Sunday, July 01, 2007

The One Million Year Old Human Tooth

So how long exactly how we humans been roaming around this planet? When I was in high school, some 20 years ago, we were told it was a hundred, maybe, two hundred thousand years tops.

With the discovery of a "human tooth" in Spain, we're now up to 1.2 million years.

What happened to the 'Out Of Africa' theory, that says humans spread out from Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago?

According to this story, and the discovery of a tooth, humans were in Spain a million years ago :

Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, co-director of research at the Atapuerca site said the molar, discovered on Wednesday in the Atapuerca Sierra in the northern province of Burgos, could be as much as 1.2 million years old.

"The tooth represents the oldest human fossil remain of western Europe. Now we finally have the anatomical evidence of the hominids that fabricated tools more than one million years ago," the Atapuerca Foundation said in a statement.

"Since it is an isolated fossil remain, it is not possible at this point to confirm which Homo species this tooth belongs to," the foundation added, but said first analyses "allow us to suppose it is an ancestor of Homo antecessor (pioneer)."

In 1994 at the nearby Gran Dolina site several Homo antecessor fossils were uncovered, suggesting human occupation of Europe around 800,000 years ago, whereas scientists had previously believed the continent had only been inhabited for around half a million years.

The Sierra Atapuerca contains several caves such as the Gran Dolina site, where fossils and stone tools of Europe's earliest known hominids have been found.

Maybe it's just easier to go with the 'Intelligent Design' and 'Creationist' theories : God created man and dinosaurs at the the same time, about 8000 years ago. That's it. No debate.

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