Wednesday, 23 March 2016

(85) Homo naledi: Body and soul

Basic Dimension 

Number Archive

(190) Australopithecus interbred with Homo sapiens? 

[Anyway, they definitely are half Australopithecus, which dates from 2.5 - 7 million years ago. This means half their genes are old and half are young. So, they still might have been evolved in the developmental stage of Rebirth. They likely survived for millions of years. Just learned Hominin subspecies do not change much in evolution after they are established.]


There are several reasons to bury the dead. Scavengers can be held away by burying the dead in the ground. But there are still insects and worms. So decay is visible. But in caves less insects will be found. And the dead might never be seen again. 

There is but one reason for burying the deceased in deep caves and that is to preserve their dead bodies from (visible) decay. That implies the afterlife. That implies 'religion'.

But that implies no reincarnation since then the soul leaves the body. Then the body is allowed to decay. So there must have been a developmental stage before reincarnation and that is rebirth. Like Jesus and the Egyptian pharaohs. But Jesus had a soul and went to the sky to some parallel universe. 

But Homo naledi (2,3 Ma - 335 ka; 550cc) was not so far. He still thought all life shot from the soil. And he was right. So he thought there must be an Underworld where dead bodies were repaired and refreshed for rebirth into wombs as babies. 

And now we found a motive to bury the dead as deep as possible in the ground in caves. They must have believed caves were the entrance to the Underworld.
So the cave-system represented the religious cathedrals of the Hominins.

(85) Homo naledi: Body and soul 
(77) Homo naledi from rebirth to reincarnation 


An exhaustive search by a professional caving team and researchers has failed to find any other plausible access points into the Dinaledi Chamber, and there is no evidence to suggest that an older, now sealed, entrance to the chamber ever existed. Furthermore, detailed surface mapping of the landscape overlying the Rising Star cave system (Figure 2A) illustrates that no large flowstone-filled fractures occur in the region above the Dinaledi Chamber.

It’s not the size of your brain, it’s how you organise it. The most recently discovered species of early human had a skull only slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s, but its brain looked surprisingly like our own – particularly in an area of the frontal lobe with links to language.

This could back suggestions that these mysterious early humans showed advanced behaviours, such as teamwork and burial, even though we still don’t know exactly when they lived.

Burial rites

It had a peculiar mix of anatomical features, which is part of what makes it hard to tell when the species lived. But what really set tongues wagging was the suggestion by Berger and his colleagues that H. naledi had deliberately disposed of its dead in this deep, dark, difficult-to-reach cave chamber full of remains.

Such an endeavour probably required emotional sophistication, not to mention teamwork, to carry out the task, but H. naledi’s skull was less than half the size of our own. Could its tiny brain have powered such advanced behaviour?

Tiny human

What excites the team most is a region on the side of H. naledi’s frontal lobe called Brodmann area 45, part of Broca’s area, which in modern humans has links to speech  production. In this part of our brains, the pattern of gyri and sulci is very different from that seen in chimpanzees. H. naledi seems to have had our pattern, even though as an adult its BA45 was not much larger than that of a chimpanzee.
“You look at the naledi cast and you think – holy crap this is just a tiny human,” says Hawks.

Team member Shawn Hurst of Indiana University in Bloomington discussed the findings at a meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in New Orleans last week. “I would think the implication is that [H. naledi] was moving strongly towards enhanced communication,” he says.

Origins of Genus Homo–Australopiths and Early Homo; Variation of Early Homo; Speciation of Homo

Abstractions of eternal life

Regarding the evolution of human religion we earlier distinguished three abstractions of eternal life of increasing difficulty which we linked to brainsize:

(mya: million years ago)

1: Genetic immortality by inbreeding and incest (Homininae, 7-2 mya, 400 cc).
2: Reincarnation into the (earthly) universe (Homo erectus, 2 mya, 900 cc).
3: Reincarnation into the parallel universe (Homo sapiens, 0.2 mya, 1400 cc).

But the invention of the soul is a more fundamental abstraction:

1 Body without soul (< 500cc)
2 Body and soul (> 900cc)

Body without soul (< 500cc)

3D Animation of the Alesi Fossil Skull

Present-day chimpanzees are humans' nearest living relatives. Where the last chimp-human common ancestor lived is a central and highly debated issue in palaeoanthropology. Researchers have assumed up to now that the lineages diverged five to seven million years ago and that the first pre-humans developed in Africa.

