“New human ancestor”found according to reports in Nature News and Science (AAAS) News 27May 2015 and ABC News 28 May 2015, and BBC News 28 May, which reports a new species of “ancient human” has been found. A team of scientists led by Yohannes Haille-Selassie, a palaeoanthropologist at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio, have found fossils of a new species of Australopithecus, the genus that includes Lucy, (Australopithecus afarensis).

The fossils consist of part of an upper jaw with teeth attached, twopartial lower jaws and a few teeth. They have been named Australopithecus deyiremeda. The fossils have been classified as a different species from Lucy because of differences in the thickness of the lower jaw and the size of the teeth.

They were found in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia, approximately 35 km (22 miles) north of Hadar, the site where Lucy was found. They are dated as 3.3-3.5 million years old, putting them in a similar date range to Lucy. The researchers suggest there were a number of different species of possible human ancestors living in the same time and place.

Yohannes Haille-Selassie commented: “Historically, because we didn’t have the fossil evidence to show there was hominin diversity during the middle Pliocene, we thought there was only one lineage, one primitive ancestor – in this case Australopithecus afarensis, Lucy – giving rise to the next. That hypothesis of linear evolution has to be revisited. And now with the discovery of more species, like this new one… you have another species roaming around. What this means is we have many species that could give rise to later hominins, including our own genus Homo”.

ABC, BBC, Nature, Science

Editorial Comment: Australopithecus! That one word says all you need to know! In spite of the headlines that identify these fossils as “human ancestors” or “ancient humans”, all that has been found here is a few fragments of some dead Australopithecus, which means “southern ape”. They found dead apes… that’s it folks! Nothing human at all.

Haille-Selassie’s comment about the hypothesis of linear evolution having to be revised is true, but not in the way he means. Linear evolution means a sequence where apes turned into ape-men who then turned into humans. However, since we have only observed apes turning into apes, and humans evolving only into humans, these new southern ape fragments don’t change that at all, but it will make a great example for a university course on Propaganda 101. (Ref. anthropology, fossils)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 9
10 June 2015
Creation Research Australia