Ardi Replaces Lucy, The Australopithecine

Ardi who’s bones are in extremely in bad condition (crushed nearly to smithereens) has finally taken center stage after 15 years of trying to piece it all  together.  Science published not three, not ten but sixteen articles on this particular fossil! Wasn’t Lucy suppose to settle all this back in the 1970s? It appears now they are telling us Lucy was on separate branches which had nothing to do with us after all, but now we have Ardi.

This fossil has been used to create a new paradigm which changes the mechanism of evolution itself.  In classical neo-Darwinism, traits evolve in a stepwise fashion through mutations and natural selection.  However, more scientists are now embracing the idea of  “adaptive suites” which advocates groups of traits that emerge together and evolve together as a package.

In Science, “Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus”  by  C. Owen Lovejoy (Kent State U) writes about how wrong his predecessors had been…

“An essential goal of human evolutionary studies is to account for human uniqueness, most notably our bipedality, marked demographic success, unusual reproductive physiology, and unparalleled cerebral and technological abilities.  During the past several decades, it has been routinely argued that these hominid characters have evolved by simple modifications of homologs shared with our nearest living relatives, the chimpanzee and bonobo.  This method is termed referential modeling.”

“A central tenet has been the presumption (sometimes clearly stated but more often simply sub rosa) that Gorilla and Pan are so unusual and so similar to each other that they cannot have evolved in parallel; therefore, the earliest hominids must have also resembled these African apes.  Without a true early hominid fossil record, the de facto null hypothesis has been that Australopithecus was largely a bipedal manifestation of an African ape (especially the chimpanzee).  Such proxy-based scenarios have been elevated to common wisdom by genomic comparisons, progressively establishing the phylogenetic relationships of Gorilla, Pan, and Homo.”

The adaptive suites concept is actually in some ways an old idea, it suggests changes through experience such as the normal-looking lizard ancestor which took on a taste for ants as a result, future generations did as well. Then the lizard’s body went through changes with it’s new diet, thus making not only itself more fat and sluggish but it’s off spring as well. But it’s new evolved body prompted other changes in the body such as defences from other animals that might eat it.

In another observation, Ardi is listed at 4.4 million years (using the faulty evolutionary time line) and Lucy is  listed at 3.2 million years old. Both fossils were found not that far away from each other. One could ask, what direction was evolution going for 1.2 million years between the two?

Every so often there is a lot of hype over a particular fossil with the common claims of overturning previous speculation and the textbooks need to be rewritten with the new find. It’s a claim for fame. Look at the hype they made with Lucy, which had many tv specials!  Ida was another fossil but unlike the previous two, this one was so obvious even the militant evolutionists dismissed it’s hype created by the media as being a ‘missing link.’

If they really want to gain the truth about these fossils rather than the classic story telling then they should abandon Darwinism all together and become a creationist. Instead of using artwork to fill in the fossil in order to put false images in the minds of students they will use methods of reason, logic, evidence and rhetoric!

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13 thoughts on “Ardi Replaces Lucy, The Australopithecine

  1. I wondered how long it would take your ventriloquist to get around to Ardi. A difficult task, because so many different experts were involved, many different lines of evidence converged, and the work was done especially carefully.

    Michael: “This fossil has been used to create a new paradigm which changes the mechanism of evolution itself. In classical neo-Darwinism, traits evolve in a stepwise fashion through mutations and natural selection. However, more scientists are now embracing the idea of “adaptive suites” which advocates groups of traits that emerge together and evolve together as a package.”

    I can believe that Michael is ignorant enough to believe this, but it is hard to believe that his anonymous source is. This may, in fact, explain the anonymous source.

    It’s like not telling your terror cells the nature of the overall task or the names of their superiors, so you can’t give away the secrets when the evolutionists capture and torture you with logic and evidence. You can truthfully plead ignorance. You can even attempt stupid answers on your own. Of course, you then expose yourself to ridicule.

    Meanwhile, the source, who knows that he lies, cannot be reached or his mendacity exposed. he doesn’t have to defined his words. He pushesthat off on his mute dupes, such as Michael, or Susan before him.

    ” changes the mechanism of evolution itself.”

    What a laugh! Ardi’s place was known, but not her exact anatomy. It was unexpected in that it is such a thorough mix of modern and primitive characteristics—in other words, a true transitional fossil, one that fits evolution precisely. In what way can this be said to change the mechanism—heritable variation with selection—of evolution? Michael can’t begin to back up—or even to explain—this position. Try, if you like. I dare you.

    “traits evolve in a stepwise fashion.”

