The Denisova …Human?

Mouth of the Densova caveThe Denisova hominins were a group of humans that, similar to the more famous Neanderthals, survived until just a few tens of thousands of years ago. Their discovery was announced only in 2010, in the form of a portion of a child’s little finger extracted from the Denisova cave in Siberia. Since then it has been determined that a tooth found in 2000 was from the same group. Curiously, given the finds location in Russia, the Denisovans are believed to have interbred with the ancestors of people that now live in the vicinity of Melanesia.

We can tell all this from such scant evidence because conditions in the cave allowed the aforementioned finger bone to preserve the complete genome of its owner. Most recently this has been sequenced with as much fidelity as you would get from an analysis of a living person. Brian Thomas writes: Is Fossil Finger Genome Human?

The Denisovans are similar enough to modern humans that creationists must include them on our side of their rather arbitrary human-ape division. They have inherited the “fully human” epithet of the Neanderthals. For example: Continue reading