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Researcher: To understand human bipedalism, stop assuming “a chimpanzee starting point”


Was it Wednesday we ran that story about the baffling (Nature, ScienceDaily) perplexing (BBC) 400k-year-old human DNA, that is hard to make sense of (The Scientist , New Scientist) and creates new mysteries (New York Times) instead of neatly clarifying human evolution?

That’s what happens when they forget to run the script for human evolution by the Darwin lobby first.

At this point, it probably hardly matters that a new study of a human thigh bone “could impact scientists’ understanding of the origins of human bipedalism,” but here it is anyway, courtesy The Scientist:

“Living apes—chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans—have long and independent evolutionary histories of their own, and their modern anatomies should not be assumed to represent the ancestral condition for our human lineage,” study coauthor Sergio Almécija told the Agence France-Presse (AFP). “To understand the origins of human bipedalism, scientists should stop assuming a ‘chimpanzee starting point,’” he added.

That is radical. Hope the guy has fire insurance.

Theories about why humans are bipedal include to travel rough terrain. Or to hit each other. Or carry infants. Or scarce resources. Or save energy. Or cool down.

Assumptions are being questioned. Why not question the whole assumption that like anatomy demands like descent. Why not just a like creator with a like blue print. Anyways there is room for correction here in assumptions about drawing conclusions from mere morphology. Robert Byers
My grand-daughter teaches me something new every time a get to spend an afternoon with her. The reason human babies are so interested in learning to walk is because it frees their hands. And it's faster, and it lets them see over things. In the same way that there are no half-bats or half-whales, it now appears there are no half-humans. Just BANG! large brained, fully bipedal humans, with some odd cousins from the Neander Valley who showed up 100,000 years too early to play offensive line in the NFL. mahuna

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