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Are Hominin Fossils Consistent With Creationism?


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#1 Isabella

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:17 PM

Where do hominins such as Homo erectus and Homo habilis fit into the Biblical world history? It is obvious that they were not humans, and yet we know (based on their brain size and the complex tools they made) they were quite intelligent. Much more intelligent than a chimp, with behaviours similar to our own. The Bible emphasizes that humans have been created in God’s image and are superior to all other creatures. It seems strange that there would have been animals so similar to humans if we’re supposed to be physically and psychologically unique.

A common creationist argument I have seen regarding this issue suggests that the hominins were deformed or malnourished humans. I want to address this right from the start, because it is inconsistent with the evidence.

There is no disease or nutritional deficiency observed today that results in the features seen on the fossils. Homo erectus is small in size, which could indicate a poor diet. However it also has a much thicker cranium and huge brow ridges. Excess bone growth is not a symptom of malnutrition and never would have been. Similarly, Homo habilis has a sagittal crest for jaw muscle attachment and very large molars with thick enamel. Again, not consistent with poor diet or illness. There is also the issue of brain size, which (taken alongside the physical features) doesn’t fit with any known disease.

If it was a disease that no longer exists (or several diseases, I suppose, to account for the diversity of hominin fossils) then it must have been common pre-flood, hence the fossils in deep strata layers. In fact, it must have been so common that the majority of people had it, since we don’t find human fossils alongside Homo erectus fossils. It was my understanding that the pre-flood world was a much healthier environment where people had life spans of a few hundred years.

I realize that there have been threads on this topic before, and I’d rather not get into the topic of “missing links”. I’m not here to argue that Homo erectus is our ancestor; I just want to know how it fits with creationism.

#2 jason777

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:27 PM

Homo etrectus was'nt human? I find it odd that evolutionists call fossils something that they can't be simply because of the assumption of evolution. The best example is calling Neanderthal a non-human species, yet the DNA is up to 99.9% identical to modern human (no more variation than any two people alive today).

We may like to think we're far superior to the Neanderthals species that us humans beat in the evolutionary battle. But analysis of DNA from a 38,000-year-old bone has revealed Neanderthal and human DNA is actually up to 99.9 per cent identical. In contrast, humans and chimps only share 95 per cent of their genetic material. The discovery came as scientists work on decoding the entire Neanderthal genome from a perfectly-preserved artefect.


http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com

Homo habilis is'nt even a valid taxon. It is comprised of small H. erecus fossils and large A. africanus fossils. The best habiline fossil they had was KNM-ER-1470 but it was reconstructed wrong to give it a flat human like face.

Posted Image

This may be the true profile of 1470. Based on new bone-scanning techniques, typical australopithecine prognathicity is evident in this 1992 drawing (from Bromage).



The Rise and Fall of Skull KNM-ER 1470







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#3 larrywj2

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:04 AM

Every year my head gets bigger (just ask my kids <_< ) . It is a fact of life that some of our bones continue to grow throughout life (in a healthy specimen). Skull and facial bones do. At 930 years age and perfect health, what would Adam look like? Probably like neanderthal. Maybe Adam and his perfect genes were spared that appearance. As sin spread through our genes mutation and long ages could have altered some. Shortly after the flood there were still long aged humans and with all the new radiation there is plenty of room for some odd looking seletons. As well as the numerous diseases which you already mentioned.

#4 jason777

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 03:41 AM

If it was a disease that no longer exists (or several diseases, I suppose, to account for the diversity of hominin fossils) then it must have been common pre-flood, hence the fossils in deep strata layers. In fact, it must have been so common that the majority of people had it, since we don’t find human fossils alongside Homo erectus fossils. It was my understanding that the pre-flood world was a much healthier environment where people had life spans of a few hundred years.


I could'nt tell you for sure if they were pre-flood or not. The consensus creation view is that H. erectus and Neanderthal are post-flood humans living during the iceage, when plants and sunlight providing vitamin D were scarace. That theory is corroborated by flint fish hooks associated with Cro-magnon sites. Fish are a source of vitamin D and Cro-magnon fossils typically did'nt display any signs of rickets. This is'nt a rule of the fossil record, though. A fossil dated older than the oldest H. erectus does'nt show any abnormalities at all, which is expected if the morphilogical variation is pathological and not genetic.

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The fossils are also usually found near the surface and well above what creationists consider the flood line.



