another interesting new homo sapienish find
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13-09-2015, 11:12 AM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
I've been hearing about this on NPR a bit.....

I was sort of kidding earlier --- but have they actually got evidence that this is "evidence of believe in afterlife"????

It seems to me that it's more likely a "crime scene" -- somebody hiding bodies that they whacked........

Was cause of death evident in any of the remains??

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13-09-2015, 11:01 PM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
(13-09-2015 11:12 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I've been hearing about this on NPR a bit.....

I was sort of kidding earlier --- but have they actually got evidence that this is "evidence of believe in afterlife"????

It seems to me that it's more likely a "crime scene" -- somebody hiding bodies that they whacked........

Was cause of death evident in any of the remains??

Speculating wildly, I think it's probably just the sheer quantity of fossil hominid bones in the cave, with no obvious evidence that they were washed down there, and full skeletons, not just parts. Also absence of other animal bones (which would be expected if deposited there naturally). Predator might drag bodies in to nosh them, but that's one hell of a dedicated predator to drag prey that far underground. Even if it was a crime scene that indicates a bit more thought put into the exercise than your general early hominid is given credit for. Also they've not finished extracting fossils from the cave, there's probably a lot more stuff down there, so maybe as time goes on they'll get a better picture of what happened.

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18-09-2015, 06:28 PM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
Yay controversy!

Quote:3. Do we know that these creatures are a new species without dating?

White: Dating is irrelevant; these are a small, primitive H. erectus, whatever the date turns out to be. This is because they are not biologically different, in any significant way, from already known H. erectus found in places like Swartkrans (800m away), eastern Africa, or the Georgian republic. Of the 80+ traits listed in the e-LIFE supplemental material, only a small fraction of them are even claimed to differentiate these fossils from earlier described H. erectus, and that fraction of characters is known to vary among members of the same species (even population) of both H. erectus and H. sapiens. In other words, the newly described “species” is an example of artificial species inflation in paleoanthropology.

...also
Quote:He went on: "My ‘nonsense-filter’ also tells me that all the talk in the media about this new species burying its dead and having human-like morality, or that it dismantles one of the key pillars of human uniqueness, needs to be called out for what it truly is: absurd."
More scepticism came from Frans de Waal, writing in The New York Times: "The suggestion by some scholars that this requires belief in an afterlife is pure speculation. We simply don’t know if Homo naledi buried corpses with care and concern or unceremoniously dumped them into a faraway cave to get rid of them.

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18-09-2015, 07:53 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2015 09:36 PM by Ted Tucker.)
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
(18-09-2015 06:28 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Yay controversy!

Quote:3. Do we know that these creatures are a new species without dating?

White: Dating is irrelevant; these are a small, primitive H. erectus, whatever the date turns out to be. This is because they are not biologically different, in any significant way, from already known H. erectus found in places like Swartkrans (800m away), eastern Africa, or the Georgian republic. Of the 80+ traits listed in the e-LIFE supplemental material, only a small fraction of them are even claimed to differentiate these fossils from earlier described H. erectus, and that fraction of characters is known to vary among members of the same species (even population) of both H. erectus and H. sapiens. In other words, the newly described “species” is an example of artificial species inflation in paleoanthropology.

...also
Quote:He went on: "My ‘nonsense-filter’ also tells me that all the talk in the media about this new species burying its dead and having human-like morality, or that it dismantles one of the key pillars of human uniqueness, needs to be called out for what it truly is: absurd."
More scepticism came from Frans de Waal, writing in The New York Times: "The suggestion by some scholars that this requires belief in an afterlife is pure speculation. We simply don’t know if Homo naledi buried corpses with care and concern or unceremoniously dumped them into a faraway cave to get rid of them.

Sit tight HOC, for another battle between the Lumpers and the Spliters. It would be cool if the dating turns out to make it a nice Australopithecine to Homo transitional. I personally think there was a lot of leaky replacement/gene sharing going on just like with us and our Neanderthal and Denisovan cousins and it is going to be hard to justify a clean split off into a separate species? We will have to see how the data shakes out.

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18-09-2015, 08:19 PM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
(18-09-2015 07:53 PM)Ted Tucker Wrote:  Sit tight HOC, for another battle between the Lumpers and the Spliters.

Those are the technical terms? Laugh out load

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18-09-2015, 09:43 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2015 09:57 PM by Ted Tucker.)
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
Yeah one of those Iter vs Intra species hanky panky things to get technical...

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19-09-2015, 03:41 AM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
(13-09-2015 11:01 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(13-09-2015 11:12 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I've been hearing about this on NPR a bit.....

