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The “mysterious” Denisovans are ScienceNews’s top 2019 story


But their significance is understated:

Ancient DNA evidence reported this year suggests that Denisovans fanned out into three genetically separate lines that mated with various human groups in Asia. That finding played into an emerging view of human evolution as a braided stream, with closely related species flowing into and out of genetic exchanges.

But testing that possibility requires finding more Denisovan fossils. The discovery of two pieces of a skull in the Siberian cave, reported this year, gave a glimpse of the anatomy that the ghost clan brought to the ancient hybridization scene (SN: 4/27/19, p. 15). The bone’s surprising thickness recalls H. erectus — a species dating back at least 1.8 million years. Yet a newly identified chunk of the girl’s finger bone looks like people’s digits today (SN: 9/28/19, p. 14).

DongJu Zhang, “Mysterious Denisovans emerged from the shadows in 2019” at ScienceNews

Traditional Darwinism requires that someone be the subhuman Now that we are talking about braided streams, who exactly is the subhuman?

Can we play musical chairs if there is a chair for everybody?

See also: In any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history.


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