Sunday, October 20, 2013

Simplified story of our origins

Creationists and folk who believe in the truth of Genesis are trying constantly to invent arguments designed to reveal that Darwinian evolution cannot be true, and that God therefore exists. A few years ago, two of these fellows created a photo montage of an imaginary animal called a crocoduck.

They argued that, if evolution were a valid theory, then this kind of transitional animal—midway between a crocodile and a duck—should have existed at some time in the past. Insofar as nobody had ever found traces of such a beast, the fellows who imagined it concluded that evolution was false, and that God had created all living creatures. But their operation completely backfired when scientists actually found traces, in 2009, of an authentic reptile with a duck-like bill: the Anatosuchus minor.

A few days ago, paleontologists announced the existence of an extraordinary hominid skull, 1.8 million years old, uncovered in Georgia at a place named Dmanisi.

Here's an artist's impression of the physical appearance of this creature.

In a more subtle way than in the case of the crocoduck, this splendid Homo specimen—designated by scientists as "the world's first completely preserved adult hominid skull"—is an apparently hybrid fossil, in the sense that it combines features that have been associated, up until now, with what were thought to be separate hominid species. This means that paleontologists will probably get around to simplifying their categories, by considering that all the alleged hominid families are merely variants of a single species, Homo erectus, which originated in Africa.

Homo Erectus couple.

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