Here is an interesting article which, if it bears up under scrutiny, may upset the scientific applecart once again:
400,000 years is, of course, directly contrary to the reigning evolutionary and genetic paradigm that holds that modern homo sapiens sapiens came from Africa, and migrated throughout the world, some 150,000-200,000 years ago. Of course, there are those such as Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson who have presented archaeological evidence of someone in the genus homo being on earth in these times frames - and much older - ad possessed of evident technologies. (See their Forbidden Archeology and The Hidden History of the Human Race).
It is interesting that the teeth are said only to be "similar" to modern man, and this raises an issue: if they are only "similar" to modern man, are we looking at some hitherto unknown species with the genus, or are we looking at some species already known (for example, homo Neanderthalensis) but unspecified in the article?What species then is being talked about? The article indicates, perhaps, some confusion over this precise issue:
"The specimens, date back to the Middle Pleistocene era, include permanent and deciduous teeth. They were thus placed chronologically earlier than the bulk of fossil hominin specimens previously known from southwest Asia. Although none of the Qesem teeth resemble those of pre-Homo sapiens Neanderthals, a few traits may suggest some affinities with members of the Neanderthal evolutionary lineage, but the balance of the evidence suggests a closer similarity with the Skhul-Qafzeh dental material, said Gopher and Barkai."
The article is, of course, deliberately vague, and it appears that the Israeli scientists might be hedging their bets:
"The Qesem Cave is dated between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, and archeologists working there believe that the findings indicate significant changes in the behavior of ancient man. This period of time was crucial in the history of mankind from cultural and biological perspectives, and the fact that teeth of modern man were discovered indicates that these changes are apparently related to evolutionary changes taking place at that time, they maintained."
So which is it? Some evolutionary step between homo Neanderthalensis and modern homo sapiens sapiens, some hithero unknown hybrid?
Regardles of how one answers that question, if these evolutionary changes were being undergone some 200,000 years prior to the current genetic model of an African migration some 150,000-200,000 years ago, we are still dealing with a possible paradigm-changing bit of data. And one final note: it is intriguing to me that this discovery occurs in an area where some in the independent research community maintain mankind was first "engineered" into existence. THe plot, in short, may have just slightly thickened.
See you on the flip side.
(My thanks to Mr. P.T. for bringing this article to my attention!)