How do they know it was a “direct human ancestor”? How do they even know it was a biological species? University press releases: sigh.
… plus what this excitement is about is not what this population looked like, or how it is genealogically connected to other populations, but what name you call it.
This is a brilliant example ofwhat Larry Moran was complaining about. The clickbait headline is false; no new specimen, let alone new species, has been found, and all that has happened is reclassificiation. The self-styled journalists of Science Daily have taken their material straight from a press release. The only scientists quoted were those involved in the work,and if I didn’t know better I would imagine that the namng was definitive ,rather than the starting point for debate. Finally,we have the cringe-worthy and wildly inaccurate sentences " H. rhodesiensis is poorly defined and the name has never been widely accepted. This is partly due to its association with Cecil Rhodes and the horrendous crimes carried out during colonial rule in Africa – an unacceptable honour in light of the important work being done toward decolonizing science." In fact H. rhodesensis was a questionable term purely on the evidence,and to lump Cecil Rhodes together with those who, like Leopold II, carried out horrendous crimes is self-righteous ignorance,and no service to the noble cause of decolonising science.
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