That’s right folks, the new species vs. not a new species debate over the origins of Homo floresiensis has reignited.
CRETINISM STRIKES BACK!
A study from a Western Australian team has re-confirmed that the Flores hominid remains bare the hallmark features of modern humans affected by hypothyroid cretinism.
I know I tend to talk about this a fair bit, but I find it quite interesting, so deal with it. Also, I really don’t think we’re that far away from a “Is not!”/”Is too!” debate. I jest of course.
Professor Oxnard (awesome name) and his team claim that the results of their study confirm that:
the close grouping of H. floresiensis with the hypothyroid cretins, and the clear separation from both modern humans and from chimpanzees…leads them to conclude that the Liang Bua remains were indeed most likely cretins from a population of unaffected H. sapiens.
Oxnard explained that
"Cretinism is caused by various environmental factors including iodine deficiency -- a deficiency which would have been present on Flores at the period to which the dwarfed Flores fossils are dated."The study has sought further evidence through drawing on modern human populations, arguing that their research is
"...consistent with recent hypothyroid endemic cretinism throughout Indonesia, including the nearby island of Bali,"