LiveScience writer Ker Than on the hobbits:
"What we have is a little tiny brain that has four features that you can see with your eyes that are advanced and distributed from front to middle to back," [Dean] Falk said. "In other words, this thing appears to be globally rewired. Those are really advanced features. They're not like humans, they're not like anything."
Robert Martin, curator of Biological Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, is not convinced by the new evidence.
One of his major criticisms has to do with the sample of microcephalic skulls the team used.
"They're being a bit naughty about this," Martin said in a telephone interview. "Four of the nine microcephalics were not adults."
Well, we'll just have to wait for the paper to show up at PNAS. Bernard Wood seems convinced:
"Dean Falk and her colleagues have injected some much needed scientific rigor into the debate about the brain of Homo floresiensis," Wood said. "They show that the microencephaly 'explanation' for its size and morphology is untenable. I hope we can now get down to the important task of trying to understand the biology of H. floresiensis without the distraction of non-existent pathology."
Well, that settles that!