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New Skeleton Finds May Revamp History of Human Evolution

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the history-is-written-by-the-known-survivors dept.

Earth 131

brindafella links to a series of articles published yesterday in the journal Science "on Australopithecus sediba, explaining that skeletons found in the Malapa cave in the World Heritage listed 'Cradle of Civilisation' push back to 1.97 million years the oldest known tool-using, ape-like pre-humans." As is typical, the full Science articles are paywalled, but the abstracts are interesting. (If you're a university student — or, in some cases, an alumni club member — you may have full journal access and not even realize it.) NPR has a nice article on the find as well.

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Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358246)

Far
We've been travelling far
Without a home
But not without a star

Free
Only want to be free
We huddle close
Hang on to a dream

On the boats and on the planes
They're coming to America
Never looking back again
They're coming to America

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're travelling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country 'tis of thee
(Today)
Sweet land of liberty
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)
Of thee I sing
(today)

(today)

(today)

(today

Re:Well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358480)

Shut up, please.

Re:Well (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361604)

# Tooraleye ooralye ooralye ooralye ooralye ooralye ay

Tooraleye ooralye ooralye ooralye ooralye ooralye USA... /#

Take it with a grain of salt... (1, Informative)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358272)

Evolution of full of evolutionary useful adaptations reinventing themselves. Doesn't mean it's direct ancestry.

It has happened before and it will happen again.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358326)

It is one of several candidates to be a critical transition find.

Right now it,s it looks like it might be, but more study needed. It wouldn't be for first one that turned out to be from a species that ended up being an evolutionary dead end.

It's pretty interesting find, and the NPR article is a nice review of what it means and whats going on.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358328)

What the hell are you talking about?

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359914)

He has no idea. He's spouting crap. If he's seriously asserting that these transitional features were later reinvented by a later hominid, he's pretty damned ignorant of hominid evolution. He may be referring, I think, to, say, whales re-evolving morphological features present in ancient aquatic chordate ancestors, but the very fact that the distance between a whale and its fish ancestor is hundreds of millions of years and the distance between this hominid and modern humans is a few million tells you just how little this guy is thinking.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360434)

There are indeed numerous examples of independent parallel evolution of very similar things in both close and very distant species, so I don't understand the heat directed at GP.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37362132)

I don't understand the heat directed at GP.

I'm going with language barrier prejudice.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37363158)

We're talking here about bipedalism, hands much closer to humans than the other apes, in other words a suite of morphological features. It's absurd to think that this some early dead end and the same large-scale features evolved again in another hominid line a few million years later.

I'm not saying these two specimens or even their particular lineage were ancestral to us, but clearly those adaptations are precisely what one would look for in pushing back in time.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37363618)

At this paucity of specimens and with this frequency (indirect guess) of generation? It's not the millions of years, it's the millions of generations. If you're going to compare fruit flies, then you have to use 1mo=20yr for a scale.

So, do you have reference to numerous examples of species with a 20yr generation and an equivalent population to early hominids which exhibit convergent evolution?

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358472)

So say we all!

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Xaide (1015779) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358516)

There is the theory of the Moebius, a twist in the fabric of space, where time becomes a loop.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (2)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358682)

Loop where time becomes a.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

vuke69 (450194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360394)

A loop where time becomes.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360532)

Time comes where a loop be.

Re:Take it down a salt mine... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361614)

In Soviet Russia, time loops YOU!!!

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360624)

wasn't that in an episode of seaquest?

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37363302)

Nonsense. We all know that time is a cube.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (4, Informative)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358672)

That was what the scientists behind the discovery argued on Science Friday. Even Berger, who found it (and was implied [todayonline.com] to be saying it was a human ancestor) argued that it was more significant in opening up our idea of what morphology defines the genus Homo than in being a possible ancestor.

The Science Friday [sciencefriday.com] story (audio on the left side of the page) is definitely worth listening to. Quick version: sediba has some features, in the hands and elsewhere, that are associated with the genus Homo and our direct ancestors. But it also has very ape-like qualities that make it less likely to be a direct ancestor. It's also notable in that it was discovered as two very complete skeletons rather than fragments, as many transitional species are.

