Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Evolutionary Theory Challenged By Fossils
CBS NEWS ^ | 08/09/2007

Posted on 09/18/2007 8:47:54 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

Surprising research based on two African fossils suggests our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, challenging what had been common thinking on how early humans evolved.

The discovery by Meave Leakey, a member of a famous family of paleontologists, shows that two species of early human ancestors lived at the same time in Kenya. That pokes holes in the chief theory of man's early evolution — that one of those species evolved from the other.

And it further discredits that iconic illustration of human evolution that begins with a knuckle-dragging ape and ends with a briefcase-carrying man.

The old theory is that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became human, Homo sapiens. But Leakey's find suggests 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. She and her research colleagues report the discovery in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.

The paper is based on fossilized bones found in 2000. The complete skull of Homo erectus was found within walking distance of an upper jaw of Homo habilis, and both dated from the same general time period. That makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis, researchers said.

It is the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter, said study co-author Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.

The two species lived near each other, but probably did not interact, each having its own "ecological niche," Spoor said. Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian while Homo erectus ate some meat, he said. Like chimps and apes, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

There remains 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, is just too simple and keeps getting revised, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings. He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and was not part of the Leakey team.

"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said. Scientists used to think Homo sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, he said. But now we 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.

For the past few years there has been growing doubt and debate about whether Homo habilis evolved into Homo erectus. One of the major proponents of the more linear, or ladder-like evolution that this evidence weakens, called Leakey's findings important, but he wasn't ready to concede defeat.

Dr. Bernard Wood, a surgeon-turned-professor of human origins at George Washington University, said in an e-mail Wednesday that "this is only a skirmish in the protracted 'war' between the people who like a bushy interpretation and those who like a more ladder-like interpretation of early human evolution."

Leakey's team spent seven years analyzing the fossils before announcing it was time to redraw the family tree — and rethink other ideas about human evolutionary history. That's especially true of most immediate ancestor, Homo erectus.

Because the Homo 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 malformation or genetic mutations, Spoor said. The scientists also know it is not Homo 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. Primates 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 Homo erectus reproduced with multiple partners.

The Homo 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 Homo erectus and Homo 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.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: evolution; fossils; godsgravesglyphs
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-90 next last

1 posted on 09/18/2007 8:47:57 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; blam

FYI


2 posted on 09/18/2007 8:51:36 AM PDT by Lurker ( Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing smallpox to ebola.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

bump


3 posted on 09/18/2007 8:53:16 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
And it further discredits that iconic illustration of human evolution that begins with a knuckle-dragging ape and ends with a briefcase-carrying man..

When was this really ever used by scientists outside teaching kindergartners? This is more like something you'll find in a cartoon or movie. I thought the multiple branch theory has been around for at least 75 years.

4 posted on 09/18/2007 8:53:17 AM PDT by mnehring (Thompson/Hunter 08 -- Fred08.com - The adults have joined the race.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

It’s is gonna get interesting around here! 1...2...3... go!


5 posted on 09/18/2007 8:53:43 AM PDT by ontap (Just another backstabbing conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
Homo erectus reproduced with multiple partners.

"He said erectus...hehehehehe"

L

6 posted on 09/18/2007 8:54:36 AM PDT by Lurker ( Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing smallpox to ebola.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

This article exemplifies devolution of reason in journalism.


7 posted on 09/18/2007 8:56:16 AM PDT by RightWhale (Snow above 2000', oil above 81: unexplained)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Imagine that. a branching tree rather than a beeline for the one true form. A theory in crisis.


8 posted on 09/18/2007 8:57:05 AM PDT by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
“Surprising research based on two African fossils suggests our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, challenging what had been common thinking on how early humans evolved.”

I wonder if this is the first time they’ve noticed that the fossil record has presented problems to Darwin’s fantasy from the beginning. But, they might be forgiven since every time they run into an obvious problem, the evolutionists just create another tale that hasn’t yet been disproved, and therefore can be accepted as fact by those intent on “proving” to themselves that they won’t be facing any final judgment and can therefore live as if there’s no tomorrow.

9 posted on 09/18/2007 8:59:53 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
The two species lived near each other, but probably did not interact, each having its own "ecological niche," Spoor said. Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian while Homo erectus ate some meat, he said. Like chimps and apes, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

Hard and fast science here, I see.

Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian while Homo erectus ate some meat, he said.

Doesn't eating some meat indicate that most of their diet was vegetarian also? IOW, their diets weren't really much different. They were both omnivores.

"they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

I'd like to know how he knows this. Direct observation? I Interviewing them?

Guessing?

10 posted on 09/18/2007 9:00:11 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

The evolutionists like the antiwar crowd and the global warming nuts wont let a little thing like facts get in the way of their religion.


11 posted on 09/18/2007 9:03:09 AM PDT by ODDITHER
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mnehrling

Scientists don’t teach kindergarten in the first place. And this is pretty much what was taught in high school biology in public schools for years.


12 posted on 09/18/2007 9:03:23 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: js1138

Imagine that. a branching tree rather than a beeline for the one true form. A theory in crisis.


