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New Fossil Sheds Light On Lucy's Family Tree

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the desi-arnaz-moment dept.

Science 89

I_am_sci_guy writes "A new fossil of an older, and presumably male, specimen of the same species as the famed Lucy indicates that A. afarensis may have walked and moved more like humans than was currently believed. The features of the unusually complete skeleton 'denote a nearly humanlike gait and ground-based lifestyle,' according to anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie and his team, who found the specimen they call 'Big Man' and published preliminary results online today at PNAS (abstract; full text requires subscription). The article includes plenty of viewpoints dissenting from the conclusion that A. afarensis walked, and possibly ran, like modern humans do."

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89 comments

Niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649198)

Lucy was a nigger.

Re:Niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649384)

Summary says:

A new fossil of an older, and presumably male, specimen of the same species as the famed Lucy indicates that A. afarensis may have walked and moved more like humans than was currently believed. The features of the unusually complete skeleton 'denote a nearly humanlike gait and ground-based lifestyle,' according to anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie and his team, who found the specimen they call 'Big Man' and published preliminary results online today at PNAS (abstract; full text requires subscription).

That definitely sounds like a description of niggers to me. It also explains why they have failed to adapt to modern civilization despite hundreds of years of experience with it and many generations born under it. Think about it:

To this day they speak a type of pidgin called "ebonics" instead of correct English. Other peoples who come to American learn to speak English indistinguishable from anyone else's within a generation or two. Why the disparity and why only niggers who cannot do this?

Then there's the disproportionally higher crime rate of niggers, again a reference to their primitive inability to deal with modern law and civil society. What could be "law of the jungle" more than thug culture and gang warfare in the streets? If racism is the true cause then why is black-on-black crime so much higher than white-on-black crime? Nobody's going to answer that because racism is not the cause. It is a response though not a good one.

Then there's things like their much higher rate of nigger children out of wedlock, a nice clinical way of saying bastard children abandoned by their own fathers. Like all children of single mothers they are much less likely to graduate, much more likely to be incarcerated, etc. Even when they're in school niggers as a whole have the lowest test scores compared to whites, Asians, and Latinos.

Again, our complex modern ways of life are still a culture shock to the primitive nigger. There is a reason why it was the white man who sailed halfway across the globe and discovered the black man and not the other way around. There is a reason why the native tribes of Africa that have been relatively undisturbed still have no technology more advanced than primitive hand tools.

There's some wonderful black people who choose not to be like this. They study, they work hard, and they do well like most people who do those things. But they had to endure all kinds of harassment about "acting white" and being an "uncle tom" simply for wanting to better themselves. The reason is obvious. They did not fit into the primitive backwards culture of the average nigger.

Re:Niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649536)

white man going down... we out-breeding you now, and yo paying fo it. lol.

Vuvuzelas (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650420)

Fragments found within the pelvis indicate the cause of death was probably having a long, trumpet-like device shoved up its ass - big end first.

Hahahaha.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649204)

PNAS

OpenBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649206)

It is never a happy occasion to realize that a not-for-profit group, no matter how destitute or successful, is undeserving of charitable donations. And just last week I had such an unhappy realization. I wanted to donate a sizable sum of money to the OpenBSD Foundation [openbsdfoundation.org] for development of the OpeBSD [openbsd.org] operating system and other related projects.

My uncle, an old Unix graybeard from the Seventies, devoted his retirement and considerable savings to teaching inner-city youth about computers and programming. He recently passed away and left instructions in his will that I donate money, in the amount of US $100,000, to the most meritorious Free, Unix-like operating system as according to my own research into the matter.

I immediately looked at OpenBSD and began to review its technical merits, of which there are many. Despite lacking serious symmetric multi-processing support and drivers for recent graphics hardware, OpenBSD security and code-auditing are second to none. One only has to take a look at the bevy of routers that ship with OpenBSD to know how many people successfully depend on it everyday.

The OpenBSD Foundation is also behind several software packages widely adopted in other operating systems, such as OpenBGPD [openbgpd.org] , OpenCVS [opencvs.org] , OpenNTPD [openntpd.org] , and OpenSSH [openssh.com] . OpenSSH, for instance, is what allows clueless Mac users to remotely log into their systems safely, blissfully unaware of hackers.

