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Human Origins Theory Tested By Recent Findings

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  • This has been brought up ("challenged") before and some believe it, some don't. What's so different this time around?
    • by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @10:56PM (#20165735) Journal
      "The other discussions have been archived. No new comments can be posted."
    • by Reverse Gear (891207) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:09PM (#20165845) Homepage
      You are right this doesn't look like any real news.

      The article is really written in a very unscientific way, for example this statement:
      What the scientific society thinks doesn't usually change all that fast, the hypothesis first has to be verified and tested etc.
      But then again in this kind of archeology this thing with verifying and testing hypothesis can be a bit difficult even though they try as they best can, but trying to figure out how humans evolved through evolution is imho as much guesswork as it is science with what we have of evidence so far.
      • by aichpvee (631243) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @12:13AM (#20166143) Journal
        Man evolved from dirt when dinosaurs ate coconuts. It says so in the bible.
        • by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss.Sean@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:59AM (#20168403) Homepage
          Ugh. You're killing me here. I'm reminded of all the times I've heard "Creationist scientists say dinosaurs ate leaves and used their sharp teeth to grind leaves."

          No. Just... no. No, no, no, no, NO!

          Honestly, I'd LOVE to see a T-rex or an Allasaurus or another obvious carnivore TRY to eat leaves with a mouth like that. We KNOW today that flat teeth are used for grinding plants. I mean, it's basic instinct. When you eat meat, you use your slimmer and pointer front teeth to tear it into slimmer pieces. When you eat a salad, you don't use your front teeth at all, and simply let the back teeth grind the leaves.

          It's pure bullshit, and it's easily debunked by anyone with two brain cells to rub together. Same for sharks. They have rows upon rows of sharp, serrated teeth. Are you going to tell me they ate kelp?

          Not to mention that we see hundreds of cave drawings of bison and deer and other roaming mammals... yet does anyone find it strange that no caveman decided to draw a HUGE monstrous death machine roaming the lands? I mean, not ONE SINGLE MENTION anywhere in all of human culture until we discovered their bones?

          No, I am no a biologist, archaeologist, or any other professional, but I think my evidence stands as is. I'm sure a real scientist could provide FAR more examples.

          Creationism science is an oxymoron, because Creationism is the polar opposite of science. You start with a conclusion (God made the Earth and the Bible shows how he did it) and then proceed to find evidence that supports that, as opposed to finding evidence and then making a conclusion based on the evidence.

          The Bible is not literal. Period. It is a series of stories and ideas put into writing in ancient times to explain, back then, how they thought things came to be.

          To me, believing in Creationism is like saying "I believe the sky is green." It's just wrong. Yes, there is a degree of uncertainty in it, such as how "green" something is before it's green, but with science, we can break down light and find its wavelength and say "This light is blue." You can still believe that it is green, just as you can believe men walked the earth alongside dinosaurs, that a man with a boat carried two of EVERY species of animal on Earth for over a month after a God gave him the designs for it, and the first woman came from the ribs of the first man.

          But you'd be wrong. "Believing" that 2+2=5 doesn't change the fact that it's 4, even if you call it an "opinion." Facts do not care what you think.

          (Note: Yes, I know the Parent was joking. But this stuff SERIOUSLY pisses me off)
          • "Creationism is the polar opposite of science. You start with a conclusion (God made the Earth and the Bible shows how he did it) and then proceed to find evidence that supports that, as opposed to finding evidence and then making a conclusion based on the evidence."

            I agree with your premise but your explanation is wrong. Both types will go look for facts to support their ideas. The basic difference is that the scientist makes a statement crafted in such a way that it COULD be dis-proved and accepts the f
            • by Belial6 (794905)
              I the infallible, omniscient, and omnipotent Belial6 made the universe 15 seconds ago. Being that I am infallible, my statement must be correct, which proves that it was I, and therefor not you who created the universe. Besides, if you can't even get the age of the universe right, how could you have possibly been the one who created it? See? More evidence to support my statement of fact.

              Now where is my beer?
            • which every time a good article comes out about human origins we degrade to creationism bashing rather than discussing the actual article. But nonetheless we cannot rule out all forms of creationism simply because a person is an atheist or some other hater of religion. There still is are very likely possibilities that could have occurred that these new finds may support regarding evolution. Such as this planet being terraformed or being used as a planting ground for a new species by an older race. Just b
              • My statement the you can not disprove my claim to have created the universe myself was actually in SUPPORT of Creationism. Logically if you could disprove my claim you also disprove all Creationist claims. You can't disprove my claim.

