Primate fossils discovered in South Africa in 2008 are being hailed as an evolutionary “game changer.” ABC News recently reported that these fossils provide a “key link in the process of evolution that led to modern human beings.”1 But neither is true, and it’s not too hard to understand why.

Five technical papers offering new analyses of the various Australopithecus sediba bone fossils appeared this month in the journal Science. In one, researchers explained why they believe that the extinct ape-like fossils’ specific age assignment makes them valid candidates for pre-human ancestors.2

The study authors argued that the “Sediba” fossils are very close to being exactly 1.977 million years old. They then attempted to build a case that there are no clearly Homo, or human, fossil remains any older than 1.9 million years. In this scenario, humans did not evolve until after Sediba. Thus, they argued that man could have arisen from some Sediba-like ancestor during the 77,000-year gap between the supposed time these remains were deposited and the time when true humans were found in the fossil record.

But a stronger case can be made that genuine human remains were deposited below, and thus before, Sediba fossils. If humans existed prior to Sediba, then these fossils are not “game changers” at all because ancestors cannot also be descendants of the same generation of creatures.

In his book Bones of Contention, anthropologist Marvin Lubenow highlighted three fossils that were recognizably human, described in evolutionary peer-reviewed journals, and dated older than 1.977 million years.3 In an online 2010 article, Lubenow wrote:

I list three fossils from Kenya and Tanzania dated by evolutionists at older than 2 million years that, morphologically, are indistinguishable from modern humans. Further, I list at least 18 Homo erectus fossils that are dated by evolutionists between 1.75 and 2 million years. More recent Homo discoveries include an upper jaw (maxilla) from Ethiopia and a lower jaw (mandible) from Malawi, both dated at 2.3 million years….4

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