Humans Arrived In Madagascar ~8500 BC, Much Earlier Than Previously Thought

Jan 2016
38,467
34,149
Colorado
#1
This is a rather shocking re-dating of the earliest arrival of humans on the mini-continent of Madagascar, with all of its exotic wildlife. At one time it was thought that no human presence was established on the island until ~400 BC, then 2000 BC was a commonly accepted date. This is MUCH earlier, and these early colonists apparently left no genetic trace in the inhabitants of Madagascar today. What happened to them?!?

Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years: Skeletons of extinct 500kg elephant birds revolutionise our understanding of this island
 
Apr 2012
10,456
4,188
East coast USA
#2
The bush men/women of Africa have the oldest untouched DNA. This means they are of pure stock. Everyone else are a hodgepodge of mixing.
We are 1.5 million years old ?
 
Likes: The Man
Jan 2016
38,467
34,149
Colorado
#4
And, science changes it mind yet again.

As usual.

It's always "settled science"...until it's not.
Are you of the type that prefers religion, with its eternal dogmas? How satisfying to know that nothing EVER changes there. There, you are just told what to believe, and there is no need to question, to probe, no need to show any degree of curiosity. Perfect for leading a life of dull contentment.

Hey, if that's your cup of tea, more power to you.
 
Jan 2016
38,467
34,149
Colorado
#5
This is a rather shocking re-dating of the earliest arrival of humans on the mini-continent of Madagascar, with all of its exotic wildlife. At one time it was thought that no human presence was established on the island until ~400 BC, then 2000 BC was a commonly accepted date. This is MUCH earlier, and these early colonists apparently left no genetic trace in the inhabitants of Madagascar today. What happened to them?!?

Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years: Skeletons of extinct 500kg elephant birds revolutionise our understanding of this island
By the way, those elephant birds were the largest birds that ever existed, so far as we know; there are certainly no larger birds in the paleontological record. A fully grown elephant bird may have stood 12 feet tall. And the thing is, an adult still LOOKED like a chick. So when the first human saw the first elephant bird, they would HAVE to have been alarmed, thinking it might be a baby, and that MAMA might be nearby!

There may have still been elephant birds surviving in Madagascar when the French got to the island in the 17th century.....
 

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
11,078
11,781
Work
#6
And, science changes it mind yet again.

As usual.

It's always "settled science"...until it's not.
Firstly, you do understand that science doesn't have a single mind about anything, right?

No idea what you are even getting at here. It's an excellent summary of what science is I guess, if you mean the constant search for more accurate information that reflects how things work and how they got to where they are. Did you expect the answers to fall from the sky fully formed?
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
39,627
25,789
Toronto
#7
Are you of the type that prefers religion, with its eternal dogmas? How satisfying to know that nothing EVER changes there. There, you are just told what to believe, and there is no need to question, to probe, no need to show any degree of curiosity. Perfect for leading a life of dull contentment.

Hey, if that's your cup of tea, more power to you.
Not true lol

When Orthodox Christianity was brought to Russia originally by the Greeks, they used to cross themselves with two fingers, index and middle; like how Jesus did it, apparently. Modern ultra-conservative Orthodox traditionalists, referred to as Old Believers, still do that in their mostly remote, rural communities


However, after the Orthodox Reformation in Russia, centuries ago, when the modern Church emerged, they mandated the three-finger (thumb+index+middle) crossing most believers use today


Oh, and those who insisted on following pre-Reform Orthodoxy, i.e. the Old Believers, were declared heretics, burned alive in big bonfires

You could be burned for simply the way you crossed yourself, back then, ain't religion awesome :D

They were persecuted all throughout the Romanov era; and in the Soviet Union later too, like all religious people back then. That's why they always hid out in most remote parts of the Far North and Siberia; and have, over centuries and generations, grown so adept at living in these unforgiving places, that some now get paid to train military units at extreme wilderness survival skills

:D
 
Likes: tnbskts
Sep 2017
2,867
3,705
Massachusetts
#8
This is a rather shocking re-dating of the earliest arrival of humans on the mini-continent of Madagascar, with all of its exotic wildlife. At one time it was thought that no human presence was established on the island until ~400 BC, then 2000 BC was a commonly accepted date. This is MUCH earlier, and these early colonists apparently left no genetic trace in the inhabitants of Madagascar today. What happened to them?!?

Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years: Skeletons of extinct 500kg elephant birds revolutionise our understanding of this island
It's kind of unnerving. I mean, I can totally understand how humans could take hold on a small island and then get wiped out by a disease, or inbreeding, or a local environmental calamity, or just exhausting local resources. But this isn't some little dot in the sea like the Azores. It's huge.... like Texas huge. You'd think once humans had a well-established population somewhere like that, they couldn't be wiped out.... though I guess it's conceivable they could be wiped out before they'd spread across the island. Could we just be finding traces of an unsuccessful colony? Like Roanoke or Lanse aux meadows?
 
Sep 2017
2,867
3,705
Massachusetts
#9
And, science changes it mind yet again.

As usual.

It's always "settled science"...until it's not.
That's exactly what makes science credible -- that it doesn't dig in its heels and refuse to adapt to new facts and analysis. That's the opposite of the view that, say, climate change deniers have of science, where they claim that the man-made climate change theory has survived and strengthened for so long not because that's where the data has led, but because of a taboo against challenging mainstream views in science.
 
Sep 2017
2,867
3,705
Massachusetts
#10
By the way, those elephant birds were the largest birds that ever existed, so far as we know; there are certainly no larger birds in the paleontological record. A fully grown elephant bird may have stood 12 feet tall. And the thing is, an adult still LOOKED like a chick. So when the first human saw the first elephant bird, they would HAVE to have been alarmed, thinking it might be a baby, and that MAMA might be nearby!

There may have still been elephant birds surviving in Madagascar when the French got to the island in the 17th century.....
Thanks -- I learned something new. I thought the Moa was the biggest, but apparently the elephant birds were significantly larger.
 

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