Author Topic: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins  (Read 5996 times)

Claireliontamer

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2017, 11:20:50 AM »
This is a pretty big discovery, even if they're wrong about the finds being Homo sapiens.


What makes you say they aren't H. sapiens?

I didn't say they aren't. However, despite the certainty promoted by most of the pop-science articles about this, it's not conclusive that these people were Homo sapiens, per the NPR article's mention of controversy.

Sorry, I read what you wrote as you were saying they were wrong about labelling the finds Homo sapiens.

Recusant

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2017, 04:08:47 PM »
Yep, I see now how it could be read that way. Thanks for calling me on my ambiguous diction!  :)
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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2017, 04:56:56 PM »
On the island of Flores, remains of what appear to be the precursors of Homo floresiensis (so-called "hobbits") have been found that are approximately 600,000 years older than the fossils previously found in the Liang Bua cave on the island.

"Hobbit discovery: Hopes 700,000-year-old find could shed new light on evolution" | ABC

Quote
A 700,000-year-old hobbit has been discovered by a team of Australian-led researchers on the Indonesian island of Flores, shedding new light on human evolution.

The dwarf-like ancient relative of modern man stood just one metre tall and has been dated at half a million years older than a hobbit found on the island a decade ago.

Published in the journal Nature, the researchers argue their fossil find descended from Homo erectus, which would suggest an incredible case of evolutionary reversal where human bodies — including brains — actually shrunk.

[. . .]

[University of Wollongong's] Dr van den Bergh [who led the team that found the fragments] said the discovery was significant because the fossils were much older than the previous hobbit find at Liang Boa, known as Homo floresiensis.

"The remains from Mata Menge, they are more than half a million years older than Homo floresiensis — almost 600,000 years older than the hobbit remains from Liang Boa [sic]," he said.

"We know that humans were present on the island 1 million years ago and that's based on dated stone artefacts."

[. . .]

Dr van den Bergh said there were several hypotheses about the find, including that it was a dwarfed version of Homo erectus or that it came from a tinier, earlier ancestor like Homo habilis.

"The problem with that hypothesis was that those creatures have never been found outside Africa," he said.

"Now these new finds show that 700,000 years ago the ancestors of Homo floresiensis were already as small as the hobbit itself and secondly it provides a link between Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis."

An independent reviewer for the Nature journal, Aida Gomez-Robles from George Washington University's Department of Anthropology, backs the link between Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis.

"[However,] there is still a lot of debate about this," Dr Gomez-Robles said.

"Even if I think these fossils descended from Homo erectus, there are other people who think they are descended from Homo habilis."

One of the dissenting voices is ANU biological anthropologist Colin Groves, who believes there are not enough fossils to confirm a link to Homo erectus.

[Continues . . .]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 06:30:10 PM »
"Like trying to extract a flaky pastry pie out of concrete..."

Paraphrase of the words of the man trying to excavate the oldest human skeleton found so far in south Africa.

Quote
Ancient human ancestor 'Little Foot' makes public debut.
...
"Little Foot" is the oldest fossil hominid skeleton ever found in Southern Africa, the lead scientist examining the discovery said on Wednesday.
The fossil skeleton takes its name from the small foot bones discovered by scientist Ron Clarke in 1994 when he was sorting through bones in boxes from the Sterkfontein cave system. Even then, Clarke surmised that the fossilized bones came from an Australopithecus species -- the smallish, ape-like human ancestors that roamed this part of Africa millions of years ago.
...
By placing the fossils at well over 3 million years old, Clarke is bound to reignite a debate about the age of the find, which has been disputed over the years. Some scientists have given it a far more recent place on the human evolutionary tree.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/06/africa/human-ancestor-little-foot-unveiled-intl/index.html
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Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2017, 09:24:12 PM »
Quote
Ancient DNA and Human Evolution
BBC Inside Science

Twenty years ago, a revolution in the study of human evolution began. A team in Leipzig in Germany successfully extracted DNA from the bones of a Neanderthal man who died about 40,000 years ago. Thirteen years later, the same group unveiled the first complete genome sequence of another Neanderthal individual. Last year, they announced they'd retrieved DNA from much oldest archaic human bones, more than 400,000 years old.

Adam Rutherford talks to Svante Paabo, the scientist has led these remarkable achievements. Professor Paabo and his colleague Janet Kelso at the Max Planck Institute of Biological Anthropology in Leipzig discuss the genes in many European people alive today that originated in Neanderthals and were passed to modern humans when the two species interbred.

Adam also speaks to Johannes Krause who worked on the Neanderthal genome project in Leipzig but is now director of the Max Planck Institute of the Science of Human History. His latest research adds a new layer of intrigue and complexity to the relationship between our species and Neanderthals in deep time.

