Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you the newest member of the Homo family tree, Mr. Homo Naledi. Well, not Newest, apparently he’s thought to be over 200k years old. Either way, this is truly a fascinating discovery because once again it shows us how much we really don’t know about where we come from and who we are. One of the biggest problems today with people who claim to be proponents of science is they accept it with blind faith. That’s not how science works. Everything is a theory in the scientific method. Because at any point a new discovery could be made that blows the whole idea to pieces and sends everyone back to the drawing board. Even theories that are widely accepted as truth are still suspended as “Theories” just in case of a game changing discovery.
Most of all this sentiment applies to the theory of Evolution. Now, I’m not at all saying that the Earth is 5,000 years old and we started in the garden of Eden. An accusation that objective criticism is met with from dogmatic pseudoscience enthusiasts. Now, why am I saying all of this? Because the theory of Evolution, although pretty sound, has endless amounts of holes in it. Think of it like a puzzle. The origin of species is like a massive puzzle with no picture to reference. Each new species is like a new piece that scientists scour through the pile of pieces in order to put together a larger picture. Currently the puzzle of the Human origin is 10% complete. And many of the pieces are in the wrong place or acting as place holders for when we find the right one.
Homo Naledi which was found deep in the Rising Star cavern of South Africa earlier last year is such a puzzle piece. Once again we see that the depiction of human evolution we’ve seen all through school couldn’t be more inaccurate.
It shows a linear climb from ape all the way to current man. Which is actually what scientists used to believe. That is, until they began to discover numerous new species of prehistoric hominids. Now, they believe that the evolution of the Homo species looks more like a gnarled oak tree with a myriad of branches and vines that reach out all over the place. Many of the lines lead to nowhere when species who’ve we’ve found have no possible ancestor or descendant on record. We don’t even know if the tree is how it actually looks. Every connection, every line, every discovery is purely subjective. Pieced together and theorized by a scientist who could have possibly had an agenda, monetary or even political. Which is what we’ve seen from the treatment and denial of Nobel Prize winning Molecular Biologist James Watson. Who’s research was once heralded as a groundbreaking discovery, now seen with disdain because it rattles a political narrative. So yes, you must even take science with a grain of salt. Which is the most unfortunate of all realities because the truth mustn’t ever be altered in the name of politics.
Back to the topic at hand, who was Homo Naledi and why does it raise so many questions?
It raises questions because it pokes holes in the formally accepted linear “Out of Africa” theory. Which Afro-Centrists would have you believe that 5 Gorillion years ago a group of Pharaohs that had the physical features of the New York Knicks rode golden chariots pulled by hammerhead sharks across the ocean to the corners of the Earth where they proliferated all of civilization. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The species that ventured out of Africa looked nothing like the Humans that walk the Earth today. They looked similar to Homo Naledi. And why does it poke holes? Because Homo Naledi never left Africa. It’s genetic lineage either died there or blended in with the hominids that remained after the supposed migration. That is, if there ever was a migration at all. Again, the great migration is a Theory pieced together by scientists who created an explanation with the evidence they had at the time. The question it raises is, if Homo Naledi never left Africa, does that mean we’re looking at a forgotten grandfather of the people native to South Africa?
Now, like everything, his facial structure in the featured image is purely speculative. Cartilage doesn’t fossilize, Skin doesn’t fossilize, hair doesn’t fossilize, literally nothing of the face of Homo Naledi or any other excavated hominid was found among the remains. Because soft organic material decays away never to be found. However, based on skull structure they can conjure up what is probably a pretty good guess as to what these guys looked like. Now, the theory that is commonly touted is that all Humans share the same exact ancestry and there is no biological difference between races or ethnicities. That the only difference between Europeans, Asians, Africans, South Americans, Aboriginals is merely the amount of melanin in one’s skin. Which, in my opinion, also proves as evidence to evolutionary divergence between races of man because it took several thousand years to habituate to that environment.
