Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hobbits exist,.... wait,.. no they don't

Perhaps you have heard in the past year or so about the discovery of so-called hobbits at Flores Island in Indonesia. The claim was that little people had lived there up to several thousand years ago. This claim cause quite a stir in the anthropological and archeological world among other disciplines.

A new report identifies these "hobbits" as normal modern humans. I won't explain it as I wouldn't do it much justice. And I'm sure there will be some kind of rebuttal. But it is interesting and underscores interpretation problems in science. Many discoveries, like the Flores people, deserve a multi-discipline approach. It is up to the methodologies of science to get it right. Perhaps with an event like this, a rush to press is immature. It can make or nreak a scientists career. Or it can do both. I'll have to keep my eye on this story as I'm sure it isn't over yet. We've certainly seen much debate over hominid species over the decades.

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