Scientist Phillip Tobias dies

2012-06-07 13:40

Cape Town - Leading South African paleoanthropologist Phillip Tobias died on Thursday, The Gauteng Tourism Authority announced.

Tobias died after a long illness.

The GTA said he was a “leading South African academic and scientist who shared a lifelong passion for the study of man and human ancestry with his colleagues at Wits University and the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site”.

He started the current programme of excavation at Sterkfontein in 1966 which is now the longest continuously active palaeoanthropological dig anywhere in the world, and has produced over 1 000 hominin fossils.

“In addition, tens of thousands of fossils of animals which lived contemporaneously with human ancestors have been excavated, processed, described, analysed and classified,” said the GTA.

He was 86 years old.

  • Claire - 2012-06-07 13:45

    Rest in peace

      Charles-Bronson - 2012-06-07 14:01

      May your family also have peace. RIP

      Raymond - 2012-06-07 14:41

      Rest in peace Phillip. Please, don't anybody feed the troll. Do not answer it. Don't even thumbs down it because that's all it needs to live.

  • Bryan - 2012-06-07 13:46

    This man was a genius.... R.I.P dude

  • Irene - 2012-06-07 13:48

    What a loss. RIP.

  • themba.ntuli - 2012-06-07 13:49

    What!!! shocked i am really saddened by the passing away of philip, RIP PT. A GIANT IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, hope your memory and soul will live alongside those of darwin and dart....huge loss

  • Rabble-Rouser - 2012-06-07 13:52

    Rest in peace and condolences to his family. He was a great man in the scientific community.

  • daniel.w.gie - 2012-06-07 14:02

    R I P

  • Fredster - 2012-06-07 14:03

    I guess he is finding out right now wheteher we evolved from a common ancestor...RIP

      CaptainGaza - 2012-06-07 14:20

      Fredster, he's dead, he wont find out anything more. What he did do while he was alive was discover and question. Something we should all do. RIP Phillip.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-07 14:56

      There is no afterlife. The work he did, the advances in knowledge he fomented and the people he taught live on in his memory. T

      Zamani.nkosi - 2012-06-08 00:01

      Why RIP if there is no after life, what Rest?! What Peace?!

      Zamani.nkosi - 2012-06-08 00:02

      Why RIP if there is no after life, what Rest?! What Peace?!

      Zamani.nkosi - 2012-06-08 00:02

      Why RIP if there is no after life, what Rest?! What Peace?!

  • Vusi - 2012-06-07 14:04

    even though I have never heard of you until today R.I.P surely you were someone important to make it on headlines

      Chez - 2012-06-07 14:10

      @Vusi If you live in or around Joburg or come here on holiday, do yourself the favour of going to "the cradle of human kind" on the north west of joburg. well worth the visit and you'll get an understanding of how important this man is

      Gareth - 2012-06-07 14:19

      Vusi, also go check out the 'Origins Center' at wits university. open to the public. Very impressive

  • Gareth - 2012-06-07 14:18

    :-( Farewell Prof...I saw you just months ago at the Med school cafeteria and you looked fine as usual. Wish I had said hello!! :-( Bye bye funny man!

  • neo.khemisi - 2012-06-07 14:18

    I neva liked science @ school due laziness of my teachers but ever since I heard bout this prof Tobias everything and anything that have his name I read with extra passion course of effort him put when he study something in sotho we \robala ka kgotso mesebetsi ya hao etla o latela\(RIP your work will follow you)

  • janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-06-07 14:19

    So long, and many thanks for all the fossils! Hope you find the Restaurant at the End of the Universe; and remember Their message was: "We apologize for the inconvenience." :-)

      janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-06-07 14:21

      From Wikipedia site about Philip: "This site has yielded the largest single sample of Australopithecus africanus as well as the first known example of Homo habilis from Southern Africa. It is now a World Heritage Site." Clearly the man new the earth is *older* than about 10000 years...

      janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-06-07 14:22

      If you have some time to spare: go visit -- if you have a knack for science and humanity, you will probably enjoy.

