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New Ancient Human Identified 148

krou writes "Working on a finger-bone that was discovered in the Denisova Cave of Siberia's Altai mountains in 2008, Johannes Krause from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and colleagues managed to extract mitochondrial DNA. They compared it to the genetic code of modern humans and other known Neanderthals and discovered a new type of hominin that lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago. Professor Chris Stringer, human origins researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said, 'This new DNA work provides an entirely new way of looking at the still poorly-understood evolution of humans in central and eastern Asia.' The last common ancestor of the hominid (dubbed 'X-Woman'), humans and Neanderthals seems to have been about one million years ago."
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New Ancient Human Identified

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  • by PakProtector ( 115173 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {vikvec}> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:12AM (#31607386) Journal

    There is only one extant species of Homo, and that's Homo sapiens. People like you are what give Anthropology a bad name. The pressures on the minds of those who lived in Europe have been the same as those on people who lived in Africa have been the same as those who lived in Asia -- outwitting other human beings, and struggling against a hostile universe.

    There are plenty of trivial physical differences between the different 'races', and that's just what they are -- trivial. Superficial. Unimportant. My mind is the same as the mind of a child growing up in China is the same as the mind of a woman in Europe.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:23AM (#31607426)

    We aren't talking about modern day humans. The article, which I'll assume you have already read, is about a possible species separate and distinct from homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis that may have existed in Eastern Europe a long long time ago. The article also discusses the "Hobbit" of Southeast Asia which lived alongside homo sapiens for thousands of years.

    If, as the article suggests, there was interbreeding going on, then the genes would be passed along to offspring. Given that long range mobility has only recently become possible, these pockets of special genes would have remained in the same area for a long time, even after the original species disappeared.

    But you read the article, so I'm just telling you what you already read and disagree with. Silly me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:33AM (#31607454)

    Highly unlikely. More likely a case of convergent evolution if anything at all.

    By the way, how do we know that Neanderthals had those features? They might have had based on the shape of their skulls, but that's all guesses and extrapolations, since no-one has seen a live one.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @01:34AM (#31607456)

    You can tell this story is going to lead the 5am ET local news tomorrow... what? Nobody cares? Okay... next story please, Mr. Editor.

    This is news for nerds. Science, including anthropology, is of interest to some of the nerds. Therefore, this story belongs here, even if you personally don't happen to find it interesting.

    Since you have an UID, you could simply hide science stories in your settings rather than complain.

  • by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @02:49AM (#31607736)
    Uh... credentials mean nothing. Refuting a statement with facts means more.
  • by Chakra5 ( 1417951 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @04:41AM (#31608118)
    You may indeed have a valid point to make, but I have to agree this isn't it. Not only is this an appeal to authority [wikipedia.org], but the actual "authority" isn't even included.
  • by zacronos ( 937891 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @08:59AM (#31609344)

    "For example, if you get less nutrients growing up you likely aren't going to be as smart as someone else who does get enough nutrients."

    Whoooo boy let me show you my medical history, then let me show you what I do for a living, and you'll be retracting that statement pretty rapidly, I will guarantee it.

    So according to you, a single anecdote (which you claimed you could -- but didn't actually -- provide) disproves a general statement that includes the word "likely"? Granted, I wouldn't have phrased it as GP did, but I generally agree with what GP was trying to say.

    How about this: "All else being equal, someone who gets less nutrients growing up almost certainly isn't going to be as smart as that same person would have been if they had had enough nutrients at crucial points in their development." If you think you're smart now with very poor nutrition when you were young, I simply posit that it is highly likely you would have been smarter had your nutrition been significantly better.

  • by jbezorg ( 1263978 ) on Thursday March 25, 2010 @12:07PM (#31612084)

    Assuming you're one of the parties this is of interest to, let me ask this: of what significance is this find, outside of anthropological circles? Unless it leads us to the missing link, what effect does this knowledge have on the world? What does it change? I suspect that may have been more of what GP's point was.

    Okay, who forgot to shut the door? Looks like a bean counter looking for ROI found their way in.

    When two Bedouin boys stumbled upon some old papers in a cave at Qumran, I will bet money that they no idea of the significance of their find either.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson