Early Human Gives Finger To Scientists: Proto-Human Discovery Shatters Theories on Early Human History

A finger bone found in a cave in 2006 in Russia has scientists re-examining their assumptions about early human history. A DNA analysis would suggest that proto-humans left Africa about a million years ago and traveled as far as Siberia. Of course, now that Sarah Palin is a host on Discovery Channel, she may have her own views given that she believes scientists have forgotten that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

It is unclear what this group looked like, but they may have existed as recently as 40,000 years.
Terry Brown, a molecular paleontologist at the University of Manchester, put it simply: “People are going to be what we call ‘gobsmacked’ by this news. There is going to be open-mouth amazement.” For those without advanced molecular degrees, that means that people will be utterly speechless.

For the full story, click here.

44 thoughts on “Early Human Gives Finger To Scientists: Proto-Human Discovery Shatters Theories on Early Human History”

  1. Buddha,

    I’m all about banging bits of silicon together 😉 (pun intended)

  2. pardon, Wootsy.

    My story is I’m too full to type properly and I’m sticking too it.

  3. Oh, and wild Gunsmoke find there Wootsie. I had no idea the show was so topical.

  4. Gyges,

    Nice find. Very interesting indeed.


    Onward and upward. Keep banging those rocks together!

  5. herra tick,

    Since the prefix ‘bio’ means ‘life’, the term ‘biological life’ seems redundant to me – but I wouldn’t presume to know what Duh meant by it.


    Fight the efficiency! I’m a big believer in the power of laziness (ala Heinlein’s ‘The Man Who Was too Lazy to Fail’).

    I find the subject of DNA and RNA fascinating – fortunately I have the opportunity to talk to people who understand cellular biology far better than I do on a regular basis. I get the idea that there is a lot more things that nucleic acids do in the cell than we currently understand. I would guess that the (relatively recent) discovery that RNA sequences transcribing non-coding DNA* play a role in regulating intra-cellular processes has something to do with how protein coding came about, but I have enough trouble trying to figure out how things work now to spend too much time thinking about how they evolved. The complexity of the processes going on in every cell in our body is just staggering but I have no intention of surrendering in the Battle of Understanding – it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the struggle and I want nothing more than to be in the thick of things fighting the good fight…

    *DNA that doesn’t give a blueprint for a protein.

  6. thank you for that link Gygas. do you have any other links that talk about this kind of topic? i am very interested in “life” definitions, and this article talks about people who are pushing that boundary.

  7. Duh said . . .


    Eventually all humans will be dead.”

    So will every living thing, carbon based or otherwise. So will all the stars in the universe. Even black holes eventually evaporate into nothing.

    I pretty sure that’s not a white flag for the Battle of Understanding. If anything, it should be motivation to figure out as much as possible as quickly as possible.

  8. Slarti,

    I’ve read a couple of articles on the subject of prions lately that touched upon that very subject. Unfortunately I did not bookmark them. If I wasn’t so dutiful about flushing my caches and history I’d be able to share the links. Damned efficiency! 😉

  9. Byron,

    I would recommend boneless cuts for either friction or impact cooking, but with impact cooking, bone-in cuts just provide shrapnel in your splatter…

    Duh said:
    “Lifelike behavior is not biological life.”

    If you can show that all of the steps between life and non-life can occur spontaneously under appropriate conditions, that’s proof that abiogenesis could have happened. If you can show that several of the steps can occur spontaneously I would consider it strong evidence of the possibility of abiogenesis. For what it’s worth, the only problem I see with abiogenesis is the coding of amino acid sequences (proteins) in RNA and there are some interesting ideas about how this may have happened (I’m sorry I don’t have a references to this, it was part of a conversation with a colleague so I haven’t actually read the paper he told me about). There might be a gap here, but it’s definitely getting smaller.

  10. Duh:

    is that a problem? Ok we will figure it out, is that better? In any event by that time both of us will be dust and it wont really matter as far as we are concerned. 🙂

  11. Wow Byron, You went from “[e]ventually humans will figure it out” to “we will probably figure it out” with relative ease. 🙂

    “We will also colonize the stars at some point in the future.”

    Can I get a probably? LOL

  12. Duh:

    But in the mean time we will probably figure it out. The sun isn’t going to be done for quite a few hundred million years. So I think, barring any extinction level events, humans will be around long enough. We will also colonize the stars at some point in the future.

  13. Slarti:

    “Not to mention that it’s easier to catch a steak at terminal velocity…”

    is that bone in or bone out?

  14. Duh:

    “I consider that the unknown may be something that is incapable of being answered, that doesn’t make either of us correct. Does it?”

    Eventually humans will figure it out and understand the universe and our place in the starry sky above.

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