Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Homo naledi burial?

In a new post at Human Genesis, I tackle the question of how all those Homo naledi bones ended up in the Rising Star Cave.  Did Homo naledi use the Dinaledi chamber as their graveyard?  Or did the bones get there some other way?  I tackle those questions and the recent critique by Aurore Val in my post.

What's my personal take?  As hard as it is for me to imagine people crawling so far and so deep into a cave just to bury their loved ones, I don't think any other explanation really explains all the data available to us.  I definitely think there are still questions about the burial hypothesis, but it's the best explanation so far.

I also think that my creationist perspective gives an advantage to the burial hypothesis.  Whereas it would be terribly (if not impossibly) difficult to imagine an animal crawling that far underground to bury dead individuals, humans have complex emotional and even religious motivations that animals do not.  If Homo naledi is human as I contend, then perhaps motivation for the enormous effort of crawling so far underground toting a dead body isn't that hard to imagine.

Did Homo naledi bury its dead?

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