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Todd Wood on new Laetoli footprints

Laetoli prints/Momotarou2012

From his blog:

I just noticed a few interesting stories about an announcement from Tanzania that a second set of australopith tracks has been discovered about 60 meters from the original Laetoli footprint trails. The Laetoli tracks were discovered in 1978 by a team led by Mary Leakey. The trackways are about 90 feet long with about 70 prints. The feet are small and the stride is short, and they are typically attributed to an australopith. The prints were made in volcanic ash, and have been dated to 3.6 million radiometric years. More.

He adds, “I’m not so sure we can tell the difference between human and australopith just from their footprints.”


Australopithecus (genus Australopithecus), ( Latin: “southern ape”)
Australopithecus afarensis [Credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]group of extinct creatures closely related to, if not actually ancestors of, modern human beings and known from a series of fossils found at numerous sites in eastern, central, and southern Africa. The various species of Australopithecus lived during the Pliocene (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) and Pleistocene (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) epochs. As characterized by the fossil evidence, they bore a combination of human- and apelike traits. Like humans, they were bipedal (that is, they walked on two legs), but, like apes, they had small brains. Their canine teeth were small like those of humans, but their cheek teeth were large. – Britannica


Mary Leakey and coworkers discovered fossils of Australopithecus afarensis at Laetoli in 1978, not far from where a group of hominin (of human lineage) fossils had been unearthed in 1938. The fossils found at Laetoli date to a period between 3.76 and 3.46 million years ago (mya). They come from at least 23 individuals and take the form of teeth, jaws, and a fragmentary infant skeleton. In volcanic sediments dated to 3.56 mya are trails of remarkably humanlike footprints along with those of numerous animals. A. afarensis is best known from the Ethiopian site of Hadar, but the footprints at Laetoli are of monumental importance in the record of human evolution. Homo sapiens fossils have also been found at Laetoli in strata dating to about 120,000 years ago. – Britannica

See also: Bipedal walking at Laetoli (David Tyler)

