Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We're Not Alone.

I am fascinated with weird news. It's my favorite type of news to read online, well right after educational news.

And before you decide NOT to read this or click on the link, I'm not talking about us being alone in the universe and there being aliens out there. I'm talking about something right here on Earth.

Anyone out there read "The Hobbit"? Of course you have. I don't think you can escape k-12 school or a college lit class without reading it. Well today I found an article about this "Hobbit" they found in a cave on a remote island of Indonesia that made them question if we were the only human species alive. The scientists have been debating the significance of this discovery for over two years. One camp of scientists believe that it is a one meter tall woman, now nicknamed Hobbit, and is a new human species. Another camp is more skeptical and they believe the human actually has a condition called "microcephaly", which basically means she was born with an abnormally small head. (Hmmm, maybe the "shrunken heads were actually from humans with this same condition?)

A Florida State University anthropologists says they have proof that this is a new human species, with a highly evolved brain. (So small heads do equal high IQ?)

Interesting article to read with students. Have them research and come up with other questions that should be answered before deciding if this is a new species or whether to stay skeptical. I'm one of those who believe that archeology is a strong combination of geography skills, science skills, and even literature skills and therefore this could be integrated into almost any subject. Language Arts teachers must read for meaning, separate facts from fiction and write supporting papers on a given topic. Social Studies gives us the skills to research the history and culture of an area, which might lead to support the abnormality. The science skills, well - this is all based on science.

I wonder what Gill Grissom would think of this discovery?

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