In the history of exploring human origins, there has never been a more baffling discovery than the extraordinary Homo floresiensis, now known as world-famous as the “Hobbit”. Found on an obscure Indonesian island in 2004, this tiny, small-brained, big-footed hominin is unlike any other discovery.
But who was this 14,000 year old being, and who were its ancestors? These questions fuel a huge debate among paleoanthropologists. Is the fairly complete LB1 skeleton simply a modern human wracked with genetic disease. Maybe it belongs to a “dwarfed” island species descended from the renowned Homo erectus of nearby Java? Or was this individual a remote descendant of the very first hominin ancestors to exit Africa?
Depending on the answer, this little person may make a crucial contribution to our knowledge of the early evolution of modern humans. In this light-hearted debate, two eminent biological anthropologists, Dr. Robert Martin of Chicago’s Field Museum, and Dr. Ian Tattersall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, will present contrasting viewpoints on this amazing find, and attempt to lift a corner of the veil that still obscures one of paleoanthropology’s most intriguing mysteries.
Who Was the Hobbit?
Featuring Guest Moderator:
Former President of the California Academy of Sciences
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 @ 7pm
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA
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