August 5, 2014 | David F. Coppedge

Rest of the Story: Hobbit Evolution Debunked

That little skull from a cave in Indonesia was not a pre-human, but a regular human with Down Syndrome.

The latest analysis of the puny skull LB1 from Ling Bua Cave on the island of Flores is in.  When discovered, evolutionists were sure it represented a new hominid species.  They even gave it a name, Homo floresiensis, affectionately dubbed The Hobbit.  But the dates were wrong, and it was so small; many questions ensued.  Was it an example of Homo erectus that underwent “island dwarfism” because of scarce resources?  Critics came up with alternative theories: it was a human or hominid suffering from microcephaly (a brain disease).  Both camps have battled it out for a decade.

Science Daily summarizes a new paper on PNAS and a second paper in PNAS from a team that did new, detailed multivariate analysis on the one skull and several leg bones from the site.  They conclude this has nothing to do with evolution.  The skull was from an individual with the common condition called Down Syndrome (a chromosome abnormality).  Down Syndrome can produce severe effects on skulls and skeletons.

Though these and other features are unusual, he acknowledged, “unusual does not equal unique. The originally reported traits are not so rare as to have required the invention of a new hominin species.

Instead, the researchers build the case for an alternative diagnosis: that of Down syndrome, one of the most commonly occurring developmental disorders in modern humans.

In addition, the team of Robert Eckhardt (Penn State) found errors in the initial measurements of skull capacity and limb length.  While still small by normal standards (430 ml instead of 380 ml), the brain capacity falls within the range of Down Syndrome individuals for that region.  The first paper says,

Here we demonstrate that the facial asymmetry, small endocranial volume, brachycephaly, disproportionately short femora, flat feet, and numerous other characteristics of LB1 are highly diagnostic of Down syndrome, one of the most commonly occurring developmental disorders in humans and also documented in related hominoids such as chimpanzees and orangutans.

A lot of evolutionary ink has been spilled about Homo floresiensis since it was discovered a decade ago (10/27/04).  Now, it appears that paleoanthropologists will have to drop the species name; it never really existed.

Why wasn’t a developmental abnormality the default hypothesis among the discoverers?  Why did they leap onto the pre-human hominid idea?  Search on “floresiensis” in our search bar for a sampling of the crazy evolutionary ideas floated in the media for the past decade.  Former Nature editor Henry Gee even said the discovery of this hominid would challenge creationist beliefs (8/21/06).  Now that we know the rest of the story, how do we clean up another mess made by the Darwinists?





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