    Please explain exactly what traits evolved all at once in Ardi. The foot has a modern longitudinal arch, yet preserves the grasping toe of previous primates. The hand has the reverse wrist curvature of humans, yet the fingers of its tree-climbing forebears. The pelvis is primitive, but it has a bony ileac knob fpor attaching muscles required for bipedality. The skull is primitive, yet has the pyramidal canines of the later Lucy. Tell me how the wildest imagination could claim with a straight face that these features are not stepwise? I dare you.

    “more scientists are now embracing the idea of ‘adaptive suites’ which advocates groups of traits that emerge together and evolve together as a package.”

    This even has a name. It’s called “macroevolution.” But please elucidate as to what possible bearing this might have on Ardi, on its place in the human lineage, or how it could possibly disprove any aspect of evolution. I dare you to try.

    I did notice that your source made no effort ot dispute the 4.4My age of the Ardi fossil. Wisely. The age was established is several different ways by four different laboratories independently. The error bars are surprisingly small. But you can go aheasd and dispute the age if you widh.

    In fact, I dare you.

  2. The Ardi skeleton has a characteristic feature near the upper edge of the hip joint. What is this feature, and what is its significance? It is one of the most important attributes of the skeleton.

    But you don’t have a clue, because you have never been within half a mile of any peer-reviewed paper on Ardi. Even if you were, you wouldn’t understand it.

    You may attempt to prove me wrong. Otherwise, you are on display in front of your readers as a complete ignoramus, parading another’s lies as if they were your own. Go ahead..

    And remember Casey Luskin, the Discovery Institute’s hack anthropologist, who couldn’t find the wrist bone of Tiktaalik even when it was labeled in a drawing of the article. What a dunce.

    Yes, this is a test.

  3. The major surprise of the Ardi fossil is that it pushes the date of bipedality farther back than had been thought earlier.

    Name half a dozen advantages of walking on two feet rather than four. Name a half dozen disadvantages.

    Another surprise is that Ardi is more transitional than expected. New anatomical features for bipedality coexist with older features shared with earlier quadrupeds.

    Name a few advantages and disadvantages of having both sets of features.

    Take into account the habitat of the Ardi fossil. Studying Ardi’s habitat, reconstructing its fauna and flora, occupied several years of field studies and many more in analysis. The Science articles on this topic start at pages 65, 66, 67, and 87 of the special issue. You may wish to study these articles before answering. Chortle, smirk, snxggh.

  4. “Ardi who’s [sic] bones are in extremely in bad condition (crushed nearly to smithereens) ….”

    I dunno, Michael. maybe you did write or edit part of this. It’s hard to imagine anyone capable of reading (or at least quoting from) a research article making a grammatical mistake that a fifth-grader would catch.

    Withal, you should not congratulate yourself on this sideways snipe at the integrity of the fossil.

    The only reason you see the bone degradations as an insurmountable problem is that you are ignorant of how broken bones, broken shards of pottery, crumbled buildings, and debris from automobile and aircraft accidents can be reconstructed. Not a clue.

    If you had watched the TV show Numb3rs a couple weeks ago (fat chance), you would have had a brief introduction to the mathematics of reconstructing a building to find the location and characteristics of the bomb that had blown it up. Now, I’d bet that you read stories about how experts have found out why an airplane crashed, and swallow it whole, without any doubts that this is possible, even routine. Or reconstyructions by CSI teams of wounds when the body has been removed, from blood spatters on the walls and floors. No problemo.

    Yet when it comes to reconstructing fossils, the defensive shields power up. the mind cavils. You can’t begin to do this yourself, so how can anyone else? (There is a simple answer, of course. They’ve trained for years in situations where their analyses can be tested for accuracy. They have years, decades, of experience. And they’re smart. Much smarter than you and me.)

    It was just a small swipe—elliptically calling into question the preservation of the fossil. Not an important point. But you should not get away with it.

    By the way, how does Ardi fit into the theme of “New Discoveries and Comments about Creationism”? Yet another nail in its coffin, apparently. Was that your intention?

  5. Anon source: “In another observation, Ardi is listed at 4.4 million years (using the faulty evolutionary time line) and Lucy is listed at 3.2 million years old. Both fossils were found not that far away from each other.”

    The fossils were found close to each other because that’s where paleontologists predicted they would be found. Creationists, of course, would blindly scour the entire planet for these fossils, because they have no principles to guide their search. They don’t believe in Valilov’s law, so geographic location of early specimens would be a mystery. Dating methods conflict with their beliefs, so finding particular geologic strata would be of no help to them. So they’d have to depend upon the methods of scientists. Scientists who are deluded, if not outright conspirators against revealed Truth.

    Same for Tiktaalik, of course. Scientists dug for fish/tetrapod transitions on cold, dark, windy Ellesmere Island. Creationists have no way to predict where such a fossil might be found, so they would surely have started in a more comfortable locale, such as Jamaica. No, wait—Michael says that larger dinosaurs are higher in the geologic column than smaller ones, because the flood waters rose. Profound, really profound.

