Hobbits could be mutants!

A newly-defined disease is speculated a possible explanation of the hobbit: the disease causes decreased stature and growth, but also allows for normal intelligence to develop.

“Hobbits” May Have Been Genetic Mutants
National Geographic News, 03 January 2008


This genetic explanation for dwarfism might just be the answer to the is-the-hobbit-a-human-or-new-species debate, but I doubt that’s this proposed thesis is the end to the debate. For one,

Dean Falk is an anthropologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee who has led several studies demonstrating Homo floresiensis is a unique species, not a diseased modern human.

She commented via email that the new study is unconvincing—for one, the pictures shown of people with this defect look nothing like the hobbit.

“Their heads are too large relative to their bodies, the limb proportions are all wrong, the profiles of the face do not come close, and these individuals are from 8 to 12 years old,” she wrote.

Read more about the genetic condition here.

Related books:
A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the “Hobbits” of Flores, Indonesia by M. Morwood and P. van Oosterzee
Little People And a Lost World: An Anthropological Mystery by L. Goldenberg

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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