Human evolution News

Dexterity of human hand backdated a half million years

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Discovery of 1.4 million-year-old fossil human hand bone closes human evolution gap
styloid process/U Missouri

To 1.42 mya

From BBC News :

The discovery of an ancient bone at a burial site in Kenya puts the origin of human hand dexterity more than half a million years earlier than previously thought.

In all ways, the bone – a well-preserved metacarpal that connects to the middle finger – resembles that of modern man, PNAS journal reports.

It is the earliest fossilised evidence of when humans developed a strong enough grip to start using tools.

Apes lack the same anatomical features.


“This bone is the third metacarpal in the hand, which connects to the middle finger. It was discovered at the ‘Kaitio’ site in West Turkana, Kenya,” said Carol Ward, professor of pathology and anatomical sciences at MU. The discovery was made by a West Turkana Paleo Project team, led by Ward’s colleague and co-author Fredrick Manthi of the National Museums of Kenya. “What makes this bone so distinct is that the presence of a styloid process, or projection of bone, at the end that connects to the wrist. Until now, this styloid process has been found only in us, Neandertals and other archaic humans.”

Here’s what’s really interesting:

Ward said. “With this discovery, we are closing the gap on the evolutionary history of the human hand. This may not be the first appearance of the modern human hand, but we believe that it is close to the origin, given that we do not see this anatomy in any human fossils older than 1.8 million years. Our specialized, dexterous hands have been with us for most of the evolutionary history of our genus, Homo. They are – and have been for almost 1.5 million years – fundamental to our survival.”

But wait: Until now, we didn’t see this anatomy in fossils that were 1.4 million years old (“more than half a million years earlier than previously thought”), so we might find it in older fossils still. (Paper.)

When exactly does that long, slow process of evolution get to happen?

File under: When, exactly?

File with: Michael Cremo is still wrong, of course.

5 Replies to “Dexterity of human hand backdated a half million years

  1. 1
    Shogun says:

    No, No, No… that’s just an ape species that “convergently” evolved a hand eerily similar to the human hand.

    Problem solved! Go back to sleep darwinists.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Shogun. Good point. they use convergent evolution whenever needed and so WHY NOT is it not a option always in these claimed hominid bones??
    Something wrong with this convergent evolution option .
    What are the rules?

  3. 3
    Shogun says:

    Of course, when the data conflicts the paradigm let’s just call it convenient..I mean convergent evolution.

    Can’t help it since “convergent” kinda rhymes with “convenient”.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Life Got You Down? Just Remember You Got Opposable Thumbs! – music video

  5. 5
    tjguy says:

    David Coppedge at creation evolution headlines highlighted this article as well. It brings out a problem in the evolutionary story line.

    You can read his whole article at this link, (
    but here is a portion of the article:

    She also said this bone may not represent the first appearance, because stone tools dated 1.6 million years old are found nearby. No evidence of a transitional form was mentioned. It appears this specialized bone appeared abruptly, then remained unchanged throughout 1.5 million years according to the evolutionary timeline.

    the story is ludicrous. Darwinians expect us to believe that physically fit, mentally-endowed people were able to make tools, use fire, cook, cross oceans and continents and use abstract thought, but never thought of learning to ride a horse, make a wheel, or plant a farm for over a million years! Who can possibly believe such a tale? Recorded history shows people going from hunting and gathering to exploration of the solar system in just a few thousand years. Given their capabilities, it would have been impossible to keep Homo erectus and Neanderthal Man back from great exploits in short order…

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