Homo naledi burial challenged, according to an article in Scientific American 8 April 2016. When the discovery of a new fossil hominin named Homo naledi was announced in 2015 the research team claimed the bones had been deliberately buried, and this was evidence that the fossils belonged to archaic humans, rather than apes.

Now Aurore Val, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand, has written a paper in the Journal of Human Evolution, published online 31 March 2016, criticising this claim. According to Scientific American, “In it she argues that it is impossible to establish—based on the evidence presented in the team’s paper on the geologic context of the H. naledi fossils and bone features that hint at their fate—that the complete bodies were disposed of inside the chamber or at its entrance in the manner the team proposes”.

Scientific American also noted that others had expressed doubts about deliberate burial but until now these were not written up as formal journal articles.

Scientific American

Editorial Comment: We said it first, and we can prove we said it first, when we showed the skeletons couldn’t be a burial site in answers to questions on our website Ask John Mackay. However, we didn’t get written up by Scientific American.

See our answers to the questions:

NEW APE MAN? Is the discovery of Homo naledi in South Africa evidence for apes evolving into humans? Answer by John Mackay and Diane Eager, published 6 October 2015, here.

APE MAN FOSSILS? Are the bones of Homo naledi actually fossilised, and is this relevant or not? Answer by John Mackay, published 13 October 2015, here.

Evidence News, vol. 16, No. 7
27 April 2016
Creation Research Australia