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ScienceNOW: “Our Ancestors Were No Swingers” Early humans weren’t very good at swinging from trees. But if you think that has evolutionists doubting human evolution, think again.
Even evolutionists admit that the transition from ape to apeman to man contains plenty of guesswork and speculation. One of the ongoing debates in evolutionary circles is what the first step (so to speak) was for the earliest true humans: to “spen[d] some time in the trees even as they adapted to their new ground-dwelling lifestyle,” or whether “our distant ancestors’ arms, legs, and feet were more humanlike than apelike and poorly adapted for climbing.” The debate can be restated as a question: how quickly did tree-dwelling apes (allegedly) evolve into ground-dwelling humans?
How quickly did tree-dwelling apes (allegedly) evolve into ground-dwelling humans?
Worcester State College anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva decided filming chimpanzees could advance the debate—an obvious reflection of his evolutionary presuppositions. In Uganda’s Kibale National Park, DeSilva recorded chimps’ anatomical movements as they climbed around in trees. The chimps flex their ankles by raising their feet some 45 degrees from the resting position—far more than humans could do without suffering serious injury. Instead, humans bend their ankles 15 to 20 degrees at most when attempting the equivalent action.
Next, DeSilva examined a variety of ape and human fossils, looking at the main bones that compose the ankle joint (the tibia and talus bones). His study shows that “all of the hominin [i.e., human fossil] ankle joints resembled those of modern humans rather than those of apes.” That’s no surprise to creationists!
Of course, this news doesn’t necessarily change the minds of any evolutionists. Some, such as Stony Brook University anthropologist William Jungers, point out that modern humans can still climb trees without such ankle-flexing capacity. But DeSilva doesn’t think early humans could have been simultaneously good at ground-walking and tree-climbing, instead concluding that “full bipedalism would have evolved relatively rapidly as tree-climbing ability declined,” ScienceNOW reports.
Perhaps human bipedalism “evolved” even more quickly than DeSilva suspects: instantaneously, as in at the instant that God created Adam. That’s what the evidence indicates—in this case, more evidence of the unique features and abilities of both apes and humans.
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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.