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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