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#5 Isabella

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:09 PM

Homo etrectus was'nt human? I find it odd that evolutionists call fossils something that they can't be simply because of the assumption of evolution. The best example is calling Neanderthal a non-human species, yet the DNA is up to 99.9% identical to modern human (no more variation than any two people alive today).

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I purposely avoided mentioning Neanderthals, because I agree that the distinction between them and us is a blurry one. Personally I think they’re a separate species, but I’ve talked to anthropologists who believe otherwise.

But it’s a stretch to argue that Homo erectus was a human. The morphological differences are much more pronounced than anything we see within Homo sapiens. If it is the same species as us, it obviously underwent some dramatic evolutionary changes. Although it seems odd that natural selection would favour a smaller brain.

Homo habilis is'nt even a valid taxon. It is comprised of small H. erecus fossils and large A. africanus fossils. The best habiline fossil they had was KNM-ER-1470 but it was reconstructed wrong to give it a flat human like face.

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It doesn’t matter to me how you choose to classify it. The point is that the fossils exist, and are consistent with a bipedal animal that resembles a human.

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:29 PM

Every year my head gets bigger (just ask my kids  <_< )  .  It is a fact of life that some of our bones continue to grow throughout life (in a healthy specimen).  Skull and facial bones do.  At 930 years age and perfect health, what would Adam look like?  Probably like neanderthal.  Maybe Adam and his perfect genes were spared that appearance.  As sin spread through our genes mutation and long ages could have altered some.  Shortly after the flood there were still long aged humans and with all the new radiation there is plenty of room for some odd looking seletons.  As well as the numerous diseases which you already mentioned.

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Where did you get the idea that some of our bones continue to grow???

#7 Isabella

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:23 PM

Maybe Adam and his perfect genes were spared that appearance. As sin spread through our genes mutation and long ages could have altered some. Shortly after the flood there were still long aged humans and with all the new radiation there is plenty of room for some odd looking seletons. As well as the numerous diseases which you already mentioned.

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So as they aged their skulls got thicker, their skeletons became more robust... and their brains got smaller? The tools we find, particularly for Homo habilis, are not all that advanced (relative to humans, that is). They would basically just chip off sharp pieces of stone, which is something even chimps are capable of. Homo erectus was a little more advanced, with triangular shaped cutting stones. Considering Noah managed to build an entire ark, going back to making stone chips after the food seems like a huge regression.

I could'nt tell you for sure if they were pre-flood or not. The consensus creation view is that H. erectus and Neanderthal are post-flood humans living during the iceage, when plants and sunlight providing vitamin D were scarace.

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So you think they had a vitamin D deficiency?

That theory is corroborated by flint fish hooks associated with Cro-magnon sites. Fish are a source of vitamin D and Cro-magnon fossils typically did'nt display any signs of rickets. This is'nt a rule of the fossil record, though.

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Oh, so you don’t think they had a vitamin D deficiency? Well that makes more sense, since the bones in early hominin fossils are much more robust than our bones today, and rickets is characterized by the opposite: weak, soft bones.

A fossil dated older than the oldest H. erectus does'nt show any abnormalities at all, which is expected if the morphilogical variation is pathological and not genetic.

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Which fossil is that? And since when do creationists believe the results from a dating technique?

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 01:46 PM

I purposely avoided mentioning Neanderthals, because I agree that the distinction between them and us is a blurry one. Personally I think they’re a separate species, but I’ve talked to anthropologists who believe otherwise.


Just a quick note, based on preliminary genetic evidence, it appears that the two groups separated about 700,000 years ago with little interbreeding since then. I think this lends credence to the notion of H. neanderthalensis being a separate species as opposed to a subspecies.

#9 jason777

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:39 PM

It doesn’t matter to me how you choose to classify it. The point is that the fossils exist, and are consistent with a bipedal animal that resembles a human.


Fred Spoor has done x-rays of habiline ear canal labarynths and has determined them aligned with apes and has concluded that they can't be considered an obligate bi-ped. What evidence are you referring to?

Which fossil is that? And since when do creationists believe the results from a dating technique?


You know we don't accept their dating methods. As far as i'm aware the only time recently that a dating method has been employed, it confirmed that H. erectus and H. habilis lived as contemoraries and cast doubt on an evolutionary lineage.

Now, habilis and erectus are thought to be sister species that overlapped in time.

The new fossil evidence reveals an overlap of about 500,000 years during which Homo habilis and Homo erectus must have co-existed in the Turkana basin area, the region of East Africa where the fossils were unearthed.

"Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis," said co-author Professor Meave Leakey, palaeontologist and co-director of the Koobi Fora Research Project.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6937476.stm

Which fossil is that? And since when do creationists believe the results from a dating technique?


AL-666-1.

No dating technique was used. It was found buried with an A. aferensis fossil so circular reasoning dated it to 2.6 million years. Since evolutionists assume humans had'nt evolved yet, circular reasoning also classified the fossil as H. habilis.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Compare the morphology of AL-666-1 (top) to that of H. erectus (middle and bottom) and you will see more modern traits in the former than the latter. :lol:



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#10 jason777

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:46 PM

Just a quick note, based on preliminary genetic evidence, it appears that the two groups separated about 700,000 years ago with little interbreeding since then. I think this lends credence to the notion of H. neanderthalensis being a separate species as opposed to a subspecies.


Lets see. The DNA is up to 99.9% identical to modern humans and my DNA is 99.9% identical to my neighbor. No one would suggest that we lived 700,000 years apart. But to keep the myth of evolution alive I suppose we could reject mathematics. :lol:




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#11 Isabella

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 08:26 PM

Fred Spoor has done x-rays of habiline ear canal labarynths and has determined them aligned with apes and has concluded that they can't be considered an obligate bi-ped. What evidence are you referring to?

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There are a few things scientists look for when determining if an animal was bipedal. The curvature of the spine and the attachment of the cerebral vertebrae to the skull are two big ones. Habilis may not have been an obligate biped, but based on the skeleton it is certainly adapted to walking upright.

You know we don't accept their dating methods. As far as i'm aware the only time recently that a dating method has been employed, it confirmed that H. erectus and H. habilis lived as contemoraries and cast doubt on an evolutionary lineage.

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A lot of the hominins lived at the same time, which isn’t really a cause for doubt. To suggest this is a problem seems to be based on the same misconception as the “If we came from apes, then why are there apes?” question. Evolution isn’t about one species turning into another species.

Compare the morphology of AL-666-1 (top) to that of H. erectus (middle and bottom) and you will see more modern traits in the former than the latter.

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Could you explain what you mean by modern traits? I looked over an article about AL-666-1 just now, and the authors concluded (based on several comparisons) that it was more primitive than H. erectus.
http://www3.intersci...ETRY=1&SRETRY=0

#12 larrywj2

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:51 AM

Where did you get the idea that some of our bones continue to grow???

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One of the dangers of the internet is the unlimited ability to research anything, AND FORGET WHERE YOU FOUND IT. :lol:

http://www.futurepun...ves/004788.html

Originally I heard that on a radio show, well over a decade ago. Of course I have no idea whom was speaking. It was a Christian news/talk radio show is all I can tell you about. So I just spent a couple hours browsing site because I knew there had to be something. There were many mentions of the occurence, but I only found one study. It is not all the bones, most of our bones are set at the size attained by 25ish. Ears and nose seem to grow a bit (yes, I had to read a bunch of stuff and now it is all stuck cranially as well). The head actually increases in size, although slight in our life time, because of increase in the brow. When men wore more traditional hats, some had to increse their hat size over time. Adding a few centuries to our life span would make a notable difference.

#13 larrywj2

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 02:04 AM

So as they aged their skulls got thicker, their skeletons became more robust... and their brains got smaller? The tools we find, particularly for Homo habilis, are not all that advanced (relative to humans, that is). They would basically just chip off sharp pieces of stone, which is something even chimps are capable of. Homo erectus was a little more advanced, with triangular shaped cutting stones. Considering Noah managed to build an entire ark, going back to making stone chips after the food seems like a huge regression.

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Thicker skulls, robust skeletons and smaller brains can be found in the general population today.

The tools; Yes Noah built an ark. And then there was a flood. Any technology was washed away. Granted Noah would have made any record he could and carried knowledge in his own head, but society had to restart. Before they could rebuild civilization, they had to rebuild the tools. And some might not have been interested in a re-do. Some may have been happy "roughing it". There are many examples of people today, living in low tech life style by choice. And not long after the flood was the dispersement following the Tower of Babel incident. Not only is that only about 100 years post flood, but the dispersing peoples wold not be packing much in the way of technology. They would have used the redily available materials as they travelled, chipped off a sharp stone, etc.

