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Thread: Another Species Arises?

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    Forum Elder Cognito's Avatar
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    Default Another Species Arises?

    Just when everyone thought it was safe to go back in the water, up pops another potential species:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17370170

    The remains of what may be a previously unknown human species have been identified in southern China.
    The bones, which represent at least five individuals, have been dated to between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago.
    But scientists are calling them simply the Red Deer Cave people, after one of the sites where they were unearthed.

    The team has told the PLoS One journal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage. For those who are inclined to read through the journal, please see: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0031918

    "We're trying to be very careful at this stage about definitely classifying them," said study co-leader Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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    I would like to see "science" come to an agreement on what they mean by the word "species." Is that so much to ask?

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    Ishtar Babilu Dingir (March 18th, 2012)

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    I would like to see "science" come to an agreement on what they mean by the word "species." Is that so much to ask?
    Min, the short answer to your question is: Yes, it is too much to ask at this time.

    From my viewpoint it appears that HSS could successfully breed with HSN and also with the Denisovans who might be HSE (Erectus). If that's the case, most of this Paleolithic Partying has been hidden by the limitations of examining mtDNA only. Doing so is an 'all or none' exercise since mtDNA is almost exclusively passed from female to female (i.e. have a couple of boys only and the female line is history). The only way to figure out who was doing whom back then is by examining autosomal DNA (non-sex chromosomes) and that type of DNA is extremely rare. The bottom line? I suspect the following culprits could all interbreed which makes the sole category of HSS somewhat self-absorbing. We probably have a revision in store with one parent family, being Homo sapiens, and the sub-families being:

    HS heidelbergensis (German spear chuckers)
    HS neanderthalis (big brained brutes)
    HS erectus (a biased misnomer from erect stance, not Viagara)
    HS sapiens (as opposed to retardus)

    The above groups were all 'sapient' so the term has really become a misnomer due to prior bias. Those who were different than "us" were called "Cavemen" since they stupidly ran around naked and lived in caves, right? However, the Heidelberg gang had the audacity to craft javelins and live in wooden huts. What has the Pleistocene come to, anyway?

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    Damn!

    I thought I was being reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minimalist View Post
    Damn!

    I thought I was being reasonable.

    Min -

    Wellll . . . .

    Charles Darwin got as far as “The Origin of “ . . . .

    And it is time to air some of the dirty laundry in the basket of taxonomy.

    Firstly, the species concept was and is at best an hyphothesis, and one saturated with a presupposed hierarchy at that.

    Linnaeus, who really got the ball rolling one this one, divvied all and everything into three Kingdoms – Animal, Vegetable and Mineral. The Mineral Kingdom got ditched pretty early; anyone heard any learned arguments raging about mineral species . . . lately? Thus the hierarchic fix was locked in; a species must be a “living” organism.

    Furthermore, what Linnaeus was really after – an achieved quite nicely - was a binomial descriptive system and not an absolute definition of Being.

    Darwin was the next headliner for the species gong show.

    If you look at the full title of Darwin’s Origin, it reads “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”. Hmmm, now we have the Preservation of Favoured Races tied to the tail of the phylogenetic dog . . .

    And so on and so forth to this day; the Kingdoms have been defined and redefined, the cladistic uber-view imposed, and genetic analysis is now splitting the tail hairs of the phylogenetic dog into infinitely fine strands.

    Now, there is the old saying that an hypothesis is something that can be disproven but never proven, the reason being that any hypothesis by definition cannot take into account all the variables which may affect its reasoning. Thus, I would say that our preoccupation with the definition of a species is at best like trying to play a game of Solitaire with a deck of 37 cards. You can’t get from here to there; the structure of the thing is fatally flawed.

    Another way of saying this is that “to a man who only owns one tool, a hammer, all the world is a nail.”

    Thus, as I laid out in “The White Swan” using William of Ockham as an example:

    “William of Ockham is said to have written “Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”, or, “Plurality must never be posited without necessity”, although the actual phrase has never been discovered in his writings. This has been used as an epigraph by thinkers since as a dictate to use the one to quantify the multitude rather than the multitude affirming the one. It is the basis of all modern scientific thought and, as such, the basis of Western culture.“

    Returning to the arguments concerning the various human species, then, is understanding of who we are and were really to be found in the “rational”, quantitative worldview of the Neolithic, or might it more truly be found in the affirmative, holistic worldview of the Shamanic?

    And I’ll leave it just right here for the moment . . .

    wódr

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    Hello, Wodr, nice to meet you.

    You know, I really would not have a problem with the concept of a species as being a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.

    But the evidence is that HSS and HNS did successfully interbreed which simply means that we have to lose this idea that they are separate species.

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