                I don't argue against Creationism. I argue against those who do not differentiate between faith and science. The big difference of course is that science makes FALSIFIABLE claims while faith is a believe in some claim even in the face of good reasons not to. The mainstrea
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Beyond that, Creation Science is NOT science. Science can make predictions. With science you can form an experiment who's result should align with the prediction. If the results of your experiment doesn't match then you have to change your theory.

            So, what does Creation Science or Intelligent Design teach? What does it predict? How can you form an experiment? Can the result from an experiment change the premise? If not then it's not science.

            As the Dover trial [millerandlevine.com] pointed out, all of the "evidence" for

      • This is like saying genealogy has been thrown into question because my grandfather was still alive when I was born. There's no reason than H. habilis could still have survived after H. erectus came on the scene. I mean, how can the Dutch language still exist as a language when some people speak Afrikaans?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by torrentami (853516)
      Actually, this is the prevailing theory of human evolution today. This article is merely throwing another rock on the pile. Check out Mapping Human History [amazon.com] by Steve Olsen (2002).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Yeah, this is ooold. Homo habilis's status as a species of Homo has been challenged many times before this. It has even been called Australopithecus habilis by some researchers. The views on the family tree of the human species are constantly changing, but AFAIK, Homo (?) habilis has for some time not been considered to be on the lineage that leads to us.
  • All lies (Score:3, Funny)

    by The Bungi (221687) * <thebungi@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @10:56PM (#20165733) Homepage
    I know the truth [youtube.com].
  • BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dynamo (6127) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @10:56PM (#20165739) Journal
    It doesn't "challenge" that view at all. Evolution is mutation plus competition, you need the competition part. Of course they co-existed, as must have all consecutive evolution stages in every being's evolution.

    • Re:BS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:05PM (#20165805) Journal
      Indeed. Coexistence of divergent species is fairly common. Coexistence in no solid way rules out one species evolving from another. The reasoning used is not clear.
             
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:07PM (#20165817)
      It talks about "their own distinct ecological niches". Given that we are omnivores, how different could their "ecological niche" have been and still support something that was almost human?

      Humans and other primates have shared the same areas ever since there were humans. Yet we have only recently started wiping out other primates. And it isn't because we are competing with them for the food sources. We wipe out their environment, food sources and all.

      So there thing about "Eventually, one would have out-competed the other." doesn't sound right. "Eventually", maybe. But to say that any conclusions can be derived simply because it had not happened in X years ... that's dumb.
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        Human history tends to indicate we do a bit more than just compete with them for food sources. The reality is, we likely turned the opposition into food sources or at the very least, actively prevented them from exploiting food sources with in our territories.

        P) Vengeance although a somewhat undesirable human characteristic was still very likely influential in the evolution of humans and their societies and in the extinction of competing species.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by elyons (934748)
      Indeed, it is called sympatric speciation. One of the two central concepts on how species arise. The other is allopartic speciation. They different in that the former happens at the same place at the same time. The latter requires some form of geographic isolation, like a river valley. No reason to think that the lineage leading to humans wasn't subjected to this kind of speciation.
    • Really? I thought evolution is more intelligently designed! Like: from tomorrow, each egg will hatch a chicken, not a lizard. (eh, i agree with you, if that wasn't obvious)
      • That lizard I saw last week must be pretty old, then! (it was quite wrinkly - scaly almost - now I think about it).
    • Re:BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by greg_barton (5551) * <[moc.oohay] [ta] [notrab_gerg]> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @02:48AM (#20166821) Homepage Journal

      Evolution is mutation plus competition...

      I know this wasn't the point of your post, but this is a pet peeve of mine. There's mutation, competition, and cooperation, both inter and intra species. We'd be screwed without mitochondria. We'd be screwed without each other. Nonzero sum, mutually beneficial relationships (cooperation) affect evolution, just like the zero sum (competition) ones.

      Carry on. :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by PinkyDead (862370)
      Just read the Metro version of this story: 'African find upsets theory of evolution'.

      My guess is that there was a third species, Homo Stupidus that evolved into journalists.
    • by AftanGustur (7715) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @06:40AM (#20167847) Homepage


      It doesn't "challenge" that view at all. Evolution is mutation plus competition, you need the competition part. Of course they co-existed, as must have all consecutive evolution stages in every being's evolution.

      Exactly my thoughts.

