Skip to comments.Fossil Find May Be 'Missing Link' in Human Evolution (Again? Yawn)
Posted on 04/07/2010 11:31:16 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A fossil skeleton of a child discovered in a cave system known as the Cradle of Humankind may represent a previously unknown stage in the evolution of man, The (London) Sunday Times reported.
The skeleton, which is almost complete despite being two million years old, is believed to belong to one of the hominid groups that includes humans.
Hominid fossil finds are usually little more than small bone fragments. Scientists hope such a complete find will help them to work out what our ancestors looked like and to determine key dates in their evolution from ape-man to man-ape. Experts who have seen the skeleton says it resembles Homo habilis, the first species of advanced human.
The skeleton was found by Professor Lee Berger, reader in human evolution and the public understanding of science at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, as he explored cave systems in Sterkfontein, a Unesco world heritage site.
The caves are the site of one of the worlds longest-running archeological excavations and are regarded as paleontological treasure troves. Jacob Zuma, the South African president, visited the university to view the find, which is to be announced this week.
The new fossil skeleton was found with a number of other partially complete fossils, encased within breccia sedimentary rock inside a limestone cave known as Malapa cave.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Insert Helen Thomas picture here:
Is the hole where the horn broke off?
Can I post jokes about the president on this thread?/s
Man can be such a jerk sometimes...so arrogant...Let's see him make a human being "out of nothing"...OR ANYTHING LIVING FOR THAT MATTER....
In fairness, we should note that the headline writer put the phrase missing link in quotes, suggesting that he or she recognized it as a bit of a cliché.
Excerpt: Some scientists have proposed moving this species (habilis) out of Homo and into Australopithecus (ape) due to the morphology of its skeleton being more adapted to living on trees rather than to moving on two legs like Homo sapiens.
See here :
So, I’m not sure how an ape fossil can be used as evidence that humans came from apes unless of course you already know that humans came from apes and evidence doesnt really matter one way or the other.
An 0bama family relic?
Yes. Then again, any criticism of The Master of Disaster, The Ayatollah of All Crapola, will have that card thrown at him..
Kenya? More likely a Kenyan Republican who got in the way of a certain dictator...
At the risk of being banned from Free Republic for eternity... shed 60 lbs, Helen, and you’d be something to look at!
See! I knew it! 80 years of being a liberal will make you look like the Missing Link!
I strongly believe there may be an ancestrial connection to todays progressive liberal ,, but I’m putting my faith in God as my creator .
“So, Im not sure how an ape fossil can be used as evidence that humans came from apes unless of course you already know that humans came from apes and evidence doesnt really matter one way or the other.”
—Because they were “apes” that were clearly on their way to becoming human. In fact, from the neck down the Australopithecines were already MOST of the way to being human. It’s only from the neck up that they were still mostly ape.
As Lovejoy (who lead the analysis of Ardi) said:
Even as its fossil record proliferated, however, Australopithecus continued to provide only an incomplete understanding of hominid origins. Paradoxically, in light of Ardipithecus, we can now see that Australopithecus was too derivedits locomotion too sophisticated, and its invasion of new habitats too advancednot to almost entirely obscure earlier hominid evolutionary dynamics.
In other words, hes saying that Australopithecines (such as Lucy) were already too far along in evolution towards becoming human to tell us much about the common ancestor of us and apes or to tell us much about how/why we began evolving the way we did. Australopithecines was too far long to tell us what was going on at that early period.
Homo habilus is even more human from the neck down.
If the skeletons of a chimp, Homo habilis, and Homo sapien were laid side by side on a table with the heads removed, the chimp skeleton would clearly stand out, but it would probably take an expert to spot the differences between the Homo habilis and Homo sapien skeletons.
I have never seen anyone propose that H. habilis was more adapted to life in trees than on the ground. If there are such people, it must be a very tiny group. There’s barely anyone that would say such a thing about Australopithecus anymore, let along H. habilis.
Homo habilis is also more human from the neck up than Australopithecus, with a larger brain, more human face, etc.
I have seen some argue that H. habilus should be moved to the Australopithecines (although not based on the argument that they are more adapted to life in trees, which is a rather rediculous assessment), and have seen others argue that Australopithecus afarensis (of which Lucy is a member) should be called Homo afarensis.
Of course, the fact that there are such arguments shows how gradual the series of fossils is between “apes” and humans. If there were gaps or “missing links”, it would be easy to draw lines.