After looking at the technical merits of OpenBSD and related projects, I owed it to the memory of my uncle to check out the history of the people behind it all. But that's when I ran into some interesting decisions regarding OpenBSD advocacy and funding made my OpenBSD's lead developer, Theo de Raadt.

In 2003, Mr. de Raadt trash-talked [theglobeandmail.com] the United States military and its various aid projects for the Iraqi people. But at the time, OpenBSD was receiving a multi-million dollar grant from the United States Department of Defense [defense.gov] . After the interview was published the DOD cancelled funding, which left several OpenBSD projects in limbo for quite some time thereafter.

This is just one of the more public instances of Mr. de Raadt sharing unpopular personal opinions while acting as OpenBSD's public advocate and costing the project considerable time and money. And, unfortunately, there are others.

Another time, Mr. de Raadt visited his native South Africa to receive a donation from a wealthy politician but unexpectedly refused it at the podium, instead making a speech in which he equated the use of non-Free graphics drivers with Apartheid [google.com] . Mr. de Raadt left without the check but later claimed to have won an important moral victory.

Mr. de Raadt himself is at the root of the problem, but here I can't really separate the man from the project; Theo de Raadt is OpenBSD. So donating toward OpenBSD's goals means handing over money to this crackpot activist, if he would even accept it. That's too bad because OpenBSD would be further ahead without these sorts of megalomaniacal antics.

Digging even further back in time, it's clear that this pattern of behavior is nothing new. Theo de Raadt was one of the incipient developers of NetBSD, but harass[ed] and abuse[d] both users and developers of NetBSD [theos.com] . His colleagues subsequently locked him out of the project, de Raadt forked OpenBSD, and the rest is history.

After reviewing these facts, it is clear that I will fail to honor my uncle's memory and all of the hard work he did in life by donating to OpenBSD. If I wanted to dishonor him, maybe. And I find it highly likely that Theo de Raadt would be up for dishonoring my uncle's memory.

Instead, my donation of US $100,000 will go to NetBSD [netbsd.org] . Sorry, but NetBSD just doesn't have the barbed, confrontational history that OpenBSD does. The NetBSD Foundation seems willing to write code instead of stirring up political debates. More importantly, they also seem willing to work with other people to reach their goals instead of against people because of pet peeves and ideologies.

Too bad, OpenBSD. Your leader is holding you back.

Re:OpenBSD (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649246)

/. not your personal army

Re:OpenBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649292)

I like purple.

Re:OpenBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650058)

Yes, but I make non sequiturs.

Re:OpenBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649798)

Although I do not know him personally, I suspect Theo couldn't give a rat's ass what you do with your uncle's coin. I, personally, invite you to fuck off. OpenBSD is pure and strong, presumably like your uncle, unlike you.

Wholesale products from china (-1, Offtopic)

qzyfl (1697222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649250)

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Offtopic, I know (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649260)

I know this will be modded offtopic, but I really need to know. Why has Slashdot done away with the D2 comment threshold bar entirely? There is literally no way to change threshold or get more than the standard 50( mostly collapsed )comments anymore.

Is this their not-so-subtle way of forcing everyone to register accounts? The site is basically 100% unusable for comment browsing as it is.

Re:Offtopic, I know (1, Offtopic)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649416)

I know this will be modded offtopic, but I really need to know. Why has Slashdot done away with the D2 comment threshold bar entirely? There is literally no way to change threshold or get more than the standard 50( mostly collapsed )comments anymore.

Is this their not-so-subtle way of forcing everyone to register accounts? The site is basically 100% unusable for comment browsing as it is.

If it helps you, I think Slashdot fucked something up today. Despite using the AJAX interface, and having my account preferences set to do so, Slashdot is reverting back to the (very) old behavior today. As in, clicking "Reply to This" to write this post took me off of the discussion page and into a new page rather than doing everything in-line. Additionally there is no "quote parent" button. If I turned off Javascript entirely I doubt I would notice a difference.

