Human evolution Intelligent Design

Ancient human group as a “cold case” nearly half a million years ago?

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This would be a great film, so long as someone other than Hollywood made it:

From the scene, authorities recovered DNA, a stone handaxe and more than 7,000 scattered bones, including a bashed human skull. It was a case for the ages. But there was one complication: the events unfolded 430,000 years ago.

The evidence was unearthed by anthropologists beginning in the 1980s at Sima de los Huesos — the “pit of bones” — in Spain’s Atapuerca mountains. The spectacular cave chamber, nearly 100 feet below the surface, has yielded remains from at least 28 hominin individuals. Ancient DNA analysis of the fossils — the oldest human genetic code ever sequenced — indicates that these people were ancestors to Neanderthals.

After more than three decades of research, the remains have revealed much about Neanderthal evolution. But the circumstances surrounding the group’s death and burial remains contentious. Found in a jumble at the base of a 45-foot chute, some say the bodies were deliberately dropped there after meeting violent ends — a Stone Age cold case.

Bridget Alex, “The Sima Hominins: An Ancient Human Cold Case” at Discover Magazine

Read the rest and write your own mystery novel.

See also: Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents

and

A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?

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6 Replies to “Ancient human group as a “cold case” nearly half a million years ago?

  1. 1
    Ed George says:

    News, you might want to correct your title. 430,000 years is half a million years, not half a billion.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Canadian exchange rate may apply… 🙂

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    OK, I think somebody’s got ENTIRELY the wrong focus here. We have a cave in SPAIN (not Ethiopia) FILLED with the half-million year old bones of MODERN humans, and the only question they can think of is: How did the bones GET there? How about “How did the NEANDERTHALS get there?”

  4. 4
    News says:

    Thanks, Ed George at 1. That’s what happens when you ask a cat to proofread. Corrected. 😉

  5. 5
    Mimus says:

    Vmahuna ,

    These are Homo heidelbergensis remains, which are known from Africa to Great Britain and the Far East. This is just part of the range of this species at this time.

  6. 6
    doubter says:

    The unmentioned “elephant in the room” is the implicit implication of the genetic relatedness of these ancient hominins to present humans. The bottom line is that some sort of evolutionary process (that included large saltationary jumps in complexity that are unexplainable via Darwinistic processes) seems to have actually happened, leading to our existence. Also inevitably leading to the mysteries of how the many uniquely human characteristics actually came about, like the origin of language, art, culture, primitive to advanced spiritual understandings, etc.

    The enterprise of ID does not seem to have really come to grips with this, the reality of the human evolutionary process (as opposed to special creation). It seems to tiptoe around the issue, beyond repeatedly pointing out the continuing explanatory failures of the various sciences involved – paleontology, anthropology, genetics and so on. Especially the continuing situation of many apparent “missing links” despite many new fossil discoveries.

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