Anatomical researcher Karen Baab of Stony Brook University and anthropologist Kieran McNulty of the University of Minnesota have conducted a new analysis of the skull of Homo floresiensis, the so-called “hobbit” found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Since its discovery, scientists have hotly debated whether the hobbit is actually a unique human species, or whether it was simply a diseased pygmy.
If the hobbit resembles other human “ancestors,” it must be an ancestor too.
Based on her 3-D shape analysis, Baab believes the hobbit was not a modern human, reporting in the Journal of Human Evolution that the skull is more consistent with a minimized human ancestor’s than with a minimized modern human’s. “The overall shape of the [hobbit] skull, particularly the part that surrounds the brain (neurocranium) looks similar to fossils more than 1.5 million years older from Africa and Eurasia, rather than modern humans,” explained Baab.
The researchers’ conclusion—that the hobbit was not microcephalic (diseased with an abnormally small skull)—flies in the face of studies conducted by other scientists. “The degree of asymmetry in [the hobbit skull] was within the range of apes and was very similar to that seen in other fossil skulls. We suggest that the degree of asymmetry is within expectations for this population of hominins, particular given that the conditions of the cave in Indonesia in which the skull was preserved may have contributed to asymmetry.”
Baab concludes that it may never be possible to determine for sure just what the “hobbits” were, and we agree, which is why presuppositions play a paramount role. Evolutionists conclude that, if the hobbit resembles other human “ancestors,” it must be an ancestor too; but what if those so-called ancestors were actually a now-extinct genetic variation on modern humans? Besides, one of the key exhibits in the case for hobbit humanity is evidence of fire use in the cave where the hobbits were found. That should go a long way toward settling the debate in favor of hobbit humanity, yet it seems to be conveniently ignored here.
In (somewhat) related news, the Associated Press reports that few are showing up to see our supposed ancestor “Lucy” at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center: only 60,000 have showed up, compared to the 250,000 the museum hoped to bring in.
The center is now facing a half-million-dollar loss after doling out millions to bring Lucy to the museum. And according to the AP, other museums are now reconsidering their role in Lucy’s 10-city tour. Chicago’s famous Field Museum—no stranger to evolutionary promulgation—has withdrawn.
It may be difficult to determine how much the low attendance numbers are due to economic circumstances versus skepticism over the evolutionary story of human origins. At the very least, it’s that many fewer children who won’t be exposed to evolutionary indoctrination!
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