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Skull Rewrites the Book

on September 12, 2009
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The Independent: “A Skull that Rewrites the History of ManThe history of human evolution is clear: we all came from Africa the Middle East Europe.

Recently discovered fossils from Tbilisi, Georgia, may rewrite the prevailing evolutionary ideas about human origins. While scientists once believed that Homo erectus (a supposed ancestor of Homo sapiens) migrated out of Africa nearly a million years ago, these new skulls, jawbones, and limb bones show “far more primitive-looking” humans who populated Eurasia much earlier—around 1.8 million years ago by secular dating methods.

"There was a very early migration out of Africa of a group of human-like 'hominins.'"

What this means, according to Steve O’Conner of the Independent, is that

there was a very early migration out of Africa of a group of human-like “hominins”, who may have spent a long interlude in Eurasia before migrating back into Africa, where they contributed to the further evolution of the Homo genus—the family of man.

In other words, the old ideas about humans evolving in Africa and then spreading out are becoming more and more unlikely. The new view is that “hominins” left Africa, evolved, and came back at least once.

For creationists, there are several interesting aspects of this discovery—once we move beyond the presuppositions. First, we should point out that these humans are classified as “primitive” because of their small stature: 1.44–1.5 meters tall (a little under 5 feet); their smaller brain volume: 600cc (compared to an average of 1000–1450cc in most modern people); and “archaic” upper limbs, a statement which is not explained in the article. However, even the researchers concede that these ancients in Tbilisi used stone tools and showed quite modern morphology.

This is a subtle form of racism against humans living in the past.

Astute readers will notice that what these scientists call primitive does not preclude the fact that this population was fully human. While their brains may have had a lower capacity than the known range for most humans living in the present, their use of stone tools and hints of human culture (e.g., caring for an individual with no teeth) suggest a fully human social atmosphere. A smaller average brain volume is not an indicator of a deficiency in intelligence, since we could just as easily point out that Neanderthals had a larger brain on average than most people today. Rather, this new find simply shows that the range of human brain volume was much greater in the past than it is now. Or, conversely, factors such as nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iodine) and genetic disorders could also explain the reduced capacity and height.

The so-called hobbits of Indonesia were small in stature and have also been targeted by claims of being less than human. They had a brain the size of a grapefruit, but made sophisticated tools just like Homo sapiens did. However, because of differences in wrist bones and brain capacity, they are demoted to a more “primitive” state. This is a convenient story for evolutionists, who need past “hominins” to be less humanlike to show that evolution has made modern humanity the “pinnacle” of history.

In many ways, this is a subtle form of racism against humans living in the past. Because they don’t look exactly like humans today, these scientists make them out to be sub-human, the same way Ota Benga was considered a sideshow oddity. But just like Ota Benga, these individuals in Tbilisi—and the hobbits—were no less human than those reading this article. Different does not mean lesser.


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