Friday, September 21, 2007

Do you believe in the Little People?

Study Says Bones Found in Far East Are of a Distinct Species

Maybe Richard Dawkins would like to rethink one of his standard comebacks? More evidence that an island species of diminutive hominids, sometimes termed "Hobbit people" in the press, once existed:

...In the continuing debate over the origin of the extinct “little people” of Indonesia, a team of scientists says it has found evidence in three wrist bones that these people were members of a distinct species rather than humans with a physical disorder...

I recently saw an exhibit on these fossils at the AMNH. What's interesting is that a number of scientists who were initially critical of the validity of "Homo floresiensis", now seem to have tempered their views. There's a good discussion of this over at Gene Expression .

But for me, it once again points up the value of myth. The people of Flores had local legends about the 'little people' who lived deep in the forest. There are similar legends in the British Isles.

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