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World's oldest human remains claimed in Israel - Comments

Radesq's Avatar Comment 1 by Radesq

From the continued article:

Gopher said the first teeth were discovered in 2006 but he and his team waited until they had several samples, then conducted years of testing, using a variety of dating methods, before publishing their findings.

I find this dubious. I wouldn't rule out the possibility that the findings are valid, but - why not describe the testing that was done?

"Our cave was used for a period of about 250,000 years -- from about 400,000 years ago to about 200,000 years ago," he told AFP.

"The teeth are scattered through the layers of the cave, some in the deeper part, that is to say from 400,000 years and through all kinds of other layers that can be up to 200,000 years. The oldest are 400,000 years old", he added."

If you don't give me more information I have to assume the simplest explanation -- the teeth are from the most recent part of the cave and were moved by wind, water or landslide to the older part. There may be good evidence why this is not the case - but they don't mention it. Why not?

Actually going back and reading this again I am even more underwhelmed by the lack of information given in the article. It just assumes so much without explaining any of it adequately. Dubious.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:14:03 UTC | #570151

godsbelow's Avatar Comment 2 by godsbelow

So, uh, time to change the 'We are all Africans' shirts to 'We are all IsrAelis'?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:33:37 UTC | #570156

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 3 by Hendrix is my gOD

Oh, yes of course, humans originated in Israel in the same form as they are today, there's no such thing as evolutionary change in humans. Africa gave us a lower species of animal, not created by dOG to be his people. We know these Israeli researchers are scientists not biased by their Jewish religion. That's why they don't need to elaborate on their findings. they have authority as bona fide "ologists".

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:56:49 UTC | #570167

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 4 by Linda Ward

Will Richard order a batch of new tee shirts that sport a giant I with the caption 'I am Israeli' soon?

Critters migrating to avoid bad weather and to find food, that concept is a puzzle to some huh@

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:23:50 UTC | #570180

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 5 by crookedshoes

Define "humans".

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:45:36 UTC | #570193

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

One of the teeth has a filling...suspicious.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:50:15 UTC | #570198

pipsy's Avatar Comment 7 by pipsy

The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth!

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:56:26 UTC | #570202

ennui's Avatar Comment 8 by ennui

More science by press release, and more credulous reporting by Physorg--neither of these is a surprise--but I will reserve judgment until this is published with peer review and feedback on study design.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:58:16 UTC | #570203

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 9 by Hendrix is my gOD

An Israeli archeologist with fillings in his teeth was buried alive at an excavation site 50 years ago, he dug down to the 400,000 year depth where his teeth were fossilized.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 16:59:31 UTC | #570206

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 10 by Atheist Mike

We shouldn't rule out completely the possibility of another human ancestor, it could still be linked to Africa's "human apes" but would have left Africa (going north into Egypt then Israel) sooner than those who migrated to India and further east. However I must say I find it rather dubious as well, especially since Israel already has the title of "Holy Land", whenever there's something "holy" there's liars and exaggerators around for some reason.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:11:14 UTC | #570221

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Stafford Gordon


Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:26:34 UTC | #570229

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 12 by Stafford Gordon


Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:29:16 UTC | #570232

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 13 by Philoctetes

Must say I'm a bit sceptical. If correct this doubles the age of our species. As for the interpretations it seems peculiarly middle eastern to claim that this undermines "out of africa". My caution is based on a suspicion that dateable layers are difficult in caves and artefacts in long inhabited caves do tend to rise and sink through strata. Are they in fact sapiens? Whats more is this casual reporting and opening confusion between homo sapiens and homo sapiens sapiens? I assume the former, which is not quite so revolutionary. How much do teeth vary? Canines are smaller, we all know that, but I assume they have DNA sampled them assuming there was enough to be extracted. Teeth are amazingly informative, if you know the geology you can pin down where the individual spent its infancy, but how much do we know of early pleistocene geography?

