News - 2009



April 28th, 2009

"Hobbit" Symposium Held

April 28, 2009

An inconclusive meeting was held April 21-23, 2009 at Stony Brook, New York that shed very little new light on the puzzling fossils nicknamed “Hobbit” and formally named Homo floresiensis.  The fossils were discovered in a cave on the island of Flores in Indonesia, southeast of Java, in 2003.  Researchers were puzzled from the start by the diminutive stature (three feet tall), small br

April 20th, 2009

Two New Neanderthal Studies

April 20, 2009

The always fascinating Neanderthals were the subject of two studies announced in recent weeks.  The first revealed at least three and possibly four genetically distinct subgroups of Homo neanderthalensis, while the second disputed the contention Neanderthals were cannibals at a Croatian site.

March 26th, 2009 Announces Timeline

March 26, 2009, launched in 2000 and upgraded earlier this year, alerts visitors to expect a timeline and associated material to appear within a few months.  The site is developing this new module, according to webmaster Jay Greene, to fill a clear need: teachers, students and others interested in human origins can see on one page all the species that make up the human evolutionary tree.

March 12th, 2009

“Peking Man” Older Than First Thought

March 12, 2009

A new dating method indicates the stone tools found at Zhoukoudian in China are considerably older than first believed, according to a paper published in the journal Nature this week.  Zhoukoudian, not far from Beijing, then called Peking in the West, is the site of a cave first excavated by Franz Weidenreich starting in the late Twenties and during the decade of the Thirties.  Fossili

March 4th, 2009

Newly Discovered Hominin Footprints in Kenya

March 04, 2009

Human footprints, whether encountered on a beach or after the snow has stopped falling, have an effable quality.  Bones and human artifacts, after examination by specialists, can tell us much about how life was lived in earlier times but footprints are full of wonder for us.  They may have been made yesterday or, as occurs so rarely, a million years ago and we feel a connection with the unknown

January 27th, 2009

How Science is Done (2)

January 27, 2009

In our occasional series, How Science Is Done, we attempt to show how real scientists, working on real questions, find answers - if not final answers, then suggestive answers that expand our knowledge into hitherto murky areas.