Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Great Off-Ramp of Evolution

The Australian has a story about research coming out of Argentina that suggests that Neandertals were not part of modern human ancestry:

The team [led by Rolando Gonzalez-Jose of the Patagonian National Centre at Puerto Madryn, Argentina] goes back over the same well-known set of specimens, but uses a different analytical approach, focusing on a set of fundamental, yet long-term, changes in skull shape. They took 3D images of the casts of 17 hominid specimens, and from a gorilla, chimpanzee and Homo sapiens. These were crunched through a computer model to compare four variables; the skull's roundness and base, the protrusion of the jaw, and facial retraction, or position of the face relative to the cranial base.

That is a pretty bald conclusion based on four variables, when there are over 60 that can be taken on the head alone. It sounds like they have used prosthion radius and a few other ones--don't know what "roundness and base" are. Time to pick up the paper.

No comments:

Post a Comment