      Think about this, archaeological and genetic evidence points to modern humans having left Africa 50000-100000 years ago. Modern humans are only about 200.000 years old as a species and yet, the Scanvinavians already have lighter skin full facial beards and some other biological features which make them distinct from those who didn't leave Africa.

      We could say that the scandivavians "evolved" from the Africans to suit the cold climate, nonetheless the two are still co-habiting almost everywhere in the world.

      The time period which the article states as a "proof" is 500.000 years long. Just imagine how the scandinavians, ot the inuits might look after 450.000 years if there was no communication between the two groups.

    • Cain and Abel (Score:4, Interesting)

      by CarpetShark (865376) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @07:13AM (#20168005)
      This kind of thing always makes me wonder about the origin of tales that probably come to us from pre-history -- stuff like the Cain and Abel story. I can't help thinking that, at one time, these stories might have told of some much more important historical event than one brother killing another, and that, slowly, over time, they've been watered down into something that everyone understood in their current context -- one guy killing another.
      • his kind of thing always makes me wonder about the origin of tales that probably come to us from pre-history -- stuff like the Cain and Abel story. I can't help thinking that, at one time, these stories might have told of some much more important historical event than one brother killing another, and that, slowly, over time, they've been watered down into something that everyone understood in their current context -- one guy killing another.

        Adam & Eve = hunter/gatherers.
        A few years later (after the dome
    • by jav1231 (539129)
      That's what is nice about the religion of Evolution. The theory itself can evolve to absorbe the truth. Thus, it's always correct. Like an insurance company.
      Oh c'mon take the tongue-in-cheek criticism, don't be so defensive....no?...okay Troll me......or Flamebait me....I know I know.
    • Evolution doeesn't work in the way, humans started using tools so we evolved to walk of two feet, the fact that we started walking on two feet was just down to chance and it happened to be really usefull for tool use then it won out due to survival of the fitest.

      If there was no shortage of food and resources then there's no reason that the pre-humans that didn't walk on two feet would have died out at all so the two species could have quite happley lived together.

      (Sory, the spell checker in firefox has stop
  • Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maelfius (592856) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:01PM (#20165773) Homepage
    After glancing over the TFA it appears that it is shown that the two species simply existed together and one eventually out-competed the other. What isn't definitively shown as not being the case is that the Evolutionary chain didn't also occur with a net result of both species existing at once. An overlap could be caused because both species in different areas (even locals) were well suited for the environment. I guess I could just want to be argumentative after a long day of meetings with the subspecies PHB which is probably more akin to the chimpanzee than anything vaguely human ... in fact I'm sure of that last statement, PHBs are NOT human. Everything has to be black and white -- nothing can be grey in science. The truth is that science is all grey and we want to see in black and white.
    • by lawpoop (604919)

      PHB which is probably more akin to the chimpanzee than anything vaguely human ... in fact I'm sure of that last statement, PHBs are NOT human. Everything has to be black and white -- nothing can be grey in science. The truth is that science is all grey and we want to see in black and white.
      Oh, okay. Does this then explain the existence of the grey aliens, or Greys??

      </sarcasm> ;)
  • Homo Mormonus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:01PM (#20165779) Journal
    If erectus was very sexually dimorphic [sex size diff] it may have had multiple mates at a time. This differs from the more monogamous nature of modern humans, indicating that Homo erectus was not as human-like as once thought.

    Polygomy is and was fairly common in humans.
         
  • by martin-boundary (547041) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:11PM (#20165865)
    "Early Sisters Had No Use For Tools"
  • by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:12PM (#20165873) Homepage Journal
    First, the article makes it clear that the two hominids didn't compete. They operated in different environments and ate different food. Even when primates do operate in similar realms, they can coexist for millions of years - as humans have with chimps and gorillas. The relatively peaceful coexistence of humans and Neanderthals is also well documented. They simply ignored each other. It is also suspected - but unproven - in the case of Homo Florensis. Besides which, even when replacement occurs, it's going to occur slowly. Populations grow exponentially, but only over a vast timeframe. It isn't overnight. The multiple migration theory also suggests that multiple hominid types co-existed, or there wouldn't be distinct populations migrating. (In fact, the mere existence of the theory shows some paleontologists have always believed in multiple co-existing branches.)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:51PM (#20166059)
      Other great apes were evolved for primarily eating fruit (orangutang), veggies (gorillas), or a more mixed diet (chimps). I'd say that human ancestors didn't take to the flatlands all that great but were actually well adapted to rivers and for the style of fishing known as noodling. (Paddle-like foot shape, thinned out body hair, improved hand dexterity, downturned nose, these seem better adapted for mucking in water than walking around on some grassland.) Afterall, in comparison to the great apes we're related to, humans are the only ones that can swim worth a damn. Crocodiles as a competing apex preditor would be a lot more predictable for pre-tool hominid primates than any lion, jaguar, or hyena. (Easy enough to get out of the water when crocs are around, but good luck outrunning one of those large cats.) Also there's likely more protein to be had from fish than any small grassland type creature that could be caught until toolmaking became more mainstream.

