I’m curious as to the Catholic perspective on the theological implications of the existence of a different species of human, concurrent with modern man.
I ask because of the fairly startling recent discovery, in Indonesia, of homo florensius, which has been nicknamed the hobbit, due to the small stature of Flores Man, about the size of a three year old child. Two things mark this discovery as particularly interesting – the relative completeness of the remains, and how recent they are, estimated to have existed as recently as 12,000 years ago.
In a more anecdotal sense, it’s worth mentioning that a few scientists, including the folks at “Nature” magazine, have suggested at least the remote possibility that Flores Man might have existed much more recently – there are fairly detailed myths about small, hairy men living in the jungles from both native Indonesians and the early Dutch settlers.
Would the existence of a different species of human concurrent with our own have any particular theological implications, from a general Christian perspective or a more specifically Catholic one?