Human evolution: burst of a bush of various types (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 19, 2020, 00:25 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

The hominin/homo forms burst on the scene and there is not one steady line of Darwinian development from simple to complex. There are branches in every direction, with simple and complex forms existing at the same time, with plenty of genetic material to show cross- breeding:

"Some of these big discoveries actually turn out to be instances where the evidence for human evolution weakened, and the rest amount to slight revisions of previously held theories that don’t say much about the core tenets of paleoanthropology.

"it has shown that there were various sublineages of very modern human-like groups such as the Denisovans that have existed in the past million years. Though a novel and intriguing form of evidence, at present ancient DNA is essentially silent on two crucial tenets of evolutionary paleoanthropology: (1) the hypothesis that modern humans are descended from decidedly non-human, subhuman, or otherwise primitive species, and (2) the claim that these newly revealed “species of early humans” were substantially different from us. Yes we have Denisovan DNA, but at present for all we know the Denisovans were as human as we are.

"The second big discovery of the last decade was Homo naledi, which is also exciting because it represents a humungous cache of hominid fossils that adds a lot to our knowledge of the fossil record. Initially, news reports called Homo naledi a “human ancestor.” However in 2017 it was found that this species is only a few hundred thousand years old — 10 times too young to be considered as one of our evolutionary ancestors. This was a major bust for proponents of human evolution, as we reported here.


the third big find of the decade listed by Smithsonian is the discovery of a near-complete skull of Australopithecus anamensis last year, dated to about 3.8 million years old. Günter Bechly wrote an excellent review of this fossil find here at Evolution News. He pointed out that this skull allowed scientists to understand, for the first time, what the species A. anamensis actually looked like. However, its unexpectedly young age meant that it overlapped in time with its supposed descendants, the species A. afarensis. Science Daily quoted one of the scientists involved with the find as saying, “We used to think that A. anamensis gradually turned into A. afarensis over time.” But because of the age of the fossil, they no longer think this is the case.


"this example of an “ancestor-descendant sequence” can no longer be used because the A. anamensis skull discovered last year dates to 3.8 Ma, which is 100,000 years after the appearance of fossils of A. afarensis. A gradualistic transition is no longer feasible.


"Most importantly, [the paper] shows that despite the widely accepted hypothesis of anagenesis, A. afarensis did not appear as a result of phyletic transformation. It also shows that at least two related hominin species co-existed in eastern Africa around 3.8 Myr ago, further lending support to mid-Pliocene hominin diversity.”


" addition to A. anamensisi, A. afarensis, and Homo naledi, there’s a third example from the 2010s where the ages of hominid fossils posed problems for the standard evolutionary model. We also reported last year that a study of Australopithecus sediba and the hominin fossil record published in Science Advances concluded that there is less than a 0.1 percent chance that A. sediba could be a human ancestor. That’s because it postdates the appearance of its would-be descendants in the genus Homo by about 100,000 years."

Comment: There are more complications. we know Erectus lived until recently and where do the dwarf Homo floresiensis fit in since they also existed until recently. Sapiens co-exited with both Denisovans and Neanderthals, while some of these others were still around. Back to my same old question: apes and monkeys were living happily until we began our huge population growth. Darwin proposes stepwise change to aid survival. That is not the hominin historical evidence in the fossil record to date. Each new find seems to refute Darwin, and I'll bet that trend will continue. I view our history as bursting forward for no good demonstrable reason. I would suggest an agency is driving the process, an a gency we call God.

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