Evolution in the News - April 2015
by Do-While Jones

The First Human

Evolutionists have discovered an even earlier human ancestor named “LD 350-1”.

According to the British Broadcasting Corporation,

Scientists have unearthed the jawbone of what they claim is one of the very first humans. [emphasis in the original]

The 2.8 million-year-old specimen is 400,000 years older than researchers thought that our kind first emerged. The discovery in Ethiopia suggests climate change spurred the transition from tree dweller to upright walker. The head of the research team told BBC News that the find gives the first insight into "the most important transitions in human evolution". 1

Here’s what they actually discovered, in rocks they believe to be 2.8 million years old:

2

The full report was published in the respected journal, Science. Most of the report deals with measurements of the teeth, and the soil where the jaw was found. Here are a few key sentences from that report.

In the majority of traits that distinguish it from this species [Australopithecus afarensis, AKA “Lucy”], LD 350-1 presents morphology that we interpret as transitional between Australopithecus and Homo. … By ~2.0 Ma, at least two species of the genus Homo were present in Africa, H. habilis and H. rudolfensis, but primitive anterior corpus morphology distinguishes LD 350-1 from both of them. 3

The article ends with this summary:

The time period 2.8 to 2.5 Ma witnessed climatic shifts that are frequently hypothesized to have led to the origin of the Homo lineage. Although the open habitats reconstructed for the Lee Adoyta faunal assemblages provide a new window on these changes, too little is known of the pattern of hominin evolution during this period to forge causal links to specific evolutionary events. The Ledi-Geraru specimen confirms that divergence from australopith dental and mandibular anatomy was an early hallmark of the Homo lineage. Additional discoveries are needed to determine whether or not these dentognathic changes were accompanied by neurocranial expansion, technological innovation, or shifts in other anatomical/behavioral systems that are familiar components of the Homo adaptive pattern. 4

Of course, “additional discoveries are needed.” The primary purpose of most peer-reviewed articles is to get more funding for research.

The Science article says “too little is known” to connect the hypothetical climate shift to the origin of upright walking; but the BBC claims this partial jaw, from one of “the very first humans,” gives insight into this “most important transition in human evolution.” So, the BBC contradicts the study it is reporting about! Who do you believe, the scientists or the journalists?

Be Skeptical

Suppose someone found a plank of wood that archeologists confidently dated to be 4,000 years old, and a creationist claimed it must have come from Noah’s Ark, which proves the Bible is true. Just because the wood is believed to be the same age as the time when some people believe there was a global flood, only someone with blind faith would believe that the wood had to have come from a ship, that ship had to have been Noah’s Ark, and that it proves a global flood.

Someone actually did find half of a jaw in soil some people believe is 2.8 million years old. Only someone with blind faith would believe that the jaw had to come from a human ancestor, and the existence of that human ancestor proves the theory of evolution is true.

The Shape of the Jaw

If you need dentures, we doubt you would buy some used dentures from a thrift store because (beyond the fact that putting used dentures in your mouth is disgusting) you know used dentures probably would not fit very well. Everyone’s mouth is different (within a certain range).

If you took LD 350-1 to a dentist or orthodontist, he would either say, “These teeth are within normal limits, so they could have come from a modern human,” or he would say, “These teeth are too different to have come from a modern human.” There is no other possible answer he could give. They are either within normal modern human limits, or they are not.

If the jaw is within normal modern limits, then then there are only two possibilities. (1) Human jaws have not evolved in 2.8 million years, or (2) the rocks they were found in really aren’t 2.8 million years old.

If the jaw is not within normal human limits, then why believe it is a human jaw?

If it isn’t a human jaw, why believe it came from something that evolved into a human?

These are questions that reasonable people should ask! Only fools believe without asking.

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Footnotes:

1 Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, 4 March 2015, “ 'First human' discovered in Ethiopia”, http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31718336
2 ibid.
3 Villmoare, et al., Science, 20 March 2015, “Early Homo at 2.8 Ma from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia”, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6228/1352.full?sid=3a1f6b3e-2595-4f41-84fe-900afe1babfe
4 ibid.