Another human skull – a new history – apparently

When Swiss scientists published their work on an ancient human skull found in Georgia, the world’s press started chattering. This snippet of evidence didn’t fit with previous views, and so there was a call for revision.

I’m less interested in the exact nature of the particular theories about our ancestral tree, than that people are interested in it at all. We are talking millions of years ago, and hundreds of generations back. It’s not like we are worrying about our great great great grandfather, whose history may have had some bearing on our own day to day existence. This one is from way back when.

But we are interested. It seems to be a feature of humans that we are intensely curious about our ultimate beginnings. The world’s key religions all spend time considering the issue, normally in a poetic / allegorical form, but in fact that makes the conversations even more important. For us to exist now we need to make sense of our foundations. To know where we began is a step towards showing where we may go and depending on the answer we will draw different conclusions as to our personal meaning.

Genesis, evolution, Georgian skulls all become features of intense debate, less because of the items themselves, but because of the principles and underlying worldviews held by the questioners.

So when you read the news about these findings, think also about who is doing the studying as well as who is doing the reporting, the agendas and worldviews they bring. Then you are in a better position to listen and move on in your own thinking.