Meet “Ardi”

Can a fossil have evolutionary significance while deep-sixing the idea of a “missing link”?

on October 2, 2009

Evolutionists aren’t yet sure if they should call it a human ancestor, but one thing they do know is that “Ardi” does away with the idea of a “missing link.” That belief was quite clear as evolutionist scientists went to the media yesterday with their conclusions, and America’s evening TV newscasts and the world’s major morning newspapers lapped it up.

Although first discovered in the early 1990s, the bones of Ardipithecus ramidus are only now being nominated for evolutionists’ fossil hall of fame—via a slew of papers in a special issue of the journal Science. In it, Ardi’s researchers describe the bones and make the case that Ardi is even more important in the history of human evolution than Lucy.

But despite claims of its evolutionary significance, one of the scientists who studied Ardi noted, “It’s not a chimp. It’s not a human.” That is, instead of looking like the hypothesized “missing link” (with both chimpanzee and human features), Ardi’s anatomy—as reconstructed by the scientists—shows it to have been distinct from other apes as well as from humans. The researchers have consequently shunned the notion of a missing link: “It shows that the last common ancestor [between humans and] chimps didn’t look like a chimp, or a human, or some funny thing in between,” explained Penn State University paleontologist Alan Walker (who was not part of the study).

We continue to research Ardi in preparation for a more extensive comment in this week’s edition of News to Note, October 3, 2009, our popular weekly news feature. Please return tomorrow to read the item!

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Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.