The team analyzed the two known specimens of the fossil hominid Graecopithecus freybergi: a lower jaw from Greece and an upper premolar from Bulgaria.
The lower jaw, nicknamed 'El Graeco' by the scientists, has additional dental root features, suggesting that the species Graecopithecus freybergi might belong to the pre-human lineage.

Furthermore, Graecopithecus is several hundred thousand years older than the oldest potential pre-human from Africa, the six to seven million year old Sahelanthropus from Chad.

Professor David Begun, a University of Toronto paleoanthropologist and co-author of this study, added, "This dating allows us to move the human-chimpanzee split into the Mediterranean area."


1: Genetic immortality by inbreeding and incest (Homininae, 7-2 mya, 400 cc).


Were there already bipedal Homininae (7 Ma; 400cc) at Crete about 5,7 million years ago? 


Homo naledy (2.3 ? Ma; 550cc)

Paranthropus robustus (2 Ma; 400cc)

Homo habilis (Handy man) (1.5-2.1 (2.8 ?) Ma; 600-700cc) Also Turkana boy (1.55 Ma: 900cc).

Dmanisi Homo georgicus is seen as an primitive Homo erectus or a Homo ergaster.

Body and soul (> 900cc)

2: Reincarnation into the (earthly) universe (Homo erectus, 2 mya, 900cc).

Homo ergaster (1.4-1.9 Ma; 900cc) [Turkana boy] got a smaller gut, intestines narrower because as a scavenger with the right stone tools he was able to eat meat, what was broken down more quickly than plant matter. The energy saved by a much smaller gut freed the right amount to power his bigger brain. Meat gave Homo ergaster mobility and flexibility to be no longer dependent on seasonal fruit and vegetables. So they followed the trail of the animals and so Homo erectus was able to leave Africa.

Homo ergaster (1.4-1.9 mya; 600-910cc) must be seen as an early Homo erectus (1.8 mya; 900cc). Turkana boy is seen as Homo ergaster.
Probing Human Ancestry with Ancient DNA

Fossils recovered from an old mine on a desolate mountain in Morocco have rocked one of the most enduring foundations of the human story: that Homo sapiens arose in a cradle of humankind in East Africa 200,000 years ago.

Archaeologists unearthed the bones of at least five people at Jebel Irhoud, a former barite mine 100km west of Marrakesh, in excavations that lasted years. They knew the remains were old, but were stunned when dating tests revealed that a tooth and stone tools found with the bones were about 300,000 years old.

3: Reincarnation into the parallel universe (Homo sapiens, 0.2 mya, 1400cc).

We can further perfect this format as follows:

Body without soul (< 500cc)

Sleep forever 

1: Genetic immortality by inbreeding and incest (Homininae, 7-2 mya, 400cc).


2. Rebirth in caves.

(Australopithecus, 3-2 mya; 450cc).
(Homo naledi, 1.97 mya (?); 500cc): possibly a hybrid between (Australopithecus, 4.3-2 mya; 400cc) and (Homo erectus, 2 mya; 900cc).

Body and soul (> 600cc)

2. Rebirth in caves (Homo habilis, 1.5-2.8? Ma; 600-700cc)
3: Reincarnation into the (earthly) universe (Homo erectus, 2 mya, 900cc).
4: Reincarnation into the parallel universe (Homo sapiens, 0.2 mya, 1400cc).

Only if you split yourself into body and soul, your soul can be reborn into another body; otherwise you must be reborn into yourself.

From animal development we can derive a logical path leading to the soul in the human world:

If religion comes from the animal world then we must wonder what concept animals have about death. Above all, we must try to think into their logic. The first question is: Does the brain of higher mammals consider death as a fait accompli or as a twilight zone between life and death? Well, death looks an irreversible fact but at the same time there could be a twilight zone. For animals death is not absolute if the body is still intact, as we also cannot believe our beloved really died. We would not be too surprised if he stood up again and walked away:

Conditions for rebirth

At the sight of a deceased loved one, also animals come to the terrible conclusion that the poor mate is dead. But the question is how do they think about death? Does the deceased animal remain in his body? Of course he does, for he is his body. That's rational thinking. So, do not touch a dead animal near grieving other animals.

