In “First of Our Kind: Could Australopithecus sediba Be Our Long Lost Ancestor? [Preview] (Scientific American, March 20, 2012), Kate Wong reports, “Sensational fossils from South Africa spark debate over how we came to be human.” The sidebar to her article notes,
The origin of our genus, Homo, is one of the biggest mysteries facing scholars of human evolution.
Based on the meager evidence available, scientists have surmised that Homo arose in East Africa, with Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis, giving rise to the founding member of our lineage, Homo habilis.
Recently discovered fossils from a site northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, could upend that scenario. The fossils represent a previously unknown species of human with an amalgam of australopithecine and Homo traits that suggest to its discoverers that it could be the ancestor of Homo.
If it’s that big a mystery, it would be helpful to stuff all the dogmatism we so frequently hear.
And honestly label the artists’ illustrations of early humans/half humans/maybe humans/hu knows, really? as works of the imagination. Put another way, fiction is fun when labelled as such. Not otherwise, as Memogate shows.