History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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August 9th, 2007 · No Comments

Paleoanthropologists Disown Homo habilis from Our Direct Family Tree

With habilis removed from our direct ancestry, what exactly is the direct ancestor of Homo? As two paleoanthropologists wrote in Nature, researchers don’t know:

[Early forms of erectus] mar[k] such a radical departure from previous forms of Homo (such as H. habilis) in its height, reduced sexual dimorphism, long limbs and modern body proportions that it is hard at present to identify its immediate ancestry in east Africa. Not for nothing has it been described as a hominin “without an ancestor, without a clear past”
(Robin Dennell & Wil Roebroeks, “An Asian perspective on early human dispersal from Africa,” Nature, Vol 438:1099-1104 (Dec. 22/29, 2005) (internal citations removed) (emphasis added).)

After this latest find, one researcher realized its implications and was quick to quash any doubts this may spark regarding human evolution, stating: “All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said.”

Tags: Evolution

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