David Reich at Harvard University focuses on using ancient DNA to uncover the ancestry and movements of modern human hunter-gatherers in Eurasia from about 50,000 years to the Bronze Age, a few thousand years ago. Population movements occur on a cinematic scale, he says. (Podcast only).

The revelations of ancient genetics would not be possible and meaningful without the traditional disciplines of palaeoanthropology and archaeology. Adam goes to Gibraltar to seek the perspective of Clive Finlayson who leads excavations there as director of the Gibraltar Museum. Gibraltar is the most concentrated site of Neanderthal occupation in the world. As well as remains of a young Neanderthal child last year, the Rock's caves have also recently yielded the first example of Neanderthal cave art.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09jqtg5
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Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2018, 08:35:29 PM »
Well, another little surprise, we may not have been "white men" for as long as we thought.

Careful DNA analysis of "Cheddar Man" shows that rather than the fair skinned, dark eyed person he was always expected to be he had dark skin and blue eyes!

Quote
A recent facial reconstruction of a 10,000-year-old skeleton called the "Cheddar Man" has revealed a man with bright blue eyes, slightly curly hair, and dark skin.

"It might surprise the public, but not ancient DNA geneticists," says Mark Thomas, a scientist at the University College London.

That's because a new analysis of the ancient man's DNA proves he's genetically similar to other dark-skinned individuals from the Mesolithic era found in Spain, Hungary, and Luxemborg whose DNA has already been sequenced. The new revelation places the Cheddar Man among a group of hunter-gatherers that are thought to have migrated to Europe at the end of the last Ice Age some 11,000 years ago.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/ancient-face-cheddar-man-reconstructed-dna-spd/

I like the comment about cheese being only about 7000 years old - not so sure about the bit I found buried in the back of the fridge. It was rather brownish with blue bits.
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hermes2015

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2018, 03:38:06 AM »
I like the comment about cheese being only about 7000 years old - not so sure about the bit I found buried in the back of the fridge. It was rather brownish with blue bits.

James Joyce called cheese the corpse of milk.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 05:28:16 AM by hermes2015 »

Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2018, 04:48:35 AM »
I like the comment about cheese being only about 7000 years old - not so sure about the bit I found buried in the back of the fridge. It was rather brownish with blue bits.

Jame Joyce called cheese the corpse of milk.

Then that is a type of necrophagia I will happily indulge in!    :grin:
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Magdalena

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2018, 06:18:18 AM »
Well, another little surprise, we may not have been "white men" for as long as we thought.

Careful DNA analysis of "Cheddar Man" shows that rather than the fair skinned, dark eyed person he was always expected to be he had dark skin and blue eyes!

Quote
A recent facial reconstruction of a 10,000-year-old skeleton called the "Cheddar Man" has revealed a man with bright blue eyes, slightly curly hair, and dark skin.

"It might surprise the public, but not ancient DNA geneticists," says Mark Thomas, a scientist at the University College London.

That's because a new analysis of the ancient man's DNA proves he's genetically similar to other dark-skinned individuals from the Mesolithic era found in Spain, Hungary, and Luxemborg whose DNA has already been sequenced. The new revelation places the Cheddar Man among a group of hunter-gatherers that are thought to have migrated to Europe at the end of the last Ice Age some 11,000 years ago.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/02/ancient-face-cheddar-man-reconstructed-dna-spd/

I like the comment about cheese being only about 7000 years old - not so sure about the bit I found buried in the back of the fridge. It was rather brownish with blue bits.

Quote
"If you can measure changes in genetic variances over time," he adds, "You can catch evolution as it happens."


Magdalena

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2018, 06:37:31 AM »
Quote
Careful DNA analysis of "Cheddar Man" shows that rather than the fair skinned, dark eyed person he was always expected to be he had dark skin and blue eyes!

Not bad.  :tellmemore:

Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2018, 08:29:13 AM »
Yes, seems it is rare in Africa, but I think it is a beautiful combination.
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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2018, 04:06:22 AM »
A summary of a pair of papers on recent advances in DNA tracking of human pre-history:

"Ancient DNA tells tales of humans' migrant history" | ScienceDaily

Quote
Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied -- revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past.

Scientists once could reconstruct humanity's distant past only from the mute testimony of ancient settlements, bones, and artifacts.

No longer. Now there's a powerful new approach for illuminating the world before the dawn of written history -- reading the actual genetic code of our ancient ancestors. Two papers published in the journal Nature on February 21, 2018, more than double the number of ancient humans whose DNA has been analyzed and published to 1,336 individuals -- up from just 10 in 2014.