That threshold bar is JS driven and part of the new AJAX interface, so far as I know. I don't believe this is an intentional change but it'd be nice if Slashdot admin would have some little notice somewhere saying "yeah we know about this and are working on it" or something to that effect to avoid the confusion you're having.

Re:Offtopic, I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649678)

everybody, ctrl+f5! new versions of scripts/css, i guess.

Re:Offtopic, I know (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650628)

Nope, that doesn't help.

Re:Offtopic, I know (1)

torgosan (141603) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651080)

And moderation is jacked as well, since yesterday. What used to be a simple process [choose the mod selection and it would be immediately applied] is now b0rked, choose the mod selectiopn and nothing happens, no update, no Apply button at the bottom of the page, nada.

Re:Offtopic, I know (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654040)

And moderation is jacked as well, since yesterday. What used to be a simple process [choose the mod selection and it would be immediately applied] is now b0rked, choose the mod selectiopn and nothing happens, no update, no Apply button at the bottom of the page, nada.

Yeah, this has been pissing me off. I thought maybe I had disabled something by accident through NoScript or something at first. But no, the problem is definitely on the /. side.

Re:Offtopic, I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32653948)

That threshold bar is JS driven and part of the new AJAX interface, so far as I know. I don't believe this is an intentional change but it'd be nice if Slashdot admin would have some little notice somewhere saying "yeah we know about this and are working on it" or something to that effect to avoid the confusion you're having.

Wouldn't it be funny if none of them noticed because like most of us who've been here for a while, the only thing we ever really wanted to do with D2 was turn it off? :)

The metamoderation page (even with Javascript enabled) still only gives me posts from 2008 (!), no matter what I do with the threshold thingy. (Yes, every few months I turn on Javashit and try metamoderating, and every time it fails. It's been like that ever since they broke it some time a year or so ago.) I'd love to participate more, but I can't, because it just. doesn't. work. (Firefox 3.6, logged in or not, JS-enabled-or-not, metamod's borked for me.)

Re:Offtopic, I know (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32669332)

It screwed up for me, too. Ctrl-F5 didn’t help, and nothing in the D2 configuration settings seemed to help.

This is how I was able to finally fix it:

Help & Preferences
Discussions - Viewing
Turn off Enable Dynamic Discussions (D2)
Reload the page (or maybe it did automatically)
Discussions - Viewing (the D1 version – http://slashdot.org/my/comments [slashdot.org] )

Now, at the very bottom of the page, there is an option to reset all the settings to default. In desperation, I clicked it. It will revert to D2 (the default). Re-visiting the settings page by its URL [slashdot.org] and adjust all the settings to what they were before you reset it, and you should be back to normal.

Hillbillies (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649268)

Here's the thing, many eons ago the earth's sea level was way way higher than what it is now. So as it recedes we are finding fossils of 'people' that lived in the high country - the equivalent of modern day hillbillies. This is not a fair slice of everday life for that day and should not be taken as a typical 'man in the street'. We need fossils from downtown central to really get a flavour of life from way back then.

In a stunning announcement (1, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649308)

In a stunning announcement The Creation Institute of America has moved that these two have actually been misnamed and are in fact Adam and Eve or bitch as head creationist Mike Comburg said in their press release earlier today. They are now demanding that school districts teach both sides of the name argument.

Re:In a stunning announcement (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649328)

Creationism is science - deal with it!

Re:In a stunning announcement (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650380)

Creationism is science - deal with it!

How do they expect to fit creationism into the curriculum? My kids are already doing four hours of astrology and alchemy per week, and next semester the oldest starts graphology.

Re:In a stunning announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651692)

Creationism is science - deal with it!

How do they expect to fit creationism into the curriculum? My kids are already doing four hours of astrology and alchemy per week, and next semester the oldest starts graphology.

That is shocking and disappointing, sir. I am outraged, OUTRAGED to not see a full course load of phrenology, when your kids are clearly in the appropriate group for it!

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652712)

What, no tarot cards and divination? Ridiculous! What are they teaching in schools these days? No wonder everybody says public education is crap.

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

nanoakron (234907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32660894)

Mine just had his herbalism and phrenology exams. The stress he was under was just immense...