A dead animal remains in his body. That's an important conclusion. If he then disappears out of sight, he still lives further into the brains of his close relatives as he always did. So, also a dead animal stays on in two places together: in his body and in the mind of his close family. But the latter is a phenomenological error of perception. A remembrance of the past cannot give life back. That would be magical thinking

We conclude, a dead animal definitely stays in his dead body but for other animals it is not completely clear what 'dead' means. The deceased lives forth in their minds and maybe he lives also forth in his dead body. For example, he could sleep forever. And maybe at some point he still gets up and walks away. In any case, he must be protected against wild animals because he is only really dead when he is torn to piecesThat's animal logic:

There is evidence elephants have a vivid remembrance of a past away tribal member. She still exists somewhere, especially in their minds. And every time after a long journey when they see and smell her bones, the remembrance in their minds is reactivated. But where has she been in the meantime?

Because animals never invented the soul they do not understand how dead animals ever could leave their bodies. But there also is no need for. Either they sleep and rest forever, or eventually they are born again with a renewed body and stand up as JesusFor animals anything is possible:

Only humans that are able to split body and soul can imagine reincarnation into other bodies:

These are the rules for rebirth and reincarnation:

Rebirth (Australopithecus):

1: For rebirth a dead body must be intact.
2: After rebirth there are no dead bodies left, so dead bodies must stay out of sight as the body of Jesus and the bodies in Dinaledi chamber.

Reincarnation (Homo erectus)

1: Damaged dead bodies are allowed.
2: The bones of the deceased may stay visible while they reincarnate elsewhere.
3: But for reincarnation the auxiliary hypothesis is needed of separation of
body and soul.
4: Because the invisible Dinaledi chamber is a special case, later Homo erectus was forced to invent the separation of body and soul for reincarnation in other cases.

It’s not the size of your brain, it’s how you organise it. The most recently discovered species of early human had a skull only slightly larger than a chimpanzee’s, but its brain looked surprisingly like our own – particularly in an area of the frontal lobe with links to language.
This could back suggestions that these mysterious early humans showed advanced behaviours, such as teamwork and burial, even though we still don’t know exactly when they lived.

The Lunate Sulcus by Ralph Holloway

Ralph Holloway is an endocast specialist who studies the inside skull to determine brain development of hominins. He also investigated the skull of Salam (3.3 Ma; 400cc; Ethiopia) and discovered the three years old child's brain was already rewired and different from chimps. The lunate sulcus marking vision structures had moved back on the skull making place for a larger neo cortex. So Salam was already more intelligent than chimps with 400cc brains:

So remember, it is not just brainsize but also wiring. Hence, don't be depressed ðŸ˜‰.

Rebirth in Dinaledi chamber

So we infer that deceased individuals - which are not torn to pieces - are able to renew their bodies in the hidden underworld of well-connected cave systems and grow up again as young plants out of the soil. They eventually become new baby offspring in their own bodies. Reincarnation is not needed and burials in the Rising Star Cave are explained:

- But we also know the underworld in Greek mythology. Homo naledi knew a lot from caves and possibly got the idea a complete underworld existed in the underground connected by all caves he knew. He also knew all life finally started from the soil. So, he knew it was the underworld which was life giving
Homo naledi possibly assumed the giant Rising Star Cave somehow was the holy entrance to new life far beneath the surface of the earth. And the harrowing shark-mouth chute, the 12 meter deep funnel to Dinaledi chamber was the actual access to that world. This was the big mouth to the underworld and so they threw their deceased right into their next life. Just like Hindus throw their dead into the Ganges. It was the first form of rebirth without splitting body and soul.

Now remember, the chute is 12 meter deep and Homo naledi likely didn't check the decomposition of the bodies. Very likely, they never went down into de chute themselves because they thought the chute was the secret entrance of the dead into the underworld, there where all life begins and will be reborn. And they were able to proof this, because some of them ever stumbled into this chute and indeed, they fell into the underworld, crying and screaming till they died. Luckily they were on the right spot.