First sentence, “...a wayward bush with stubby branches...”


13 posted on 09/18/2007 9:03:59 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

There’s no such thing as fossils.

;)


14 posted on 09/18/2007 9:04:35 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker
I’ve been told recently that I’m still a knuckle-dragging ape!
15 posted on 09/18/2007 9:06:07 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ("Don't touch that thing")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: vetsvette

One glaring fact about the “fossil record” is that it simply CAN’T show speciation. It can show that species existed, but it cannot show that species B’s ancestors were species A.


16 posted on 09/18/2007 9:06:10 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
shows that two species of early human ancestors lived at the same time in Kenya. That pokes holes in the chief theory of man's early evolution — that one of those species evolved from the other.

The only hole being poked is through the credibility of the person who wrote the article. Using that kind of idiot logic, everyone in England should have died the same day America declared independence. How can America evolve from England and there still be English walking around at the same time? It's amazing to ponder how dumb evolution deniers can get.

17 posted on 09/18/2007 9:06:21 AM PDT by shuckmaster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: <1/1,000,000th%
There’s no such thing as fossils.

;)


Really ? Here's one for your perusal :


18 posted on 09/18/2007 9:06:42 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Stark_GOP

Bush’s fault!


19 posted on 09/18/2007 9:06:59 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The broken wall, the burning roof and tower. And Agamemnon dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: <1/1,000,000th%

“There’s no such thing as fossils.”

...fossils were created!


20 posted on 09/18/2007 9:08:03 AM PDT by woollyone (whyquit.com ...if you think you can't quit, you're simply not informed yet.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Stark_GOP

I’m just wondering which of the branches were specified.


21 posted on 09/18/2007 9:08:10 AM PDT by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
22 posted on 09/18/2007 9:08:32 AM PDT by granite ("We dare not tempt them with weakness" - JFK)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Argumentum ad nauseam is not particularly effective.


23 posted on 09/18/2007 9:10:36 AM PDT by js1138
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

In the book “The Beak of the Finch”, one species of bird was believed to have evolved from another (I think a small beaked bird gave rise to a species with a larger beak, better able to handle a certain hard seed). Both species coexist, and the numbers of the different birds fluctuates back and forth. They can interbreed, yielding a range of offspring with varying beak size.

Why does the possibility of two different human species on Earth at the same time disprove “evolution”?


24 posted on 09/18/2007 9:11:38 AM PDT by DBrow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Interesting.

Waiting for the (somewhat off-topic) fireworks to start!


25 posted on 09/18/2007 9:11:39 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

lol!


26 posted on 09/18/2007 9:12:46 AM PDT by SoKatt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Somewhere buried in this article, there must be information about where these scientists converted to ID/Creationsts, somewhere.


27 posted on 09/18/2007 9:13:30 AM PDT by Paradox (Politics: The art of convincing the populace that your delusions are superior to others.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
There remains 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.

Well that's convenient. Posit that there must be an ancestor, but make it clear that it's going to be hard to find.

"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said. Scientists used to think Homo sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, he said. But now we 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.

Reminds me of a dike that's springing leaks all over the place. Evolutionists keep trying to plug them up but they keep running out of fingers.

28 posted on 09/18/2007 9:13:49 AM PDT by DouglasKC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ODDITHER

“The evolutionists like the antiwar crowd and the global warming nuts wont let a little thing like facts get in the way of their religion.”

Exactly! These fools will do whatever they have to, including believing in something like evolution which there are no FACTS for to avoid facing real truth of the Bible, because the evolution religion doesn’t have morals. Gays, lesbians and other deviants are what keep this junk in our schools.


29 posted on 09/18/2007 9:15:32 AM PDT by TraditionalistMommy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: granite
What next? Flying monkeys?

30 posted on 09/18/2007 9:16:38 AM PDT by evets
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: DBrow

It doesn’t “disprove evolution”, and that’s NOT what they’re saying. They’re saying it disproves a certain theory within evolution - that of man’s descent.

But generally you’re correct; I don’t know why 2 species coexisting means that 1 could not possibly have originated from the other.


31 posted on 09/18/2007 9:17:00 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: js1138

I’m just wondering which of the branches were specified.


Again refering to the first sentence, a “bush” and not a branch.


32 posted on 09/18/2007 9:17:54 AM PDT by Stark_GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: TraditionalistMommy

I wouldn’t say that. Many, many evolutionists are conservative from what I see. Which largely makes sense, because if you think scientists are “thinkers” rather than “emoters”, conservatives tend to go more on thinking than mindless emoting.


33 posted on 09/18/2007 9:19:31 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: shuckmaster

“How can America evolve from England and there still be English walking around at the same time? It’s amazing to ponder how dumb evolution deniers can get.”

I don’t think it’s dumb.

We don’t believe that Americans “naturally selected” themselves out of England to improve their chances of physical survival. We don’t believe any physical changes occurred. That’s like gazelles moving from one plain to another for better grass. It’s not evolution.