Cool story all around.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37359192)

The Science Friday [sciencefriday.com] story (audio on the left side of the page) is definitely worth listening to. Quick version: sediba has some features, in the hands and elsewhere, that are associated with the genus Homo and our direct ancestors. But it also has very ape-like qualities that make it less likely to be a direct ancestor.

Ah! I see! It's a nigger!

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37359286)

Dude, what does this even mean? Did you leave out some nouns? Verbs? It's hard to tell. This post is nonsense.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360544)

Turn the first "of" into an "is". Don't they have Markov chain bots where you're from?

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359900)

This is a hominid, that much is clear. It may not be an ancestor in the way your grandfather is an ancestor, but it is most certain that there's no wheel invention here, these are features peculiar to our lineage.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361648)

It's enough to say that it's a cousin, as every single other creature on this planet is.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361678)

It's enough to say that it's a cousin, as every single other creature on this planet is.

But unlike chimps, this is a kissing cousin, we could have interbred with them and may have. Not necessarily our direct ancestor, but lived in the same world as our direct ancestors, and didn't win the evolutionary lottery.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37362328)

But unlike chimps, this is a kissing cousin

Neanderthals were 'kissing cousins,' because they lived at the same time as modern humans in the middle east.

we could have interbred with them

I don't see how you could possibly know that.

and may have.

How? Assuming you mean "us" as modern humans, we've only been around 200,000 years or so. This specimen is 1.9 million years old.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

thunderclap (972782) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360212)

That quote is 125,000 yrs old so we are the happen again.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

RoLi (141856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360704)

Yes, actually the whole "out-of-Africa" theory is standing on a weak foundation. [in-other-news.com]

Basically anthropologists made a lot of assumptions when formulating that theory and the whole thing falls apart with new DNA-tests.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361096)

It must have been too "inconvinient" to use spell check. I'm not sure which is weaker - their arguments or their diction.

The death of the Out-of-Africa theory

New finds and research results prove the theory that said that human evolution happened exclusively in Africa.

So is the title wrong or the first sentence? It doesn't really improve from there unless you are a grammar nazi in search of a target rich environment.

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361224)

Am I missing something? Isn't this cave in Africa...?

Re:Take it with a grain of salt... (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361676)

The article in Nature says no such thing. It is far more nuanced, tentative and uncertain than your summary.

Human ancestors in Eurasia earlier than thought [nature.com]

Again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358286)

Don't they do this every couple of years?

Re:Again? (0)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358316)

No, as a matter of fact, they don't, jackass.

Re:Again? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358658)

As a matter of fact they do.

Look up the history of 'nebraska man'. 1 tooth and they extrapolated a whole species. I even remember seeing the exhibit as a boy.

So while it may be interesting and may fit what you think should exist. Treat it with science and skepticism. At this point the field is full of bones that they do not know what it is because of the amount of fraud that has happened over the years. People do it for fame, money, or even luz. It *may* be what they say but calm down...

Re:Again? (3, Informative)

sunspot42 (455706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359640)

You're seriously trying to support the assertion "they" do this "every couple of years" because of "Nebraska man"? "Nebraska man" hit the papers in 1922. Once a century != "every couple of years".

Basic math fail.

Re:Again? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359928)

Basic history fail too. What is it about evolution, and human evolution in particular, that brings out the retarded fuckwits?

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360112)

"What is it about evolution, and human evolution in particular, that brings out the retarded fuckwits?"

They heard too many children's stories about talking snakes.

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37359818)

Look up the history of 'nebraska man'. 1 tooth and they extrapolated a whole species.

I did look it up, on Talk.Origins [talkorigins.org] and it's a pretty bad example. If you take "they extrapolated a whole species" to mean "a prominent paleontologist identified the tooth as an ape tooth" and "an artist painted a rendition for a popular news periodical of a possible species the tooth came from," then sure.

