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Preview: Fossil Hominids - the evidence for human evolution

Fossil Hominids - the evidence for human evolution

An overview of human evolution, summarizing current thinking and describing the fossil evidence, along with lots of other material on human evolution. Also refutes many creationist arguments about human evolution.


The Dmanisi Skeleton
In 2007, the discovery of

The Hobbit on Darwin Day
A few months ago I attended a talk by Professor Colin Groves of the Australian National University: 'An update on

More hobbit fossils from Flores
The latest rounds have been fired in the war over the interpretation of the "Hobbit" fossils from Indonesia that were announced in 2004. The hobbit discoverers have published details on some new fossils: more arm bones from the original skeleton, another jaw bone, and many pieces from other individuals. According to them (and some other commentators), the new fossils confirm that the hobbit was a typical member of its population, and not an aberrant individual (in fact, some bones come from an individual smaller than the first hobbit). ...

Blog challenges
Recently I've been on a couple of blogs, challenging creationists to classify some of the more problematical (for them) specimens from the hominid fossil record. Let's see if I get much of a response...

Ape to Man
A link to a review of Ape to Man, a new documentary from the History Channel.

At the Mega Conference
My thoughts about Jason Rosenhouse's report on a talk about hominid fossils from the creationist Mega Conference

Pygmies on Flores
There's an interesting story in Time about some modern inhabitants of the Indonesian island of Flores who are extremely small and live near the Liang Bua cave where Homo floresiensis was found. Interestingly, they seem to think their ancestors lived in the Liang Bua cave. The scientists who think that the hobbit was merely a microcephalic small modern human are of course greatly heartened by this development, but the scientists who discovered the hobbit are standing firm that it is a new species, and presumably find it merely coincidental. A quote from one of them: "Of course, there are small-bodied people on Flores, but they don't have brains one-third the size of ours, or unusually shaped pelvises or very long arms like H. floresiensis. This controversy doesn't look like ending any time soon.

Creationists and Dmanisi
Three new hominid skulls from Dmanisi cover the gap that creationist Marvin Lubenow claims separates humans from apes. How does Lubenow handle them in the new edition of his book Bones of Contention?

April National Geographic
The April National Geographic is definitely worth getting if you're interested in hominids. There's an article on the hobbits, Homo floresiensis, and another article about the Dmanisi hominids from Georgia; in particular, a new skull has been discovered there. The new skull is of interest because it is almost entirely toothless, suggesting that the individual must have received considerable support from his companions. This skull was also published on this month (Lordkipanidze et al. 2005, Nature, 434:717).

April Fool: Neandertal music!
The April 1997 issue of Discover magazine had a pretty good April Fool's joke about some Neandertal musical instruments that had supposedly been discovered in Germany. It was an unlikely collection, featuring bagpipes, a tuba, a triangle and a 'xylobone', along with a cave painting of marching musicians. Some creationists, however, didn't get the joke ...

An Aboriginal as Neandertal
Today's copy of

Latest Hobbit developments
There's a new paper out on the brain of Homo floresiensis, which concludes that it really is a new species; there are a number of new article about the debate over the fossils; and the fossils have finally been returned to their owners.

The 'Neandertal' Hoax
It has recently been reported that German scientist Reiner Protsch had committed a number of scientific frauds. Protsch apparently could not even operate his own carbon-dating equipment, and routinely made up dates for bones that had been sent to him for dating, often giving recent specimens dates that were much too old.

Homo floresiensis on Darwin Day
Some new information about Homo floresiensis, from a talk given by Colin Groves at the National Museum of Australia on Feb 12th.

A Response to Bergman
In my misquotes page, I documented an erroneous quote by Jerry Bergman in a 1993 article on Nebraska Man in the journal Creation Research Society Quarterly (CRSQ). Bergman has responded, disputing my interpretation, in a new article in the CRSQ: "A misrepresentation by Jim Foley: a correction". Here is my response.