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Todd Wood on whether homo Naledi buried their dead

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From Human Genesis:

So that leaves intentional burial, not necessarily because burial makes perfect sense but because everything else makes much less sense. After all, it is really hard to imagine why Homo naledi would crawl so far underground to bury their dead. If they did access the cave, they must have been able to use fire well. They must have advanced beyond just making a fire to making functional torches or lamps. The fact that these bodies were deposited over time even suggests that there was a cultural transmission going on: Older Homo naledi must have taught the younger ones where to take dead bodies and how to get into the Dinaledi chamber.

As mentioned above, the intentional burial hypothesis (or “body disposal” as Lee Berger prefers) was met with a lot of resistance. Some objections were really sort of condescending by suggesting that the researchers really hadn’t done a good job. People suggested that they missed “the second opening” to the Dinaledi chamber, which is disrespectful. Other objections were just ignorant. Armchair speculators said, “Maybe they got transported by water into the Dinaledi chamber,” an idea that we really can rule out completely, since there’s no evidence of those kind of deposits in the muck of the cave. Other objections were little more than incredulity – how could something with a brain the size of an orange exhibit such an “advanced” and complicated behavior? Personal incredulity isn’t necessarily a compelling argument, though.

In the end then, it seems that intentional burial, as surprising as it is, is the most likely explanation of how these creatures got in this cave. Until someone comes up with a better explanation that accounts for all of the evidences above, the burial hypothesis will continue to be favored. More.

See also: Biochemist Todd Wood on homo Naledi burials

Homo Naledi: Hawks accuses Shermer of murdering facts


Early human religion: A 747 built in the basement with an X-Acto knife

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3 Replies to “Todd Wood on whether homo Naledi buried their dead

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    Pearlman says:

    Per RCCF
    These caves were not formed until the 1656 AM Mabul year and or during the ice age ‘aftershocks’ flooding over the next 340 years.
    So assuming burials either during or not too long after the end of the ice age.
    Abraham who practiced cave burial not that long thereafter, was born with 48/340 of the ice age to go, based on year count alone, would have known, or at the least knew those who knew this group.
    reference the recent complex creation framework (RCCF) for the leading edge science on how to best calibrate the facts for a chronology without deep-time doctrine dogma fudge factor.

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    bornagain77 says:

    Hominid Hype and Homo naledi: A Unique “Species” of Unclear Evolutionary Importance – Casey Luskin – September 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Even Berger admits, “It doesn’t look a lot like us.” He also states: “There may be debate over the Homo designation” since “the species is quite different from anything else we have seen.”,,,
    Schwartz himself wrote a scathing op-ed in Newsweek, “Why the Homo Naledi Discovery May Not Be Quite What it Seems.” He argued that “Homo naledi” may in fact represent multiple species, and probably doesn’t belong in Homo:

    Why the Homo Naledi Discovery May Not Be Quite What it Seems – Professor Jeffrey H. Schwartz -9/10/15
    Excerpt: Enter the newly announced species, Homo naledi, which is claimed to be our direct ancestor because it has features of australopiths and Homo.,,,
    but, the published images tell a different story.
    Viewed from the side, two partial skulls are long and low, with a long gently sloping forehead that flows smoothly into the brow – nothing like us, or most specimens regarded as Homo. A third partial skull is very short and rounded, with a high-rising forehead that is distinguished from a distinct, well-defined brow by a shallow gutter – not like the other skulls, and not like us or most specimens regarded as Homo. The femur has a small head (the ball end that fits in the hip socket) that is connected to the shaft of the bone by a long neck, and, below the neck, is a “bump” of bone that points backward. These features are seen in every australopith femur. In us, and all other living primates, the head of the femur is large and the neck short, and the “bump” points inward. Further, the teeth are very similar to those from a nearby fossil site that has yielded various kinds of australopith.,,,
    – Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz PhD is professor of biological anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    podcast – Nate Herbst of The God Solution interviews Casey Luskin on the recent Homo naledi find. Luskin discusses claims of where Homo naledi fits into the fossil record and whether or not it buried its dead, ultimately answering the question, “Is Homo naledi a human ancestor?”

    As to the claim that the cave that Homo Naledi was found in was some type of ‘chamber for the dead’ and the claim that ‘these ancient people took enormous trouble to conceal their dead’, on facebook retired scientist Edgar Andrews said, and I agree with him, that he has ‘lot of skepticism’ about that particular claim:

    “As a scientist myself, I treat the recent reports from S. Africa about a new “missing link” between apes and humans with a lot of scepticism. According to the UK BBC report the cave where these bones were found contained randomly scattered fragments of bone and is extremely inaccessible (only the smallest women archaeologists can get to it.) It was then claimed that this shows that these ancient people took enormous trouble to conceal their dead. But if you’re going to finish up scattering bones randomly you would hardly go to so much trouble to ‘bury’ the skeletons in the first place. It seems to me far more likely that the bones were carried into these remote caves by flood waters (as often observed in so-called fossil graveyards) and the original skeletons broken up in the process. It also means that the bones of humans and apes could have finished up in the same deposit … easily giving rise to erroneous composite creatures being reconstructed from the pieces on the assumption that this is an intentional burial site. It will be interesting to know if bones from any other animal species were found there.”
    Edgar Andrews – UCL – Class of 1953 · BSc, PhD, DSc · Physics · London, United Kingdom

    podcast Hour 2 – Casey Luskin on Eric Metaxas’s radio show
    The Discovery Institute’s Research Coordinator, Casey Luskin, talks about evolution, Adam & Eve, human origins, and the recent discovery in South Africa of a potentially new species, Homo Naledi.

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    If you want to learn what a complete sham human evolution really is, and what a sham Homo naledi is, this book will shock you:

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