Saturday, January 12, 2008

UPDATE "Hobbits" May Have Been Genetic Mutants

Descriptions of the hobbitlike people match those of modern humans with this genetic defect, Rauch added.

When the hobbit was discovered in 2004 on the Indonesian island of Flores, scientists hailed it as a new species: Homo floresiensis.

"Hobbits" May Have Been Genetic Mutants

1 comment:

bertbaby said...

I just wonder if this condition can account for all of the other so-called primitive features of Homo floresiensis that are found for example in the wrist and shoulder bones. Also the lengths of the limb bones don't seem to match such an affliction either, plus there was more than one specimen. How lucky or should I say unlucky, for us that a whole family would be found afflicted with this condition. Of course, you can use afflictions to eradicate the entire fossil record and for example attribute the grandiosity of sauropods to a glandular condition that only afflicted a few unfortunate individuals that we happened to stumble upon.

Hopefully we’ll know more once the original research team gets back to the caves in Flores and to the other islands. Hard to believe, but their work was halted by the Indonesian government at one point further adding fuel to this mess. You have to wonder what Jacob's role, the originator of the microcephalic theory, was in stopping the Australian team's work and how much of his motivation was due to professional jealousy. Unfortunately, with Dr. Jacob’s recent death we may never know the entire story regarding his true motivations.

Of course, I have a vested interest in this discovery, having written a speculative fiction novel called Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot on the recent fossil find. If you are interested, there is more on this ongoing controversy about Homo floresiensis at or catch the free Flores Girl podcast at

Erik John Bertel