Upper jawbone found in the cave on Mt Carmel in Israel J
Earlier this month it was announced that a large international research team discovered the earliest known modern human fossil outside of Africa and they interpret the find to mean that modern humans left Africa at least 50k years earlier than previously thought which, frankly, may or may not be so.
The fossil is part of a left hemi-maxilla with teeth (upper jaw bone, simply). Researchers say that the find also indicates that modern humans may have been interacting over a longer period of time with other archaic humans such as Neanderthals et al. The jawbone was discovered at a site known as Misliya Cave in Israel which is one of several sites on Mt Carmel. Dating suggests the jawbone is 175-200 kya. It has been thought that modern humans first migrated out of Africa and into the Levant around 50 kya but this jawbone proves otherwise.
The jawbone itself has many features of Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) BUT it also has features of Neanderthals and “other human groups.” And what might those “other human groups” be I ask? Homo erectus most likely and combinations (hybrids) of all of the above!! Continue Reading
Photo of Azzo Bassou taken in the 1950s
The man’s name was Azzo Bassou and he was a bit different from most people. The local press discovered him back in 1931 in Marrakech, Morocco and when they did they immediately dubbed him the “Missing Link” and the “Last Living Neanderthal.” But was he…..really? Continue Reading
Photo of humanzee?
In Part 1 I posted about recent claims by Dr. Gordon Gallup that in the late 1920s a primate lab in Florida impregnated a female chimp with human male sperm and that the result was a living human-chimp hybrid. Due to moral concerns and the religious attitude of the US at that time and because of several moral questions the scientists involved in that endeavor terminated the infant a few weeks after it was born. I also posted about Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s program to create a human-ape hybrid under the direction of Dr Ilya Ivanov and that we still don’t know for certain if that program was successful or not. In this post I will address some of the “logistics” involved in creating hybrids in general and specifically human-ape hybrids.
Ape-Human Chromosome Comparison Chart
In the above graphic we see the chromosome comparisons of Orangutans, Gorillas, Chimps, and Humans. As you can see there are many similarities but there are also some differences. The similarities are due to humans and apes sharing a common ancestor about 7 mya (million years ago). As we diverged from that common ancestor some of our chromosomes changed as did those of the other primates so there are still similarities we share but there are some differences too. Continue Reading
A few days ago I posted about a MAJOR advance in genetic science involving the first known cloning of two monkey’s in China. The cloning experiment was a success and what that means is that we have now breached the last border for cloning primates making it now possible to even clone humans. As if that were not enough now something disturbing is brewing to the point that it is now being reported in the mainstream media. Scientists involved in the cloning said they have no intention of cloning humans and IF you believe that then I might interest you in buying a bridge to nowhere! I can absolutely guarantee you that some scientist in some lab somewhere WILL attempt to clone a human being!! But that is not the story in this post. Rather there is something perhaps even more disturbing than human cloning that very possibly has already taken place perhaps longer ago than we might wish to think and it involves the creation of something known as a “humanzee.” Or should I put that in the plural?
Dr Gordon Gallup is an evolutionary psychologist and he is the man who coined the term “humanzee” which is the name for a human-chimpanzee hybrid! Scientifically and theoretically it IS possible to breed a human and chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan, and perhaps even other apes such as the gorilla. Sound like science fiction? Well think again because according to Dr Gallup this feat has ALREADY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED!!
Photo of humanzee?
Throughout the 20th century this hybridization was attempted more than once. Perhaps the most famous attempt was under former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who wanted to create a super-soldier part man and part ape. In the old Soviet Union there were many secrets and information about what Soviet scientists were working on was rare and sometimes misleading. But what we do know is that Stalin actually DID have such an experiment going under Dr Ilya Ivanov. The question is did Ivanov succeed? Most information we have on the experiments indicates that he failed but that information may or may NOT be so. The Soviets were renowned for NOT reporting the truth. However, there was another experiment trying to create a humanzee and that experiment took place in the United States in Florida in the 1920’s according to Dr Gordon Gallup and it WAS SUCCESSFUL!! Continue Reading
We’ve successfully cloned several animals in the past beginning with the famous “Dolly” (a sheep) back in 1996. After that we cloned mice, cows, pigs, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, and who knows what else. Now today comes news out of China that scientists there have successfully cloned two primates. They are reported to be healthy and they are long-tailed macaques. The same technique used to clone Dolly was employed with the two primates cloning process. Of course the scientists who succeeded in this feat say they have no intention of cloning a human but I suspect the Communist government in Beijing may have a different opinion which these scientist will soon come around to. After all, the world’s military’s have made no secret of wanting super-soldiers!
So it now appears that the last barrier has been breached and human cloning is up next, most likely. I’m sure some scientists somewhere will do it. Of course, the cover story is that cloning will help humans in medical research to find cures for diseases which of course it will but I worry about the other uses for this technology that are not so benevolent. Human nature tends to be one of when we know how to do something we do it despite the moral consequences we might face. I’m sure this story is not over…..yet…but is just beginning 🙂
El Chichon Volcano in NW Chiapas, Mexico which is still an active volcano
Many ancient cultures worshiped volcanoes and many believed them to be actual living creatures. Volcanoes have played a big part in human history and one of those places where this was so was in the ancient lands of the Maya. But volcanoes have played another role in human history as well and that role is than of being a cause and in some cases a major cause for large scale cultural changes
Back in February of 2017 a research team released their findings and their study suggested that ancient ash links the El Chichon eruption to a time of significant cultural upheaval in the land of the Maya!
