Human evolution; early ancestor probable upright posture (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 21, 2019, 19:04 (197 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTES: "Near an old mining town in Central Europe, known for its picturesque turquoise-blue quarry water, lay Rudapithecus. For 10 million years, the fossilized ape waited in Rudabánya, Hungary, to add its story to the origins of how humans evolved."

“'Rudapithecus was pretty ape-like and probably moved among branches like apes do now — holding its body upright and climbing with its arms,” said Ward, a Curators Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences in the MU School of Medicine and lead author on the study. “However, it would have differed from modern great apes by having a more flexible lower back, which would mean when Rudapithecus came down to the ground, it might have had the ability to stand upright more as humans do. This evidence supports the idea that rather than asking why human ancestors stood up from all fours, perhaps we should be asking why our ancestors never dropped down on all fours in the first place [/b].” (David’s bolds)

dhw; Interesting that this is a European fossil. Since there are different types of hominin and homo, one might conclude that different apes evolved differently in different parts of the world. One would expect transitional species to have moved among branches as well as on the ground, and (re your second bold) why should we presume that Rudapithecus did not descend from an all-fours ape? Somewhere along the line, some apes descended from the trees and took to bipedalism. We do not have, and are unlikely to find, a complete set of fossils for every single stage of descent!

You are correct. Fossils are few. However on page 258 of my book, Atheist Delusion is Dr. Fuller's exposition of a transitional vertebrae of a hominid form from 21 million years ago in a monkey fossil. Again well before descending the trees. So i repeat my comment:

DAVID: The path to bipedalism obviously started well before the brain enlarged but allowed the hands to become more developed ahead of time, anticipating the further development of the brain's enlargement and capacity for mental development. It didn't require movement to the Savannah to develop as previously proposed, noting my bolds above. I view this as God engineering evolution in a logical fashion ten million years ago.

dhw: Maybe there was more than one path to bipedalism, but I would agree with the whole of your first sentence except for the cryptic "ahead of time", for which I would substitute "when needed": it is logical that the move to a new environment engendered bipedalism, giving rise to new requirements, and so the rest followed on logically. What I would find illogical is (a) your theory that your God engineered changes before our ancestors moved into their new environment, and (b) your theory that he specially designed every change, itsy-bitsy, over millions of years, in different species of hominins and homos, when his sole purpose from the very beginning was to design H. sapiens. For me, all these separate developments in separate species and separate places suggest the natural divergences created by mechanisms (perhaps God-given) that operate independently of one single designer with just one goal in mind.

Again, the early evidence in time, although scattered, supports my approach not yours; I see preparatory changes, as the authors do, well ahead of the time to descend from the trees. You are still Darwinian in trying to find needs to drive evolution, while as Gould showed, all species arrive fully changed.

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