Monday, 4 July 2016

Homo Naledi Might Be Too Young for Human Evolution

H. Naledi was put together from tiny bits and pieces. Image courtesy of the Lee Roger Berger research team, Creative Commons (CC BY 4.0).

Joel Kontinen

While the entire idea of human evolution has always been more or less fuzzy, it has now turned out to be a total mess.

We can thank a new assumed date of 912,000 years BP (before present) for Homo Naledi for this devolution.

In 2015 Lee Berger and his colleagues published a paper on what they claimed to be a new human species. Their discovery consisted of 1,500 pieces of teeth and bones.

Lee Berger is also known for the discovery of the very controversial Australopithecus sediba that was once touted as a human ancestor but was later practically tossed aside.

The success of purported human ancestors tends to be very brief. Some, like nutcracker man and Taung child a.k.a. Australopithecus africanus, have fared a little longer.

Soon after Berger and colleagues published the discovery of H. naledi in the rather obscure journal eLife, some anthropologists voiced their scepticism of its inclusion in the human family tree. They even doubted that all the bones and pieces belonged to the same species.

This scepticism hasn’t gone away. And the fossils were never dated.

Several studies have suggested that radiometric dating cannot be trusted, as it tends to give too old dates for fossils.

However, it seems that Darwinists can come up with a date for fossils without actually dating them. In their method, the evolutionary tail wags the Darwinian dog:

Mark Collard, a biological anthropologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and his colleagues developed a computer model with which they could analyse skull, jaw and tooth features of assumed human ancestors.

The model suggests a date of 912,000 years BP for H. naledi, which would make it too young for a human ancestor, as the oldest specimens of the fully-human H. erectus are much older.

The Hobbit or H. floresiensis has likewise rocked the Darwinian paddleboat that is now drifting in the wrong direction.


Choi, Charles Q. 2016. Newfound Human Species Suggests Africa Was Evolutionary Melting Pot. Live Science (29 June).