A micro mini post
The latest paper on Neanderthals is one dealing with crania found at the Sima de los Huesos site in Atapuerca, Spain: Seventeen skulls were pieced together and showed a mixture of archaic and Neanderthal features. These people, were the ancestors of Neanderthals (maybe not their direct ancestors, but somewhere in their past!). They were dated to 430 kya.
But this brought to my mind another paper on Sima de los Huesos, which sequenced DNA from a 400 kya specimen (maybe one of those mentioned above), and found that they were closer to the Denisovans than to the Neanderthals!.
So one paper says the Atapuercan remains are ancestral to Neanderthal, and another says they are closer to Denisovans than to Neanderthals...
This brings me to the title of this post: science is built on discrepancies, on conflicting data. They have to be explained in a clear and rational manner that satisfies all the evidence. I expect more will come from Atapuerca and it will help us understand our human past better.
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