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Humans roamed Crete 6 million years ago?


So a controversial footprint suggests. From Per Ahlberg & Matthew Robert Bennett at RealClearScience:

If – and for many it is a big if – the tracks of Trachilos [current apparent ancestor] were indeed made by an early human ancestor, then the biogeographical range of our early ancestors would increase to encompass the eastern Mediterranean. Crete was not an island at this time but attached to the Greek mainland, and the environment of the Mediterranean region was very different from now.

The discovery comes just months after another study reported the discovery of 7m-year-old Greek and Bulgarian fossil teeth from a hominin ape dubbed “El Graeco”. This is the oldest fossil of a human-like ape, which has led some to suggest that humans started to evolve in Europe hundreds of thousands of years before they started to evolve in Africa. But many scientists have remained sceptical about this claim – as are we. The presence of Miocene hominids in Europe and Africa simply shows that both continents are possible “homelands” for the group. In theory, El Graeco could be responsible for the Trachilos foorprints but without any limb or foot bones it is impossible to tell. More.

Sounds like bad business conditions for splintering lecterns with the Truth about Human Evolution.

Also: from Matthew Robert Bennett and Per Ahlberg at the Conversation:

The period corresponds to a geological time interval known as the Miocene. The footprints are small tracks made by someone walking upright on two legs – there are 29 of them in total. They range in size from 94mm to 223mm, and have a shape and form very similar to human tracks. Non-human ape footprints look very different; the foot is shaped more like a human hand, with the big toe attached low on the side of the sole and sticking out sideways.

See also: Fossil human footprints challenge established theories: Non-ape feet ScienceDaily on same find


New Scientist: Evolution “more baffling than we thought” We all smack our heads … whodathunkit?

Oh, and it should be obvious that the reference to modern humans includes only those humans born after 1986. ;-) -Q Querius
vmahuna, Yes, I read the article and I was being sarcastic. -Q Querius
I don’t see how anyone can be confused by the conclusions: modern humans were living WELL north of Africa millions of years before the earliest accepted human evidence in Africa.
I honestly can't tell if this is sarcasm. Are we agreed that the authors are not actually talking about the possibility of modern humans existing 6 million years ago? daveS
DaveS & Querius, did you read the article AT ALL? The people making the claim are EXPERTS in deciphering footprints. And NO APE, living or dead, has the VERY human foot that made the tracks. I don't see how anyone can be confused by the conclusions: modern humans were living WELL north of Africa millions of years before the earliest accepted human evidence in Africa. But one thing that is not mentioned is that the DNA of humans from Africa shows unique bits that differ from ALL other humans alive today. That is, Europeans and Asians have a subset of African DNA WITH LOCAL MODIFICATIONS. If humans originated in Europe, then European DNA would be the baseline, and all Africans would have pieces of European DNA with local AFRICAN modifications. So I conclude that at some point archeologists will find 7 million year old HUMAN fossils in Africa. Ann Gauger makes it clear in her book that there are ZERO intermediate fossils in Africa. There are fossils that correspond to "modern" humans (Homo erectus) and there are fossils of extinct apes. The team that found the Lucy fossils originally described them as "a small gorilla". But of course you get a WHOLE lot more public attention if you claim that Lucy is an ancient HUMAN. So the press releases switched to Lucy being human. vmahuna
Yes, the title is wildly speculative. From what we already know, the tracks were obviously made by a small ape whose feet appear to be a good example of either convergent evolution or an important part of the evolutionary changes that led to the appearance of modern humans in Africa 125,000 years ago. If we could just find a bone fragment, we could be sure. -Q Querius
Hm. The headlines in the original article (and here) suggest a more sensational finding than is actually reported. I wonder if the authors wrote the original headline? daveS

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