H. habilis is one of the oldest species in the genus Homo . Nevertheless, evidence suggests that in some ways, it was quite similar to species in the genus Australopithecus , especially in aspects of the postcranial skeleton and the small size of its brain. Taking into account body size and shape, locomotion, the masticatory system, and brain size, some scientists suggest that H. habilis had an adaptive strategy more similar to australopiths than to modern humans and should be placed within the genus Australopithecus. Whether or not this is a valid suggestion depends upon how a genus is defined. Scientists disagree as to whether phylogeny (evolutionary relationships) should be given priority over adaptive strategies when defining a genus, or vice versa, a distinction that is not easy to make, especially when dealing with fossil specimens. Currently, H. habilis is placed within the genus Homo because it shares derived traits with other members of the genus to the exclusion of the australopiths.
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The natural philosophers of ancient Greece took inspiration from Thales. They devised a sophisticated cosmology of rotating celestial spheres, and multi-geared machines that represented the movements of these spheres, including the movements that brought the moon directly in front of the sun. The ingenuity of these machines would not be surpassed until Medieval clocks appeared more than 1,000 years later. And the celestial spheres would reign, more or less untouched, until Copernicus and Galileo dislodged the Earth from the center of the universe, and in doing so ushered in the Enlightenment.