Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Skull That Rewrites History

The Independent: A skull that rewrites the history of man. (Hat tip: Anaconda)

Experts believe fossilised bones unearthed at the medieval village of Dmanisi in the foothills of the Caucuses, and dated to about 1.8 million years ago, are the oldest indisputable remains of humans discovered outside of Africa.

But what has really excited the researchers is the discovery that these early humans (or "hominins") are far more primitive-looking than the Homo erectus humans that were, until now, believed to be the first people to migrate out of Africa about 1 million years ago.

The Dmanisi people had brains that were about 40 per cent smaller than those of Homo erectus and they were much shorter in stature than classical H. erectus skeletons, according to Professor David Lordkipanidze, general director of the Georgia National Museum. "Before our findings, the prevailing view was that humans came out of Africa almost 1 million years ago, that they already had sophisticated stone tools, and that their body anatomy was quite advanced in terms of brain capacity and limb proportions. But what we are finding is quite different," Professor Lordkipanidze said.

"The Dmanisi hominins are the earliest representatives of our own genus – Homo – outside Africa, and they represent the most primitive population of the species Homo erectus to date. They might be ancestral to all later Homo erectus populations, which would suggest a Eurasian origin of Homo erectus."
A Rolex Award was presented in 2004.


Anonymous said...

Cool! Although, it's still has our (H. sapiens) evolution up in the air at 10,000 years ago! :) I'm actually excited to see more information about the origin of H. sapiens. :)

Jeffery Keown said...

What exactly is the point of this post? The first skulls at Dmanisi were described in 2006.

If it's being posted because "Mainstream Science" has pushed back another barrier to glimpse the past of our species through hard work, dedicated thoroughness and just plain cleverness... You are welcome.

If it's being posted because you think it's an example of "Mainstream Science" looking deeper, never content to let facts rest in some dusty paper... you're also welcome.

If it's being posted because it's seen as an example of "Mainstream Science" being just plain wrong and having to cover previous errors and embarassment with new shiny magazine articles (from years ago)... then what's the point?

Since when did this blog publish science that agreed with Evolution? I thought the editorial position around here was that the Hindu creationists were right ("New Consensus" was the wordage used, methinks.).

OilIsMastery said...


"What exactly is the point of this post?"

You ought to write to the Independent and ask them what the motive of scientific discovery is. What exactly is the point of your question? Ad hominem fallacy methinks.

Anaconda said...

@ Jeffery Keown:

OilIsMastery posted this article with NO COMMENT whatsoever.

I saw this article on a very popular website (multi-thousand hits a day).

I offered comments along with the link to the story and added some commentary on Abiotic Oil theory, at the post, Propane For 150 Billion BBQs?, as the post is about abiotic hydrocarbons on Titan.

Specifically, that the geological record of Earth offers overwhelming scientific evidence that hydrocarbon expulsion from the interior of the Earth to the surface occured in massive amounts.

Mimmicking what is being observed on Saturn's moon Titan.

And, if one will put aside for a moment the impossible "fossil" fuel theory, this evidence clearly leads to the conclusion of massive hydrocarbon expulsions on Earth.

Read the article from the Independent, it speaks for itself. OilIsMastery's title to the post is right from the article.

And your knee jerk reaction tells the story:

Jeffery, it's clear you are lost without consensus, herd mentality backup. Your obvious hostility to the article, again, where OilIsMastery offered no opinion or commentary speaks volumes about how important this discovery is.

I question your ability to undertake critic analysis & interpretation without the mainstream "conventional wisdom" holding your hand.

Face it, what was assumed about human history based on imcomplete knowledge is being superceded by additional evidence, which is usually how old ideas eventually get thrown in the "dust bin of history".

Jeffery Keown said...

Spelled out more plainly, Oils usually posts mainstream science articles to either bolster nonsense like EE or to make a point about how wrong everyone is.

My tone was a bit hostile, wasn't it?

I just think it odd that he promoted a story about evolution. He's normally in Dembski's bucket on things like this (or Cremo, really).

