concede that there is not enough skeletal material to make a positive identification.

How hard is this to understand? It's not mystical. It's just a very run of the mill procedure. If you were walking in the woods & found the skeletal remains of a squirrel or a rabbit, chances are you would be able to identify the animal just by looking at its bones. Why make it seem harder than it is?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:05 pm

"Then they proceed by taking measurements & then making comparisons to known, suspected examples. Often, there is not enough material to make a definitive identification & the anatomists will either make a suggestion as to a possible
identification or they will concede that there is not enough skeletal material to make a positive identification. "

So, we are back to my original question.
Given a skeleton with nothing current to match it with, who and how is a determination made?
Are there specific bones that are oblivious?
When we get back far enough, when have the differences become clear?

This story says they are calling it human.
Based on what?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:09 am

kbs2244 wrote:"Then they proceed by taking measurements & then making comparisons to known, suspected examples. Often, there is not enough material to make a definitive identification & the anatomists will either make a suggestion as to a possible
identification or they will concede that there is not enough skeletal material to make a positive identification. "

So, we are back to my original question.
Given a skeleton with nothing current to match it with, who and how is a determination made?
Are there specific bones that are oblivious?
When we get back far enough, when have the differences become clear?

This story says they are calling it human.
Based on what?


You obviously either didn't read the article or you have chosen to be deliberately obtuse. The article clearly states what types of fossil specimens were found & why, based on those fossils, they were designated as being in the Homo genus...

In 2007, he returned to Callao Cave. As his team dug into the cave floor, the researchers hit a layer of bones. At first, Dr. Mijares was disappointed by the fossils, which mostly belonged to deer and other mammals.

But when Philip Piper, an archaeologist at the University of the Philippines, later sorted through the finds, he noticed one that resembled a human foot bone. It was small, Dr. Mijares said, “and there was something weird about it.” But not much more could be learned from a single bone.

In 2011, on another dig, he and his colleagues found more humanlike fossils, including teeth, part of a femur and hand bones. In 2015, they found two more molars, which they dated to at least 50,000 years ago.

All told, the fossils came from three individuals. And they were remarkable.

The teeth had a peculiar shape. Some of the front teeth had three roots, for example, whereas those of our species usually only have just one. And the teeth were tiny.

“These adult teeth are smaller than any hominin known,” said Debbie Argue, a paleoanthropologist at Australian National University who was not involved in the new study.

“Could it be that these teeth belonged to adults that were even smaller than Homo floresiensis?” she wondered.

The researchers didn’t find enough bones to estimate how tall Homo luzonensis stood. But they do display their own strange mix of traits. One toe bone, for example, looks nearly identical to those of early hominins living in Africa more than three million years ago.

“The combination of features is like nothing we have seen before,” said María Martinón-Torres, the director of Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution, who was not involved in the new study.

Taken together, Dr. Mijares and his colleagues concluded, the evidence pointed to a new species of Homo.

Drawing such a conclusion from a few bones is risky, acknowledged Huw Groucutt, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.

Nevertheless, “I think the argument for a new species does look pretty convincing in this case,” he said.


Don't you have anything better to do than continuing to rephrase the same question hoping to get a different answer each time you ask?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:56 pm

The teeth had a peculiar shape. Some of the front teeth had three roots, for example, whereas those of our species usually only have just one. And the teeth were tiny.
The researchers didn’t find enough bones to estimate how tall Homo luzonensis stood. But they do display their own strange mix of traits. One toe bone, for example, looks nearly identical to those of early hominins living in Africa more than three million years ago.

“The combination of features is like nothing we have seen before,” said María Martinón-Torres, the director of Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution, who was not involved in the new study.

Taken together, Dr. Mijares and his colleagues concluded, the evidence pointed to a new species of Homo.

Drawing such a conclusion from a few bones is risky, acknowledged Huw Groucutt, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.

Nevertheless, “I think the argument for a new species does look pretty convincing in this case,” he said.

In spite of a lack of supporting evidence, in fact in the face of contradictory evidence, they still come to a "new species of homo" conclusion.
I suggest it is a pretty convincing case of headline hunting,
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:54 pm

I concede that blatant headline whoring is part & parcel of many academic fields. That's how they drum up much needed funding.

But guess what? That doesn't mean that the materials don't represent a new species of Homo. It simply means that it cannot be proven in a way that satisfies everyone, including you...

Try this on for size...

You're an anatomist. An anthropologist brings you a box full of skeletal material... He asks you to make an identification. You look over the material & announce that these finds represent the remains of at least three individual primates. The anthropologist asks how you know it represents three individuals & you point out that there is duplication of some of the skeletal elements & size disparities in the rest, ergo three or more individuals. OK... Now the anthropologist asks why you believe that they are the remains of primates & you point out the characteristics that clearly show these fossils are primates... Then he asks you what type of primate. You say that it's not entirely clear from the material that he brought in for identification. He asks you for your opinion... Your best guess based on your knowledge & experience... You tell him it's definitely not in the following genuses: Papio, Pongo, Gorilla or Pan. You also state that based on the estimated age of the material & the location of the find that it can't be Australopithicus either... So he asks you "What is it?" You state that to the best of your knowledge, taking into account the fragmentary nature of the materials, that the best you can say is the genus is Homo, but you can't be certain of the exact species. You have done your best & council him to wait until there are additional finds before making any definitive announcements. The anthropologist thanks you for your time & then proceeds to make an announcement that he can't prove definitively just to make headlines. But that's not your problem, is it?
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:35 pm

No
It is not
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby Cognito » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:21 pm

Chimps & bobobos are from the Pan genus. Humans are from the Homo genus...

Spice, that's true. However, personally, I believe Hobbits are directly descended from A. afarensis as opposed to the genus Homo, based on its size and morphology. It resembles a 3.2 million year old Lucy more than a dwarf version of H. erectus. The Phillipines specimen could be a similar critter.

Pretty cool that they could make tools, etc. with that small braincase. :D
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby circumspice » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:12 pm

Cognito wrote:
Chimps & bobobos are from the Pan genus. Humans are from the Homo genus...

Spice, that's true. However, personally, I believe Hobbits are directly descended from A. afarensis as opposed to the genus Homo, based on its size and morphology. It resembles a 3.2 million year old Lucy more than a dwarf version of H. erectus. The Phillipines specimen could be a similar critter.

Pretty cool that they could make tools, etc. with that small braincase. :D


Considering that chimps & bonobos also make tools despite their small brain size, why should we be surprised by the Philippine hominids? Not only can members of the Pan genus make crude stone & wood tools, they can also pass that knowledge on to others in their groups. Another thing I read was that some chimps had an affinity for treating injured or ailing troop members. One female chimp was a noted 'dentist'. Unfortunately, that knowledge died with her because none of her troop members seemed interested enough to learn from her.

I've long been fascinated by the way most of the great apes have the capacity to learn complex behaviors that make them seem more human-like. (tool making, learning to communicate on a basic abstract level & also exhibiting such behaviors as grieving a death or teaching the next generation how to make crude but useful tools) It sometimes seems to make the boundaries between human & non-human blur.
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Re: Another Hobbit!

Postby kbs2244 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:32 pm

If brain size determined intelligence, wouldn’t elephants, or blue whales, rule the world?

(But then, maybe they are smart enough to just not get involved?)
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