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!