Lucy was the nickname for an incomplete Ethiopian skeleton found by the American paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson in 1974. Named for the 1967 Beatles song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. Despite being only 20% complete—missing hands, feed, knee and full pelvis bones—Lucy soon became the benchmark fossil for the species Australopithecus afarensis. Adding to the legend of Lucy, fossilized footprints were found two years later preserved in volcanic ash located in Laetoli more than 1,000 miles away and dated half-a-million years older. Despite this long geographic distance and timespan between fossil and footprint (not to mention the more obvious fact that Lucy had no feet), Johanson insisted (based on his acceptance at the time of the now defunct “single species hypothesis”) that these footprints must belong to Lucy and “proved” she was a missing link confirming Universal Common Descent (UCD).
In addition to the evidence that Lucy should be classified as an ape species, there is additional evidence which excludes the possibility australopithecines are a transitional ancestor to the genus Homo.The Australopithecus sediba finding in 2008 by Matthew Berger was first assumed to put an end to the taxonomic confusion surrounding Australopithecus and provide a clear link between ape and man. However, research since then demonstrates the failure of this fossilized “mosaic of ape and human features” to provide any such link. Like A. habilis and A. aferensis, the evidence suggests that A. sediba is most likely a mixture of bones from various species. R&S provide evidence for seven key lines of argument:
Been and Rak’s study in 2014 show that Sediba’s spine jaw are mixed bones, not a morphological mosaic of ape-man traits… More.
The Missing Link is actually immortal, like the Extraterrestrial. When a product of the human imagination serves an emotional need, as the missing link does for naturalists (materialists), evidence is not treated as it is in a normal situation. All the evidence that really matters supports the proposition. Purveyors of doubt are not only wrong but Bad. So yes, Lucy is the missing link until a better one comes along. And whether there ever was r wasn;’t a missing link is irrelevant to the drama being played out.
See also: Fine-tuning of the universe: Why David Hume’s objections fail (Joseph Miller)
Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human?
Was Neanderthal man fully human? The role racism played in assessing the evidence (Joseph R. Miller)