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32667262)

Except some herbs do have proven medical benefits. Aspirin, for example, is found in plants.

Re:In a stunning announcement (2, Informative)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652142)

NO it is not. The funny thing about science is you can test your theories. The theories of Creationism all fail basic testing. Or are stated in such a way that they are not testable, therefore they are not science.

Re:In a stunning announcement (-1, Troll)

ijakings (982830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653614)

Uuuh not really, some theories cannot be tested, or we have not devised a way to do so yet. Hence why they are called Theories, not Proofs or Laws.

The Theory of relativity is a theory that is not testable, I wouldnt exactly say that isnt science.

Im not in favour of creationists here, but blanketly saying you can test your theories, and if you cant it isnt science, is just Wrong.

Please accept this reply in leiu of a "Wrong" Modification.

Re:In a stunning announcement (3, Informative)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653696)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity [wikipedia.org] has links to 50 some odd references and a few references to publications of tests including B. Bertotti, L. Iess and P. Tortora, "A test of general relativity using radio links with the Cassini spacecraft", Nature 425, 374 (2003).

Re:In a stunning announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32654190)

You're on a pretty high horse for somebody who doesn't understand the scientific terms "theory" and "law."

Re:In a stunning announcement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655324)

well... creation science, certainly, is falsifiable, is it not?

hehehe

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655964)

The Theory of relativity is a theory that is not testable, I wouldnt exactly say that isnt science.
It's testable in the sense it can be used to make predictions and those predictions can be compared to what actually happened and what other theories e.g. newtons "laws" say.

Hence why they are called Theories, not Proofs or Laws.
No physical theory can ever be conclusively proved (hence why we don't call them "laws" these days apart from a few that are called that for historical reasons) because there is always the chance that we will find a set of circumstances under which they break or find better experimenal methods that expose an inaccuracy but that doesn't mean we can't test them and document whether or not they are right to within the bounds ot experimental error.

Creationism is NOT science (2, Insightful)

Gavrielkay (1819320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654248)

Science does not fall back on the invisible friend in the sky to explain what it does not currently understand. Scientists may not have all the answers, but at least they are looking for ways to find them. Hand waving and saying "God did it" is a dead end that can never expand human knowledge the way science can.

Re:Creationism is NOT science (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655208)

Science does not fall back on the invisible friend in the sky to explain what it does not currently understand. Scientists may not have all the answers, but at least they are looking for ways to find them. Hand waving and saying "God did it" is a dead end that can never expand human knowledge the way science can.

Pure Creationism only falls back on that for the very start of things being created. Creationism fully allows and promotes true scientific study.

Comparatively, Evolutionism promotes and falls back on the Big Bang and primordial goo for the very start of things being created. You cannot test that, and it is very equivalent to the "invisible friend in the sky". The big difference is that instead of saying "God did it", the evolutionist says "nothingness did it - it was just a random act", where Theistic Evolutionism says turns that "nothingness did it" right back into the "God did it" just to justify the two.

QED Evolutionism is no more science than Creationism.

Re:Creationism is NOT science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32655784)

The theory of Evolution as nothing to do with how life began. That is the domain of abiogenesys, a different field of science. Evolution deals only on how life evolved from a lower, already existing, form of life to what we have today.

Re:Creationism is NOT science (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32657074)

The theory of Evolution as nothing to do with how life began. That is the domain of abiogenesys, a different field of science. Evolution deals only on how life evolved from a lower, already existing, form of life to what we have today.

So the title "Origin of the Species" does not mean the origin of the species. Got it.

Re:Creationism is NOT science (2, Insightful)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666744)

Is English not your first language? Do you not understand the difference between "species" and "life"? Abiogenesis deals with how life started. If a book about it were to be titled similar to Darwin's work it would be titled "On the Origin of Life".

Re:Creationism is NOT science (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664552)

  Evolutionism promotes and falls back on the Big Bang and primordial goo for the very start of things being created.

  That statement shows just how ignorant you are. Evolution and cosmology are two entirely different fields of science, and the term "primordial goo" is mostly used by the media and idiots who write books about creationism.

