According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power
is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. - anon

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Man's Ancient Past: Oldest Human Footprints Outside of Africa Found in UK


Figure 5. Photographs of Area A at Happisburgh. a. Footprint surface looking north-east. b. Detail of footprint surface. Photos: Martin Bates. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088329.g005)

Oldest human footprints outside Africa found in UK
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25022-oldest-human-footprints-outside-africa-found-in-uk.html?utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=SOC&utm_campaign=hoot&cmpid=SOC%7CNSNS%7C2013-GLOBAL-hoot#.UvofsCmYa9I


Footprints left by five prehistoric humans between 850,000 and 950,000 years ago have been discovered on a beach in Norfolk, UK – the oldest such prints found outside Africa.

The footprints came to light on the shoreline at Happisburgh last May after severe storm erosion wore away cliffs above. Of 49 footprints visible, 12 were analysed in great detail. Within two weeks, the prints had been washed away by the sea – but not before a research team carefully recorded them by merging multiple digital photographs of each print to create high-precision 3D images.

"We think there were at least two or three children among them," says Isabelle De Groote of Liverpool John Moores University, UK, a member of the study team. "Three prints came from a single individual who is taller, so we think it's a male. They may have been foraging along the coast of the river for aquatic resources and food."

Pioneering predecessor

De Groote and her colleagues say that these early Britons probably belonged to a species called Homo antecessor. This European hominin first appeared around 1.2 million years ago. Bones of H. antecessor found in Atapuerca, SpainMovie Camera, are similar in age to the footprints, and seem to match the projected size of the Happisburgh hominins.

Homo antecessor, dubbed "pioneer man", probably died out about 600,000 years ago in Europe. It was replaced by Homo heidelbergensis, often seen as the direct ancestor of both the Neanderthals and our species.

The Neanderthals had replaced H. heidelbergensis in Europe by about 400,000 years ago, and they were themselves replaced by our species in Europe about 40,000 years ago, says Chris Stringer at the Natural History Museum in London, who was also involved in the analysis of the new footprints.

Stringer says the climate 850,000 years ago was colder than it is now, so the individuals were at the northernmost limit of hominin settlement. "They were coping with conditions harsher than today, so maybe they had more body fat. Or did they wear clothing or make windbreaks, and did they have fire? We don't have evidence yet."

Twice as old

The researchers estimated the age of the prints from fossils of animals – such as giant elk – and plants in the sediment that are known to have died out later. Stone tools, hacked animal bones and other artefacts found nearby on the same beach in 2010 also tally with the age.

Together, these suggest that humans reached northern Europe 350,000 years earlier than previously estimated. There are, however, as yet no signs of human fossil remains at the site. "We hope we will find some human fossils to pin down who these people were," says Stringer.

At almost 1 million years old, the prints are more than twice the age of any other human footprints found in Europe. But older hominin footprints exist in Africa, where prints 3.5 million and 1.5 million years old have been found respectively at Laetoliin Tanzania and Koobi Fora in Kenya.


For more pictures click here

Figure 3. Photographs of Area A at Happisburgh. a. View of Area A and borehole HC from cliff top looking south. b. View of Area A from cliff top looking south. Photos: Martin Bates. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088329.g003)


Figure 4. Photographs of Area A at Happisburgh. a. View of footprint surface looking north. b. View of footprint surface looking south, also showing underlying horizontally bedded laminated silts. Photos: Simon Parfitt. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088329.g004)


Figure 7. Vertical image of Area A at Happisburgh with model of footprint surface produced from photogrammetric survey with enlarged photo of footprint 8 showing toe impressions. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088329.g007)



Figure 9. Vertical image of Area A at Happisburgh. a. Model of footprint surface produced from photogrammetric survey showing the prints used in the analyses of footprint orientation and direction; b. Rose diagram showing orientation data for 49 prints; c. Rose diagram showing direction of movement for 29 prints. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088329.g009)