Monday, October 19, 2009
Ida got canned, so party with 'Ardi'
As most of you will have heard, a few months back evolutionists announced that they had found the latest 'missing link,' Ida. However, Ida quickly disappeared from the scientific landscape.
Now, we are told that the 'missing link' has been found again. It's name is Ardi. After receiving a question and an email about the supposed "missing link in human evolution," I decided to checkout the available evidence for myself.
Already featured on notable media outlets such as National Geographic and The Discovery Channel, Ardi (formerly called Ardipithecus ramidus) is being heralded as a find that "underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million year."
Interestingly, it has taken over 15 years for the reports of this fossil find to be published. As Casey Luskin reports, perhaps the reason for the 15 year prolonging was due to the fact that in 2002 Ardi was described in Science as "squished," "chalky," and "eroded."
Luskin provides the following from the 2002 Science article:
[I]n 1992, the Middle Awash Research Team, co-led by [Tim] White, made a discovery that ended Lucy’s reign. About 75 kilometers south of Lucy’s resting place, at Aramis in the Afar depression of Ethiopia, the team found fossils of a chimp-sized ape dated to about 4.4 million years ago. … The team named this species Ardipithecus ramidus, drawing on two words from the Afar language suggesting that it was humanity’s root species. But skeptics argue that the published fossils are so chimplike that they may represent the long-lost ancestor of the chimp, not human, lineage. The next field season, team member Yohannes Haile-Selassie found the first of more than 100 fragments that make up about half of a single skeleton of this species, including a pelvis, leg, ankle and foot bones, wrist and hand bones, a lower jaw with teeth—and a skull. But in the past 8 years no details have been published on this skeleton. Why the delay? In part because the bones are so soft and crushed that preparing them requires a Herculean effort, says White. The skull is “squished,” he says, “and the bone is so chalky that when I clean an edge it erodes, so I have to mold every one of the broken pieces to reconstruct it.” The team hopes to publish in a year or so, and White claims that the skeleton is worth the wait, calling it a “phenomenal individual” that will be the “Rosetta stone for understanding bipedalism.”
To further complicate matters, Time Magazine reports the following:
"Tim [White] showed me pictures of the pelvis in the ground, and it looked like an Irish stew," says Walker. Indeed, looking at the evidence, different paleoanthropologists may have different interpretations of how Ardi moved or what she reveals about the last common ancestor of humans and chimps.
I agree that scientists should arrive at their conclusions by looking at the evidence; however, it seems that Ardi has already earned the title of a "New piece in the Human Evolution Puzzle," so how many other conclusions could one come to?
Admittedly, I am not at a place where I feel I can draw any concrete conclusions at this time. I would like to learn more about Ardi; however, I do want to offer some resources from those who have an alternative viewpoint because I highly doubt that National Geographic or The Discovery Channel will share anything that isn't consistent with the evolutionary party line.
1. Did Humans Evolve from Ardi? by Brian Thomas
2. The Overselling of Ardipithecus ramidus by Casey Luskin
3. Ardipithecus Again: A Recycled Ape-man by Carl Wieland
4. Ardi, Our Uncommon Ancestor? by Mariano
5. Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers by Kyle Butt, M.A.
6. Ardi Revels More Than They Think by Melinda Penner
7. Ardi: Hardly Evidence for Human Evolution by Fazale 'Fuz' Rana, Ph.D.
I will continue to evaluate the evidence for Ardi; however, for those who are throwing a party for Ardi...'Ida' be a bit more skeptical...
Courage and Godspeed,