  The rest of your post is just nonsense. Go get a real education.

SB

Re:Creationism is NOT science (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664740)

Evolutionism promotes and falls back on the Big Bang and primordial goo for the very start of things being created.

That statement shows just how ignorant you are. Evolution and cosmology are two entirely different fields of science, and the term "primordial goo" is mostly used by the media and idiots who write books about creationism.

You still know what I mean, and it's still valid. Evolution has many holes in it, and ultimately relies on the same basic unverifiable issues. Cosmology only applies for the Big Bang Theory, but Evolution still relies on some unknown, unverifiable ability to create life (any kind of life) out of nothing - whether "primordial goo" or something else, doesn't matter.

The rest of your post is just nonsense. Go get a real education.

Shows how much you know about opposing view points. While true - it's not going to popular here on /. to say that, it's true nonetheless.

Re:In a stunning announcement (2, Funny)

shriphani (1174497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649348)

Creationists are on a mission to troll their kids.

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649672)

Dude they don't even have one complete skeleton, how can they possibly prove anything? Evolution is fake anyway http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0055/0055_01.asp [chick.com]

Re:In a stunning announcement (0)

Mahalalel (1503055) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651194)

Mod me down for a rant AND for being off topic but....

I love how every time a story like this comes out somebody immediately, unprovoked, starts bashing Creationists. Is it because of insecurity or do you think it's cool? Well it isn't. It's puerile.

Oh, and while I'm here, posting something and appending "you insensitive clod" is way too overused. Just like the "3. ?????? 4. Profit!!" used to be.

I appreciate the informative posts that break out of the mold and actually give reasons, rather than an aping conformity to what is posted over and over again.

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

millennial (830897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651462)

It's done because Creationists are fucking imbeciles. I should know. I used to be one.

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

jrade (1522777) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652932)

And it isn't so much bashing, but more like making fun of.

Re:In a stunning announcement (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32656762)

I love how every time a story like this comes out somebody immediately, unprovoked, starts bashing Creationists. Is it because of insecurity or do you think it's cool?

It's been 150 years since the Origin of Species. The main thrust behind that book only gathers more evidence. 150 years later, the Origin of Species still stands as a testament to science and rational thought, much like Newton's Principia.

The mentally ill simply cannot help themselves. It's not their fault that they aren't as intelligent as the average person. This is why it's in bad taste to "make fun of retards."

But the average person has no excuse. If a person is of average intelligence and is a Creationist, that person *deserves* to be derided for buying into something that is a *parable* or an *allegory* and construe it as concrete fact when there are mountains of evidence that the two creation stories in the Bible are not to be taken literally.

Because that person should know better.

If you do not fight back against the ones who would drag us back into the dark ages, you deserve what happens to you and your children. Because they won't stop at banning Evolution.

--
BMO

Re:In a stunning announcement (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32656406)

Couldn't be Adam and Eve. Dick Clark said he knew Adam and Eve, and these two look nothing like them. Abe Vigota agrees.

Full of crap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649318)

What the fuck do anthropologists know about physics of walking mechanics? We really gotta reign in these "soft scientists".

Re:Full of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649508)

It's true, though.

Re:Full of crap (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649664)

"A great legend has grown up to plague both paleontologists and anthropologists. It is that one of; men can take a tooth or a small and broken piece of bone, gaze at it, and pass his hand over his forehead once or twice, and then take a sheet of paper and draw a picture of what the whole animal looked like as it tramped the Terriary terrain. If this were quite true, the anthropologists would make the F.B.I. look like a troop of Boy Scouts." William W. Howells, Harvard, Mankind So Far p138

No subscription required (4, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649354)

Ummm... the full text of the PNAS article does NOT require a subscription. Just click the "Full Text (PDF) [pnas.org] " link.

Or at least, I have access using no logins and accessing via a standard ISP in Thailand. :-/

Re:No subscription required (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649420)

Doesn't work here. Canadian ISP...
Maybe you're using university provided access that purchased access??

Re:No subscription required (2, Interesting)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649556)

I'm not at a university. And, I can access PNAS from both work and school and download at will. Maybe the National Academy of Sciences hates Canada? ;)

work and home (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649570)

durhurrr... I can access from both work and home.

