Preliminary baraminological analysis of Homo naledi and its place within the human baramin

  • J O'Micks


Homo naledi is a sensational fossil find. To estimate its relationship to other human species from a creation perspective, two statistical baraminological analyses of craniodental characteristics were conducted using data from a published evolutionary study. In the first analysis, four Australopithecus and seven Homo species were included, resulted in weak separation into three clusters and two isolated species. In the second analysis, three Paranthropus species were added, but lack of matching data required removal of one species of Australpithecus and two of Homo; results were less resolved than in the first analysis. Neither data set was sufficient to demonstrate discontinuity among clusters conclusively. However, in both analyses Homo naledi appears continuous with and fits well within the cluster of Homo species, despite some Australopithecus-like characteristics. Comparison of postcranial traits further supports the results, as 8 out of 15 characteristics show exclusive similarity to humans compared with only three characteristics shared exclusively with australopithecines. Placement of H. naledi in the human baramin is supported. Since this is one of the first morphological dataset available for H. naledi and it includes only craniodental characteristics, further baraminological analysis is warranted.