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05-17-22 12:34 AM
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Xeogaming Forums - Debate Shrine - 'Hobbit' confirmed to be new species | |
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Elara

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Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 149 days
Last activity: 128 days
Posted on 03-04-05 12:07 AM Link | Quote
ABC News Online

An independent team of international scientists has backed Australian scientists' claim that the bones of "the hobbit" found on an Indonesian island is a new species of human being.

In one of the biggest scientific discoveries ever, the bones were uncovered on the island of Flores by a team of Australians.

But since they announced the find through a research article in Nature magazine in October last year, controversy has raged about the true nature of the remains.

The Australian scientists' critics say the bones are only those of a diseased human and not a new relative.

The team's scientific reputation has been hanging on the independent team's finding.

Cat scans

Dr Dean Falk from Florida State University, who led the independent team, used cat-scans to generate a three-dimensional image of the hobbit's brain.

She has compared it to the brains of a female human, homo erectus and chimpanzee.

"When I began researching the brain evolution, I was very sceptical, and I came around to realising that they had to struggle with it - that what the brain tells me is they got it right," she said.

The international team's findings, published in the journal Science, are a relief to Australian team member Dr Richard Roberts, from the University of Wollongong.

Dr Roberts dated the original find.

He says today's published evidence proves the hobbit is not a deformed human or someone suffering from a brain disorder known as microcephaly.

"I think it's a sensational find, and that there are two major conclusions - the first of which is that the brain of the hobbit is completely unlike that of a microcephalic person... a deformed person that some people have been claiming that's all the hobbit was," he said.

"It's also completely unlike that of a pygmy, a modern pygmy.

"But it does have features that are incredibly interesting, because they've got a very well developed frontal lobe."

Microcephaly dispute

However, critics of the independent team's investigation claim Dr Falk did not did not use a skull with the correct example of the brain disorder known as microcephaly.

It is a claim Dr Falk rejects.

"This was not a paper which was doing the be-all and end-all of secondary microcephaly, which is a very nebulous catch-all term," she said.

"The burden of proof on those people who say 'it's a microcephalic' is go out there, do a scientific study, and now we offer you some new information with which to form a testable hypothesis."

Dr Roberts also issues the same challenge to his critics.

"It's really time to put up or shut up in that regard," he said.

"Now with their backs to the wall I think it's time for them to put everything they think down on paper, and we can decide whether it actually stands up scientifically or not."

Origins

Dr Roberts is still open to the possibility his team may be wrong.

One last challenge for the scientists is to prove the hobbit's origins as conclusively as possible by using DNA.

"What was the ancient DNA like of this type of extinct human?" Dr Roberts said.

"If it turns out to be modern human DNA, that would be an absolutely staggering finding, because you have to say well how can that be so, how can we have modern DNA look completely unlike us with a brain completely unlike ours.

"That would be a serious fly in the ointment, so we do want to DNA analysis of our own on the skeletal material. That will be the final nail in the coffin for the microcephaly argument."

In other developments


Full article
Cyro Xero

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Since: 02-23-05
From: Minnesota!!

Since last post: 1917 days
Last activity: 1829 days
Posted on 03-04-05 10:44 AM Link | Quote
Funny thing is, I was just reading about this 10 minutes before coming to this thread. So I take it we're supposed to discuss whether we think it is in fact a distinct species or not. Well, I think it is. That skull is from so long ago. 10,000 years. Do you know how many weird-ass animals existed before today? There's not doubt in my mind that people of this race lived back then before we came.
01001000
Slow Ride
Take It Easy









Since: 01-10-05

Since last post: 5607 days
Last activity: 4956 days
Posted on 03-04-05 12:09 PM Link | Quote
Interesting, I wonder if Bilbo was hangin' out with all his hobbit buddies 10,000 years ago.

So cyro, what were the weird ass animals like way back then?
Stitch

Roy Koopa
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Since: 08-20-04
From: California

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 14 days
Posted on 03-04-05 10:28 PM Link | Quote
Dammit, you beat me to it, but I have an NPR link to the story. So, that just means that Zoso can truly claim his heritage, and soon we shall return him to New Zealand...back to the Hobbiton set.
Elara

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Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 149 days
Last activity: 128 days
Posted on 03-05-05 04:04 PM Link | Quote
Ha... yeah, this was more of a current event post than a debate. I believe that it is true, and I just died laughing when I saw the link to the story. Oddly enough I was looking for something else when I came across it, but I figured that Rogue would get a major kick out of this... but yeah, now we just gotta figure out how a line of Hobbits continued to produce Zoso, lol.
Déesse

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Since: 08-14-04
From: The Moon

Since last post: 5645 days
Last activity: 5376 days
Posted on 03-05-05 09:31 PM Link | Quote
I have a friend who lives in Wollongong I remember seeing this on the news, it's quite interesting though. But these scientists waste there time with theory, they should get straight to the testing and get some results.

I believe it is true though, I mean they have said it's different to normal humans, and wasn't there like huge rat like creatures on the island?
Rauni









Since: 08-14-04

Since last post: 625 days
Last activity: 625 days
Posted on 03-06-05 01:06 PM Link | Quote
Whoa... new lifeform?

Well, if this was completely true and "hobbit" was brought back to life, this would break the sign of evolution... But wait... If there was the 'hobbit' 10,000 years ago, does that mean there was elf, and dwarf, and demon, and human, and everything we read from Bilbo's story, was actually true and not fictional?
Cyro Xero

Rune Mage

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Since: 02-23-05
From: Minnesota!!

Since last post: 1917 days
Last activity: 1829 days
Posted on 03-07-05 09:30 AM Link | Quote
i don't think "Middle Earth" existed that long ago. Thst first humans didn't appear until several thousand years ago. And to answer yourr question, Hobo, I can't think of any off the top of my head. I just remember seeing painting and pictures of bones from the ancient animals. The Dodo Bird lived back then.
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