Thursday, May 07, 2009

It's official...again!

The debate over the classification of Homo floresiensis as a new species was settled four years ago.....or so we thought.

Although The Guardian article I highlighted at the time (March 4, 2005) declared the "hobbit saga ended" and suggested that the small hominid was indeed a new species, today's Guardian announces that "new evidence has emerged to show that [the] extinct, diminutive people known as 'hobbits' from the Indonesian island of Flores belonged to a new species of primitive humans."

So the "new species" classification is official.....again? Did The Guardian and, along with it, most of the popular press jump the gun in 2005?

In all fairness, the recent headline's claim of finality is more true than that asserted by The Guardian in 2005. The new evidence is both anatomical and cerebral, prompting many previously skeptical scientists to accept Homo floresiensis as a distinct species. Still, some respected anthropological researchers remain unconvinced. Their skepticism is given fair due in leading scientific journals like Nature, but it doesn't receive much (if any) attention in the popular press.

In recent months, Bioephemera has been covering the often frustrating divide between scientific research and science reporting. Her posts are excellent; I encourage interested readers to check them out. (Here, here, and here.)


Donald Frazell said...

I rather like the Twitter article. Having raised and coached teenagers, I can and do testify as to cell phones warping minds that are in transition already. It makes them obsessive, and fixated on both poularity and constant attention. They need silence, time to think for themselves, these toys fill them with neediness, and entitlement issues.

We have always had these in us, but technology has accelerated and warped any kind of ballance we adults try to bring to these hormone raged adolescents. They dont show respect anymore, dont call us Mr or Mrs, thinking we are all equal. And we are not, yet constantly they are fixated on "respect", which in their warped world is about power and "appearing" to be cool. When they are truly just being stupid adolescents.

And the advertising companies know this, and use it. What else could explain the popularity of a supposed cologne that stinks to high heaven, Axe? Kids are lemmings. the pied pipers selling them crap, with OUR money.


to put it politely. It may have started with radio and TV, but accelerated with cable and MTV, now the self absorbed, peer influenced beast of instant communication, and gratification, has been let loose upon the world. And its not a pretty sight. Most of our brains settle down in our early 20s, we mature, and find ballance. But many become so imballanced, the damage has already been done.

Dont need studies for this, but do need to discuss it more. That technology and advertising are always devised to make money for someone, thye use eveery form of information gathering, get used in every way possible to get the cash from you, and make you addicted. From Happy Meals on.

Big Brother is not the government, its the targeted marketing to search and destroy pocketbooks of the gullible. One is born every minute, and the corporations know EXACTLY who you are. Twitter is devious in more ways than this, it identifies saps. Usually kids.

Luckily, this Depression has closed us parents pocketbooks, they will jsut have to go through withdrawals, til they finally get jobs and pay for it themselves. Hopefuly, by then, they have grown up a little.

art collegia e marketing delenda est.

Hungry Hyaena said...

Yup, it seems that technology has made child-rearing much more difficult (or at least rearing well-rounded children). Also, to some extent, it has insulated the childrens' lives. I don't envy today's parents a lick.