Englishmen and Americans are the same species! To suggest otherwise is sort of dumb, if you ask me.

If you believe, for instance, that lizards evolved from fish because to continue to be a fish was tenuous - the water was getting too hot, or the food supply was running out, or what have you - then of course you would wonder, why are there still fish in countless varieties and huge abundance all over the world? Obviously there was no huge overwhelming “need” to develop air breathing lungs, etc.


34 posted on 09/18/2007 9:19:33 AM PDT by Marie2 (I used to be disgusted. . .now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Paradox
Somewhere buried in this article, there must be information about where these scientists converted to ID/Creationsts, somewhere.

Want to really watch their head explode? Ask them why we have a fossil record for plants and animals that existed only hundreds of millions of years ago, before the presence of man, and how that fits into a 6,000 year timeline...

They'll accept fossils when they think it can "disprove evolution" like here, but what about when it challenges the supposed timeline of the Bible?

35 posted on 09/18/2007 9:19:40 AM PDT by PugetSoundSoldier (Tagline: Kinda like a chorus line but without the legs)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
The two species lived near each other, but probably did not interact, each having its own "ecological niche," Spoor said.

This is an implausible statement even with "probably" as a qualifier. Wildebeast and lion each has its own "ecological nich," yet certainly interact.

36 posted on 09/18/2007 9:19:50 AM PDT by RobinOfKingston (Man, that's stupid...even by congressional standards.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shuckmaster

Why are you connecting this find and theory with “evolution-deniers”?

These people are CLEARLY NOT evolution deniers.

Bad tie-in.


37 posted on 09/18/2007 9:21:44 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

Why did you have to do that?


38 posted on 09/18/2007 9:22:29 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: TraditionalistMommy
like evolution which there are no FACTS

LOL!!

39 posted on 09/18/2007 9:22:55 AM PDT by trumandogz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: RobinOfKingston

Huh? How do they interact, besides “chasing and killing”?


40 posted on 09/18/2007 9:23:38 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot

LOL!


41 posted on 09/18/2007 9:27:10 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
This finding is hardly a surprise.

After all, it's uncontested that Eve was made from Adam's rib. And we still have ribs, don't we? DUH!

(/sarc off)

42 posted on 09/18/2007 9:27:34 AM PDT by gdani (Pakistan is *not* our ally)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: metmom

In general what is taught in high school science is outdated. The average students comes to think that the atom is like the planetary model proposed by Niels Bohr in, what, 1912?


43 posted on 09/18/2007 9:28:22 AM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot; TraditionalistMommy
Article: The two species lived near each other, but probably did not interact, each having its own "ecological niche," Spoor said. Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian while Homo erectus ate some meat, he said. Like chimps and apes, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

Chimps are apes, but the journo gets points for trying.

Article: Difference in size between males and females seem to be related to monogamy, the researchers said. Primates 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.

So if I get big and fat, can I get lots of petite little wives?

TM: Exactly! These fools will do whatever they have to, including believing in something like evolution which there are no FACTS for to avoid facing real truth of the Bible, because the evolution religion doesn’t have morals. Gays, lesbians and other deviants are what keep this junk in our schools.

Exactly! The Gay-Lesbian-Deviant Alliance has been plotting for years to teach evolution to our schoolchildren. Why, they just recently awarded the GLDA Medal of Onner to Hizzonner JEJIII.

44 posted on 09/18/2007 9:28:50 AM PDT by Caesar Soze
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the OlLine Rebel

I don’t think many so-called “scientists” are conservative, but I’d be curious if that was true. Scientists usually seem to be on the side of athiests. Being a “thinker” doesn’t mean you’re thinking the right things.


45 posted on 09/18/2007 9:30:05 AM PDT by TraditionalistMommy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: SirLinksalot
“Like chimps and apes, “they’d just avoid each other, they don’t feel comfortable in each other’s company,” he said.”

Chimps avoid apes? That is funny because whenever I see a chimp it is with apes. When a chimp is born it nurses from an ape, when it plays it plays with an ape, and when it looks to mate to looks at an ape. Chimps ARE apes. Maybe the Journalist doesn’t know what he is talking about. CBS. See B.S..

46 posted on 09/18/2007 9:30:50 AM PDT by allmendream (A Lyger is pretty much my favorite animal. (Hunter08))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TraditionalistMommy

Not at all true. Most of us engineers are conservative.

I’d agree with your last, but it’s clear that Dems don’t think, period.


47 posted on 09/18/2007 9:31:14 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Lurker; blam

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

Thanks Lurker. Blam, I think there has been a similar topic? I was too lazy to look.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


48 posted on 09/18/2007 9:34:33 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Wednesday, September 12, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: metmom

Yep this was taught in the late 1970’s and also in collage.


49 posted on 09/18/2007 9:35:16 AM PDT by therut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TraditionalistMommy

Gays, lesbians and other deviants are what keep this junk in our schools.
__________________________

So every heterosexual evolutionary scientist is a deviant?


50 posted on 09/18/2007 9:35:29 AM PDT by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-90 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson