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Oldest Human Fossil Discovered In Ethiopia

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2.8 million years ago might be the missing link.

This 2.8 million-year-old jawbone may be the oldest human fossil in existence, according to two papers published simultaneously inScience. Researchers now suspect that Homo (the genus that includes modern humans) dates back at least 400,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Reddit comment: "Crazy thing is our species' existence would still be miniscule in comparison to the earth's existence, even if we add 500000 years."

850 Reddit comments:

just 500,000 years blows my mind.  makes my own life seem minuscule!

that's a lot of living going on right there....

Field Museum in Chicago human skulls organized

I worked at the Field Museum in Chicago for a few years, and had a meeting I was heading to.  I got to the room after searching for about 30 min (the place is HUGE), and waiting for me was this cabinet of replica human skulls ordered chronologically from earliest homosapien through modern homosapien.  It was a fantastic meeting.

how cool!

It's simultaneously amazing to me that skulls can last so long compared to a human lifetime...

And that, as you said earlier Emily, 500,000 years is nothing compared to the Earth's age. 

it's all so amazing!  i trip out over the dinosaur bones in my kids's encyclopedia books every time i look at them.  i mean, dinosaurs!  DINOSAURS!!  all spikey and spiney and gigantic...

this world has been through a lot over a very long time.

Isn't it amazing dinosaur bones could last 165 MILLION years?

yes!  and some of them 340 million years!

My office at the museum was directly near the "Evolving Earth" exhibit (a permaexhibit, highly recommended when you are in Chicago!).  Due to that, we had to go through sensitivity training, which I initially thought was quite the over preparation.  In fact, I got stopped *constantly* by irate parents who demanded to know who had authorized this propaganda based exhibit when the world was obviously ~4000 years old.  Ironically, ten feet away, Sue's little placard said she was 26 million years old, but that *never* got a peep out of any of them.I tried to be understanding and tolerant.  I was rarely successful.

Wow. It's hard to visualize that length of time compared with a human lifetime. 

it's hard to get too wound up about anything when you think about that much time.

and, jp, i would have a hard time keeping a straight face during a conversation like that!

So basically we should use the enormity of time and space as a way to not sweat the small things?

we can.  but it's not always easy to see the big picture when you're sweating something!