As regards there not being enough "statistical variation", I presume
you mean it was based on too small a selection of bones. The fact is,
however, that palaeoanthropology is a difficult subject as bones from
that far back are somewhat difficult to find, but the actual science
behind the theory I mentioned is pretty sound.
--- In email@example.com
, "twoyeardouble" <ianstm@...>
> Hi Geoff:
> Actually, I was familiar with that paper. There is not enough
> statistical variation (as Wards article states) to support a claim
> a 'catastrophic deterioration in health' from those data. I was
> wondering if you knew of other sources.
> It is interesting to note that there is at least some disagreement
> the academic community as to the signficance in changing stature
> health status. Neandrathal man had a far more significant stature
> our Paleolithic ancestors. (I suspect that any individual
> could easily lay claim to being the greatest athlete the world has
> seen. The leverage from their tendon insertion points, along with
> incredible bone thickness would have supported strength levels we
> never seen.) However, scientists generally agree that the
> a much smaller (with much lower protein/nitrogen requirements)
> was critical for their survival, and selection over Neandrathal -
> that AND a larger brain.
> Believe it or not, I don't disagree with you, I just haven't seen
> enough to persuade me to take a strong opinion one way or another.
> very interested in the conversation and references, and am always
> grateful to learn more.