Implications of Homo floresiensis for the colonisation of Australia

16 Jul

G O R T, a poster at Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board, remarked, ‘Does the Smithsonian think those dwarf elephants sailed boats too?’ Thus, the essential evidence for how Flores was colonised by humans must be assessed in relation to the fossil evidence concerning the existence of the dwarf elephant Stegodon on Flores and in the other Indonesian islands of Java and the biogeographical Wallacea. Since they had to walk to these places from the point of endemism, this is strong evidence that the sea levels were at times between 50 and 120 metres below  what they are today because of water being locked up in Earth’s larger ice caps periodically in glaciations. There must have therefore been many periods that the islands were joined as a single land mass which must have allowed the first Homo erectus to walk to Flores from the Asian mainland and once locked in there evolve into their distintive dimunitive Homo floresiensis features over a perhaps few hundred thousand years. This means that Homo erectus was present in the other Indonesian islands but evolved differently.

The question also arises as to whether they were intelligent enough to have constructed rafts and boats to make the journey as Homo erectus because it is highly unlikely that they arrived in Flores as Homo floresiensis. The answer must be No, because the population of Homo floresiensis was less intelligent than its parent population of Homo erectus and may have been marginalised by the latter to get away to Flores in the first place. This is also likely to have been the reason that that they got trapped in that island and could not develop the idea of boats and/or were also not physically strong enough for the sea-faring activities needed for make the reverse journey or to go to other local islands subsequently.

Elsewhere in Asia, the parental Homo erectus stock evolved significant  intelligence and constructed boats perhaps only about 100,000 years ago with tools that they developed to chop down trees for logs or produce rafts with bamboo. There was a minimum deep 20 mile wide gap between Australia and the rest of Asia which had to be crossed as a journey to the unknown so that sailing must have developed first as a past time or to catch fish. This required intelligence which they had or the species could not have been adventurous enough to have explored its surroundings to arrive at this geographical point all the way from Africa. This distinctiveness of the present aboriginal population from the rest of humanity indicates a group that had evolved from a Homo erectus original population rather than a later Homo sapiens one, had made that initial crossing in boats from one of the Indonesian islands to north-western Australia about 60,000 years ago to become the ancestors of the native Australian aboriginals. The Australian fossil evidence of Homo from around 50,000 years ago indicating unaccountable differences from Homo sapiens morphology must therefore be taken seriously to support the case for an archaic ancestor species of humans in Australia.

Last Edited: 8.54 pm, 28 July 2012.

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