Re:Again? (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360550)

Nebraska Man was debunked in 1927. What was the name of the museum, so we can avoid it or its de facto successor?

For most subject topics in peer review they do (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358388)

Even if you are an AC I'm still commenting.

I would say articles are submitted on main line tracts of every topic every week. Just to get it published means it's worth paying attention to. On the other hand it also means you'll see another revolutionary evolution/refinement every couple years. As far as the subject matter I think it's very apropos.

P.S. And yes I transposed a word in my previous post.

wait a second (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358322)

I thought civilization had to do with agriculture and an end to being total nomads, so one could build a city.

Tool use is great and all, but not civilation I would think.

Re:wait a second (3, Funny)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358454)

I thought civilization had to do with agriculture and an end to being total nomads, so one could build a city.

Civilization is defined by the use of monetary instruments. The more advanced the civilization, the closer they are to using Bitcoins.

Re:wait a second (2)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358656)

If we were to invent cheap spaceship cities and give up stationary living, would we no longer be civilized?

Re:wait a second (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359034)

If they didn't have agriculture there would be a fair point I think.

Though you called them cities, and I said "allowing cities" so I think you're hypothetical counter is at best only half counter.

My point was tools aren't civiliztion, and I would argue that complex communication isn't either (but there is a case for that), it's cities that make civilization.

Thus nomadic barbarians being called uncivilized.

Re:wait a second (1)

meglon (1001833) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361386)

I'm thinking the whole "uncivilized barbarians" label came about less because the didn't have cities, which some did, but more for their propensity of pulling peoples livers our through their sphincter at a moments notice (or other acts of telling people to frak off that didn't meet with the aforementioned persons liking).

Re:wait a second (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37363044)

Well, it's not as if the "civilized" Romans, Persians, Babylonians, Assyrians, (the endless list goes on) didn't do "barbaric" things like that as well. Mankinds history has always been violent, regardless of class. Mostly the label of "Barbarian" comes from a bias .F'instance, the Celtic tribes had laws, mathematics, and technology (i.e. among other things, all indications are that the celts invented (chain) mail, an advanced form of armor that the "more civilized" cultures borrowed), yet were still considered "barbarians" by the Romans.
I think the name was probably due to their living tribally rather than in large cities.

You all sucks dicks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358400)

FYI: If your are at Laval University, you have access,

Proof of Intelligent Design (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358408)

See, more proof that evolution is bogus and creationism is true. The evolutionists just have to keep changing their story.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (5, Insightful)

xevioso (598654) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358496)

Nono, you have it wrong. Evolution is wrong because of all the gaps that keep increasing. See, say you have fossil A and E. The creationist says, "Aha, there's no fossil between A and E! There's a gap there!" Then the evolutionist finds fossil C, which fits nicely between A and E. Now the creationist says, "Aha, now there's a gap between A and C, and between C and E! You've just created MORE gaps!" This is creatinionism logic at its finest.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359072)

That and any correction is taken that all evidence is wrong. "Yes we now believe homo habilis coexisted with homo erectus instead of preceding it." = "Did you hear that? All their hominid data was wrong."

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Opyros (1153335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359076)

So after an infinite amount of time, the set of gaps in the fossil record will resemble the Cantor set [bgsu.edu] ?

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358536)

funny.. but you nailed it.
The problem with creationism is that it's based on faith (it's in the book, so it's true), while falsibility is the basis of science. (facts, theory, more facts, re-evaluate, new theory)

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (2)

next_ghost (1868792) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358546)

How is that supposed to be a "proof"? Scientists are less wrong today than they were yesterday. Creationists on the other hand are still exactly as wrong as the bronze age goat herders who came up with the creation fairy tale several thousand years ago.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361198)

I find it baffling that modern-day creationists, given the vast amount of information available to them, can still be more wrong than someone living thousands of years ago.

This biblical literalism appears to be a more modern fad. Some of the great thinkers of church history would be appalled at the way in which creationists discredit their religion by clinging to literal interpretations of scripture in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Augustine is a good example of a notable Christian two-thousand years ago who realized scripture will have to be continually reinterpreted as new information comes to light. Reinterpretation is not without its pitfalls, but it's better than trying to defend a verse that is clearly indefensible in the face of evidence.

