New 'Species' Was Just a Tiny Human | The Institute for Creation Research
New 'Species' Was Just a Tiny Human

Small fossilized skeletons were discovered in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores. Resembling diminutive men, these “hobbits” (dubbed Homo floresiensis) were discovered among sophisticated tools. The remains were apparently not juveniles, but adults about three feet tall, with heads one third the size of an average modern man’s. The hobbits have presented several mysteries, including questions over their origins and relationship to other species.

Based partly on the belief that creatures with such small brains could not have been smart enough to make tools, many scientists have theorized that these were Homo sapiens with microcephaly, a disease characterized by insufficient development of the head. However, this was refuted in 2007 based on certain brain size and shape characteristics that microcephalics have and Homo floresiensis does not.1

Now researchers have offered even more evidence that these were diminutive, not diseased, people. They compared three-dimensional digital models of theoretical skulls (based on projections of what the cranial shape and size should be for a specimen this small) with the Flores skulls and found that the microcephaly interpretation does not match the data.2

If these ancients were not diseased humans, then what were they? The study, which appears in the Journal of Human Evolution, deduced that they were a separate species: “H. floresiensis was most likely the diminutive descendant of a species of archaic Homo, although the details of this evolutionary history remain obscure.”2

Undoubtedly, the obscurity of their “evolutionary history” results from an incomplete fossil transition series, which is the same problem that evolution has for every other basic living form.3 Moreover, the delegation of H. floresiensis as a separate species from H. sapiens, along with others like H. neanderthalensis and H. erectus, is not entirely based on observational science. Rather, these designations were conferred by scientists who studied differences in skull shapes and sizes (empirical science), and then filtered these observations through an evolutionary worldview (interpretative belief).

In the absence of an unbroken and comprehensive series of fossilized transitional forms, the evolutionary links between different forms of mankind—and between man and ape—are, and will continue to be, unsubstantiated. An outside source of information, one that would provide an authoritative framework to interpret these fossils, is needed in order to establish definitive answers. The eyewitness written accounts of early human history given in Scripture provide such data.

All of the specimens of the genus Homo thus discovered, as well as those yet to be discovered, are smoothly interpreted by a biblical worldview. According to this model, the various fossils represent either extinct or extant varieties of man. Human cranial features, especially the placement of the foramen magnum (the large hole for the spinal column) at the bottom of the skull and the orientation of the semicircular canals in the petrous portion of the temporal bone, are just the kinds of determinative markers that allow researchers to positively identify them as Homo, or man. H. floresiensis was indeed fully man, just an extinct, tiny variety.

The evolutionary dating given by the “hobbit’s” researchers adds more confirmation that H. floresiensis was not a missing link: “The specimens have skulls that resemble something that died a million years earlier, and other body parts reminiscent of our three-million-year-old human [ape-like] ancestors, yet they lived until very recently—contemporaries with modern humans.”4 Similarly, H. erectus, H. neanderthalensis, and other archaic H. sapiens were all contemporaries, as a meta-analysis of evolutionary dates reveals,5 further corroborating a biblical view of history.

References

  1. Falk, D. et al. 2007. Brain shape in human microcephalics and Homo floresiensis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (7): 2513-2518.
  2. Baaba, K. L. and K. P. McNulty. Size, shape, and asymmetry in fossil hominins: The status of the LB1 cranium based on 3D morphometric analyses. Journal of Human Evolution. Article in press, posted online December 4, 2008.
  3. “This rapid diversification, known as the Cambrian explosion, puzzled Charles Darwin and remains one of the biggest questions in animal evolution to this day. Very few fossils exist of organisms that could be the Precambrian ancestors of bilateral animals, and even those are highly controversial.” Discovery of Giant Roaming Deep Sea Protist Provides New Perspective on Animal Evolution. Florida Atlantic University press release, December 4, 2008. 
  4. "Hobbit" fossils represent a new species, concludes U of M anthropologist. University of Minnesota press release,December 17, 2008.
  5. Thomas, B. Neanderthal Men Were Modern Men. ICR News. Posted on icr.org December 18, 2008, accessed December 24, 2008.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on December 31, 2008.

The Latest
NEWS
'Prehistoric' Paddlefish?
Evolutionists consider the freshwater paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) of the class Actinopterygii to be a prehistoric creature, a primitive bony fish “50...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Earth
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation...

ACTS & FACTS
To the End of the Earth
The book of Acts recounts the apostles’ journeys across the Roman Empire from Jerusalem and Judea “to the end of the earth,” preaching...

APOLOGETICS
Lightning, Soil Bacteria, and God’s Providence
Nitrogen is vital for human survival, yet few appreciate how lightning and soil bacteria contribute to Earth’s nitrogen cycle. That Earth’s...

ACTS & FACTS
The Bobtail Squid's Living Cloaking Device
Hawaiian bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) live among the sand flats and sea plants of the Hawaiian archipelago. Along with other bobtail squid, these...

ACTS & FACTS
Seeing Distant Starlight in a Young Universe
Many see distant starlight as an unanswerable objection to recent creation. Both creationist and evolutionist astronomers agree that distant galaxies...

ACTS & FACTS
Yellowstone National Park, Part 2: Canyons and Catastrophe
by Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Brian Thomas, Ph.D.* About three million visitors tour Yellowstone National Park’s 3,440 square miles each year.1...

ACTS & FACTS
How Did the Bat Get Its Wings?
Where did bats come from? Evolutionists presuppose that some kind of rodent received just the right mutations to over “a few million years”...

ACTS & FACTS
Biblical Insights into Today’s Violent Mob Mentality
Some scenes from the evening news get etched into our memories. I recall seeing a college professor step outside his building and become suddenly surrounded...

CREATION PODCAST
Are Dinosaurs in the Bible? | The Creation Podcast: Episode 26
If the Bible is true, wouldn't it mention dinosaurs? If God made dinosaurs, when did He make them? Did they live with humans? What ultimately happened...