      Now if only an actual anthropologist would pick up on that idea...
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        I have read that before. Well something close to it anyways. They didn't use it to explain why humans were different but more to why we likely won't find a link or th common ancestor in which we all split. The hypothesized that our common ancestor was along those lines you mentioned and we stuck to it in early times only to branch outwards once water levels started rising and falling rapidly. Sort of like the wet seasons in Africa desserts.

        I wish I could remember the girls name. She had some interesting poi
      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @05:23AM (#20167503) Journal
        It is known as the Aquatic Ape Theory. [wikipedia.org] The mainstream anthropological view is that it is not correct. I still think most objections would disappear if you postulate partially aquatic near fresh water lakes instead of 100% aquatic life in salt water. But still, intriguing as it is, and as much as I would like to believe it is correct, the AAH (they have demoted it from theory to hypothesis) is not the current mainstream view.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MightyMartian (840721)
          It's not the mainstream view because there is no meaningful or substantive evidence for it. The AAT crowd has to do more than provide just-so stories.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Lariat (809245)
        I think they have, actually. Of course, Desmond Morris (zoologist, rather than anthropologist) entertained the idea in the widely read
        • The Naked Ape
        , but there's been other work in the same vein. At the end of the day, it's not entertained seriously because it's simply not credible--it doesn't hold up to serious criticism. You might start with http://www.aquaticape.org/ [aquaticape.org]
      • by mcvos (645701)

        I'd say that human ancestors didn't take to the flatlands all that great but were actually well adapted to rivers and for the style of fishing known as noodling. (Paddle-like foot shape, thinned out body hair, improved hand dexterity, downturned nose, these seem better adapted for mucking in water than walking around on some grassland.)

        Actually, humans are (one of?) the best long distance runners in the animal kingdom. Why would fishers need to be able to run for days on the plains? Maybe somewhere so

  • by sc0p3 (972992) <jaredbroad@PLANC ... minus physicist> on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:15PM (#20165887) Homepage Journal
    my coworkers provide plenty of evidence to debunk evolution
  • tool users? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:27PM (#20165945) Homepage
    What is with the obsession with tools? Plenty of animals use tools. Humans aren't unique in that respect.

    There is a saying amongst psychologists that at some point, each must come up with a reason why humans are fundamentally different from the other animals, only for someone to eventually prove them wrong.
    • Re:tool users? (Score:4, Informative)

      by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @12:42AM (#20166233) Journal
      Technically, there are examples of animals using tools. The chimp using the stick to get at termites is the commonly cited one. They even show an ability to select the best stick to use, and modify it to some extent. However, there's a big difference between fishing out termites with a stick, or using a leg bone as a cudgel to challenge a competing tribe for domination of a watering hole, and making things like hand axes, shovels, or bowls. Humans make tools that require many complex steps, most tool users in nature just pick things up off the ground. It's not a binary situation; humans and animals are all on a continuum of technical skill and complexity. Relative distance is what distinguishes us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Crows have been observed to construct tools [nationalgeographic.com] as well. In fact, they fashion more complex tools than chimps. They've learned different designs by copying other birds, and they pass their tool-building knowledge down through the generations.

        Tool construction and use is not a uniquely human trait, it's not even unique to primates.
      • by G-funk (22712)
        Capuchins carry heavy river stones many kilometres to use them as nutcrackers.
    • It's not an obsession; it just happened to be the one of the many distinguishing traits of the species that was used to name it. The summary calling homo habilis the "tool users" and homo erectus the "upright humans" is because that is what the latin names of the species translate or allude to.
    • Re:tool users? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eddy (18759) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @03:44AM (#20167037) Homepage Journal

      >There is a saying amongst psychologists that at some point, each must come up with a reason why humans are fundamentally different from the other animals, only for someone to eventually prove them wrong.

      I accept your challenge!

      "Humans are fundamentally different from other animals, because we can travel into space using only tools we built."

