Friday, March 19, 2010

News! Humans on Flores a Million Years Ago

Well, that's what the tools say. On the one hand, they've been disturbed; on the other hand, they were disturbed before the volcano put new rock on top of them. Note also the lack of correlation between human presence and animal extinction. This story gets better and better every time somebody puts a trowel in the ground.

Hobbit Island's Deeper History

And if you're wondering how those tools differ from rocks - go to a lab with lots of lithics and talk to the flintknapping guy. It takes practice, but natural breaks and worked surfaces are distinguishable, and a lot of experimental work has been done in this area - because flintknapping is fun and doesn't take a lot of specialist equipment, so you don't even need grant money to experiment.

Also, it appears that our brains function via the scientific method? That's counterintuitive, given how hard it is for people to grasp how the scientific method works in real life. Or maybe that's a result of poor science education? Or maybe the reporter is distorting what his interview subjects said? (They do that, you know.) "Less Effort to Register Predictable Images."

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