Yet another “early human fossil” has been unearthed in Ethiopia according to a report in Nature Vol 412, p178, 12 Jul 2001. The fossil consists of seven bone fragments and four teeth, and has been named “Ardipithecus ramidus.” This is not the first specimen to be given this name but it is claimed to be one and half million years older than previously discovered specimens. Scientists believe Ardipithecus is a link between humans and chimpanzees, but it may be more like a chimp than a human, writes Henry Gee for Nature Science Update.
Time magazine used this discovery in its July 23 2001 issue to have an anti-creation bash, proudly boasting of man’s descent from the apes. Their article displayed a single toe bone with the caption “This Toe Bone Proves the Creature Walked On Two Legs”. It’s only on the last page of the 8 page article you learn that the “toe bone” was found about 16km (10 miles) from the other bones.
The original report in Nature states the bones of ‘Ardipithecus’ are actually from “11 hominid specimens (which) have been recovered at 5 localities – since 1997”. The toe bone was found in 1999 and is listed as 0.6 million years younger than all the other bones which average 5.8 million years.
Editorial Comment: The suffix -pithecus is latin for “ape”. Any fossil named x-pithecus is simply a dead x-ape, and provides no evidence for the origin of humans. As for fossil chimpanzees being non-existent, we suspect some of the fossils paraded as human ancestors are really dead chimpanzees. The most famous -pithecus specimen, Lucy (Australopithecus) had a chimp sized brain, chimp shaped rib cage and jaw bone, and arms and legs that indicate it walked like a chimp. It even had a chimp shaped pelvis before it was modified to look human in school textbooks.