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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1807
Pahu
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Ape-Men? 4


The first confirmed limb bones of Homo habilis were discovered in 1986. They showed that this animal clearly had apelike proportions (m) and should never have been classified as manlike (Homo) (n).

The australopithecines, made famous by Louis and Mary Leakey, are quite distinct from humans. Several detailed computer studies of australopithecines have shown that their bodily proportions were not intermediate between those of man and living apes (o).

m. Donald C. Johanson et al., “New Partial Skeleton of Homo Habilis from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania,” Nature, Vol. 327, 21 May 1987, pp. 205–209.

n. “We present a revised definition, based on verifiable criteria, for Homo and conclude that two species, Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis, do not belong in the genus [Homo].” Bernard Wood and Mark Collard, “The Human Genus,” Science, Vol. 284, 2 April 1999, p. 65.

o. Dr. Charles Oxnard and Sir Solly Zuckerman, referred to below, were leaders in the development of a powerful multivariate analysis technique. A computer simultaneously performs millions of comparisons on hundreds of corresponding dimensions of the bones of living apes, humans, and the australopithecines. Their verdict, that the australopithecines are not intermediate between man and living apes, is quite different from the more subjective and less analytical visual techniques of most anthropologists. To my knowledge, this technique has not been applied to the most famous australopithecine, commonly known as “Lucy.”

“...the only positive fact we have about the Australopithecine brain is that it was no bigger than the brain of a gorilla. The claims that are made about the human character of the Australopithecine face and jaws are no more convincing than those made about the size of its brain. The Australopithecine skull is in fact so overwhelmingly simian as opposed to human that the contrary proposition could be equated to an assertion that black is white.” Zuckerman, p. 78.

“Let us now return to our original problem: the Australopithecine fossils. I shall not burden you with details of each and every study that we have made, but ... the conventional wisdom is that the Australopithecine fragments are generally rather similar to humans and when different deviate somewhat towards the condition in the African apes, the new studies point to different conclusions. The new investigations suggest that the fossil fragments are usually uniquely different from any living form ...” Charles E. Oxnard (Dean of the Graduate School, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and from 1973 to 1978 a Dean at the University of Chicago), “Human Fossils: New Views of Old Bones,” The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 41, May 1979, p. 273.

Charles E. Oxnard, “The Place of the Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt?” Nature, Vol. 258, 4 December 1975, pp. 389–395.

“For my own part, the anatomical basis for the claim that the Australopithecines walked and ran upright like man is so much more flimsy than the evidence which points to the conclusion that their gait was some variant of what one sees in subhuman Primates, that it remains unacceptable.” Zuckerman, p. 93.

“His Lordship’s [Sir Solly Zuckerman’s] scorn for the level of competence he sees displayed by paleoanthropologists is legendary, exceeded only by the force of his dismissal of the australopithecines as having anything at all to do with human evolution. ‘They are just bloody apes,’ he is reputed to have observed on examining the australopithecine remains in South Africa.” Lewin, Bones of Contention, pp. 164–165.

“This Australopithecine material suggests a form of locomotion that was not entirely upright nor bipedal. The Rudolf Australopithecines, in fact, may have been close to the ‘knuckle-walker’ condition, not unlike the extant African apes.” Richard E. F. Leakey, “Further Evidence of Lower Pleistocene Hominids from East Rudolf, North Kenya,” Nature, Vol. 231, 28 May 1971, p. 245.
[From “In the Beginning” by Walt Brown]
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