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Flores, God and Hobbits -

Perumal - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 12:18:37 +0530
This is not a hoax.

A new (but extinct) species of hobbit sized human beings, Homo floresiensis, has been discovered on the island of Flores in Indonesia.

"Until around 12,000 years ago, when a volcanic eruption seems to have ended the party, Flores was a looking-glass garden of Komodo dragons and even larger lizards, giant tortoises and enormous rats. Alongside them were tiny, primitive elephants and, as we now know, tiny, primitive people."

"Probably descended from full-sized Homo erectus that made landfall on Flores as much as 900,000 years ago, the islanders dodged the dragons and hunted the elephants."

They used tools and traveled on boats 80,000 years ago. These little hobbits almost certainly travelled by boat to Flores, as Flores has never been connected by a land bridge to Asia.

Hobbits, or Hanuman's monkey friends?

God only knows!
Madhava - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 17:25:59 +0530

But these discoveries concerned the more remote reaches of human ancestry. Despite the fact that some of our relatives, such as Neanderthal man and Homo erectus, are thought to have become extinct in relatively recent times, our complacency that this view holds for recent history has not been shaken.

Until now. If it turns out that the diversity of human beings was always high, remained high until very recently and might not be entirely extinguished, we are entitled to question the security of some of our deepest beliefs. Will the real image of God please stand up?

braja - Thu, 28 Oct 2004 18:30:33 +0530
One of the reports mentioned that locals (Homo Sapien Indonesiesus) claim that these little people were around 500 years ago. This isn't the excerpt I'm referring to--couldn't find it again--but the BBC also mentions this:

Even more intriguing is the fact that Flores' inhabitants have incredibly detailed legends about the existence of little people on the island they call Ebu Gogo.

The islanders describe Ebu Gogo as being about one metre tall, hairy and prone to "murmuring" to each other in some form of language. They were also able to repeat what islanders said to them in a parrot-like fashion.


Yet there are hints H. floresiensis could have lived on much later than this. The myths say Ebu Gogo were alive when Dutch explorers arrived a few hundred years ago and the very last legend featuring the mythical creatures dates to 100 years ago.

But Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature magazine, goes further. He speculates that species like H.floresiensis might still exist, somewhere in the unexplored tropical forest of Indonesia.
Perumal - Fri, 29 Oct 2004 04:15:31 +0530
It would be interesting indeed if it were found that these little people lived on other islands besides Flores.

If they were able to navigate from island to island on rafts or sailing boats then ... wow!


The 3-foot-tall adult female skeleton found in a cave is believed 18,000 years old. It smashes the long-cherished scientific belief that our species, Homo sapiens, systematically crowded out other upright-walking human cousins beginning 160,000 years ago and that we've had Earth to ourselves for tens of thousands of years.

Instead, it suggests recent evolution was more complex than previously thought.

And it demonstrates that Africa, the acknowledged cradle of humanity, does not hold all the answers to persistent questions of how - and where - we came to be.

"This finding really does rewrite our knowledge of human evolution," said Chris Stringer, who directs human origins studies at the Natural History Museum in London. "And to have them present less than 20,000 years ago is frankly astonishing."
babu - Fri, 29 Oct 2004 04:24:13 +0530
QUOTE(Perumal @ Oct 28 2004, 10:45 PM)
It would be interesting indeed if it were found that these little people lived on other islands besides Flores.

We know all too well about these people in Ireland. They live there too. They are known as the "wee people." You don't mess around with the wee people. They can get your head spinning in circles.