I like the way you summed that up. Succinct and on the money.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 2 years ago | (#37362434)

I should point out that there is a silent sizable chunk of religious folk that embrace science and evolution as the how. Starting with the big bang (maybe) a little (or maybe a lot) of influence to eventually create humans (but not necessarily just home sapien). What we have in scripture as to how it all happened is (at least in my opinion) the way who ever wrote it understood what was being said, or written. If God created the universe, it would be foolish to limit how he did it.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361670)

When you see your likeness, you are pleased. But when you see your images which came into existence before you, which neither die nor become manifest, how much you will have to bear!

--Darwin, concisely summarizing his Natural Selection theory, and the personal and social challenges accepting our pre-existing forms is likely to be, circa 1800

...oh wait, that was actually...

--Jesus, saying the same thing, a couple thousand years earlier

Seems pretty consistent over that time to me.

By the way, you may want to familiarize yourself with what a Bare Assertion Fallacy is.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (2)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358766)

I beg to differ. By my reckoning, this proves that the history of the earth now goes back at least 7000 years.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361628)

ID in no way specifies a thousands-of-years-old Earth, as few theists per se do, but carry on with the boilerplate YEC Straw Man / outright deliberate lie, while you can.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37363076)

You are incorrect. About 40% of all Americans [pollingreport.com] believe that humans were created in their present form by God 10,000 years ago. Among creationists YEC is the overwhelming majority view.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37364132)

You haven't even used the term "ID" in your demonstration of what "ID" supposedly is.

Typical.

Let me put it to you succinctly. "Creationism", as you use it, and imply it -must- be used, is an erroneously-constructed concept that includes two totally disparate concepts--the notion that the world was created thousands of years ago, and the notion there is a God. There is no necessary relationship between those two premises. "Creationism", as it is used typically, is simply presented so that this fallacious concept-formation can be embedded in a word and the demand to accept it in totality (both premises) or reject it in totality (both premises) can be presented.

Per Aristotle, who knew how to construct -proper- concepts, "Creationism" means -one thing only-, the premise that the universe was created by an intelligent being, irrespective of its age. Anyone hearing it used as an accretion of multiple premises should stop, realize they are dealing with someone so dishonest and irrational that these traits are embedded all the way down in their psyche to the very way they use words, and walk away.

One can believe the universe was created, and believe it is millions of years old. Period. This is a valid use of the term "Creationism", and any particular content beyond this requires specific qualification. Accreting it with any other premise as a definitional characteristic (again, per Aristotle) is just bullshit. Unfortunately, theists often don't realize the purpose of the term (though they should--embedding fallacies in individual words is par for the course in politics), and some actually adopt this usage. After that, no argument can be viable using the loaded word--which was the intent all along.

So, so much for "Creationism". As for the term I actually used, "ID", this is a view that overlaps, but is not synonymous, with Young Earth Creationism and Old Earth Creationism (and "designed by aliens", for that matter), and the overwhelming majority of people -supporting ID-, including the "founders", are Old Earth Creationists. I know they need to be definitionally the same for your argument you are parroting from Dawkins et al for the millionth time. Sorry, even though it's obviously useful and necessary for you to claim they are, they still aren't, and your premise is still false, the millionth-and-first time.

I trust you can work something so simple out without needed to bring in a Venn Diagram.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37364266)

ID is creationism, but not all creationism is ID. It also helps to distinguish ID(TM) a la Behe, Dembski, Discovery Institute et al. from "intelligent design" in a general sense. I would call it "ID theory" but there is no theory to be found in it.

ID advocates are very specific about what they think is created (life) and very non-specific as to when and how and by whom. They may also be sympathetic to anti-big-bang cosmology and naturalism in general, though there's nothing in the ID arguments that really address these.

ID doesn't demand YEC, but it also doesn't contradict it. ID is a small subset of creationist dogma, namely the part that says "evolution (of x) is impossible because (yz), and the only alternative is design."