You are right, he did post without comment. In the future, I'll take that as meaning...what exactly? One can't assume he's okay with the science behind it.

Jeffery Keown said...

I just saw this, and thought you'd be interested in it.

Anchoring Magnetic Field in Turbulent Molecular Clouds

I've thought for a while that magnetic fields influenced star formation as much or more than gravity. You might find a bit of agreement with this paper.

Quantum_Flux said...

Anaconda said...

@ Jeffery Keown:

Yes, thank you for the paper, I reviewed it.

And it is a perfect example of the sad state of "modern" astronomy.

Yes, it mentions magnetic fields, but through the course of the paper I could not find a single reference to electric currents, not once in a 19 page paper.

Magnetic fields require electric current to generate them and magnetic fields will induce electric current and influence the directional flow of electric currents.

Essentially, you can't meaningfully discuss magnetic fields with discussing electric currents.

Yet, this paper doesn't mention electric currents once.

So this paper is worse than uninformative, it is misleading.

Sure, it states magnetic fields are more influencial than gravity and I suppose that is something, but this is the tack taken by "modern" astronomy: Discuss magnetic fields without the underlying electric currents.

So, yes, Jeffery, it is a good example of how off-track "modern" astronomy is these days.

Quantum_Flux said...

Anaconda, doesn't rotating top with charged balls on the outside constitute current? Or how about a magnetized iron core or soft iron disk? Does trapped perpetual current count in your model for a magnetic feild? How about the magnetic spins of individual atoms or even of photons?

Anaconda said...

@ Quantum_Flux:

Quantum_Flux: "Anaconda, doesn't rotating top with charged balls on the outside constitute current? Or how about a magnetized iron core or soft iron disk? Does trapped perpetual current count in your model for a magnetic feild? How about the magnetic spins of individual atoms or even of photons?"

Yes, I have no objection to your comment (less sure about the photons).

But the point is that all of the above generate electric current.

Electric current is also generated by chemical-battery reactions which depend on the electromotive force, 39 orders of magnitude stronger than gravity.

But the electric current generated from the chemical-battery reactions DON"T require a magnetic field.

As your comment suggests, without stating such, but is necessarily implicit: Magnetic fields depend on ordered particle motion (which is in line with your favorite quantum mechanics).

In macro-environments, charged particles, electrons and ions, in ordered motion (as opposed to random, thermal motion) generate magnetic fields.

(It is known that high thermal [random motion] conditions dissipate magnetic fields. Why? Because magnetic fields depend on ordered charged particle motion, not random charged particle motion.)

And, of course, your questions do discuss electric current, and the point of my comment was that in the course of a 19 page paper, electric currents weren't discussed once.

And, I'll say it, again, it is not meaningful to discuss magnetic fields without discussing electric currents.

It is in fact misleading and I will go so far as to say, it's intellectually dishonest not to discuss electric currents conjunction with magnetic fields.

Magnetic fields and electric fields are two sides of the same coin: Ordered motion of charged particles.

Another way to put it: Electric fields and magnetic fields are concurrent emittances of orderd charge particle motion, which is electric current.

You can't have the magnetism without the electro!


Quantum_Flux said...

Well, indeed you can't have magnetism without electric currents, but you don't typically talk of electric currents if they are bounded up in the form of atomic spins, you really just speak of magnetism (such as a magnetized hard iron core). I think the reason for this is that there are no free currents flowing to speak of due to the fact that there are no voltage potentials great enough to ionize the charges.

I'm not saying that is the case with star formation, in fact you are probably correct in your assessment that there should be some kind of free electric currents (like an electromagnet) causing the net magnetic fields. But I still do wonder about the form of current that causes planetary and nebulae magnetic fields, they may be unknown on any kind of observational level, but that still doesn't prevent the discussing of the existance of the magnetic fields that result though. I think that all we've got are hypothesis about even Earth's own magnetic field at this point, much less the source of other magnetic fields in astronomy.