There are three new papers in ARJ on Homo naledi this week. Two of them are responses to O'Micks. The first is by my colleague Matt McLain at the Master's University in California. He reviews the geological evidence for burial of the Homo naledi remains. My own paper is a longer look at the challenges of hominin baraminology and how Homo naledi fits into those challenges. Finally, O'Micks responds in the longest paper of the three.
So how did we do? Needless to say, I rather like my paper. McLain's article is a decent summary of the burial evidence. O'Micks seems to be quite adamant that Homo naledi is not human, but he still seems to misunderstand what I'm claiming. And frankly, I'm not at all sure why he's so passionately opposed to including Homo naledi in the human holobaramin.
I would like to say more, but ... I know big things are going to be revealed in a few weeks, and I want to wait to see what those big things are. I'm sure they will have a major influence on future conversations.
Rest assured, though, that I'm not remotely done writing about hominin baraminology or with this present discussion. I don't want to go all SIWOTI, but there are important scientific issues at stake here that go beyond just Homo naledi.
If I could advise O'Micks, I would say that you don't have to write a rebuttal. You could be the bigger man and walk away. Judging by what you've written, silence would be wise.
While we wait for news on the latest Homo naledi discoveries, I'd like to invite interested readers to check out these papers and shoot me an email if you have some interesting thoughts (please keep boring or inappropriate thoughts to yourself).
McLain. 2017. Reply to O’Micks Concerning the Geology and Taphonomy of the Homo naledi Site. ARJ 10:55-56.
Wood. 2017. Identifying Humans in the Fossil Record: A Further Response to O’Micks. ARJ 10:57-62.
O'Micks. 2017. Rebuttal to “Reply to O’Micks Concerning the Geology and Taphonomy of the Homo naledi Site” and “Identifying Humans in the Fossil Record: A Further Response to O’Micks.” ARJ 10:63-70.
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