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My understanding is that Australopiths had an abducted great toe while humans have an adducted great toe. The Laetoli tracks show an adducted toe like humans. aarceng
Contrary to the claim you cited from Britannica, Australopithecus afarensis, (i.e. Lucy), was not bipedal and certainly did not walk upright but was a knuckle dragger. First it is important to note just how biased Darwinists are in their interpretations of the fossil evidence. Biased to the point of, in the following video, actually using a powertool to 'reconfigure' a bone so as to fit their narrative
Lucy - The Powersaw Incident - a humorous video showing how biased evolutionists can be with the evidence - 32:08 mark of video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI4ADhPVpA0&feature=player_detailpage#t=1928
Other Australopithecus afarensis, 'Lucy', fossils have been found since the 'powersaw incident' that show that Lucy could not have possibly walked upright.
A Look at Lucy’s Legacy by Dr. David Menton and Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on June 6, 2012 Excerpt: Other analyses taking advantage of modern technology, such as those by Christine Berge published in 199425 and 201026 in the Journal of Human Evolution, offer a different reconstruction allowing for a unique sort of locomotion. Berge writes, “The results clearly indicate that australopithecine bipedalism differs from that of humans. (1) The extended lower limb of australopithecines would have lacked stabilization during walking;,,, Lucy’s bones show the features used to lock the wrist for secure knuckle-walking seen in modern knuckle-walkers. https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/lucy/a-look-at-lucys-legacy/ Lucy Makeover Shouts a Dangerously Deceptive Message About Our Supposed Ancestors by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell on October 5, 2013 Excerpt: Australopithecus afarensis is extinct. Its bones suggest it was not identical to living apes, but it did have much in common with them. Many have assessed the skeletal pieces of the various afarensis and possible afarensis fossils that have been found. Overall, these skeletal parts reveal an animal well-adapted to arboreal life. Its wrist bones also suggest it was a knuckle-walker. Reconstructions of its pelvis demonstrate its so-called “bipedal” gait was nothing like a human being’s upright gait. In fact, it is only the evolutionary wish to impute a bipedal gait to this animal that marches its fossils upright across the pages of the evolutionary story. https://answersingenesis.org/human-evolution/lucy/lucy-makeover-shouts-a-dangerously-deceptive-message-about-our-supposed-ancestors/
Here are several quotes, from secular sources, showing that Lucy was in fact an ape and was not the transitional species that Darwinists have imagined her to be:
"these australopith specimens can be accommodated with the range of intraspecific variation of African apes" Nature 443 (9/2006), p.296 "The australopithecines known over the last several decades from Olduvai and Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Makapansgat, are now irrevocably removed from a place in a group any closer to humans than to African apes and certainly from any place in a direct human lineage." Charles Oxnard, former professor of anatomy at the University of Southern California Medical School, who subjected australopithecine fossils to extensive computer analysis; Israeli Researchers: 'Lucy' is not direct ancestor of humans"; Apr 16, 2007 The Mandibular ramus morphology (lower jaw bone) on a recently discovered specimen of Australopithecus afarensis closely matches that of gorillas. This finding was unexpected given that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans.,,,its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of Au. afarensis as a modern human ancestor. http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2007/04/24/lucy_demoted_from_the_human_ancestral_li "The australopithecine (Lucy) skull is in fact so overwhelmingly simian (ape-like) as opposed to human that the contrary proposition could be equated to an assertion that black is white." Lord Solly Zuckerman - Chief scientific advisor to British government and leading zoologist My Pilgrimage to Lucy’s Holy Relics Fails to Inspire Faith in Darwinism Excerpt: ---"We were sent a cast of the Lucy skeleton, and I was asked to assemble it for display,” remembers Peter Schmid, a paleontologist at the Anthropological Institute in Zurich.,,, "When I started to put [Lucy’s] skeleton together, I expected it to look human,” Schmid continues “Everyone had talked about Lucy as being very modern, very human, so I was surprised by what I saw.” http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/02/my_pilgrimage_to_lucys_holy_re.html "The earliest H. sapiens remains differ significantly from australopithecines in both size and anatomical details. Insofar as we can tell, these changes were sudden and not gradual." Milford Wolpoff - University of Michigan anthropologist
Moreover, Darwinists are notorious for using 'artistic license' to try to make Lucy as human as possible just so as to fit their evolutionary narrative: For instance, although Darwinists have no clue what the eyes of Lucy actually looked like, please notice, on the following sites, how the sclera (white of the eye), a uniquely human characteristic, was brought in in the artists' reconstructions of Lucy, to make the fossils appear much more human than they actually were,
lucy reconstructions https://www.google.com/search?q=lucy+reconstruction&biw=1360&bih=586&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjk9IqE-JrOAhXK5YMKHa0oCmwQ_AUIBigB 10 Transitional Ancestors of Human Evolution by Tyler G., March 18, 2013 http://listverse.com/2013/03/18/10-transitional-ancestors-of-human-evolution/
Yet, when we strip the 'artistic license' of Darwinists away from the Lucy reconstructions, and let the bones speak for themselves, we find a very different reconstruction of Lucy than the one Darwinists imagine. Here is an anatomically correct reconstruction of Lucy that is far more realistic than anything Darwinists have reconstructed.
Lucy - a correct reconstruction - picture https://cdn-assets.answersingenesis.org/img/articles/campaigns/lucy-exhibit.jpg
Supplemental notes:
Paleoanthropology Excerpt: In regards to the pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journal Science the following regarding their highly speculative nature: "Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist's conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there…. Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips, or ears (or eyes). Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it.... Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture." http://conservapedia.com/Evolution#Paleoanthropology "National Geographic magazine commissioned four artists to reconstruct a female figure from casts of seven fossil bones thought to be from the same species as skull 1470. One artist drew a creature whose forehead is missing and whose jaws look vaguely like those of a beaked dinosaur. Another artist drew a rather good-looking modern African-American woman with unusually long arms. A third drew a somewhat scrawny female with arms like a gorilla and a face like a Hollywood werewolf. And a fourth drew a figure covered with body hair and climbing a tree, with beady eyes that glare out from under a heavy, gorilla-like brow." “Behind the Scenes,” National Geographic 197 (March, 2000): 140 "alleged restoration of ancient types of man have very little, if any, scientific value and are likely only to mislead the public" Earnest A. Hooton - physical anthropologist - Harvard University

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