The Rising Star Caverns in Botswana, South Africa, where the Homo Neladi was found are roughly 200 miles away from the Kalahari Desert, home of the Kalahari Bushmen. Who are believed to be one of the oldest living ethnicities of Human on Earth. The Kalahari Bushmen are supreme hunters of long, lean build that use simple tools to inhabit the flat grasslands of the Kalahari desert. They’re also known to bury their dead in caves and underground tunnels. The location that Homo Neladi was excavated in the Rising Star caverns was believed to be a grave. The Homo Neladi also has elongated limbs and a very lean build. Due to the Homo Neladi’s skull structure, the species’s brain cavity was smaller than other hominids discovered. The Kalahari Bushmen have the lowest average IQ in the world along with Australian Aboriginals and Pygmies of Papua New Guinea. Also believed to be of the oldest ethnicities in the world. Now, I’m not a scientist but here’s a side by side of a Homo Neladi depiction(Left) and a Kalahari Bushman(Right).
Given that the depiction is remotely accurate, these two folks look very similar. Everything from the brow to the cheek bones, skull structure and jaw line. It’s not far fetched to assume based on a simple eye test that these two people could possibly be related considering they have similar appearance, body structure, burial practices, hunting practices and intelligence.
The Pygmies of Papua New Guinea are a similar story. In Indonesia, which is directly beside New Guinea, the species known as homo floresiensis was discovered. Homo Florensiensis was of minuscule build. Believed to be roughly 4 feet tall with dark skin and lived deep in the jungle. The Nage people referred to them as the “Ebu Gogo” which roughly translates to “Grandparent who eats anything”. It is common legend in Indonesia that the Ebu Gogo was an ancient race of cannibal pygmies that would abduct unsupervised Nage children, drag them off into the jungles and eat them in their makeshift tree houses. In the same chain of Islands, in Papua New Guinea live the Papuan tribes, also referred to as “Pygmies” dude to their small stature. In the jungles, these people live in tree houses so they can sleep out of the reach of malaria carrying mosquitoes. They’re also widely known to still practice cannibalism. Many of these tribes believe that when someone dies, it is due to witchcraft. So in order to prevent their souls from being doomed to wander the endless Jungle darkness, they consume their flesh. Cannibalism among these tribes is also practiced on enemies captured in tribal warfare as a way of absorbing their opponents spiritual power. The Papuan tribes have some of the lowest average IQs in the world. Even when attending Indonesian and Portuguese school systems, they fair much poorer on average than their foreign counterparts. This is the same case in Australia and New Zealand among their native, Aboriginal peoples. But, either way there are many, many similarities between Homo Florensiensis(left) and the Papuan New Guinea pygmies of today(Right)
Possibly the most well known connection between prehistoric hominids and modern man is that of Neanderthals and Europids. The Neanderthal was an early species of man that resided in much of Europe but mostly in south of France. The Neanderthal was of stout build with thick bone structure. It is believed due to the advanced tool making, art and large brain capacity that the Neanderthal was one of the more intelligent prehistoric hominids. It’s also believed that the Neanderthal had a large voice box which lead to the probability of some form of complex language or vocal communication. In south of France and areas of North Eastern Spain reside the Basque peoples. Who speak the oldest language in all of Europe referred to as “Euskara”. These people are of sturdy skeletal structure and have dense muscle build. In fact, the Basque soccer team is notoriously bad. The running joke of the area is that the Basque people are slow of foot because they have “Caveman Bones”. The Basque people are also the closest descendants of the Solutreans or “Haplogroup X2A”, the first genetic subgroup to have blue and green eyes. It’s not too crazy to assume that the high European IQ is inherited from their intelligent Neanderthal ancestors. Look how similar the Neanderthal depiction(left) looks to the modern Basque(Right).
Like I said before, I’m not a scientist or a historian. I’m simply someone who seeks the truth and takes everything with a grain of salt. There are way too many connections for me to continue believing that the Human species is completely absolved from the effects of environmental habituation and evolution. And more discoveries like Homo Neladi will help put together the puzzle of the human origin story.
– Dave Martel