On the Trail of Homo Floresiensis

Some time ago fossils of an early hominid were discovered on the South Pacific Island of Flores. Because of the individual's small size they were dubbed "hobbits" by the news media and given the scientific designation Homo Floresiensis, which indicates the discovers' belief that they represented a new species.

Almost immediately there were detractors who claimed that these diminuitive people were not a new species and that they simply were ordinary homo sapiens that suffered from microcephaly.

That contention however was itself disproved by the fact that microcephalic individuals are profoundly metally retarded... To the point of being incapable of caring for themselves. These individuals however were found with appropriately sized stone tools, clearly not something that could have been accomplished by someone suffering from microcephaly.

Well now added to this debate is the fact that American and South African acheaological teams have discovered fossilized remains of these short-statured humans on another island in the area. The fact that these individuals also existed on Palau is interesting and indicates that they were more wide spread than initially thought.

Almost at the same time as the announcement of this discovery, another group of anthropologists have fired another round into the fray claiming that these individuals were suffering from dwarf cretinism. This disorder is brought about by a severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy. While dwarf cretinism also involves mental imparement, it is not usually quite as profound as those suffering from microcephaly.


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