Science Daily: “‘Hobbit’ Was an Iodine-Deficient Human, Not Another Species, New Study Suggests” The University of Western Australia's Emeritus Professor Charles Oxnard and colleagues have reconfirmed that the “Hobbits” were human after all.
These “Hobbits” are fossil remains found on the Indonesian island of Flores, not the diminutive people of the books/films in the fiction series The Lord of the Rings; these Indonesian fossils were given the nickname “Hobbit” in a nod to the trilogy
Their work shows that the skeletal remains were not a distinct species, but rather iodine-deficient humans.
A paper by Professor Oxnard et al. back in 2008 caused controversy when it suggested that endemic dwarf cretinism resulted from congenital hypothyroidism, and that the “hobbits” were not a new species of human. In their new 2010 paper, Professor Oxnard’s team “mathematically compared the bones of cretins in relation to chimpanzees, unaffected humans and H. floresiensis,” using two statistical methods: principal components analyses (PCA) and non-metric multi-dimensional scaling (MDS).
Their work shows that the skeletal remains were not a distinct species, but rather iodine-deficient humans. “This is consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali,” Professor Oxnard said. “Cretinism is caused by various environmental factors including iodine deficiency—a deficiency which would have been present on Flores at the period to which the dwarfed Flores fossils are dated.”
Starting with the biblical worldview, it becomes clear that the alleged “human ancestor” fossils we unearth are—time and time again—either slight variations of modern humans, or extinct varieties of apes, not some kind of “ape-men.” Back in 2008 we at Answers in Genesis stated that the “Hobbits” were most likely—considering the skeletal deformities—true humans kept small because of disease or malnutrition. It shows that a biblical worldview is conducive to good scientific conclusions, as we have been saying all along.
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