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Baffling 400,000-Year-Old Clue to Human Origins
The New York Times ^ | December 4, 2013 | Carl Zimmer

Posted on 12/05/2013 11:46:56 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain.

Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries.

In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported Wednesday that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.

The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story. It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.

The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years. It is possible, for example, that there are many extinct human populations that scientists have yet to discover. They might have interbred, swapping DNA. Scientists hope that further studies of extremely ancient human DNA will clarify the mystery....

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthropology; denisovans; fauxiantrolls; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; history; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; science

1 posted on 12/05/2013 11:46:56 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Giant gnomes?


2 posted on 12/05/2013 11:50:36 PM PST by MestaMachine (My caps work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

In a hundred years....we will probably have evidence of several dozen human-like species that existed....mingled...had lusty relations....and one survived onto this point (mostly by luck).

Evolution? We will have proven that as each mingling took place....the tree of the human species took a piece or part from one species and put it into another. Some humans today likely have a protective DNA sequence to prevent various cancers....some likely are very susceptible to any disease. Some are born as a life-long liberal.


3 posted on 12/05/2013 11:53:04 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

From the picture, two have slanted eyes, the old man looks like a Viking, the boy in the center has a flat nose, the one in the back loks more ape-like than the others while the one in the lower left corner looks like modern day man.

What’s with the dark skin? Is this because man is thought to have come out of Africa? Or does the DNA confirm skin color?


4 posted on 12/06/2013 12:03:33 AM PST by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners. And to the NSA trolls, FU)
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To: NTHockey
“An artist's interpretation of the hominins that lived near the Sima de los Huesos cave in Spain.”

Do you really try to learn anything from “artists’ interpretations”?

5 posted on 12/06/2013 1:51:45 AM PST by tdscpa
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Was it evolution? Or were they cloned by extraterrestrials as ancient alien theorists surmise may have possibly been the likely case sort of?
6 posted on 12/06/2013 2:12:03 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Did the ancients know they were ancients? Or did they see themselves as presents?)
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To: NTHockey

“What’s with the dark skin? Is this because man is thought to have come out of Africa? Or does the DNA confirm skin color?”

Well, for one, it’s an “artist’s impression”, which means it really doesn’t have anything to do with the topic matter and only truly relates what some artist “felt”.

But moving beyond that for a moment, I’d like to ask, how hairy do you think Australopithecus was?

You see, many individuals working in anthropology are extremely leftist, and quite a lot of them have a pathological hatred of western civilization. This often translates as intellectually unsupportable knee-jerk interpretations that are consciously or subconsciously meant to denigrate white people.

As an example, I still recall one of my college instructors saying “Human beings are black, it’s white people that are the mutants.”

Naturally, that statement utterly ignores that modern Africans are generally as distant from our common ancestors as modern Europeans are. Further, it would be irrational in the extreme to assume that a modern African, whose ancestors most likely arose from the Bantu explosion that resulted in near total population replacement in Africa, is more morphologically indicative of a mythical “true” human prototype than any other population on Earth.

But back to my question of hairiness. Primates have no real need of melanin for protection from the sun, as they have fur coats. Aside from some small areas of the body that are usually hairless, most primates have light-colored skin under their coats. Early hominids would first have to lose their fur, and then evolve increased melanin concentration to deal with the loss.

Whether or not early humans possessed light or dark skin would reasonably be a function of when hominids started losing body hair. What’s more, even after losing body hair an early human population might not have experienced strong selection for melanin production - depending on the lifestyle and local environment there may have been little need, remember that ancient Africa was in terms of climate a great deal different than modern Africa. From a purely rational standpoint, assuming that the first humans were dark-skinned is just as wrong-headed as assuming they were light-skinned.

However, anthropologists as a general rule really don’t like light-skinned people, and so they take every chance they can get to denigrate, isolate, or ridicule light-skinned persons.


7 posted on 12/06/2013 2:27:07 AM PST by jameslalor
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To: NTHockey

“What’s with the dark skin? Is this because man is thought to have come out of Africa? Or does the DNA confirm skin color?”

The further they lived from the equator, the less likely they were to have dark skin.


8 posted on 12/06/2013 2:55:40 AM PST by RouxStir (No peein' allowed in the gene pool.)
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To: jameslalor
Well, for one, it’s an “artist’s impression”, which means it really doesn’t have anything to do with the topic matter and only truly relates what some artist “felt”.

That's true, and it's a New York Times article, so it's heavily slanted toward communism; other than that, it's very factual and informative.

9 posted on 12/06/2013 2:58:52 AM PST by Standing Wolf (No tyrant should ever be allowed to die of natural causes.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That’s definitely Balin on the right. Looks like Fili and Kili at top left, and young Gimli and his sister at bottom left, but I can’t be sure.


10 posted on 12/06/2013 3:01:53 AM PST by ExGeeEye (The enemy's gate is down...and to the left.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If there were homo erectus, Neanderthals, and denisovans living among us today, would anyone know it? How different were these species of man?

If Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals were living together today, would we be treating each other as equals, or would one species dominate the other?


11 posted on 12/06/2013 3:02:53 AM PST by Cowboy Bob (They are called "Liberals" because the word "parasite" was already taken.)
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To: pepsionice
Some are born as a life-long liberal.

No, no - anything but that...

12 posted on 12/06/2013 3:07:25 AM PST by GOPJ ("Remember who the real enemy is... ")
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To: ExGeeEye

Not Gimli. And definitely not his sister. She was a blond, if I’m remembering right.


13 posted on 12/06/2013 3:15:57 AM PST by Toucan Dance
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.

