consisting of a skeleton forty percent complete, was discovered
in Ethiopia by Donald Johanson in 1974, and was dated at 3.2 million
years of age. He calculated her to have stood about 3'6"
tall, and to have weighed about 50 pounds. Certain features suggested
to Johanson that it may have walked erect, and was therefore evolving
into a human. In a recent interview, Johanson recollects, "I
happened to glance over my right shoulder . . .and there on the
surface of the ground was a little bit of an elbow, I recognized
it immediately as belonging to a human ancestor."
one get the impression that Johanson is blessed with an unusual
gift of discernment, let me point out that many in the anthropological
community have yet to be so convinced. Indeed, it is impossible
to make snap judgments like this, while a number of sophisticated
studies have shown that the austraiopithecines, in general, and
"Lucy," in particular, were not ape-human intermediates,
but rather, an extinct species of ape which probably spent most
of its time in the trees.
us look at some of the specific features of "Lucy" which
are important in this study. Everyone agrees that from the neck
up, "Lucy" was gorilla-like. Her brain size was about
one-fourth the size of a human brain; her jaw was "U"-shaped,
typical of gorillas; her teeth were large, far larger than those
the neck down, nearly every: feature was likewise non-human. Australopithecus
fossils, including those which are thought to be much more
recent and therefore should be more human-like, have long, curved
fingers and long, curved toeswell adapted to swinging from
tree limb to tree limb.
features which suggest upright posture to Johanson are primarily
the hip and knee joints, but numerous studies on the hip have
shown otherwise. Oxnard, in his 1987 book, Fossils, Teeth and
Sex (which contains an excellent summary of these various
studies), claims that, "These fossils clearly differ more
from both humans and African apes than do these living groups
from each other. The australopithecines are unique" (p. 227).
Evidently they could walk somewhat upright, as pygmy chimps do
today, but not in the human manner at all. Furthermore, Johanson
seldom reminds us that he found the knee jointthe strongest
evidence for upright stancein a location some two to three
kilometers away, and in a layer of rock some 200 feet lower. Clearly,
the knee does not belong with the rests, but even if they do go
together, the knee is not diagnostically upright, and; points
more specifically to tree-climbing abilities, according to Oxnard
and other authorities.
investigators, including Richard Leakey, have now concluded that
two or perhaps three species have been wrongly combined in "Lucy."
She was not a human ancestor. At best, she was a form of extinct
ape; at worst, she was a mosaic, yet she is still touted as the
best "evidence" for human evolution.
the eminent, evolutionary anthropologist David Pilbeam has stated,
"Paleoanthropology reveals more about how humans view themselves
than it does how humans came about." Unfortunately, many
textbooks, as well as many museum exhibits, still portray the
humanistic view of mankind, as well as the evolutionary view of
mankind's origin, as if it were well supported by the data.
to BTG No. 11b Article
article, published in November 1989 has come under criticism
by certain evolutionists. At issue was the statement that "Furthermore,
Johanson seldom reminds us that he found the knee jointthe
strongest evidence for upright stancein a location some
two to three kilometers away, and in a layer of rock some 200
statement was based on reports of Johnsons public comments
and the slides he used at the University of Missouri on November
20, 1986, (see Bible-Science Newsletter", October
1987 pp 1-3), compared with a photo he published in his book
Lucy: the Beginnings of Humankind (1981) page 157 and
a National Geographic article in November 1985, page
there were two knee joints, found in different locations, and
confusion between the two has led to numerous erroneous articles,
of which mine was one. The article is included here as published
for archival purposes, with this retraction of the sentence
the point made in the very next sentence remains true, and that
is the main point" even if they (i.e. the knee
and the other bones) do go together", it does not demonstrate
human ancestry. The most that could be claimed for Lucy is that
she was a chimp-like primate, who spent most of her time in
the trees, who perhaps walked a little more erect than other
tree-dwelling primates when on the ground. I would be willing
to concede this point.
of the tactics used in the decades-long harangue by evolutionists
to re-establish the pedigree of Lucys knee is instructive.
Evolutionists scour the creationists literature for any
error, no matter how trivial. (Creationists are not infallible,
and error does creep in, despite our best efforts.) These minor
errors are trumpeted far-and-wide by self appointed evolutionary
watchdogs, and used to claim that creationism is not credible,
all the while ignoring much more significant misstatements or
inappropriate museum displays, etc., by evolutionists.
error in detailing Lucys knee does not change the fact
that she was a tree-dwelling primate! Humans and apes are quite
of the needle does not make the haystack disappear. A look at
the big picture finds little evidence that can be used for macro-evolution,
and much to support creation.