Know Your Hominin OH-65

OH-65 was found in 1995 in the Upper Bed I at Olduvai Gorge. It dates to 1.942-1.785 mya. OH-65 is a nearly complete maxilla that has been attributed to Homo habilis. It’s morpholoogy is similar to that of KNM-ER 1470 and the authors of the paper announcing the find use that similary to make two arguments.

First:

This overall concordance of the ER 1470 and OH 65 morphologies with that of the type specimen of H. habilis casts doubt on H. rudolfensis as a biologically valid taxon. Consequently, H. rudolfensis (Alexeev) Groves would be a junior synonym for H. habilis Leakey, Tobias, and Napier …

Second:

The architectural similarities between OH-65 and ER 1470 support the judgement that late Pliocene hominids from Olduvai Gorge and East Lake Turkana usually assigned to H. habilis instead represent more than one species…

On the surface these seem to be contradictory arguments unless they are arguing that because H. rudolfensis is a junior synonym for H. habilis the species in the H. rudolfensis group have to be named something else. At any rate, below is a picture of OH-65.
OH-65 (Picture Source)

Literature Cited

Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania Supplemental Online Material

Interesting Science In The News

Some interesting news items that caught my eye.

First, the American Association for the Advancement of Science had a session based on Wilton Krogman’s The Scars of Human Evolution. Krogman, for those unfamiliar with him, was a pioneer in the Field of Forensice Anthropology. He also did some interesting research on primates. You can find more about the symposium here and here. Here is a quote that sums up the session from Eureka Alert:

But applying Darwinian evolutionary theory to the human condition offers a window to why humans suffer from physical ailments that no other animals do, said Latimer, who is on the faculty in the Department of Orthodontics at Case Western Reserve.

Evolving from four-footed walking has created issues from flat feet and bunions to slipped discs, hernias and fallen pelvic floors. And as bizarre as it sounds, rising from four to two feet resulted in reshaping the face and head, which is why humans suffers with such dental problems as wisdom teeth with no room to grow.

Also at the AAAS was a presentation by Nina Jablonski, which sounded fascinating. From Phys.Org:

“We can make a visual impact and present a completely different impression than we can with regular, undecorated skin,” said Jablonski, who reports on her research today (Feb. 16) at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Over the millennia, people turned their skin into canvases of self-expression in different ways, including permanent methods, such as tattooing and branding, as well as temporary ones, including cosmetics and body painting, according to the researcher.

And of course, giving Carl Zimmer yet another book idea.

Continue reading

Roy Halladay Jersey For Sale

This is a case of “Let the buyer beware.” I am an avid baseball fan, and living in St. Louis, my favorite team is the St. Louis Cardinals. On of my favorite players – well ex-player now, is Jim Edmonds who played centerfield for the Cardinals from 2000 to 2008. Solast December my youngest daughter and her boyfriend wanted to get me a Jim Edmonds jersey for Christmas. I didn’t want them to shell out the $100.00 or so dollars from the team store so I hopped on line and found this. $30.00 sounded like a good deal and the fact that the shipping and handling was $20.00 didn’t set off any warning bells (it should have though), because what I actually received was a Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay jersey. So, I got it touch with the seller and after exchanging 5-6 emails the upshot was that I would need to pay more money to get the item I ordered – with no guarantee that I would actually get the item I ordered. I have no interest in throwing good money after bad and contented myself with reporting the company to the BBB and the Attorney General for the State of Missouri (not that I think either of those actions will do any good).

If anybody is interested in buying the jersey let me know, it is $50.00 – although that is somewhat negotiable.

Edit to add: I forgot to include pictures:

IMAG0096IMAG0097
Size is 2x

Discovery Institute vs Geologist

This is really amusing. Especially this bit:

I only hope the materialist, reductionist scales fall off your eyes one day. Until then, I feel sorry for your students.

(material omitted – afarensis)

The “scales falling off the eyes” bit is apparently derived from the Bible. I’ve only heard that phrase once previously, when speaking with a devout Christian friend. It’s a curious tactic for him to employ. I certainly can’t say it compelled me: basically it means that someone was deluded or wrong, and that a new piece of information shifts their perspective fundamentally.

They just can’t keep religion out of their discourse, no matter how hard they try to deny the connection between Christianity and ID. Check out the rest of the post.

Hat Tip: Ptaylor

When The Cat Is Away…

I haven’t been able to do much blogging because Mrs. afarensis has been doing work from home in the evenings (which ended Friday – she will be returning to her office Monday allowing me to actually write some posts). While this was occurring Dr. Ben Carson popped up in the news for criticizing President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. Which caused a flurry of searches for info about Carson and resulted in a lot of hits for the post I wrote on his views on evolution. Which leads me to ask two things. First, What is it about neurosurgeons and pseudoscientific bullshit? Second, what is it about neurosurgeons that cause them to let their inner right wing nutjob loose on the rest of the world? Actually, I have a third, what is it about a middle of the road politician like Obama that sends right wing nutjobs into absolute paroxysms of insanity (don’t answer, I know the answer to this one)?

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