Darwinism Human evolution Intelligent Design

Rare hominin skull upsets tidy human origins theory

Spread the love

Below are some media clippings on the recent hominin skull find in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, a reader writes to say that the significance of the story—not always made clear—is this: The idea that an early hominin A. anamensis evolved tidily into a newer hominin A. afarensis (Lucy) was one of the few examples of such a clear Darwinian transition available. But now it turns out, the 3.8 mya skull anamensis in the news is from 100,000 years after fossils of A. afarensis, which means that this hominin was a contemporary as well as an ancestor. Another “textbook example” of Darwinism scrubbed.

The early hominin evolutionary tree is “messier than thought”:

This species was thought to precede Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis. But features of the latest find now suggest that A. anamensis shared the prehistoric Ethiopian landscape with Lucy’s species for at least 100,000 years, the researchers say. This hints that the early hominin evolutionary tree was more complicated than scientists had thought — but other researchers say the evidence isn’t yet conclusive.

Colin Barras, “Rare 3.8-million-year-old skull recasts origins of iconic ‘Lucy’ fossil” at Nature

Some, of course, take issue with the idea that the two hominins were contemporaries:

Not everyone is convinced by the team’s argument. Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, tells The Post that the data could be interpreted differently and might only reveal that the Australopithecus genus was evolving at the time, 3 million to 4 million years ago, and not that the current human family tree is incorrect, though it’s been revised before.

Ashley Yeager, “A. anamensis Hominin Skull Could Recast Our Human Family Tree” at The Scientist

It was a time, the story goes, when we were just learning to walk upright:

“Most of A. anamensis’ own traits are quite primitive,” Haile-Selassie says, noting the individual’s small brain, protruding face and large canine teeth. “There are a few features exclusively shared with A. afarensis, like the orbital region in the frontal area. But everything else is really primitive. If you look at it from the back, it looks like an ape. This is something that I never expected to see in a species that is hypothesized to be the ancestor of A. afarensis. So it changed the whole gamut of ideas in terms of the relationship between those two.”

Brian Handwerk, “A 3.8-Million-Year-Old Skull Puts a New Face on a Little-Known Human Ancestor” at Smithsonian Magazine

Follow UD News at Twitter!

4 Replies to “Rare hominin skull upsets tidy human origins theory

  1. 1
    ET says:

    Of course it shows the whites of the eye to make it look more human.

  2. 2
    goodusername says:

    The idea that an early hominin A. anamensis evolved tidily into a newer hominin A. afarensis (Lucy) was one of the few examples of such a clear Darwinian transition available. But now it turns out, the 3.8 mya skull anamensis in the news is from 100,000 years after fossils of A. afarensis, which means that this hominin was a contemporary as well as an ancestor. Another “textbook example” of Darwinism scrubbed.

    I have seen the transition of anamensis to afarensis described as a rare example of anagenesis, but why would anyone equate “anagenesis” with “Darwinian”?

    Anagenesis, by definition, is when you have a species evolve into another species, and the daughter species completely replaces the parent – in other words, no branching occurs, no increase in diversity.

    Darwin was attempting to explain why we see such diversity around us, and why life fits into a taxonomic “tree”. His answer was that species split into populations which branch into new species.
    So it’s puzzling as to how “branching” is un-Darwinian.

    The very definition of “speciation,” BTW, is when you have two (or more) species where there was one. In other words, anagenesis isn’t considered speciation because there’s no increase in the number of species.

    With anagenesis, there is no “tree”, and no speciation – that’s “textbook” Darwinism?

  3. 3
    vmahuna says:

    I’m will to cut the guys a break and agree that New Guy and Lucy might have both been alive in some overlap period. Kinda like with our Neander-buddies in Europe: Cro Magnons didn’t just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, Thogetta, where did that NFL linebacker training camp go?”
    But more generally: who CARES. The new guy has no significance in the final product design and installation of the Mark 1, Mod 0 Human, which still works just fine, operating in diverse markets with no great demand for a new product.
    The Darwinists are gonna get less and less attention if they continue to insist that EVERY new skull that suggests a human-like animal older than homo sapiens has some GREAT significance.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    ET @1 “Of course it shows the whites of the eye to make it look more human.”

    Right. Neither do the bones show skin or hair. The artist is instructed by the scientists to draw the picture to fit their beliefs. The only thing that we know to be accurate would be the shape of the skull and perhaps some of the face shape can be accurately deducted from that, but for the most part, this is a piece of propaganda, as opposed to science.

Leave a Reply