The cast of the controversial Liang Bua 1 hobbit was unveiled to the public on Tuesday at a special symposium at Stony Brook University in New York. The buzz is certainly exciting in the US, but it should be noted that many Indonesian and Malaysian colleagues are highly skeptical of the Hobbit representing a new species – partly from nationalistic sensibilities as well as religious ones (which is probably why you don’t hear a lot about them in the media). For now the published evidence tends to suggest that the Hobbit represents a new species rather than a deformed human, but I’d just like to highlight the disparity in opinion in the local scene.
Controversial Hobbit Looks Tiny in Person
Live Science, 22 April 2009
A skeleton cast of tiny and controversial Homo floresiensis, nicknamed the Hobbit, went on public display for the first time Tuesday at Stony Brook University on Long Island.
The specimen, discovered in 2003 in Indonesia, is hotly debated among scientists. Some claim it represents a new diminutive hominin species, while others argue it is simply a modern human dwarfed by some medical condition.
All agree the original Hobbit was extremely compact compared to us.