    None of the initial Ardi research articles describes the dating methods. This is unfortunate, because the story is an interesting one. Different labs and different methods independently came to remarkably similar numbers for the Ardi fossil. As I recall, the error was +/- 50 thousand years out of 4.416 million years.

    Again, Michael’s anonymous source takes a sneaky jab at the veracity of the chronological data, merely offering, with no support whatever, that the evolutionary time must be “faulty” in some unspecified way. Since we can’t ask Michael to dig out the Science issue from under his stack of Creation Yesterday magazines and pinups of Eve for this purpose, this portion of the quiz will remain more general.

    Michael, what is the significance of “error bars” on a datum? What do they say about it? What other number is necessary to interpret an error bar?

    Let’s do an example. If a political poll with a margin of error of 5% shows the Scientist candidate ahead of the Creationist candidate 55% to 45%, what can you tell about the likely outcome of the election? As always, show your work. Chortle, smirk, snxghhff.

  6. “Wasn’t Lucy suppose [sic] to settle all this back in the 1970s? “

    If Lucy settled everything, then why did paleontologists even begin to search for more fossils? You are operating from the creationist assumption that research is to be avoided, because it might reveal something you don’t like. Then you’d have expend a lot of effort to deny or distort it. So why do research at all?

    This was the view of the early Muslim invaders who destroyed the library at Alexandria, the greatest collection of ancient wisdom that ever existed. Their premise was, if a book was inconsistent with the Qur’an, it is evil. If it follows the Qur’an, it is redundant. In either case, there is no justification for the book to be preserved.

    On the other hand, the assumption of science is that knowledge is the goal, rather than confirmation of belief. Very little research is undertaken for the purpose of confirming a previous result—what’s the point? Research should either extend previous knowledge or modify it to a higher understanding.

    In this particular case, new searches were undertaken specifically for the 4-6My time frame. (Remember, we can predict probable locations based upon our faulty atomic physics and geology.) The reason is that Lucy, at 3 My, seemed quite advanced bipedally for the hypothesized 6 My hominid branch point from other primates. We saw the need for another, earlier, data point,

    And sometimes you get lucky. Lucy told us a lot, but Ardi is a treasure trove. And the extent of her bipedality raised questions that behooved further investigation into the environment she lived in. The early data called into question the hypothesis on savanna as the selective pressure. Ardi was bipedal in an arboreal setting.

    One emerging hypothesis is a change in social mileu. Evidence for this includes the reduced pyramidal canines of the males. (Although Ardi is so far the only relatively complete skeleton, parts of others have been found. You might have overlooked this.) In any event, we do not rest on Ardi’s laurels any more than upon Lucy’s.

    Unlike creationism, research continues. Knowledge, not confirmation, is the goal.

  7. Wow, Olorin, that is quite a comprehensive reply to Michael’s “methods of reason, logic, evidence and rhetoric!”.

    As if he even started doing that …

  8. Hi, Eelco. I’m retired. Still. I shouldn’t spend so much time with such an easy target. Maybe it’s time for Level Two.

    There is an interesting discussion at Thinking Christian now on defining creationism and ID, and whether they are the same. (I argue that ID is a subset of creationism, like YEC and OEC. One of the others. however, is arguing that evolution is a variety of atheism. Not so.)

  9. “Hi, Eelco. I’m retired. Still. I shouldn’t spend so much time with such an easy target. Maybe it’s time for Level Two.”

    Indeed ! I’m also not hanging around too much longer here, as it is far too easy. Michael doesn’t remove reactions and does not censor (like uncommondescent.com), which is much better than most creationist fora, but he does not engage in discussion either …

    On to Level Two !

  10. Eelco: “Indeed ! I’m also not hanging around too much longer here, as it is far too easy.”

    On the other hand, this would be a victory for Michael and the slavering hordes of darkness. They advance only when the light of reason does not oppose them.

  11. The slavering hordes of darkness … more like the wavering hordes of barkness ! I quite like barks, by the way …

  12. Micheal says:

    In another observation, Ardi is listed at 4.4 million years (using the faulty evolutionary time line) and Lucy is listed at 3.2 million years old. Both fossils were found not that far away from each other. One could ask, what direction was evolution going for 1.2 million years between the two?

    Evolution does not have a direction. It has no goal. IT doesn’t move forward, it doesn’t move backwards.

    There is only ONE thing that evolution cares about: Change.

  13. I disagree, while it’s true evolution is a non-thinking process, but it’s claimed that there is a particular change (which includes survival of the fittest) that supposedly brought us to the human state.

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