Human Evolution: Another Transitional Species

There’s some interesting news at the website of Texas A&M University: Skeletal Remains Prove Darwin’s Theory. Yes, that’s a rather overblown title, and it’ll give the creationists plenty to screech about, but let’s look at the article. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Skeletal remains found in a South African cave may yield new clues to human development and answer key questions of the evolution of the human lineage, according to a series of papers released today in Science magazine co-written by a Texas A&M University anthropology professor.

Here’s a link to that: Special Collection: Australopithecus sediba, but we’ll stay with Texas A&M:

Researcher Darryl de Ruiter is part of an international team that examined the discovery in a cave about 30 miles northwest of Johannesburg and originally found in 2008. This same team named the new species, Australopithecus sediba, in April 2010. The team, comprised of members from U.S., African, European and Australian universities, found multiple individuals of Australopithecus sediba that show both human-like and ape-like characteristics intermediate between Australopithecus and present-day humans.

Egad! This sounds like another of those transitional fossils — those impossible things the creationists claim don’t exist. Hey, Wikipedia has an article on the species: Australopithecus sediba. Let’s read on in the Texas A&M article:

De Ruiter says key sections of the remains, such as the brain, foot, hand and pelvis, show characteristics aligning them both with australopiths and with Homo, suggesting that Australopithecus sediba represents the australopith ancestor of Homo.

“The skulls are small, which is what you might expect, but their morphology shows it housed a brain shaped much like a human’s,” he notes. “The pelvis and foot are also similar in that regard. The foot, for example, shows an ankle that looks like human-like, but the heel is shaped more like that of an ape. But again, all of the remains appear to represent an evolutionary intermediary between Australopithecus and humans.

Okay, we’ve given you plenty of material to read. Here’s one more excerpt from the end:

“It’s a great find,” he [De Ruiter] adds, “because it provides strong confirmation for Darwin’s theories about evolution.”

In conclusion, we can’t help wondering how long will it be before the creationists are shouting: “I ain’t no kin to no Australopithecus!”

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “Human Evolution: Another Transitional Species

  1. I am eagerly awaiting the inevitable follow-up post regarding the Discoveroids attempt to dismiss the newly-discovered transitional fossil.

  2. I wonder if Ham will include some Australopithecus sediba on his Ark.

    AIG mentioned this find last year in an article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/04/10/news-to-note-04102010

  3. The obvious gripe is that scientists haven’t gotten it right AGAIN! First, it was East Africa, now South Africa … what’s next Southeast Africa?

    How come all the fossils haven’t been found, huh?

  4. @arthuriandaily: From your link:

    1.) Thermodynamics is scientifically sound.
    2.) The Big Bang is scientifically sound.

    However, #1 and #2 seem incompatible, since energy must come from somewhere.

    But they’re not incompatible and energy DOESN’T have to come from “somewhere”. The Second Law, or ANY of the laws of thermodynamics, doesn’t care where energy comes from, says not one word about where it comes from, and it doesn’t conflict with evolution or the Big Bang. It’s the same creationist tripe creationists been peddling for at least fifty years now.

    See, your argument seems plausible to you because you only have a Classic Comics notion of what energy, the Second Law, and the Big Bang are. There isn’t time to educate you in a comment to a blog.

    An analogy: what goes up must come down, that’s the law of gravity. If that were true rockets and balloons would be impossible. They must be incompatible. TEACH THE CONTROVERSY.

    I can address the energy point only, succinctly. The laws of energy conservation are mathematically the same as saying that the laws of physics never change. This means that IF the laws of physics do not change, the total energy in the universe MUST ALWAYS HAVE BEEN THE SAME. The energy CAN’T POSSIBLY have come from somewhere, because it must ALWAYS have been there.

  5. The mosaic evolution here is reminiscent of the dog-cat….

  6. Gabriel Hanna wrote:
    what goes up must come down, that’s the law of gravity. If that were true rockets and balloons would be impossible.

    Rockets and balloons can defy the law of gravity because they are intelligently designed.

    Which goes to show that birds are intelligently designed, too.