Re:work and home (1)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650072)

I prefer MySQL to Access.

Re:No subscription required (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650836)

Not working here in the UK (from work); I'm presented with a login screen.

Re:No subscription required (1)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651006)

Hmmmm... that's really strange. Has anyone else been successful in accessing the full text? I poked around the PNAS site and didn't see anything about certain countries having access and others not. There is never a login page for me, though if I click on the subscribe link, it tells me the instructions to subscribe as if I'm not a subscriber (which I'm not).

Maybe the King of Thailand made a deal for Thailand to have access to early edition papers? I have no idea what's going on, but I have no problems accessing the full text PDF of this paper and pretty much any paper I have ever gone to read at PNAS. Weird.

Oops. Free access for developing countries (3, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651034)

Oops. I spoke too soon on that previous. PNAS offers free access to many developing countries, including Thailand. List here:

http://www.pnas.org/misc/faq.shtml#developing [pnas.org]

Oh well... if anyone without access really wants to read the original paper, send me an email and I'll be happy to send you the PDF. Put something like "Slashdot - PNAS article PDF" in your subject line, please.

Re:Oops. Free access for developing countries (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651590)

c'mon, sharing is caring, so upload it somewhere like Rapidshare.

Re:Oops. Free access for developing countries (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32669582)

PNAS offers free access to many developing countries, including Thailand.

Didn't know that. Kudos to PNAS (not that they need it).

Re:No subscription required (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652338)

Don't tell me that white people evolved from blacks!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Homo_erectus.JPG [wikipedia.org]

And that blacks evolved from apes!

No, that would be 'racist'.

The only alternative is Creationism. So why can't you all admit the truth?

They blew the nickname (4, Funny)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649468)

They find the male counterpart of Lucy, and nickname him "Big Man"? It would have been much more fun to name him "Ricky."

Re:They blew the nickname (2, Interesting)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649596)

Even better, call him Linus :)

Re:They blew the nickname (1)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651192)

Or Schroeder? Either way I feel sorry for him.

...and I pronounce Linux as Linux (3, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651636)

They find the male counterpart of Lucy

Even better, call him Linus :)

What does Mr. Torvalds have to do with Lucille Ball? Or maybe I just have peanuts for brains...

Re:...and I pronounce Linux as Linux (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651972)

Haha, I almost missed that...

Re:They blew the nickname (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652564)

Seems like the scientists have some 'splainin to do.

the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649562)

I have never seen a story with so many top-level comments modded -1. Arthropologists, stop bullshitting, it ain't working.

Biped (4, Funny)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649590)

From the nature write up it appears that this, along with older fossils, seems to push back bipedal Hominini to about 3.5 millions year. Almost 2 meters tall, a pelvis that seems modern, and a long tibia. I am not so sure why the scientists are arguing about how these creatures walked, the agreement on a bipedal Lucy and relatives seems pretty impressive, and meant that our ancestors could run when they hunt the might dinosaur.

Re:Biped (2, Insightful)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650188)

and meant that our ancestors could run when they hunt the might dinosaur.

In that case it also meant they could time-travel more than 60 million years into the past...

Ostrich == dinosaur (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651650)

Dinosaurs still exist. They're just called birds now.

Re:Biped (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651068)

Almost 2 meters tall

TFA says 5'6" max. That's nowhere near 2 metres.

Re:Biped (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652226)

Almost 2 meters tall

TFA says 5'6" max. That's nowhere near 2 metres.

Well, not metric metres...

Re:Biped (1)

skorch (906936) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651330)

our ancestors could run when they hunt the might dinosaur

You're about 62 million years off putting these or pretty much any other hominid species alongside real dinosaurs. Seriously, it might sound cool but it makes no sense, and the public believing stuff just because it sounds cool has lead to a lot of trouble in this field.

Re:Biped (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651862)

our ancestors could run when they hunt the might dinosaur

You're about 62 million years off putting these or pretty much any other hominid species alongside real dinosaurs. Seriously, it might sound cool but it makes no sense, and the public believing stuff just because it sounds cool has lead to a lot of trouble in this field.