#14 jason777

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 04:22 AM

Hi Isabella,

There are a few things scientists look for when determining if an animal was bipedal. The curvature of the spine and the attachment of the cerebral vertebrae to the skull are two big ones. Habilis may not have been an obligate biped, but based on the skeleton it is certainly adapted to walking upright.


Unfortunately, an animals ability to walk on two legs momentarily does'nt justify placing it in the genus Homo. Otherwise,we could consider birds human. :lol:

I also believe enough evidence exist to consider bigfoot a credible animal, but I still consider it an ape even though it is fully bi-pedal.

I've never heard of any fossil material, other than a partial cranium, undisputedly found associated with any H. habilis. I know of a human femur that they assume is from H. habilis simply because it pre-dates the evolutionary assumptions of human evolution. A creationists could just as easily say it belongs to H. erectus because they certainly lived at the same time.

The current theory of evolution is based on the assumption that humans share a common ancestor with chimps, but the most comprehensive comparitive anatomy research project to date has aligned most Australopithecines and Habilines with orangutans. I say most because A. aferensis is aligned with gorillas.

http://www.scienceda...90618084304.htm

Orangutans are one of the few apes that have an angled femur like humans, so it would'nt be any suprise to find an H. habilis femur that is angled since they are related to orangutans.

Could you explain what you mean by modern traits? I looked over an article about AL-666-1 just now, and the authors concluded (based on several comparisons) that it was more primitive than H. erectus.


I don't know what they are comparing, since your link did'nt work.The crowns of H. erectus teeth are normally a little more pointed than modern human, but the crowns of AL-666-1 are flatter like modern human. Perhaps a non-pathalogical H. erectus.




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Posted 19 March 2010 - 08:06 AM

Just a quick note, based on preliminary genetic evidence, it appears that the two groups separated about 700,000 years ago with little interbreeding since then. I think this lends credence to the notion of H. neanderthalensis being a separate species as opposed to a subspecies.


Lets see. The DNA is up to 99.9% identical to modern humans and my DNA is 99.9% identical to my neighbor. No one would suggest that we lived 700,000 years apart. But to keep the myth of evolution alive I suppose we could reject mathematics. :lol:
Enjoy.

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Of course, there is more to it. It's not just the overall similarity, but the nested hierarchy that we find when examining the genetic relationships among organisms. As well, we have the fossils and artifacts that have been dated. In other words, converging evidence that all points to the same general conclusion of two separate species (or subspecies) of Hominini.

BTW, using your reasoning, then chimps are human as well. Do you accept that notion? Some biologists do wish to include chimps in the genus Homo. Do think that's a good idea?

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 02:54 PM

One of the dangers of the internet is the unlimited ability to research anything, AND FORGET WHERE YOU FOUND IT.  :lol:

http://www.futurepun...ves/004788.html

Originally I heard that on a radio show, well over a decade ago.  Of course I have no idea whom was speaking.  It was a Christian news/talk radio show is all I can tell you about.  So I just spent a couple hours browsing site because I knew there had to be something.  There were many mentions of the occurence, but I only found one study.  It is not all the bones, most of our bones are set at the size attained by 25ish.  Ears and nose seem to grow a bit (yes, I had to read a bunch of stuff and now it is all stuck cranially as well).  The head actually increases in size, although slight in our life time, because of increase in the brow.  When men wore more traditional hats, some had to increse their hat size over time.  Adding a few centuries to our life span would make a notable difference.

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I have that problem too. I never heard about that. I'll have to read up on it.

How would aging have explained the shorter, thicker frames of neanderthals???

I actually need to buy a book on this subject. I'm not too familiar with human evolution.

#17 larrywj2

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 11:44 PM

I have that problem too.  I never heard about that.  I'll have to read up on it.

How would aging have explained the shorter, thicker frames of neanderthals???

I actually need to buy a book on this subject.  I'm not too familiar with human evolution.

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There only seems to be an indication of brow increase. So it would not explain all.

Regarding any of the supposed human ancestors; they are as likely to be abnormally developed, but homo-sapien as you and me. The amount of remains found and claimed as evolution proof is far lower than should be if the entire population of "evolving" humanity is considered. Evo's compare the remains to the standards of modern man. You can get some of the same results by cataloguing current populations against each other. Then if you start comparing abhorations to the norm, you will find "proof" of several different species of human alive and cruising Main Street LA.

#18 jason777

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:53 PM

You can get some of the same results by cataloguing current populations against each other.


