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Showing posts from October 29, 2004

Say you want an evolution

October 28 Charles darwin, you there? Scientists have just discovered a new human species that once lived in the Indonesian island of Flores, and this could radically alter the accepted theory of human evolution. These ‘human hobbits’, standing three feet tall and having tennis ball-sized brains, apparently inhabited Flores where dwarf elephants and giant rats roamed — a time when pre-historic man was busy colonising the world — before dying out less than 18,000 years ago. What the discovery suggests is that the closest living relative of humans is not human at all — it’s an ape. There was never a simple evolutionary path that led to modern humans, or Homo sapiens. Instead, early humans branched off into several forms. So in a not-too-distant past, two very different human species walked the Earth at the same time. The Flores Man’s physical structure endorses an important scientific theory (even as it trashes another). For the dwarf form of these apemen, who were direct desc