      • Re:tool users? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @03:53AM (#20167073) Journal
        "Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man-for precisely the same reason."

        H2G2 -- Douglas Adams
      • There is a saying amongst psychologists that at some point, each must come up with a reason why humans are fundamentally different from the other animals, only for someone to eventually prove them wrong.
        I accept your challenge!

        "Humans are fundamentally different from other animals, because we can travel into space using only tools we built."
        I can't.
      • I accept your challenge!

        "Humans are fundamentally different from other animals, because we can travel into space using only tools we built."
        And chimps got into space while letting us do all the work. Who looks smarter now? Damn chimps, just like my lab partners.
      • "Humans are fundamentally different from other animals, because we can travel into space using only tools we built."
        From a psychological view, this really could be nothing more than a very slight improvement in intelligence compared to other animals, not something fundamentally different.
  • We do science right! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Webs 101 (798265) on Wednesday August 08, 2007 @11:29PM (#20165959) Homepage
    When writing the binomial nomenclature of a species, you capitalize the genus but not the species. Therefore, the correct way to right this would be "Homo erectus" and "H. habilis".

    Next, both species walked very much erect. The primary difference between them is the skull and brain.

    The BBC got it right. there's no reason the submitter, or Slashdot, should not have gotten it right, too.

    As to the science, the wisest words in TFA come from Professor Spoor (snicker):

    "It's always possible that Homo habilis lived, let's say, 2.5 million years ago and then in another part of Africa, away from the Turkana basin, an isolated population evolved into Homo erectus."

    After a sufficient amount of time to allow both species to develop different adaptations and lifestyles, Homo erectus could have then found its way to the Turkana basin.

    Of course, that assumes the new skull really is H. erectus, which is dubious. Maybe it was an H. erectus ancestor, small like H. habilis but with an H. erectus-like brain.

    Why yes, I do have a degree in physical anthropology. Thank you for asking.

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @12:08AM (#20166133)
    ...why monkeys aren't extinct. If it's survival of the fittest and we are clearly superior to monkeys, why are they still here? They should have died-out a long time ago!
    • I know you're joking, but let me reply seriously anyway.

      In my theory of evolution, it's not so much that "the fittest survive," but that "those that fit survive." There's a feedback loop that occurs in the environment. Those that benefit themselves, others, and the environment as a whole tend to survive and evolve more readily than those that form an adversarial relationship to others and the environment.

      Monkeys still exist because there have been - and remain - plenty of habitats that are beneficial to the
      • It has long been understood that evolution tends towards less specialization and more generalization as environments rapidly change and become more diverse and challenging, and as species range further. The necessity of mental abstraction and self-alienation will become more evident as we delve into our more recent evolution. (And from this will come insights into the need for our so-called "religious practices" that semi-moderate this alienation. But that's a topic for another day!)

        No not really. phenotype
      • by mcvos (645701)

        In my theory of evolution, it's not so much that "the fittest survive," but that "those that fit survive."

        That's a coincidence! It's the same in Darwin's theory of evolution! (Ofcourse you have to realise that you don't fit anymore once someone else eats your food before you get the chance to.)

        Those that benefit themselves, others, and the environment as a whole tend to survive and evolve more readily than those that form an adversarial relationship to others and the environment.

        Those that are

      • by mcvos (645701)
        (re-posting the properly formatted version of my post; I really should learn to use the preview button)

        In my theory of evolution, it's not so much that "the fittest survive," but that "those that fit survive."

        That's a coincidence! It's the same in Darwin's theory of evolution! (Ofcourse you have to realise that you don't fit anymore once someone else eats your food before you get the chance to.)

        Those that benefit themselves, others, and the environment as a whole tend to survive and evolve more re

    • by cioxx (456323)

      ...why monkeys aren't extinct. If it's survival of the fittest and we are clearly superior to monkeys, why are they still here? They should have died-out a long time ago!

      Man (Homo sapiens) did not evolve from a "monkey." Modern humans and apes share a common ancestor (NOT a monkey) and apes are the closest genetic relatives humans have in the nature.

      It's also wrong to say that humans are "clearly superior" to monkeys. The superiority is only measured by your reproductive success. By this measure, insects

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by meglon (1001833)
      "....and we are clearly superior to monkeys...."

      You obviously have not been keeping up on world events....
    • by nanoakron (234907)
      Taking this submitter's comment in another light, it's actually an astute critique of one of the news report's main arguments against direct descent.