But there also is a very simple explanation. Be thrown into the chute could be the execution of the death penalty or the sacrifice of prisoners to the gods of the underworld. But in case of death penalty serious head injuries and broken bones were to be expected. Men would be over-represented. This is not the case.

And in case of sacrifice some kind of rope materials would be uses and probably also other offerings for the gods would be thrown into the chute. Children would be over-represented, what is not the case.

And since the 15 individuals found were from younger and older age, the existence of a cemetery is most likely.
Dirks et al.:  'it also appears that the bodies were intact when they arrived in the chamber, and then started to decompose.'

The Rising Star Cave might show us the circle of life of animals, the circle of life of Australopithecus.

Homo naledi and reincarnation

Homo naledi must be seen as a human being and therefore we must consider the possibility of reincarnation.

Homo naledi (2 mya; 500 cc) just could fit within our classification of reincarnation:

2: Reincarnation into the (earthly) universe (Homo erectus, 2 mya, 900 cc).

Well, he could be known with the split of body and soul but there are big problems, for he was not a real Homo erectus but a hybrid between Australopithecus and (possibly) Homo erectus with only 500 cc.

But on the other hand if Homo naledi was able to work his deceased companions so deep under the ground, then for a very long time he must already have had the habit to bury them. 

Already for a long time early Homininae (7 mya; 400 cc) were roaming through the savannas of Africa. In the beginning, dead tribal members had to be left behind in a hot climate with scavengers. They could not be reborn. That's why early Homininae and later Australopiths learned to bury their dead, millions of years earlier than expected, and fairly quickly after leaving the forests for the plain. And why did they bury their dead? For rebirth, animal logic.

From the Rising Star Cave we learn Homo naledi was not roaming all the time. And living at one place for a longer time apparently gave a much better method to prevent premature decay of the dead. They were very experienced with caves and knew in this cave were neither scavengers nor insects. So, this could be seen as the first known attempt to conserve bodies as in a refrigerator awaiting reconstruction for rebirth.

Hence, we infer Australopiths might have buried their dead already for millions of years. That's why we do not find many remains. That is in line with our conclusion that deceased animals which are complete and in good order are sleeping forever and must be given a safe place to rest for rebirth.

Next question is what advantage has a cave above normal burying. It is not that buried bodies are eaten by wild animals because they were underground. No, it must have been because Homo naledi wanted to prevent decay of bodies by worms and insects in the soilBecause it takes time to arrive into the underworld and decay would destruct the body, which just had to be renewed for rebirth. And remember, Homo naledi did not check decay of dead bodies in Dinaledi chamber.

Australopiths had a lot of experience with caves. And in hot summer it can be quite chilly there. Hence, they must have known decay was much slower, without worms and insects. That's why Homo naledi was fond of the Rising Star Cave. 

The Rising Star Cave might be unique in animal religion, since it could mark the transition to human religion. It is exactly here where animal religion goes through the sound barrier of human religion: from rebirth to reincarnation.



Homo naledi from rebirth to reincarnation:

1: It is completely dark in the Rising Star Cave and Homo naledi had no light. Dinaledi chamber is about 100 meters away from the entrance and  everything was completely dark and invisible.
2: Homo naledi probably thought the deep chute to Dinaledi chamber was the gate to the underworld but he probably never went all the way down.
3: Earlier, he figured out that all new life sprang from the soil of the underworld.
4: He threw all dead bodies into the chute of the underworld to renew their bodies for rebirth in the upperworld. It was the same as burials in the ground but better without worms and insects.
5: In Dinaledi chamber he took renewal for granted, since he was not able to check the degree of decomposition of the bodies. Remember the body of Jesus was gone also after rebirth.
6: Apparently, he expected the deceased to be reborn as offspring within their own renewed bodies and without reincarnation into other bodies. 
7: Hence, he needed no auxiliary hypothesis of body and soul.
8: Because there was not the slightest check on reality, Dinaledi chamber was as Heaven of the parallel universe. Jesus and Heaven make the Rising Star Cave a perfect example of human religion.
9: Two million years was Homo naledi the Christians ahead.
10: This all means the Rising Star Cave gives us an extremely rare example of religion in human prehistory and offers a glimpse of the state of the art of the religion of Australopithecus.
11: This means, there might not be found another Dinaledi chamber.