YHBT, HAND.

p.s. wtf is up with slashdot comment boxes? Where's my "quote parent" button? Why change the design?

Re:Biped (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658534)

Where's my "quote parent" button? Why change the design?

Quote parent button? I've never seen a quote parent button on Slashdot.

Wooooooooossssh (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653234)

Unforutnately, it would appear your humor gland is broken.

I am not so sure why the scientists are arguing about how these creatures walked, the agreement on a bipedal Lucy and relatives seems pretty impressive, and meant that our ancestors could run when they hunt the might dinosaur.

ou're about 62 million years off putting these or pretty much any other hominid species alongside real dinosaurs.

Re:Biped (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652362)

I am not so sure why the scientists are arguing about how these creatures walked,

/. seems even more borken today than usual, but I'll try responding to this anyway (I'm assuming the dino joke was a joke...)

It's been pretty clear for quite a while now that upright bipedalism was an early feature in human evolution, where "quite a while" means "at least 20 years". But as the persistence of Creationism after a century of obvious falsity suggests, humans are deeply wedded to myths about our origins, and within the paleoanthropological community as well as popular culture there has been a big effort to build myths around human evolution.

Perhaps the largest of those myths is "man made tools and tools made man": the idea that once tool-use, including fire, became part of proto-human life we were on a slippery evolutionary slope to big brains. Upright bipedalism in this myth is necessary to free our hands to work with and carry tools.

This myth is comforting to the weak-minded because it seems to suggest that evolution "toward" modern humans was a quasi-purposive process driven by the reproductive benefits of improved tool-making and tool-use [*].

Early bipedalism blows this myth out of the water. If proto-humans were upright bipedal creatures so early on, those traits clearly had nothing much to do with tool use, and the certain fact that the evolution of our large, opera-writing, space-ship-building brains is nothing but the consequence of a huge series of unrelated accidents.

We happened to have a body plan that resulted in us being able to do something more useful than tell dirty jokes after run-away sexual selection blew our brain out into its current magnificent proportions. Once that entirely accidental potential was realized, about 50,000 years ago, there has likely been some evolutionary pressure toward more effective tool use and whatnot, up until the last 200 years, anyway.

But the process that got us here wasn't some million-year ramp we climbed. It was a fun-house ride that dumped us out at the end with a brain that could reflect on itself, and eventually ask how it got here, and learn by carefully examining the world what the answers were... all while some insane nutjobs were screaming nonsense and threatening violence if we instead didn't listen to their fantasic gibberish.

Early upright bipedalism challenges all the myths, and people hate that.

[*] Yeah, there's a joke in there, and since your brain was evolved specifically to entertain and be entertained by members of the opposite sex, it's one that pretty much everyone here is aware of since our brains were all the result of the same process.

Goods Gets the Girls (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658876)

Perhaps the largest of those myths is "man made tools and tools made man": the idea that once tool-use, including fire, became part of proto-human life we were on a slippery evolutionary slope to big brains.

I've not heard it put that way, but I think the man/tool relationship holds, at least in part. There can be little doubt that using tools enhances survival, so those clever enough to use tools would have an edge over those not clever enough to do so. It also follows that those clever enough to improve on tools would have an edge over those that could not. Hmm... Has anyone done a study relating tool complexity and the structure of the hand (the opposability of thumbs, finger length, etc.)?

However another theory posits that our bipedal gait freed our forelimbs to carry food, enabling us to forrage and gather across a wider range. More gathered foodstuffs->an edge in survival->more bipedalism. The guy with the goods gets the girl.

Re:Biped (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32687542)

Perhaps the largest of those myths is "man made tools and tools made man": the idea that once tool-use, including fire, became part of proto-human life we were on a slippery evolutionary slope to big brains. Upright bipedalism in this myth is necessary to free our hands to work with and carry tools.

We happened to have a body plan that resulted in us being able to do something more useful than tell dirty jokes after run-away sexual selection blew our brain out into its current magnificent proportions. Once that entirely accidental potential was realized, about 50,000 years ago, there has likely been some evolutionary pressure toward more effective tool use and whatnot, up until the last 200 years, anyway.

