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Fossil Find May Be 'Missing Link' in Human Evolution (Again? Yawn)
Fox News ^ | 04/05/2010

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 world’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: articledate04042010; evolution; fossil; leeberger; missinglink

A replica of a Homo habilis skull discovered at Koobi Fora, in Kenya. A newly discovered skeleton reportedly resembles Homo habilis.
1 posted on 04/07/2010 11:31:16 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Insert Helen Thomas picture here:


2 posted on 04/07/2010 11:32:03 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: SeekAndFind
For history buffs, here is an article from the New York Times, Dec 1912 entitled :

DARWIN THEORY IS PROVED TRUE; English Scientists Say the Skull Found in Sussex Establishes Human Descent from Apes.

LONDON, Dec. 21. -- A race of apelike and speechless men, inhabiting England hundreds of thousands of years ago, when they had for their neighbors the mastodon and other animals now extinct, is the missing link in the chain in man's evolution, which leading scientists say they have discovered in what is generally described as "the Sussex skull." [ END OF FIRST PARAGRAPH ]

Click on the above link for the entire article in PDF format.
3 posted on 04/07/2010 11:34:03 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Puppage
Insert Helen Thomas picture here:

I will Oblige:
4 posted on 04/07/2010 11:35:39 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Let me guess, another homo sapiens sapiens with severe arthritis?
5 posted on 04/07/2010 11:35:52 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (We bury Democrats face down so that when they scratch, they get closer to home.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Is the hole where the horn broke off?


6 posted on 04/07/2010 11:36:57 AM PDT by Tarpon ( ...Rude crude socialist Obama depends on ignorance to force his will on people)
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To: Puppage
The Evolution of Helen Thomas


7 posted on 04/07/2010 11:37:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Can I post jokes about the president on this thread?/s


8 posted on 04/07/2010 11:39:03 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: Dallas59
Suit yourself. But this thread is all about the curious case of the devolution of Helen Thomas :


9 posted on 04/07/2010 11:40:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

10 posted on 04/07/2010 11:43:14 AM PDT by Waverunner ( "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Voltaire)
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To: SeekAndFind
We need more grant money to get rid of the maybe

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....

11 posted on 04/07/2010 11:45:17 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: Sacajaweau

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 :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution#Genus_Homo

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 doesn’t really matter one way or the other.


12 posted on 04/07/2010 11:51:21 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

An 0bama family relic?


13 posted on 04/07/2010 12:03:28 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: sheik yerbouty
An 0bama family relic?

Well, it was found in Kenya for one. But I don't want to push this joke too far as liberals who wander through this site might have an excuse to use the "R" word again.
14 posted on 04/07/2010 12:09:36 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes. Then again, any criticism of The Master of Disaster, The Ayatollah of All Crapola, will have that card thrown at him..


15 posted on 04/07/2010 12:15:53 PM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: SeekAndFind
What if apes devolved form early demorats?
16 posted on 04/07/2010 12:18:52 PM PDT by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Kenya? More likely a Kenyan Republican who got in the way of a certain dictator...


17 posted on 04/07/2010 12:23:12 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: SeekAndFind

At the risk of being banned from Free Republic for eternity... shed 60 lbs, Helen, and you’d be something to look at!


18 posted on 04/07/2010 12:25:38 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: SeekAndFind

See! I knew it! 80 years of being a liberal will make you look like the Missing Link!


19 posted on 04/07/2010 12:26:22 PM PDT by April Lexington (Study the constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: SeekAndFind
The new missing link is believed to be an intermediate stage between Piltdown Man and ManBearPig. It is believed that it went extinct due to DDT and Global Warming.
20 posted on 04/07/2010 12:29:29 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I strongly believe there may be an ancestrial connection to todays progressive liberal ,, but I’m putting my faith in God as my creator .


21 posted on 04/07/2010 12:31:26 PM PDT by lionheart 247365 (-:{ GLEN BECK is 0bama's TRANSPARENCY CZAR }:-)
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To: SeekAndFind

“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 doesn’t 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 derived—its locomotion too sophisticated, and its invasion of new habitats too advanced—not to almost entirely obscure earlier hominid evolutionary dynamics.”

In other words, he’s 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.


22 posted on 04/07/2010 1:36:20 PM PDT by goodusername
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