There has been a theory during the past decade that stated that the ancient Olmecs of Mexico were descended from Africans or Australians because of statuary that was left over from their civilization.
Now there has been a discovery of a skeleton of an ancient woman that may provide an important link to the puzzle:
Cranial features distinctive to Australian Aborigines are present in hundreds of skulls that have been uncovered in Central and South America, some dating back to over 11,000 years ago.
Evolutionary biologist Walter Neves of the University of São Paulo, whose findings are reported in a cover story in the latest issue of Cosmos magazine, has examined these skeletons and recovered others, and argues that there is now a mass of evidence indicating that at least two different populations colonised the Americas.
He and colleagues in the United States, Germany and Chile argue that first population was closely related to the Australian Aborigines and arrived more than 11,000 years ago.
The second population to arrive was of humans of ‘Mongoloid’ appearance – a cranial morphology distinctive of people of East and North Asian origin – who entered the Americas from Siberia and founded most (if not all) modern Native American populations, he argues.
“The results suggest a clear biological affinity between the early South Americans and the South Pacific population. This association allowed for the conclusion that the Americas were occupied before the spreading of the classical Mongoloid morphology in Asia,” Neves says.
Until about a decade ago, the dominant theory in American archaeology circles was that the ‘Clovis people’ – whose culture is defined by the stone tools they used to kill megafauna such as mammoths – was the first population to arrive in the Americas.
They were thought to have crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into Alaska at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 or so years ago, following herds of megafauna across a land bridge created as water was locked up in glaciers and ice sheets.
But in the late 1990s, Neves and his colleagues re-examined a female skeleton that had been excavated in the 1970s in an extensive cave system in Central Brazil known as Lapa Vermelha.
The skeleton – along with a treasure trove of other finds – had been first unearthed by a Brazilian-French archaeological team that disbanded shortly after its leader, Annette Laming-Emperare, died suddenly. A dispute between participants kept the find barely examined for more than a decade.
The oldest female skeleton, dubbed Luzia, is between 11,000 and 11,400 years old. The dating is not exact because the material in the bones used for dating – collagen – has long since degraded; hence, only the layers of charcoal or sediment above and below the skeleton could be dated.
“We believe she is the oldest skeleton in the Americas,” Neves said.
Luzia has a very projected face; her chin sits out further than her forehead, and she has a long, narrow brain case, measured from the eyes to the back of the skull; as well as a low nose and low orbits, the space where the eyes sit.
These facial features are indicative of what Neves calls the ‘generalised cranial morphology’ – the morphology of anatomically modern humans, who first migrated out of Africa more than 100,000 years ago, and made it as far as Australia some 50,000 years ago, and Melanesia 40,000 years ago.
New finds in seven sites
When Neves first announced his discovery of Luzia in the late 1990s, he faced criticism from a number of archaeologists, who claimed the dating was not accurate. He has since returned to excavate four other sites, and is still cataloguing skeletons from the most recent dig.
In total, there are now hundreds of skeletons with the cranial morphology similar to Australian Aborigines, found in seven sites – as far north as Florida in the United States to Palli Aike in southern Chile.
In 2005, he published a paper in the U.S journal,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysing the characteristics of a further 81 skeletons he recovered from one of four sites, in which he said strengthened his argument that there were migrations to the Americas from at least two major populations.
Not related to Native Americans
In June 2010 in the journal PLoS ONE, Neves and colleagues Mark Hubbe of Chile’s Northern Catholic University and Katerina Harvati from Germany’s University of Tübingen, showed that it was not possible for the Aborigine-like skeletons to be the direct ancestors of the Native Americans.
Nor was it possible for the two populations to share a last common ancestor at the time of the first entrance into the continent, they argued, based on the 57 cranial measurements that can be made on a skull.
So far, almost all DNA studies of Native Americans points to a single entry from Siberia. This may mean that the original population died out, or simply that DNA studies have been too narrow, argue a number of archaeologists.
I’m also curious as to why DNA studies have failed to trace the genetic ancestry of some of these tribes. Perhaps they have been too narrow in scope.
After all, to find otherwise would upset the known paradigm.
Can you imagine a future where parents can pick the eye color, hair color, skin color and height of their new baby? Does that sound like some wild dream of the future? Well, the future is now. One Los Angeles fertility clinic is now offering to design babies to the exact specifications of the parents.
The Fertility Institute is calling this new technology “cosmetic medicine”. Do you want your daughter to look like Barbie? Done. Just order up a tall, light-skinned, green-eyed, daughter with blonde hair and the clinic will do the rest.
This technology is based on something called “pre-implantation genetic diagnosis”, or PGD, which doctors have been using the last few years to identify potentially deadly diseases in embryos. The technology has become so advanced that now doctors can not just spot potential diseases, but they can actually get enough information from an embryonic cell that they can identify thousands of characteristics of a single embryo.
Well, this day has finally arrived. Genetically engineered human beings and designer children born to parents who can afford to pay the fees.
And make no bones about it, this will happen.
The next question is; “Will this new technology be made available to the masses?”
What do you think?
In a related note, Technological Singularity advocate Michael Anissimov’s blog Accelerating Future has a recent post in which a commentor mentions ectogenesis; The growing of a fetus in an artificial womb outside of a biological body.
This poses an ethical question that if the technology becomes economically viable, will abortions due to unwanted children become illegal again?
And if the reasons for abortion become moot, who, or what will raise these children if the parent(s) refuse to raise them?
Who pays the cost of growing the fetus to maturation, the State/taxpayers, or the unwilling parent(s)?
These issues, like the designer children, are already here.
Witness the Octo-Mom media spectacle/circus/carnival and the results so far.
One of the main reasons I started this blog originally was to discuss Transhumanism and the ramifications for society.
I have strayed from that over the past 22 months because I found other subjects that seemed more important at the time. And issues of the NWO, esoteric symbolism, UFOs and alternate history will continue to draw my attention.
But needless to say, I still consider myself a transhumanist in an offhand kind of way because I’m still living and breathing due to technologies that were once considered impossible 30 short years ago. There were no ghosts, evil spirits, grey aliens, tricksters, possessions, priests, ministers or exorcisms involved in keeping me alive.
Just good old fashioned human research and tech.
And maybe a little luck.
Now according to the Multiverse Theory, we inhabit many parallel Universes at once, in fact, infinite.
Many possibilities exist at the same time, all it takes is for an event to be witnessed/measured in order to make it “real.” And just that very act alone causes an infinite number of “branches/possibilities” to come about.
Could there be an untold amount of parallel “Universes” in which I didn’t survive the operation?
According to many quantum theorists, yes.
Is this “woo-woo” mysticism writ large? A secular religion? Impossible?
Or just plain bullshit to calm the sheeple who couldn’t understand it anyway?
Many other theorists say yes to that.
If there really is such a thing as Transhumanism, perhaps these fundemental questions of existence can be answered.