Early upright bipedalism challenges all the myths, and people hate that.

Feh. Rubbish.

The only necessary role of bipedalism in the "myth" that intelligence and tool use were positively selected for in human evolution is that it provided a skeletal structure that would support a larger brain and yes using tools.

It is neither surprising nor crippling to the "myth" that bipedalism could have evolved far earlier and for other reasons. That's common with many biological traits -- they serve one purpose as they evolve, but once present have other advantages that allow other features to arise. If the only reason our two-legged gait was selected for was because it let us chase prey and run away from predators on the plains when we came down from the trees (or whatever), so what? It still freed our hands and supported our heads.

What matters is that the fossil record shows skulls of human ancestors increasing in size, indicating selection for larger brains. Archaeological records show tool use millions of years ago, not fifty thousand. Yes there was an explosion of technological and societal growth in the relatively recent past. Yet humans had clearly been heading down a path of increasing their survivability through increasing tool use and intelligence for a long time.

Why that's a myth equivalent to religion, which was a concept that came long after tool use, I don't know.

I do appreciate your hypothesis that intelligence is the result of sexual selection, and I am not about to downplay the role. But... it seems likely that doing useful things with intelligence came before dirty jokes or similar means of pleasing the opposite sex. Jokes are actually pretty advanced concepts. Abstract thinking and problem solving would have certainly had to arise first. Before that, attracting mates was more about finding food, giving the same selective pressure towards tools and intellect as the need to find food for oneself. Intelligence was a survival trait.

Though on the other hand intelligence and tool use -- at least human intelligence and tool use -- has yet to prove itself as a truly long-term survival trait. Let's see if we're around for another fifty million.

Re:Biped (1, Interesting)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653680)

Looking at the small sampling of fossils I find it hard to accept that they can draw so many conclusions.

Yes, you could definitely say that it is hominidae, most likely a Australopithecus but to infer that it is bipedal with a human-like gait is a stretch.

'pithecus was around for a few million years and a great deal of evolutionary changes were occurring over that span of time. In the late Pleistocene look at how much 'homo changed with the extinction of habilis, neanderthalensis, floresiensis and denisova. We only have the ability to look at a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the evolutionary diversity of the hominid family.

PNAS? (1, Funny)

Spykk (823586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649640)

So I am supposed to read the results of "Big Man" over at PNAS? Why does this summary look like the contents of my spam folder?

This is an Important Message (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650446)

Man is a beast.

Yours,
Dr. Zachary P. Zaius
Minister of Science

It was only a matter of time... (1)

HRH King Lerxst (79427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651504)

I guess they found Helo???

Am I the only one? (2, Funny)

ajdowntown (91738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32654580)

The article includes plenty of viewpoints dissenting from the conclusion that A. afarensis walked, and possibly ran, like modern humans do.

Is anyone else as deeply offended by this as me? I, as a modern human, haven never, ever, in my life run, and am offended that I am associated with these prehistoric brutes.

Oh the humanity!

Anyone else dissatisfied with science? (1)

Anomalyx (1731404) | more than 4 years ago | (#32655580)

I'm not sure if I'm the only one who feels this way, but it seems to me that Lucy is no more relevant to science than the chimp down at the local zoo. The only non-chimp aspect of her was the knee, which was found a whole mile and a half away from the rest of her and in a different rock layer, with nothing suggesting that it was actually her knee. They need to find something that says she actually was something other than pure chimp, rather than just speculating. As it is, it isn't enough to convince me Lucy was anything special

Re:Anyone else dissatisfied with science? (-1, Flamebait)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32658428)

It is scientific fraud. Like Global Warming. If the facts don't support your view, simply make them up.

What is passing for "Science" is much like the religions they supposedly make fun of. I haven't seen the article, but I doubt, really doubt they show the bits and pieces they found and where each bit was when it was found.

Because people would instantly realize the fairytale that is passing itself off as science.

It is the fossil of the unwritten Jesus. (1)

dogzdik (1700552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662322)

Yes Jesus Christ walked the earth as an ape man to prove that creationism is wrong - and that it should be taught in the schools of the USA.
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