I was sort of kidding earlier --- but have they actually got evidence that this is "evidence of believe in afterlife"????

It seems to me that it's more likely a "crime scene" -- somebody hiding bodies that they whacked........

Was cause of death evident in any of the remains??

Speculating wildly, I think it's probably just the sheer quantity of fossil hominid bones in the cave, with no obvious evidence that they were washed down there, and full skeletons, not just parts. Also absence of other animal bones (which would be expected if deposited there naturally). Predator might drag bodies in to nosh them, but that's one hell of a dedicated predator to drag prey that far underground. Even if it was a crime scene that indicates a bit more thought put into the exercise than your general early hominid is given credit for. Also they've not finished extracting fossils from the cave, there's probably a lot more stuff down there, so maybe as time goes on they'll get a better picture of what happened.

Maybe these are the remains of Free's other technological species that coexists with us undetected? Consider

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19-09-2015, 07:12 AM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
Nawww... I's thinking more on the line of how bears will bury their kill -- to hide it from scavangers....

Logic isn't really necessary to promote behavior -- so doing things for goofy reasons for no apparent reason isn't out of the question.

I always wonder how much stuff we put down on archaeological digs as attributed to "religious purposes" - is wrong.... It seems frequently if they can't figure any other reason for something - we assume it was religious.....

Someday far, far into the future -- they'll think that humans from our era worshiped toilets --- because they're found in virtually every household "shrine"....

"Kneel before the porcelain God" --- yup, BTDT......

.......................................

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19-09-2015, 09:16 AM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2015 02:14 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
(13-09-2015 11:12 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I've been hearing about this on NPR a bit.....

I was sort of kidding earlier --- but have they actually got evidence that this is "evidence of believe in afterlife"????

It seems to me that it's more likely a "crime scene" -- somebody hiding bodies that they whacked........

Was cause of death evident in any of the remains??

The great lengths they went to dispose of the bodies is suggestive of some reverence for their dead. They had to take them through two small bottle necks.

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However, this doesn't necessarily mean that they had a belief in the after life. Frans de Waal, a noted primatologist, recently wrote an essay in which he states:

Quote:Undeterred by Homo naledi’s relatively small brain, however, the research team sought to stress its humanity by pointing at the bodies in the cave. But if taking this tack implies that only humans mourn their dead, the distinction with apes is being drawn far too sharply.

Apes appear to be deeply affected by the loss of others to the point of going totally silent, seeking comfort from bystanders and going into a funk during which they don’t eat for days. They may not inter their dead, but they do seem to understand death’s irreversibility. After having stared for a long time at a lifeless companion — sometimes grooming or trying to revive him or her — apes move on.

Since they never stay in one place for long, they have no reason to cover or bury a corpse. Were they to live in a cave or settlement, however, they might notice that carrion attracts scavengers, some of which are formidable predators, like hyenas. It would absolutely not exceed the ape’s mental capacity to solve this problem by either covering odorous corpses or moving them out of the way.

The suggestion by some scholars that this requires belief in an afterlife is pure speculation. We simply don’t know if Homo naledi buried corpses with care and concern or unceremoniously dumped them into a faraway cave to get rid of them.

As for it being a crime scene, as noted by morondog, there are no perimortem marks on the bodies. This is a very important distinction. And even if there had been, scientists would be very careful to weigh the evidence for or against a body dump for murder victims. This is because one paleoanthropologist made a big mistake back in the late 1940s. Numerous Australopithecus africanus skulls were discovered in a South African cave in 1947 which showed tramatic fracturing. Dr. Raymond Dart believed these were the results of A. africanus wielding animal bones as weapons against each other. This gave birth to the short lived Osteodontokeratic ("bone-tooth-horn") Hypothesis. His colleagues later disproved the theory by showing that predators, such as cave hyenas, could have easily caused such wounds. Scientist were forced to accept the sobering realization that our ancestors were once on the menu.

One famous Parathopus skull cap (SK 54), for example, has two large holes that are believed to have been the result of a leopard's fangs. This poor fellow's death has been depicted in museums at least twice. Both are very uncomfortable to look at.

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I recently learned that there is some disagreement in the anthropological community about the new species claim. One noted researcher believes that it is just a primitive Homo erectus. If true, that would mean the find is not a new species. H. erectus has been shown to be quite variable in their features. For example, here are recognstructions of five skulls discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia.

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19-09-2015, 10:51 AM
RE: another interesting new homo sapienish find
Very cool - thanks GE. It is fascinating to wonder what it was like for them.

I still have to think a shovel would have been a whole lot easier.

Can you even imagine trying to do that trek by torchlight????

Shit - it's amazing... Those folks really must have really been bored.....

Wink

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