      News report: H. erectus and habilis couldn'tve lived side-by-side because one would outcompete the other.

      Submitter: Monkeys live alongside species with superior intelligence, but they haven't been 'outcompeted'.

      So I'd give subby +1, insightful.
    • by pkphilip (6861)
      You raise an interesting point. Actually, it raises multiple interesting points.

      About monkeys themselves - humans are not considered to have evolved from monkeys but the great apes. Specifically, chimpanzees are supposed to be our close ancestors.

      http://www.unisci.com/stories/20013/0712011.htm [unisci.com]

      The earliest chimpanzee fossils date from 500000 years ago near fossils of Homo erectus or Homo rhodensiensis. So it is considered that chimpanzees and Homo erectus were contemporaries.
      http://www.newscientist.com/artic [newscientist.com]
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by deleveld (607488)
        I hardly think its a mystery why chimps havent evolved and we have. Chimps have remained unchanged while humans have evolved because we dont (and probably didnt) occupy the same niche. Chimps dont have the right kind of evolutionary pressure. Chimps seem to reproduce just fine from generation-on-generation without any important advantage of brain size. Humans with tiny brains dont reproduce well, hence the evolutionary pressure for (sufficient for good human reproduction) larger brain sizes.

        Chimps see

    • I know that's a joke but monkey are very close to extinction and humans are more than 6 billion, so yes, it's the survival of the fittest and humans are clearly the fittest.
  • by wamerocity (1106155) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @12:13AM (#20166147) Journal
    from the creationism museum that they lived with Velociraptors.
  • by jshriverWVU (810740) on Thursday August 09, 2007 @01:01AM (#20166327)
    "Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis,"

    I don't see why co-existence would discount evolving from Homo Habilis. Since after all if we really did evolve from primates, there would be no primates today under this logic.

    It' still possible that some Homo Habilis evolved into Homo erectus while others remained homo habilis. Just as monkeys evolved into whatever became the H. Habilis, yet monkeys still exist.

    • I don't see why co-existence would discount evolving from Homo Habilis. Since after all if we really did evolve from primates, there would be no primates today under this logic. It' still possible that some Homo Habilis evolved into Homo erectus while others remained homo habilis. Just as monkeys evolved into whatever became the H. Habilis, yet monkeys still exist.

      As far as I understand it, in order for one species to split into two distinct species the original group has to be split up into two distin

  • All they have found here is evidence of very early archaeology: an H. erectus unearthed the fascinating bones of a young H. habilis ancestor, but got caught off guard by the sabretooth and never got to report his shocking discovery. Archaeology was set back a million years by a sabretooth!
  • by Yusaku Godai (546058) <{hyuga} {at} {guardian-hyuga.net}> on Thursday August 09, 2007 @08:50AM (#20169041) Homepage
    ...is not that H. habilis and H. erectus may have coexisted. It's been believed for some time that the direct lineage of H. habilis -> H. erectus may be naive. To quote the Scientific American article [sciam.com] on the finding:

    "Many of us have already abandoned this simple scheme" of habilis begetting erectus, says paleoanthropologist Philip Rightmire of Binghamton University in New York State and Harvard University, who was not involved in the study. "For me, it seems increasingly reasonable to suppose that a habilislike creature managed to disperse from Africa into Eurasia, sometime prior to 1.8 [million] to 1.7 [million years ago]."

    Anyways, the real story here is the incredibly poor coverage of this finding by the mainstream press. The BBC article linked to here isn't so bad, but just go to Google News and look at some of the headlines, in what I would consider increasing order of ridiculousness:

    "Fossil find casts doubt on origins of man"
    "new theory on the dawn of humanity"
    "Fossils Paint Messy Picture of Evolution"
    "Fossil Discoveries Challenge Theory of Human Evolution"
    "Darwin's rolling over"

    They make it look like this is somehow a CHALLENGE to THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION ITSELF. In other words, "let's take some story we don't really understand, but it hey it has the word 'evolution' in it, so we can manipulate this to stir up that ol' hornet's nest and sell papers!"

    I think this is the most disappointing example in a while of the sorry state of science journalism.
  • According to original article in Nature [nature.com].

    Anagenetic means one type of an organism is a direct descendant of the other type without splitting. Co-existance by definition eliminates that, meaning the individuals that lived at the same time are not descendants of one another but descendants of earlier generations. If you and I are of the same age, I cannot be your father and vice versa, but we still can share the same father, grandfather, etc...

    This is is because of the mess with nomenclature which essentially

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