14 posted on 12/06/2013 3:18:53 AM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: NTHockey
I'm taking an on line genetics class from the University of Maryland and the Professor said Neanderthals had red hair and were fair skinned. The Neanderthal genome has been worked out at least so they say. Now the Neanderthal is "later" than the species depicted in the article. I don't know if the Denisovan genome has been worked out.
15 posted on 12/06/2013 3:36:32 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
Professor said Neanderthals had red hair and were fair skinned. The Neanderthal genome has been worked out at least so they say.

How do they know that applies to all Neanderthals and not just the subset for whom they've found DNA?

I'm never really see the point of all this study of the origin of Humans. I figure at some point God put a soul in us and then we stopped being apes.

16 posted on 12/06/2013 3:40:56 AM PST by old and tired
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To: old and tired

Sorry, but I’m not falling for any of this. God created Adam and Steve... beginning and end of story.


17 posted on 12/06/2013 4:00:36 AM PST by Russ (Repeal the 17th amendment)
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To: MestaMachine
Giant gnomes?

Jumbo shrimp?

18 posted on 12/06/2013 4:39:15 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

From a thigh bone artists were able to come up with a physical interpretation of what the rest of the bones, if they had them, would have looked like assembled with flesh and skin added. Amazing! /s


19 posted on 12/06/2013 5:00:02 AM PST by Dustbunny ("Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. " Ronald Reagan)
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To: NTHockey

Dark skin is more likely than light skin.


20 posted on 12/06/2013 5:07:57 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: pepsionice

> In a hundred years....we will probably have evidence of several dozen human-like species that existed....mingled...had lusty relations....and one survived onto this point (mostly by luck).

Evolution? We will have proven that as each mingling took place....the tree of the human species took a piece or part from one species and put it into another. Some humans today likely have a protective DNA sequence to prevent various cancers....some likely are very susceptible to any disease. Some are born as a life-long liberal.

Hey we have white women mating with black men, probably similar situation.


21 posted on 12/06/2013 5:16:01 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

Did you professor mention that the racial variability within the Neanderthal was greater than within “anatomically modern man”?


22 posted on 12/06/2013 5:22:25 AM PST by Born to Conserve
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To: MestaMachine

One looks like Santa.


23 posted on 12/06/2013 5:22:32 AM PST by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

Ah!

So that explains the gingers and why they have no souls.


24 posted on 12/06/2013 5:29:24 AM PST by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: jameslalor
“What’s with the dark skin? Is this because man is thought to have come out of Africa? Or does the DNA confirm skin color?”

They did not bathe as often as we do, and when by chance they did, they had no soap.

25 posted on 12/06/2013 5:32:19 AM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: old and tired

First God made democrats, He looked upon His work and thought “And now, DELUGE!”


26 posted on 12/06/2013 7:00:08 AM PST by Holdem Or Foldem ( A Smith and Wesson beats four aces)
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To: pepsionice

“In a hundred years....we will probably have evidence of several dozen human-like species that existed....mingled...had lusty relations....and one survived onto this point”

Or perhaps less intermingling went on, and six or eight of them have survived to this point.


27 posted on 12/06/2013 10:27:58 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: jsanders2001

“Hey we have white women mating with black men”

And don’t forget the thousands and thousands of white men who rape negro women every year.

Oh...wait a minute...

Perhaps if white men had more control over white women, there would hardly be any intermingling at all.


28 posted on 12/06/2013 10:35:36 AM PST by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: dsc

> Perhaps if white men had more control over white women, there would hardly be any intermingling at all.

I can hardly wait to see the comments from female Fr’pers on that one ^...: )


29 posted on 12/06/2013 11:17:56 AM PST by jsanders2001
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To: Born to Conserve

No.


30 posted on 12/06/2013 12:18:47 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: old and tired

You raised a good point in that early “man” is not Homo Sapiens by the biologists own terms, and frankly I’m not impressed with the “dating” of genetic sequences. The claim is made that the line leading to Homo Sapiens and the line leading to the Chimps diverged 7 to 7.5 millions years ago. The method used to reach that time period is really based on a number of weak assumptions such as the duration of a generation.


31 posted on 12/06/2013 12:24:41 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Grimmy

Chuckle!


32 posted on 12/06/2013 12:25:24 PM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Russ
Sorry, but I’m not falling for any of this. God created Adam and Steve... beginning and end of story.

LOL!

33 posted on 12/06/2013 3:24:57 PM PST by Eaker (Sweat dries, blood clots and bones heal so suck it up buttercup.)
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To: arthurus

Um, that’s dirt. Soap hadn’t been invented yet.
Any way I’m reading a great book...
One day in the life of Ivan Denisovian...


34 posted on 12/06/2013 3:32:21 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: MestaMachine

That guy in the middle of the back row looks like
he should atar on the World Wrestling Federation.

Giant gnomes?
What do you call a dwarf writing under an assumed name?

A gnome de plume...


35 posted on 12/06/2013 3:35:02 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Toucan Dance

Ah, you must have met her after she started dyeing it.

That flat spot on top her head came in useful, didn’t it?


36 posted on 12/06/2013 5:51:47 PM PST by ExGeeEye (The enemy's gate is down...and to the left.)
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To: tet68

Laying bricks?


37 posted on 12/06/2013 6:12:58 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: NTHockey
"From the picture, two have slanted eyes, the old man looks like a Viking, the boy in the center has a flat nose, the one in the back loks more ape-like than the others while the one in the lower left corner looks like modern day man."

They all look like Mexicans to me.

38 posted on 12/07/2013 9:21:53 AM PST by Godebert
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