The common aspect of ID and creationism both is that they distrust established mainstream science, for reasons that don't really have anything to do with the science itself. The motives are political and religious. Neither contributes anything to scientific research or literature.

Re:Proof of Intelligent Design (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358912)

I see... So the creationist theory cannot be proven false, and the evolutionist's theory is proven false time and time again. I get it!

Wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358476)

How could this skeleton be 2 million years old when the Earth was created 6,000 years ago?

Always another game-changer with each new find (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358486)

...but in the end, just another monkey bone.

Rather than compiling the evidence and forming a theory, evolutions have solidified their theories and are desperate for evidence to support what they choose to put their faith in.

Outliers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358506)

Tracing human evolution from one random set of remains would be like extrapolating the history of human intellectual thought by picking one random person from slashdot.

Re:Outliers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37359860)

Comparison FAIL.

Thought != Gene structure and DNA.

Something more correct would be to compare that to extracting the basic repeatable human Psychology footprint from a single individual. Something repeatable, generally similar, and after comparing 2 or more subjects profiles, many things are the same while outliers are more noticeable.

(Some people clearly lack critical thinking skills)

Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358520)

As is typical, the full Science articles are paywalled

Indeed, the articles in question are behind the Science paywall. But it is like that because we've liked it that way for some time. This is changing as time goes on; now all NIH-funded (read: US government-funded) research must be published in a way that allows for free access. Science, Nature, and other high-impact journals have ways to comply with that when needed.

However, the journals do need to be able to make money to pay their staff and meet their business expenses. Maybe the model doesn't fit modern times, but it is what it is.

And we are talking about the journal Science, one of the most widely subscribed journals anywhere. You might not even need to go to your closest university to read it; there is a good chance your local public library has a subscription to it as well. You may even be able to get to it online if you're creative.

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358730)

But it is like that because we've liked it that way for some time. This is changing as time goes on;

Not changing very quickly, though. At the end of the Science Friday segment about this Ira Flatow asked the scientists about the high resolution scans they made of the skulls and made an offhand comment about 3D printers and releasing the data to the public. The scientist made a big deal about how they had made the data available for months now, if you were a scientist and showed up at the Smithsonian.

So close, and yet so far away.

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358948)

I want to know where I can get a high res scan/3D "print" of my own skull.

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359118)

You can do this.

Go to a place where they have CAT scan, a hospital or a private company.

Get a scan

Call up a company with a Dimension printer or other 3D printer. There are 3D printers that also do powdered metallurgy sintering with lasers. (and nowadays there is more 3D printing technology than you can shake a stick at. Can you say "powdered metal ceramic"? I knew you could).

Send them the data.

Have them print it.

Pay for all this.

--
BMO

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (1)

PopeScott (1343031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359330)

You know that would almost be worth it. It would be pretty damn cool to have a model of your own skull.

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (2)

rokstar (865523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360056)

If I had a 3d printed model of my own skull, i would hold it up any time company was over a comment about how alas, I knew him.

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360134)

It would be pretty damn cool to have a model of your own skull.

Even better to play Shakespeare while holding your own skull in your hand.

Alas, poor me! I knew myself, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; I hath borne me on my back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination I am!

Who knew it would only take a 3d printer to hack a Shakespeare play?

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37361682)

The only time I have ever had a CAT scan done, they refused to give me the data. How the hell do you accomplish this?

Are you not American or something?

Re:Not entirely the fault of the Journal Science (1)

travisb828 (1002754) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360602)

You could become an AAAS member. http://www.aaas.org/membership/ [aaas.org]

What's great about science (4, Insightful)

dbet (1607261) | more than 2 years ago | (#37358772)

New evidence = new theories.

As opposed to politics and religion, new evidence = character assassinate those who presented the evidence.

Re:What's great about science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37359324)

Oh dear.

This is modded Interesting instead of being flamebait, troll, or offtopic.

At this point I've just about thrown my hands in the air and given up since this sums up a common attitude I've seen on /.

(Note: For people who will be modding this as flamebait or troll, I don't care if the parent hates religion and politics. That's fine, everyone's entitled to their opinions. But taking a topic that's about a discovery of a skeleton that supports new theories and using it to harp against religion and politics by using a tenuous connection and then being modded UP even for a moment disturbs me.)

Re:What's great about science (1)

Ixokai (443555) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360672)

I think you're missing the point.

The point is the scientists look at the evidence and come up with new theories.

The religious and political groups look at the exact same evidence, in the exact same scenario, and lie. Its not an attack against the religious: its that the religious react to the exact same evidence with attacks on the scientists character and spouting grand conspiracy theories, and arguing their point with grand handwaving and nothing else.

Religion isn't incompatible with science; but where religion meets politics, science becomes anathema as it represents reason and questioning where only the absolute acceptance of presumed fact is allowed. Even if that "fact" is totally, utterly, completely devoid from any reality.

And the "fact" I speak not is of religion -- you can be fully religious and very plausibily support scientific understanding. But you can't be a religious-political nutjob and be able to actually read english (especially the Constitution).

"Politics and religion" are mutating to become this hybrid monstrosity in the United States at least, where actual rational thought is a simply Wrong. That is a completley different thing then Religion by itself, which has its components of faith -- but many, many, many, MANY scientists have been able to easily reconcile faith and science.

But mix politics into religion, and religion becomes tainted -- you don't believe in "climate change" but not because of faith, or anything religious. Anything scientific is anti-faith, period. And /power/ drives the whole movement at that point-- because there is no point to politics but power-- so with religion driving, and politics directing, ignorance becomes a virtue.

Its not anti-religion to be worried about that. All religion isn't bad. The merger of religion with politics in our system, where any evidence-based scientific development is simply flatly assumed to be a lie -- THAT is a problem.

Religion doesn't have to be anti-science, or vice-versa.

Re:What's great about science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37361766)

I think you're missing the point.

no u. tfa was about some science papers. anti-religion trolling is off topic, but it's modded up every time here.

Re:What's great about science (2)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359634)

This happens in science too. New "evidence" = new criticism and testing those new findings. That's one of the great things about science: it's possible to test everything like this.

Politics, on the other hand, doesn't work that way. You don't know how well something will work for certain until you try it and even then there are so many other variables that you don't even know if anything you changed did any good or bad, and then everybody praises/criticizes you for it either way.

And Religion is WAY different. Religion is about keeping tradition: "new evidence" (for what?) almost never exists, and when it does it has to be proven accurate somehow, which is really complicated. Out of all of the three things, this one doesn't even belong. It doesn't function like science at all.

Re:What's great about science (1)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360040)

Your response was very confused.

+ Politics is about being seen to have the answers, and "mastering" all opposition, so of course politicians nay-say each other continuous. Political epistemology has nothing to do with whether you try something, but whether it will make you powerful.

+ Religion can have very sophisticated epistemologies, but always works from a set of givens. For example, we /know/ God exists. The set of givens can differ from "everything is the good book is literally true", to "Jesus was a saint who was far wiser then me or you."

+ Politics intrudes on science insofar as science is conducted by human beings who are naturally attached to their ideas, and their prestige and influence.

The most sciency disciplines don't have too much trouble with new information. The less sciency (social sciences) have huge issues when it comes to accepting new information /because/ they see knowledge as politic, and thus engage in politics. (See first point above.)

Re:What's great about science (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361790)

That's one of the great things about science: it's possible to test everything like this.

Ah, no, completely false. Did you even think to propose that a test to differentiate this finding from a one-off birth defect was necessary, as a hypothesis? I'm betting no, because this was presented as "science"--the general appearance of being so is generally immediately sufficient for most as long as the thing proposed being something they already want to agree with.

The reality is, the majority of propositions in the range of sciences are not testable, and propositions are held as supported by strength of inference from "knowns". This is particularly true in anthropology (give me that test that shows this pottery is from Culture X, just because it's of a style, material composition, and physical location of Culture X known to have been there--those are all "merely" inferential support), and becomes even more so as we move into "softer" sciences, such as psychology.

Even in the "hardest" of "hard sciences", physics, we still can't test whether the Copenhagen or Everett interpretation is true, after a century. Why are these proposals accepted as science? Because they have great inferential support from knowns, and, from your testable-only perspective, because it says it's science, and says something you like. That's good enough for 99% of the population. Only reason to object, really, is the simple fact that a scientist or science teacher, who, encountering a proposition he/she doesn't like, decides to exclude it based on testability criteria, is just a hypocrite with respect to the rest of his professional career, who is actively damaging science and people's understanding of science, for the momentary benefit of dismissing a particular personally-disliked proposition. If you actually value science, understand that this is actually quite a bit more nuanced than you suggest, and is an area where Philosophy of Science can be quite informative.

Re:What's great about science (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37362020)

New evidence = new theories.

As opposed to politics and religion, new evidence = character assassinate those who presented the evidence.

Haven't read all that much history of science, have you? Yes, scientists are just as prone to character assassination of people who disagree with them as anyone else.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37363094)

We don't live in an ideal world. Our noblest ideas are imperfectly implemented. But that doesn't make them any less noble.

Though the implementations may have some similarities, the philosophical differences are of primary significance.

"Science adjusts its views based on what's observed. Faith rejects observation so that belief may be preserved"

-- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

I'm already an expert (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37358820)

I read it in National Geographic at the dentist's office.
She compared my teeth to the ones in the photos, not very favorabley.

Rick Perry (2)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 2 years ago | (#37359836)

What's his take on this? Seriously..

Re:Rick Perry (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360326)

What's his take on this? Seriously..

I'm guessing he hasn't received his copy of Science yet.

Re:Rick Perry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360656)

He'll call his previous campaign boss Al Gore and get some of Al's science buddies explain it to him using very small words.

Re:Rick Perry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360444)

He's excited to find evidence that not only Republicans existed 2 million years, but that their core values are practically unchanged since that time.

Re:Rick Perry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360902)

The evolutionists have changed their minds again. It just goes to show how unreliable evolution "science" really is. But God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and you can trust in His word.

Re:Rick Perry (1)

jacob1984 (1314123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37361504)

The evolutionists have changed their minds again..

This isn't a flaw... this is a feature.

Re:Rick Perry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37362760)

The evolutionists have changed their minds again. It just goes to show how unreliable evolution "science" really is. But God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and you can trust in His word.

Yes, with a new EVIDENCE

its behind a pay wall (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360094)

cause right now its mostly smoke and guesses, they dont want you to see that before they get your dollar, much like the carnies and the spook house.

If anything was solid it would at least make a few moments on the evening news for free

You people are idiots! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37360142)

Everyone know that the earth is only 6000 years old!

You all must be communists.

FINALLY (1)

australopithecus (215774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360306)

ALL HAIL AUSTRALOPITHECUS

Missing link? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37360790)

It' behind a paywall, sadly. We'll never get to it now...

Re:Missing link? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37361732)

Yes you will. If you want, you currently can look at the "Supporting Online Material" links for each of the papers now. It's not very satisfying, but they contain some information related to the main papers. In a year people will be able to access the articles in Science by registering on their web site [sciencemag.org] . For example, it means you can now view the bunch of articles on Ardipithecus ramidus [sciencemag.org] from 2009, and it means you can also look at the previously-published papers on Australopithecus sediba from April of last [sciencemag.org] year [sciencemag.org] .

So, it's more of a "delayed link" than a "missing" one.

Did blacks evolve from monkeys? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37361216)

Oh, sorry... it's only WHITE people who we are allowed to say evolved from monkeys, isn't it...

Otherwise 'the missing link' would be all too obvious...

Apes evolved into blacks, and blacks evolved into whites...

Do the math.

Why do you never see a photo of a monkey next to a photograph of a black person, when discussing evolution?

Ha! My CAPTCHA is 'inequity'...

fook paywalls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37364058)

and thus its not true unless i see fullarticle, they are lying.

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