Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins

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Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins

Postby Access Denied » Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:45 pm

Here’s a neat little “picture story” that I thought illustrates both how little we know (precisely) and how much we know (in general) about human evolution…

Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins
Scientists piece together humanity's history from a growing fossil record
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27225171

Where did we come from? Many truth seekers turn to faith and religion and therein find their answers. Others approach the question through a scientific lens and the theory of evolution. They have pieced together a tale of human origins from the fossils of our ancestors. The tale is incomplete and its telling reshaped with fresh interpretation of the growing fossil record.

One of the ten slides talks about something LS and I were discussing in the SETI thread…

Image

Neanderthals' relationship to modern humans fuzzy

The 1856 discovery of a skull cap and partial skeleton from a cave in Germany's Neander valley was the first recognized fossil human form. But exactly how the species, named in 1864 as Homo neanderthalensis, is related to modern humans remains the subject of fierce academic debate. Neanderthals occupied Europe and Asia from about 200,000 years to 30,000 years ago, overlapping in places with modern humans. Recent genetic analyses suggest little, if any, interbreeding between the species. Skeletal evidence, however, suggests Neanderthals were not very different than their modern human cousins. Even their brains were comparable to, if not bigger, than ours, as depicted in this Neanderthal reconstruction. Other studies have shown that like modern humans, Neanderthals used tools, wore jewelry, hunted, and buried their dead.

Looking forward to seeing some more skeletons come out of the closet. :)
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Re: Ten fossils that evolved the tale of our origins

Postby Nemo » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:19 pm

This tale has become even more interesting and convoluted with the discovery of the so called "Hobbits" of Flores island and extremely archaic skulls in eastern Europe that should not be there per the standard "Out of Africa" theory. These have been said to be a lot more like the "Lucy" skeleton than makes sense and the "Hobbits" are a lot like Homo Erectus which should have been completely extinct about 1/2 million years ago but which is present there at 12,000 years ago. To add interest, the local natives have stories of tiny people who lived in the jungle and who stole their crops and sometimes their children (probably a case of prejudice?). Their name for them meant something like "glutton who eats everything". Their stories say that they killed off the last of these people 200 years ago, a bit before the Dutch started colonizing the area.

The way we have treated people in the very near past, and considering that we kept a "pygmy" on display in a zoo in the 1800's.......how would we have treated these little people 200 years ago who looked so "primitive" when there were actual big people we called slaves, considered to be non-human, and merely property? The Supreme Court even said so. This lasted here until 1865 effectively.

There. Have at it.
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