Liam Smyth 3/28/15
C Block Odd
Today I read an article in Science Daily titled “Earliest Human Had a Diverse Range of Body Types.” A team of Cambridge researchers published this article. These researchers claimed that human diversity in body types came much earlier than previously thought.
They did this by comparing skeletons found in African countries from the period of early man. The skeletons found in these different parts of Africa showed strong variation, and this meant that human started showing strong variation before they left Africa. Skeletons showed extreme diversity mainly in height; the heights of these skeletons ranged from 4 feet eight inches to six feet. These taller skeletons were found mainly in Kenya. This contradicts the previously held belief that most of these changes occurred after humans left Africa.
This study was done using an extensive sample size; the sample size was in fact three times larger than those of previous studies on the subject. This was an extremely challenging process due to the fact that they had to spend a lot of time reconstructing half recovered fossils that had not been examined previously.
This article is important to society because it is important to learn about our past and how we came about. A knowledge of the history of humanity allows use to further understand ourselves, and this self understanding allows humanity to gain important perspective. This new evidence also adds to the mountain evidence against Social Darwinism by showing that humanity didn’t magically advance only once we left Africa.
This article was a great summary of the researchers’ work. It succinctly and impartially summarized the article. However, it was a little too bit impartial. The article could’ve criticized the study a little bit more thoroughly and presented methodological problems with the study. The article also could have gone into a little bit more detail about how these half recovered fossils were reconstructed.
University of Cambridge. "Earliest humans had diverse range of body types, just as we do today." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150326204642.htm>.