But then, who destroyed the ring?
September 22, 2005 11:54 AM   Subscribe

According to the BBC, hobbits may not be real.
posted by 31d1 (20 comments total)

 
Single-link FPP to the BBC? WTF.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 12:01 PM on September 22, 2005


How soon the Beeb forgets The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.
posted by loquacious at 12:01 PM on September 22, 2005


One does not simply post a single link FPP into Metafilter.
posted by kyle at 12:03 PM on September 22, 2005


They said the same of Neandertal for quite some time, too, so I'm still reserving judgment on this one. The original Feldhofer Grotto specimen was even speculated to be a Russian Cossack from the Napoleonic wars, so ... to say there's a "history" there is understatement. I tend to go with the notion that human evolution was a lot messier than usually portrayed, though, with a lot more species than usually presented. Guess I'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
posted by jefgodesky at 12:04 PM on September 22, 2005


One does not simply post a single link FPP into Metafilter.

Huh?
posted by dobbs at 12:06 PM on September 22, 2005


In other news, Ents and Orcs may also not be real.
posted by howling fantods at 12:07 PM on September 22, 2005


Metafilter: although the post page appears to be setup to post a single link, we require at least two links.
posted by 31d1 at 12:08 PM on September 22, 2005


One does not simply cowbell his way into Mordor.
posted by kyle at 12:09 PM on September 22, 2005


From the article:
But there's a problem with the sceptics' version of the story. The Hobbit team has found more human remains. These include a lower jaw with the same unusual features as the original find (including twin roots to the molars).

"Let's buy into [the sceptics'] argument just for a bit of fun," said Professor Bert Roberts of the University of Wollongong, Australia, a member of the discovery team.

"We've got a complete lower jaw that's identical to the first so there we have a situation where we've now got to have two really badly diseased individuals.

"We've got a diseased population like some sort of leper colony, living in Liang Bua 18,000 years ago. The probabilities have got to be vanishingly small."


I'm pretty skeptical of these skeptics. My understanding is that a number of physical anthropoligists who know all about comparative skull anatomy among hominids have looked at the florensis skull pretty closely and its features match erectus in many definitive ways in stark contrast to a human skull. I saw one interviewed about exactly this somewhere.

You'll note that the comparisons made to a microchephalic human skull ONLY make reference to size.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:23 PM on September 22, 2005


I too am reserving judgement. There are quite a few reasons for people to want to dispute the existence of another relatively modern species of human, and the microcephaly claim has been pretty thoroughly researched and (IMO) debunked by the original discoverers. Not to say that they don't have a vested interest in debunking all naysayers, but still. Anthropological studies in the area have revealed many, many stories about the existence of little people in the jungle, and Flores is also home to fossils of mini elephants and mini hippopotami as well - so it makes sense that there might also be small people.

I guess we won't know for sure until/unless they find more skeletons in the area, but my gut feeling is that this is indeed a new species and that it's just people who want to believe that we are "special" that are making the claims that it's just a diseased modern human and the like.
posted by salad spork at 12:24 PM on September 22, 2005


anthropologists.

Bah.
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:25 PM on September 22, 2005


Does anyone else find it mildly funny that this is released on Bilbo and Frodo's "birthday"?

Just me then? Right.

I'll withhold judgement as well. Having taken a few archaeology/physical anthropology courses....too soon to tell. But the stories of little people in the area, imo, point to the liklihood of florensis existing. Then again, my area of specialty is socio-cultural, so I tend to give a lot of weight to ideology and local stories.
posted by kalimac at 12:45 PM on September 22, 2005


Real or not, I just wish modern microcephalics hadn't insisted on calling this supposed species "Hobbits."

Munchkins. Smurfs. It smells of really lame, desperate PR. Bleh.
posted by pracowity at 12:51 PM on September 22, 2005


My understanding is that a number of physical anthropoligists who know all about comparative skull anatomy among hominids have looked at the florensis skull pretty closely and its features match erectus in many definitive ways in stark contrast to a human skull.

" Real or not, I just wish modern microcephalics hadn't insisted on calling this supposed species 'Hobbits.'"

Microcephalics? Comparative skull anatomy? Florensis skull? This crap needs PR.
posted by kyle at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2005


The documentary, which I'm watching now, paints an even cloudier picture of the events surrounding the discovery of floriensis remains/diseased human. Quite a frustrating programme, in fact - I wish they'd hurry up tell me what to think, all this balanced presetation of convincing hypotheses from all sides is doing my head in ;-)

Metafilter: although the post page appears to be setup to post a single link, we require at least two links.

Where on earth did you get that idea? This most ancient of posts is a single link, after all. (Also, that in-joke usually involves quoting a previous comment.)

posted by jack_mo at 1:22 PM on September 22, 2005


Metafilter: please pardon me for fooling with the format of this in-joke.
posted by 31d1 at 1:33 PM on September 22, 2005


MetaFilter is something to laugh at, rather than with.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:40 PM on September 22, 2005


I believe, and it does not bode well for Jesus.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:06 PM on September 22, 2005


Actually, it seems like a lot of this is caught up in nationalistic rivalries, IMO. That said, the controversy is making this get a lot more attention then it otherwise would.
posted by delmoi at 6:35 PM on September 22, 2005


The tiny elephants... they existed, right? Please, don't tell me they never existed!
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:07 PM on September 22, 2005


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