  • Fiona - 2012-06-07 14:22

    RIP Phillip, and condolences to the Tobias family. We have appreciated Phillip Tobias' ground-breaking contributions to paleontology in particular, and to the store of human knowledge in general.

  • Senzo Mathebula - 2012-06-07 14:23

    RIP Prof Tobias

  • sabongam - 2012-06-07 14:24

    Rest in Peace Prof. Tobias... A true gentleman with a golden heart nad passion for human kind. Truly wish there were more people of his calibre in all spheres of life.

  • Peter - 2012-06-07 14:31

    @mark and Warren. I may be mistaken but have heard his father was a Bishop in the Anglican Church. Bishop Thobias had a son Rhillip I stand under correction, It would be nice to know

      janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-06-07 14:34

      Wiki: "Born in Durban, Natal on 14 October 1925, the only son and second child of Joseph Newman Tobias and Fanny Rosendorff, Phillip received his first schooling in Bloemfontein at St Andrew's School and Durban. In 1945, he started his career as demonstrator in histology and instructor in physiology at the University of Witwatersrand. He received his B.Sc.(Hons) in Histology and Physiology in 1946-1947 and graduated in Medicine, M.B., B.Ch in 1950. He was appointed as a lecturer in anatomy in 1951. In 1953, he received his Ph.D. for a thesis entitled Chromosomes, Sex-Cells, and Evolution in the Gerbil."

  • Robert - 2012-06-07 14:34

    Your a hero.RIP

  • Sikanyiso - 2012-06-07 14:35

    The demise of Phillip Tobias, one of very few paleoanthropologists in Africa and perhaps in the world is a sad loss not only to his family but to the entire South Africa. He was an inspiration to all of us who are pursuing anthropological studies. Tobias was a great scientist, scholar and a pundit of our time. Through his lifelong passion for the study of human evolution, South Africa has become an important integral part of the world where significant information is stored. I last saw him in public domain around early 2000. Though it would be premature to make any suggestions at this juncture, I believe the government would consider naming one of the important places of this country after this great man. Condolences to his family, relatives and close friends. May his soul rest in peace.

  • RoyNexusSix - 2012-06-07 14:39

    May light shine perpetually upon him.

  • rajesh.maharaj.92 - 2012-06-07 14:52

    One of the best in his field and a true legend. I still remember his lectures to this day even after 30 years. His text book and dissection mannual for anatomy was and still is the best. Rest in peace.

  • alain.d.thomas - 2012-06-07 14:59

    RIP Phillip. I have read your work during my studies. Excellent. A life well lived.

  • Azariel - 2012-06-07 15:00

    Rest in peace.

  • judith.taylor.56 - 2012-06-07 15:03

    A life well lived and a marvelous energy has run out!

  • Eddy - 2012-06-07 15:18

    What a great man.

  • James - 2012-06-07 15:21

    Thank you and R I P.

  • cobusvanstaden0506 - 2012-06-07 15:27

    We lost a great man Rest in peace

  • niki.wessels - 2012-06-07 15:27

    RIP - a great man of science.

  • Pieriewaaier - 2012-06-07 15:51

    Sad news. He was a great scientist and a modest man with a great sense of humour and did us all proud with his pioneering work. A great South African and his death is a sad loss. Condolences to his family. RIP.

  • ingrid.vandenberg2 - 2012-06-07 17:41

    Today is truly a sad day for the world ... and we, as South Africans, have lost a great South African

  • morateng - 2012-06-07 17:42

    Professor Tobias may you soul rest in peace. You've served humanity with distinction!

  • alan.montgomery2 - 2012-06-07 19:58

    Philip Tobias is one academic who scientists all over the world will remember with fondness and awe.He brought his studies to the common people in a special way.May all SA remember him with pride and wonder and that we still have men and woman we can be immensly proud of.

      Nompumelelo - 2012-06-07 20:22

      Well said, Alan. RIP Prof Tobias.

  • daan.klopper - 2012-06-08 13:27

    I'm unfortunately not saddened by any atheist's death. His reckless speculation robbed many of hope in the afterlife.

  • vadhana.subhavan.5 - 2012-07-11 05:46

    To My great teacher' Vadhana Subhavan.

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