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Why is the recent dating of Homo Naledi to 250 kya a problem?


From Colin Barras at New Scientist:

Our earliest hominin ancestors lived at least seven million years ago. The first species to look a little like modern humans appeared between about two and three million years ago.

But our own species – Homo sapiens – evolved about 200,000 years ago.

So, if H. naledi lived 300,000 to 200,000 years ago that’s a remarkable discovery.

It means that a species of human with some surprisingly primitive features – including a tiny skull and brain – survived into the relatively recent past. Conceivably, H. naledi might even have met early members of our species, H. sapiens. One could even speculate we had something to do with it going extinct. More.

It also means that we should avoid dogmatism, especially about stuff like brain size and smartness. Didn’t Naledi probably bury their dead?

On the other hand, maybe a novel.

See also: Homo Naledi: Hawks accuses Shermer of murdering facts/a>

The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise

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

Human origins: The war of trivial explanations

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Neanderthals are apparently older than "H. naledi", since they dominated Eurasia for 250,000 years and only disappeared 50,000 years ago or so. So, how did a "species" MUCH more advanced than H. naledi SUDDENLY appear (POOF!) in Europe without any trace of an ancestor? And why is it that ALL living humans, excepting sub-Saharan Africans, carry Neanderthal DNA? Modern human life on Earth has MUCH more to do with the appearance of Neanderthals than finding yet another chimpoid skull in Africa. As others have asked: if H. sapiens evolved from chimps, why are there still chimps? mahuna

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