A report titled “A short film of evolution” carried in the 13 April, 2006, edition of the Turkish daily Radikal announced the discovery of a fossil in Ethiopia. The fossil, first reported in the British scientific journal Nature (Tim D. White et.al, 2006. Asa Issie, Aramis and the origin of Australopithecus. Nature 440:883-889), belonged to Australopithecus anamensis, which is known from previous specimens, and was suggested as constituting a link between two other species in the imaginary human family tree (Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus afarensis). Tim White, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, claimed that this fossil, together with certain others previously discovered in the region, constituted “a mini home video of evolution” and that some of the links in an imaginary chain extending from an ape-like ancestor to man had been proven.
Radikal’s aim in employing such sensational expressions as “further evidence for the stages of evolution” and “science is enjoying the excitement of proving the transition from one species to another” was to engage in Darwinist propaganda.
Information about the fossil, which Radikal used as a tool for Darwinist propaganda is given below, together with a response to White’s evolutionary scenario.
Australopithecus: An extinct ape group
The Australopithecines referred to in White’s evolutionary scenario are believed to have first appeared in Africa some 4 million years ago and to have survived until 1 million years ago. Australopithecus anamensis, the fossil remains of which were obtained by White and his team, is older. Another Australopithecus species, known from the fossil Lucy, is Australopithecus afarensis.
All Australopithecines are extinct apes closely resembling monkeys of today. The reason why they are depicted as the forerunners of human beings, despite having a completely ape-like anatomy, is the thesis that they walked upright, like human beings. However, this claim of bipedalism has been demolished by comparative anatomical research conducted by evolutionist experts. (For further detail, see http://www.darwinism-watch.com/darwinist_prop_2_australopithecus.php). The thesis that Australopithecus is the forerunner of the genus Homo is likewise invalid.
The well-known French scientific magazine Science et Vie adopted the subject as its cover story in May 1999. Under the headline “Adieu Lucy,” the magazine wrote that Australopithecus apes should now be removed from the alleged human family tree. The article, based on a new Australopithecus discovery known as St W573, contained the following lines:
A new theory states that the genus Australopithecus is not the root of the human race… The results arrived at by the only woman authorized to examine St W573 are different from the normal theories regarding mankind"s ancestors: this destroys the hominid family tree. Large primates, considered the ancestors of man, have been removed from the equation of this family tree… Australopithecus and Homo (human) species do not appear on the same branch. Man"s direct ancestors are still waiting to be discovered.
White’s forced interpretations regarding Ardipithecus ramidus
Ardipithecus ramidus is a fossil species first unearthed by White, who seeks to place Ardipithecus at the root of the alleged human family tree. He attempts to shape the scenario of human evolution in that light, coming up with a progression that runs Ardipithecus> Australopithecus> Homo.
However, White’s claim regarding Ardipithecus being an evolutionary forebear has received little support even from evolutionists. This is because the bones of this living thing bear evident chimpanzee characteristics and the speculation about bipedalism based on the remains to hand is also very weak. For example, in an article published in New Scientist magazine on 26 October, 2002, the well-known evolutionist anatomist Bernard Wood wrote that it was uncertain whether or not A. ramidus walked on two legs. (Bernard Wood, “Who are we?,” New Scientist, issue 2366, 26 October 2002, p. 44)
Besides, foramen magnum (the cavity where the backbone enters the skull) of the Ardipithecus deals a severe blow to the claim that the creature is a forerunner of humans. The New York Museum of Natural History researchers Ian Tattershall and Jeffrey Schwartz express this dilemma:
Even if Ardipithecus were to have shared a common ancestor with hominids, the position of its foramen magnum is so uniquely derived compared with every one of its presumed descendants that it couldn’t have been ancestral to any of them for the simple reason that an ancestor cannot be more specialized or derived than its descendants! (Ian Tattershall and Jeffrey Schwartz, Extinct Humans, Westview Press, 2000, p. 98)
As we have seen, evolutionist claims regarding both Australopithecus species and A. ramidus are confounded by the evidence against them. The way that Radikal ignores this and depicts these species as evolutionary links shows that it is a blind supporter of Darwinism rather than of science.
A film based on preconceptions
In the Radikal report, Tim White states that he sees a mini house movie about evolution in the imaginary series that includes this fossil. Readers are thus given the impression that the fossils are found first and that evolutionists such as White then see the movie. The fact is, however, that this film is the work of preconception and evolutionists assume that the scenario is factual right from the outset. The following words by the evolutionist palaeontologist Henry Gee make the position crystal clear:
New fossil discoveries are fitted into this preexisting story. We call these new discoveries "missing links", as if the chain of ancestry and descent were a real object for our contemplation, and not what it really is: a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices. In reality, the physical record of human evolution is more modest. Each fossil represents an isolated point, with no knowable connection to any other given fossil, and all float around in an overwhelming sea of gaps… (our emphasis) (Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time, Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life, p. 32)
Radikal’s “step of evolution” error
It appears that Radikal has been following the evolutionary myths it supports from quite some distance. Palaeoanthropologists now regard such findings not as “one of the steps of evolution,” as Radikal reports, but as the branches of a very complex “bush.” New fossil findings have given rise to major obstacles to evolutionists seeking to arrange these like the steps of a ladder in terms of specific anatomical features and dates. Despite all their endeavors, evolutionists have been unable to arrange the species they attribute to the imaginary human family tree in an evolutionary series, and have had to admit their predicament using the “bush” analogy.
The George Washington University evolutionist and anatomist Bernard Wood has described this retreat in evolutionist claims regarding the human family tree:
When I went to medical school in 1963, human evolution looked like a ladder... The ladder stepped from monkey to man through a progression of intermediates, each slightly less ape-like than the last... Now human evolution looks like a bush. ... How they [the fossils] are related to each other and which, if any of them, are human forebears is still debated. (John Whitfield, “Oldest member of human family found,” Nature, Vol. 11, July 2002)
Behind the propaganda mask
The intention in the Radikal report is to give the impression that the imaginary human family tree is sure in all its details, and that the latest fossil confirms this. The fact is though that the world of palaeoanthropology is in a constant state of debate about the relationships among the imaginary forebears in the family tree. So great is this debate that despite more than a century having gone by no consensus has even been achieved among evolutionists, nor even approached. The “countless” studies conducted in this field have failed to resolve these differences of opinion, and have even made them worse.
In a paper published in the Turkish journal Bilim ve Gelecek (Science and Future), the evolutionist anthropologists Professor Erksin Güleç and researcher Ferhat Kaya, from the Ankara University Department of Anthropology, made the following confession on the subject:
No consensus has yet emerged among palaeoanthropologists regarding the phylogenetic definition of the species in the family Hominidae ... A great many morphometric, cladistic, taxonomic and phylogenetic studies and hypotheses have been produced since 1891, but no agreement has yet been established among palaeoanthropologists.” (Erksin Güleç and Ferhat Kaya, ?nsan?n evrimsel varolu?u ve Homo floriensis, Bilim ve Gerçek, June 2005)
As we have seen, Radikal has once again chosen to conceal from the public the debates over the human family tree for the sake of blind Darwinist propaganda and to disseminate evolutionist claims based on preconception and exaggeration as if they were scientific facts. We hope that the newspaper management will finally see that it can get nowhere by concealing the facts regarding the collapse of the theory of evolution from the public, and advise it to put an end to its Darwinist propaganda.
1. For more detail on the collapse of the myth of human evolution, see http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/origin_of_man.html
2. This article also represents our response to the following report:
“BBC News, 27 March 2006, “Ancient skull found in Ethiopia”