15. Habilis, Erectus, Ardi, and Other Hominids
The URL for my book is www.Evo-illusion.com.
The above video is about my book Evo-illusion, now available at Amazon. The page begins below.
WASHINGTON — Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man. The new research by famed paleontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya shows our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches. The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis (upper left) evolved into Homo erectus (left), which then became us, Homo sapiens. But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday’s journal London. The two species lived near each other, but probably didn’t interact with each other, each having their own “ecological niche,” Spoor said.
Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian and Homo erectus ate some meat, he said. Like chimps and gorillas, “they’d just avoid each other, they don’t feel comfortable in each other’s company,” he said. They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said. Overall what it paints for human evolution is a “chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us,” Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.
That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings. He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and wasn’t involved in the research team.
“The more we know, the more complex the story gets,” he said. Scientists used to think H. sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, a closely related species, he said, but now know that both species lived during the same time period and that we did not come from Neanderthals. Now a similar discovery applies further back in time. Leakey’s team spent seven years analyzing the fossils before announcing their findings that it was time to redraw the family tree — and rethink other ideas about human evolutionary history, especially about our most immediate ancestor, H. erectus. Because the H. erectus skull Leakey recovered was much smaller than others, scientists had to first prove that it was erectus and not another species nor a genetic freak. The jaw, probably from an 18- or 19-year-old female, was adult and showed no signs of any type of malformations or genetic mutations, Spoor said. The scientists also know it isn’t H. habilis from several distinct features on the jaw. That caused researchers to re-examine the 30 other erectus skulls they have and the dozens of partial fossils. They realized that the females of that species are much smaller than the males — something different from modern man, but similar to other animals, said study co-author Susan Anton, a New York University anthropologist. Scientists hadn’t looked carefully enough before to see that there was a distinct difference in males and females. Difference in size between males and females seem to be related to monogamy, the researchers said. Primate species that have same-sized males and females, such as gibbons, tend to be more monogamous. Species that are not monogamous, such as gorillas and baboons, have much bigger males.
This suggests that our ancestor H. erectus reproduced with multiple partners. The H. habilis jaw was dated at 1.44 million years ago. That is the youngest ever found from a species that scientists originally figured died off somewhere between 1.7 and 2 million years ago, Spoor said. It enabled scientists to say that H. erectus and H. habilis lived at the same time. All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said. (Now we’ve lost Neanderthal, Homo Habilis, and most of Australopithecus. Just keep hoping that the evidence fits the theory. Why not just say it may not or doesn’t!)
- Ever since an influential Science paper by Wilson & King in 1975, reported that humans and chimpanzees are genetically 99% the same, evillusionists have been jumping for joy. But in the same journal that figure has now been described as an error. Human and chimpanzee gene copy numbers differ by a whopping 6.4%’, and researchers are finding that chunks of missing DNA, extra genes, different connections in gene networks and the very structure of chromosomes confound any quantification of “humanness” versus “chimpness”. In the case of the brain cortex, 17.4% of connections have been found to be specific to humans. In short, ‘there isn’t one single way to express the genetic distance between two complicated living organisms.’
Ardi: News clip summation: On Oct. 1st, 2009, paleontologists unveiled the fossil skeleton of Ardi, the newest missing link between humans and chimpanzees. Ardi, short for ardipithecus ramidus, was first discovered in 1992 on a barren region in the Awash River of Ethiopia. Approximately 4.4 million years old, Ardi predates Lucy, the famous hominid found in 1974 and previously thought to have been the oldest ancestor to humans, by over 1.2 million years. Dr. Tim D. White of UC-Berkeley, who led a team of international scientists in the discovery of Ardi, told The New York Times that Ardi is very crucial to understanding human evolution and that she will shed light on “the initial stage of [human] evolutionary adaptation.”
A few commenst on Ardi:
She is just assumed to be a precursor to man, without the slightest bit of discussion that maybe she isn’t. It is simply a given that any ape-like creature found from many years ago evolved into (or branched into) man. A rather HUGE assumption.
Her feet are made to both walk upright, and grasp. She has a long skewed big “toe” that looks more like a grasping thumb. She also had a narrowed pelvis, which is better for upright walking. Her cuspid teeth are short; not long like modern day chimps. The upright walking and short teeth are tied together as some sort of common evolutionary goal. As if upright walking and short teeth go together. Why this is assumed, I have no idea.
Her hands and wrists make her a non-knuckle walker,
Ardi is actually a real killer for Darwinian evolution. According to Darwin, short cuspids evolved because we gained the knowledge to make tools. Long cuspids were then not needed for predation and defense. But 4.4 million year old Ardi had short cuspids like ours. Primate apes of today have long ones. The shape and swing of Ardi’s wrists and knuckles mean Ardi was not a “knuckle walker”; apes of today are. So it is assumed Ardi walked upright. Apes of today have long limbs and “wrap around” fingers, which are good for grasping tree branches. Not Ardi. This means human hands, limbs, fingers, wrists, knuckles, and cuspids are actually more primitive than modern corresponding ape parts. Can we conclude that apes evolved from modern man, since our body parts are more primitive than those of apes? What other conclusion can be drawn? Another major chink in the Darwinian model. But science, of course, won’t recognize that fact. We are sure to get more stories about how this major conundrum is really good evidence for Darwin’s theory. Evolution scientists say Darwin would have been happy to know that Ardi was found. I think he would have been pretty depressed. This will be fun to watch.
The big question here is why did man evolve upright walking? Quadrupeds are faster at running than man by a factor of four or five. Imagine if we evolved as quadrupeds, and we were able to run fifty miles an hour, instead of the twelve miles an hour we are capable of running now. Wouldn’t we be much better at catching prey? At avoiding predators? A show on the Discovery channel (“Ardi”, October 11, 2009) discusses this conundrum. And their answer? Upright walking hominids could carry MORE FOOD! Yes, that is why we evolved a far slower mode of transportation: so we could carry the groceries. The males that carried more groceries were favored by the females. So sexual selection stepped in, the women picked the men that carried the most groceries, and voila: upright walking evolved. Ladies and gentlemen, this is science at its BEST! Is it scientific to assume that carrying more food would entirely change the skeletel design, genetic code, and brain function of a species? Of course! This is evolution. All evidence, be it file:///C:/Users/Steve/Desktop/Pictures%20-%20Shortcut.lnkgood or bad for evolution, is good for evolution.
Here is a video I made on the subject:
Incredibly, in 2003 BBC/Discovery Channel Co-production documentary had another take on the subject of bipedalism in “Walking with Cavemen”
“Two legs have, in fact, made Lucy neither quicker nor safer. So what is the advantage to afarensis of walking upright in this new world? The truth is, walking on two legs has become a defining feature of my life and yours for the most surprising of reasons. Ultimately, its all about sex. In the natural world, sex and raising babies is the key to a species surviving, so that anything that gives you extra energy to do it better is like gold dust and extra energy is what walking upright has given afarensis. In this mix of trees and grass, walking on two legs is more efficient for them than walking on four. The energy saved by changing from a four-legged way of life is tiny. The total number of calories saved by afarensis in a year is probably no more than that found in a packet of chocolate biscuits. But even such a tiny amount makes a difference. Lucy is able to recover that bit quicker after giving birth. It could mean, in a lifetime, she could raise just one more baby. And one more baby might be the difference between survival of the species and extinction”.
Yes folks. this is the stuff of great science. This MUST be taught in schools! Or else!! OMG