The new flood of genetic information represents a "coming of age" for the nascent field of ancient DNA, says lead author David Reich, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Harvard Medical School -- and it upends cherished archeological orthodoxy. "When we look at the data, we see surprises again and again and again," says Reich.

Together with his lab's previous work and that of other pioneers of ancient DNA, the Big Picture message is that our prehistoric ancestors were not nearly as homebound as once thought. "There was a view that migration is a very rare process in human evolution," Reich explains. Not so, says the ancient DNA. Actually, Reich says, "the orthodoxy -- the assumption that present-day people are directly descended from the people who always lived in that same area -- is wrong almost everywhere."

Instead, "the view that's emerging -- for which David is an eloquent advocate -- is that human populations are moving and mixing all the time," says John Novembre, a computational biologist at the University of Chicago.

[Continues . . .]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2018, 06:11:47 AM »
And this is amply demonstrated by the recent work done on the Beaker People of 4500 years ago.

Quote
Ancient-genome study finds Bronze Age ‘Beaker culture’ invaded Britain
Famous bell-shaped pots associated with group of immigrants who may have displaced Neolithic farmers.

Around 4,500 years ago, a mysterious craze for bell-shaped pottery swept across prehistoric Europe. Archaeologists have debated the significance of the pots — artefacts that define the ‘Bell Beaker’ culture — for more than a century. Some argue that they were the Bronze Age’s hottest fashion, shared across different groups of people. But others see them as evidence for an immense migration of ‘Beaker folk’ across the continent.

Now, one of the biggest ever ancient-genome studies suggests both ideas are true. The study, posted on bioRxiv on 9 May1, analysed the genomes of 170 ancient Europeans and compared them to hundreds of other ancient and modern genomes. In Iberia and central Europe, skeletons found near Bell Beaker artefacts share few genetic ties — suggesting that they were not one migrating population. But in Britain, individuals connected to Beaker pots seem to be a distinct, genetically related group that almost wholly replaced the island’s earlier inhabitants (see ‘Bell Beaker fashion’).

https://www.nature.com/news/ancient-genome-study-finds-bronze-age-beaker-culture-invaded-britain-1.21996

Or, as The Sun has it:
Quote
How the first Britons were wiped out by boozy Beaker people who invaded the UK and their blood STILL runs through us today

And the Torygraph:
Quote
No one living in Britain 'truly British', scientists find as Stonehenge builders were replaced by European immigrants
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Dave

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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2018, 07:51:52 AM »
And, linking this to one of my favourite subjects, origins of language, I offer

Quote
Steppe migration rekindles debate on language origin
Eurasian region gains ground as birthplace of Indo-European tongues.

https://www.nature.com/news/steppe-migration-rekindles-debate-on-language-origin-1.16935

Based on DNA analysis again but involving a different pottery style - just to add another piece to the jigsaw puzzle!
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Re: Homo sapiens and Their Cousins
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2018, 06:01:59 AM »
Good free association chain. Who am I to break it?  ;)

"Language started 1.5m years earlier than previously thought as scientists say Homo Erectus were first to talk" | The Telegraph

Quote
In the beginning was the word. And it was first spoken by Homo Erectus, according to a controversial new theory.

Most paleontologists believe language emerged with the evolution of Homo Sapiens around 350,000 years ago.

But Daniel Everett, Professor of Global Studies, at Bentley University, Massachusetts, author of How Language Began, claims our earlier ancestors must have been able to talk to each other.

Prof Everett, claims that Homo Erectus, who lived from 1.8 million years ago, invented language and used it to hunt and build boats to colonise remote islands such as Flores in Indonesia and Crete, where fossils have been found even though there was never a land link with Africa.

Speaking at the AAAS annual meeting in Austin, Texas, he said: “Everybody talks about Homo Erectus as a stupid ape-like creature, which of course describes us just as well, and yet what I want to emphasize is that Erectus was the smartest creature that had ever walked the Earth.

“They had planning abilities. They made tools. But the most incredible tools that Erectus made were vessels for sailing the open ocean.

“Oceans were never a barrier to the travels of Erectus. They travelled all over the world. It was intentional they needed craft and they needed to take groups of twenty or so at least to get to those places.

“Erectus needed language when they were sailing to the island of Flores. They couldn’t have simply caught a ride on a floating log because then they would have been washed out to see when they hit the current. They needed to be able to paddle.

“And if they paddled they needed to be able to say ‘paddle there’ or ‘don’t paddle.’ You need communication with symbols not just grunts. They accomplished too much for this to simply be the sort of communication that we see in other species without symbols.”

[Continues . . .]
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 03:24:14 PM by Recusant »
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken