Monday, May 30, 2005
Flores Update -- Hobbits or Pygmies [or Furries]?
Liang Bua Cave on Flores [Time, inc] where controversial "hobbit" remains have been found.
Time Magazine has a nice treatment of the current controversy over the Flores "hobbit". Early assertions that a new human species had been found there have been called into question. It seems that a village of pygmies lives within easy walking distance of the cave where the diminuitive skeletons were found. Controversy centers on the only skull recovered from the cave. It has an abnomally small cranial capacity, which leads some "scientists" to argue that it does represent a separate species. Other "scientists" say "nonsense -- it's just a pathological specimen." We've heard this argument many times before, starting with the first Neanderthal skeleton unearthed.
One parenthetical point: Some of the pygmies have a heavy pelt of fur on their bodies. If that's the case, shouldn't we be calling them the Flores "furries" instead of "hobbits?"
Read the article here.