Thats true. If these three races were found in the fossil record, some evolutionists would try to call them different species.


German
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Soloman Islands
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#19 Scanman

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:38 PM

You can get some of the same results by cataloguing current populations against each other.


Thats true. If these three races were found in the fossil record, some evolutionists would try to call them different species.
German
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Soloman Islands
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You are assuming what an evolutionist would do. You may be assuming to much.

I am sure that there are very specific characteristics in the anatomy of the human skull that identify it as belonging to modern man (homa sapien).

The following is a checklist taken from a Natural Sciences course:

I. BRAINCASE:

1. Does the FOREHEAD (frontal bone) look more vertical OR flatter when the skull is held in normal anatomical position [NAP] (i.e., with the eyes oriented forward)?

2. Is a SUPRAORBITAL BROWRIDGE present?

3. If present, is the BROWRIDGE DIVIDED in the middle, or CONTINUOUS?

4. What is the SHAPE OF THE BRAINCASE (front to back) when viewed from above?

5. Is a SAGITTAL CREST present?

6. In NAP, is the FORAMEN MAGNUM oriented more downward OR more to the rear?

7. Is the MASTOID process relatively flat OR does it noticeably protrude (project)?

II. FACE:

8. Are the NASAL BONES raised (arched) OR flat?

9. Measure the MAXIMUM BREADTH (width) of the NASAL OPENING [mm].

10. Measure the MAXIMUM HEIGHT of the NASAL OPENING [mm].

11. Measure the LENGTH of the MAXILLA (the upper jaw) [mm]. (Measure down the middle of the palate from the front edge of the foramen magnum to either between or just in front of the two central incisors to determine how much the face projects forward.)

12. Measure the BIZYGOMATIC BREADTH using the hinge caliper if necessary [mm]. (This is the width or breadth of the face from the widest part of one zygomatic arch to the widest part of the other zygomatic arch.)

III. DENTITION:

13. SHAPE OF THE DENTAL ARCADE: Do the tooth rows diverge towards the back OR are they more straight-sided and parallel to one another?

14. When viewed from the side, are the INCISORS angled out OR are they vertical?

15. Measure the COMBINED WIDTH or BREADTH of the 4 INCISORS together.

16. Does the CANINE tooth project above the chewing surfaces of the other teeth?

17. Is a CANINE DIASTEMA present?

18. Measure the COMBINED LENGTH of the LEFT 2 PREMOLARS and 3 MOLARS together by measuring from the back of the last molar to the front of the first premolar to determine the length of the chewing surface of the "cheek teeth". [mm]. (NOTE: Measure the right side if the left side is missing any of these 5 teeth.)



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#20 Isabella

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:10 PM

Thicker skulls, robust skeletons and smaller brains can be found in the general population today.

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You mean those three traits together in the same individual?

There are many examples of people today, living in low tech life style by choice.

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Yes, but in this case we have found skulls alongside the tools which is pretty good evidence that the people who made them were less intelligent than a modern human.

Not only is that only about 100 years post flood, but the dispersing peoples wold not be packing much in the way of technology. They would have used the redily available materials as they travelled, chipped off a sharp stone, etc.

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So why did their brains shrink? Learning how to live in a new environment requires intelligence, and a smart, resourceful person would have an advantage. There shouldn’t be a selective pressure towards a smaller brain unless they were severely malnourished... in which case there shouldn’t be a selective pressure for more robust skeletons.

Unfortunately, an animals ability to walk on two legs momentarily does'nt justify placing it in the genus Homo. Otherwise,we could consider birds human.

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I’m really not too concerned about classification at the moment. We obviously disagree on how things should be classified, and it’ll be a waste of time to argue over which way is correct. Plus, we’ll end up going into the missing link topic, which (as I said in the original post) I wanted to avoid.

My point is that we have fossils which are clearly not apes, but differ from modern humans in several ways. A change in brain size is a pretty important difference.

I don't know what they are comparing, since your link did'nt work.The crowns of H. erectus teeth are normally a little more pointed than modern human, but the crowns of AL-666-1 are flatter like modern human. Perhaps a non-pathalogical H. erectus.

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Sorry that the link didn’t work. The article is called “Systematic assessment of a maxilla of Homo from Hadar, Ethiopia”, so maybe you can track it down elsewhere (I just found it on Google Scholar). They compared the maxilla to several other fossils from Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo. The traits they compared were very specific measurements of the jaw proportions and size of the teeth.




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