Then, this is Israel where traditionally archaeologists from all cultures are all to happy to use slight scientific evidence to support current political and historical theory.

If the dating is correct though it will be exciting and trigger the search for similar age samples from the African Rift Valley.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:36:48 UTC | #570239

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 14 by Stevehill

Cal me a cynic, but I can't help thinking some religious nutters - on all sides - will try to make some sort of meaningless capital out of the "fact" that we are all Israelis now.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 17:54:57 UTC | #570254

Linda Ward's Avatar Comment 15 by Linda Ward

Gosh, what next, will the Israeli archeologists discover Donny Osmond's 'coat of many colours' from Joseph as proof of Jews held as slaves in Egypt?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:08:00 UTC | #570263

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 16 by Neodarwinian

Now on to the social science battle royal! Lumpers vs splitters.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:11:32 UTC | #570265

PurplePanda's Avatar Comment 17 by PurplePanda

Well at least the creotards wont be using this one, given the 400,000 and all.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:12:46 UTC | #570268

oscarfeliciano's Avatar Comment 18 by oscarfeliciano

But, but, the Earth/Universe is only 5000 years old! This cannot be! ;)

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:28:01 UTC | #570279

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 19 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Surprise, surprise. On the website people are already saying that this proves the Bible.


Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:33:50 UTC | #570283

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 20 by SoHelpMeReason

Wait, wait, hold up. Easy there, Eagers.

Lucy (Australopithecus Afarensis) is 3.2 million years old, and was found in Africa. I don't think this changes much about our place of origin in the big picture. Homo sapiens as we know them today may have wandered around some, maybe a little differently than we first thought, but the beginning point remains the same.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 18:47:10 UTC | #570290

TrickyDicky's Avatar Comment 21 by TrickyDicky

Comment 19 by InYourFaceNewYorker :

Surprise, surprise. On the website people are already saying that this proves the Bible.


Have they found the fossilised snake yet?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:00:26 UTC | #570297

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 22 by Hendrix is my gOD

Have they found the fossilised snake yet?

No, because the snake is traversing the universe taking the word of dOG to the aliens.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:09:58 UTC | #570304

blitz442's Avatar Comment 23 by blitz442

Comment 20 by SoHelpMeReason

It challenges the notion that modern humans (homo sapiens) arose relatively recently (say less than 200 thousand years ago) in one place, probably Africa, and then migrated out and displaced all of the other members of the hominid family.

The competing model (the multi-regional model) is that modern homo sapiens evolved more gradually from several different regional populations of members of the homo genus.

Neither model challenges the fact that the earliest hominids first appeared in Africa.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:15:52 UTC | #570307

blitz442's Avatar Comment 24 by blitz442

The competing model (the multi-regional model) is that modern homo sapiens evolved more gradually from several different regional populations of members of the homo genus

I should say "genus homo".

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 19:33:07 UTC | #570316

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 25 by Vorlund

Comment 1 - Radesq

I'm inclined to agree. If a cave has been lived in for thousands of years there is no guarantee the layers deposited in the cave are neat layers like sediments. Unless that is exactly what they are, there is likely be considerable disturbance of the layers deposited due to the actions of the occupants.

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:03:00 UTC | #570336

SoHelpMeReason's Avatar Comment 26 by SoHelpMeReason

COMMENT 23 blitz442

My apologies. Thanks for the clarification!

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:17:14 UTC | #570346

blitz442's Avatar Comment 27 by blitz442

Comment 26 by SoHelpMeReason

No prob!

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:24:13 UTC | #570353

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 28 by Rodger T

Adam, is dat U?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 20:41:24 UTC | #570367

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 29 by Stafford Gordon


Wed, 29 Dec 2010 21:35:39 UTC | #570399

GPWC's Avatar Comment 30 by GPWC

I wonder if they died fighting their neighbours?

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 22:25:18 UTC | #570432