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China Science

Possible New Human Species Discovered In China 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the family-tree-gets-another-branch dept.
BayaWeaver writes "These are exciting times in anthropology. Recent analysis of fossils first discovered in China in 1979 indicate that a human-like species may have co-existed with modern humans as late as 11,500 years ago. This presumably new species has been nicknamed Red Deer Cave people because of their apparent taste for the extinct giant red deer. Other species recently discovered include: the 'hobbits' on the Indonesian island of Flores which are also thought to have been around until 12,000 years ago and the Denisovans discovered in 2010 that co-existed with modern humans in Siberia about 30,000 years ago."
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Possible New Human Species Discovered In China

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  • by ace37 (2302468) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:11PM (#39358867) Homepage

    We have Pygmies today across Africa. They've endured a lot of human rights issues over the years, and theories are out suggesting Iodine deficiencies are related to their short stature.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmies [wikipedia.org]

    Why do we see papers about recent human evolutionary theory only when it pertains to extinct peoples? Are the currently living pygmies less studied simply because anthropologists aren't interested in living people, and nobody else is into these fields of science?

  • Re:Fascinating! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Empiric (675968) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:50PM (#39359237)
    For those understanding the meaning of "allegory" (or who avoid pretending they don't to repeat a joke that was old for Slashdot 10 years ago), and/or very basic standard Judeo-Christian symbolism I'll just leave this here...

    Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted outside of the Father, but being unsound, it will be pulled up by its roots and destroyed."

    --Gospel of Thomas, Saying 40

    Slashdot's own Mr. Extracanonical, checking in.
  • Re:Fascinating! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jd (1658) <imipak&yahoo,com> on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:52PM (#39359249) Homepage Journal

    Possibly they did. By many of the paintings, there are symbols etched/painted. These are generally ignored, but it is entirely possible that this was proto-writing and new research is going into studying them.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/mar/11/cave-painting-symbols-language-evolution [guardian.co.uk]

  • Re:Fascinating! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @07:56PM (#39359277) Journal

    The alphabet was certainly the next big innovation, phonetic, easier to learn, could be applied to different languages without all the awkwardness one found in applying Sumerian systems to unrelated languages like Akkadian. In the history of writing it was the next big thing up until the printing press. Still, you have to give the earliest inventors of writing the credit, it still stands in my mind as the greatest single achievement of the human mind, from it springing pretty much everything we see today.

  • by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Wednesday March 14, 2012 @08:07PM (#39359353) Journal

    The question "are these sufficiently different to be two species" is inherently a fuzzy one. We tend to be a bit more picky when dealing with our near relatives, so we might call these a different species when for two squirrel groups with a similar level of difference we might call them subspecies. I've seen it argued that an objective taxonomist would put humans, chimps and gorillas all in the same genus, we've classified this lineage into four - gorilla, pan, homo and (extinct) austalopithecus.

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