Rebirth (Australopithecus):

1: For rebirth a dead body must be intact.
2: After rebirth there are no dead bodies left, so dead bodies must stay out of sight as the body of Jesus and the bodies in Dinaledi chamber.

Reincarnation (Homo erectus)

1: Damaged dead bodies are allowed.
2: The bones of the deceased may stay visible while they reincarnate elsewhere.
3: But for reincarnation the auxiliary hypothesis is needed of separation of body and soul.
4: Because the invisible Dinaledi chamber is a special case, later Homo erectus was forced to invent the separation of body and soul for reincarnation in other cases.

So, we may conclude the discovery of the Rising Star Cave is serendipity, a matter of good luck in science (as the discovery of penicillin). The Rising Star Cave must be seen as an extremely rare field experiment that satisfies scientific requirements for research into rebirthAnd guess what, it is quite possible this is the only cave in the world suitable for rebirth research. All other facilities might need reincarnationHomo naledi will change our opinion about animal religion completely. And from human reincarnation back to animal rebirth is going through the sound barrier of animal religion. Homo naledi will give humankind a fantastic insight in the development of animal religion. 


Berger, L. R. et al. 2015. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa. eLife: 2015;4:e09560, DOI 

H. naledi presents yet a different combination of traits. This species combines a humanlike body size and stature with an australopith-sized brain; features of the shoulder and hand apparently well-suited for climbing with humanlike hand and wrist adaptations for manipulation australopith-like hip mechanics with humanlike terrestrial adaptations of the foot and lower limb; small dentition with primitive dental proportions.

Other critics allege that bones from the Rising Star cave were clearly damaged by excavators working in haste. Many fragments have white patches that represent fresh breaks which, in turn, are blamed on the speed at which the chamber’s excavators were working.

But Berger – who is based at the Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of Witwatersrand – flatly rejected this criticism. “Before we started the dig, we could see the white patches on the bones and realised they had been caused by recent breakages,” he told the Observer last week. “The point is that this is a chamber that was widely used by amateur cavers and they were the ones who were causing the damage. That is why we went in so quickly – to stop further damage.”

The age of Homo naledi and associated sediments in the Rising Star Cave, South Africa


New ages for flowstone, sediments and fossil bones from the Dinaledi Chamber are presented. We combined optically stimulated luminescence dating of sediments with U-Th and palaeomagnetic analyses of flowstones to establish that all sediments containing Homo naledi fossils can be allocated to a single stratigraphic entity (sub-unit 3b), interpreted to be deposited between 236 ka and 414 ka. This result has been confirmed independently by dating three H. naledi teeth with combined U-series and electron spin resonance (US-ESR) dating. Two dating scenarios for the fossils were tested by varying the assumed levels of 222Rn loss in the encasing sediments: a maximum age scenario provides an average age for the two least altered fossil teeth of 253 +82/–70 ka, whilst a minimum age scenario yields an average age of 200 +70/–61 ka. We consider the maximum age scenario to more closely reflect conditions in the cave, and therefore, the true age of the fossils. By combining the US-ESR maximum age estimate obtained from the teeth, with the U-Th age for the oldest flowstone overlying Homo naledi fossils, we have constrained the depositional age of Homo naledi to a period between 236 ka and 335 ka. These age results demonstrate that a morphologically primitive hominin, Homo naledi, survived into the later parts of the Pleistocene in Africa, and indicate a much younger age for the Homo naledi fossils than have previously been hypothesized based on their morphology.

How do you figure out a fossil’s age? (By John Hawks)

We applied six different methods. The most valuable of these were electron spin resonance (ESR) dating, and uranium-thorium (U-Th) dating. ESR relies on the fact that teeth contain tiny crystals, and the electron energy in these crystals is affected by natural radiation in the ground over long periods of time after fossils are buried. U-Th relies on the fact that water drips into caves and forms layers of calcite, which contain traces of uranium. The radioactive fraction of uranium decays into thorium slowly over time. So the proportion of thorium compared to uranium gives an estimate of the time since the calcite layers formed. One of these calcite deposits, called a flowstone, formed above the H. naledi fossils in the Dinaledi Chamber. That flowstone helps to establish the minimum age: the fossils must be older than the flowstone above them.


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