The El Chichon eruption was a major eruption occurring in AD 540 and what is odd is that prior to this El Chichon was a small and insignificant volcano. However, after its eruption it plunged Mayan civilization into a period of darkness and chaos. During this time period the Maya were one of the most sophisticated cultures on Earth but after this eruption the Maya were plunged into a century long “dark age.” All that was sophisticated and remarkable in Mayan civilization was lost.
The Maya had an advanced civilization for the time and most researchers believe they thrived between AD 250-900. They had developed a writing system, precise calendars, mathematics and beautiful cities, pyramids, and temples made of cut stone many of which still stand today. Researching these sites archaeologists began to notice something odd about the Maya in 1938. That’s when an archaeologist noticed that there was a strange gap in the dated Maya monuments! That is, it appeared that for more than 100 years the Maya stopped building new buildings and pyramids and some even abandoned areas they’d long-lived in while others grew more warlike for no apparent reason. Archaeologists were at a loss to explain this although, as always, they had many hypotheses. Earthquakes were suspected or hurricanes while others thought trade routes collapsed. Whatever happened one thing was for sure and that is Mayan society during this gap period showed a degeneration of Mayan society and culture. Continue Reading
Here’s an email I received recently:
“Dr Peron I’ve noticed that you’ve made a few comments on your blog centering around the possibility that some “human” fossil remains may not be human at all but may be the remains of now extinct prehistoric apes. I think one reason they are considered “ancient human ancestors” is because they are suspected of having been bipedal (correct me if I’m wrong) and the general thinking is that only humans are bipedal. Could you elaborate on this a bit in one of your posts please? I’m assuming your comments refer to species such as Ardipithecus, Paranthropus, Australopithecus, and maybe even Homo habilis? Thank you….”
And here is my response:
Thank you for your email and interest in my blog. Regarding your question(s) let me begin with the recent discovery in Germany of what appears to be the fossil remains of Australopithecus which is HIGHLY significant because this species of hominin is unknown outside of Africa. Yet, there is the fossil evidence in Germany! Or is it?
The ink on the report detailing the discovery wasn’t even dry before a measured campaign was launched to discredit the discovery! National Geographic appears to have led the charge claiming that the fossil remains were not those of Australopithecus at all but were the remains of some unknown prehistoric European ape that may have been partially bipedal. I’m NOT seeing any EVIDENCE for this, frankly, and believe that NG initiated a cover-up IN PROGRESS!! And why should they and their cohorts do so? Because if these German remains are indeed Australopithecus then that “fries” the OOA theory, period!!
So are these remains that of an ancient human ancestor or some unknown prehistoric European ape? Who knows and we will likely NEVER know now. From what I know of the discovery in my mind everything points to the fossil remains being those of a European Australopithecus NOT an ape. But, then again, what was Australopithecus? Think about the famous “Lucy” who was one of these species. She had all the features of an ape but she appears to have been at least partially if not fully bipedal. So either she was an early human ancestor OR she was a BIPEDAL APE! When I compare her remains to ape remains I see many similarities and, frankly, very few similarities to humans. Human or ape? Ape or woman?
When I do comparisons of various fossil remains I find the same. That is, many APE features and FEW human features. So have we got our fossils mixed up? Are some of the fossils of AHA really those of unknown prehistoric apes and not human at all? I’m NOT altogether convinced that every bipedal hominin is an AHA! In fact, they may well have been bipedal prehistoric APES and not human at all. I’m still doing comparisons and still pondering on this subject so I haven’t decided yet. However, I DO think we’ve got some of our fossils mixed up and misidentified!! And I think the remains found in Germany are PROBABLY the remains of Australopithecus and NOT an ape at all….or should I say a “bipedal German ape?”.
Additionally, on another but related subject I’m also trying to figure out why LATER Homo erectus was more archaic that EARLIER H. erectus as famed Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks has pointed out more than once. I suspect the devolution is due to backbreeding with a more archaic hominin species of some sort OR perhaps early H. erectus was a hybrid produced from interbreeding with a more modern species? I’ll let you know what I conclude and also what I conclude about these “human” or ape “AHA” skulls….Man or Ape?.
Researchers have discovered a 280 myr (million years old) fossil forest in Antarctica! It’s believed that lush plants once grew on the continent 400-14 mya as they also did in the Arctic. Antarctica was not always the land of ice and snow we see today but it once had a very different climate that was conducive to plant growth. Fossils of some of the plants and trees have been found by researchers and apparently the forest was extensive.
A 280-million-year-old tree stump still attached to its roots in Antarctica. Plants grew on what is today the iciest continent from 400 million to 14 million years ago. Understanding ancient polar forests might help researchers develop predictions about how trees will react as man-made climate change warms the globe.
Credit: Erik Gulbranson
The prehistoric climate of Antarctica was once warm but scientists believe plants growing in the forest had to endure 24 hour days of darkness in winters and days in summer when the sun never set as it still does today. I might add, that is ASSUMING Antarctica was at the bottom of our planet as it is today which may or may NOT be the case! Continue Reading