Ever since Don Johanson supposedly discovered the remains of a human ancestor affectionately named ‘Lucy’ in 1974, there has been some controversy about whether or not Australopithecines like Lucy spent most of their time on the ground walking upright or swinging in trees.  Johanson’s discovery of Lucy included finding leg and pelvic bones that suggested the animal walked upright.

Zeresenay Alemseged, a paleoanthropologist at the California Academy of Sciences has been working to help resolve this controversy.  In order to do this, they sought to analyze the shoulder blades of an Australopithecine like Lucy.  They targeted a fossil known as Salem, only the shoulder blades were completely encased in sandstone.  It took them 11 years to meticulously remove the shoulder blades from the sandstone.

The reason it took so long to remove the shoulder blades is that they are extremely thin and fragile.  They generally are not found intact in most specimens, so the team took extra time and caution to extricate them from their sandstone tomb.

Once removed, they carefully examined the delicate shoulder blades and found characteristics that more closely resembled those of modern apes instead of humans.  For example, the socket where it attaches to the shoulder angled upward like in apes.  The same joint in humans angled out to the sides.

They also noted that the same shoulder blade joint in Lucy angled upward like an ape.

While the evidence did lead to a conclusion that Lucy, Salem and other Australopithecines spent considerable time in the trees, it was not enough to rule out upright walking.

If you will allow me a moment here, I want to tell you how Johanson falsified part of his most important pieces of evidence that Lucy walked upright.  In 1997, PBS aired a 3-part series titled In Search of Human Origins.  First of all, Johanson describes how he found the first pieces of Lucy when he was alone and away from his team.  In the vast majority of field work like this, finds are generally made by members of the staff or helpers, and if the leader does make the find, he is always accompanied by someone else.

Perhaps more importantly, in one of the episodes on the program (I think it was Part 2), Johanson explains that the pelvis he found was too anatomically perfect to be right for an upright walking creature.  He then proceeded to tell the audience that Lucy died along the edge of a lake and her body fell into the shallow water.  A large animal stepped on her hip, crushing the pelvic bones.  As her dead body lay in the water, the crushed pelvic bones healed back together in the form he discovered it.  So he made an exact plastic replica of the pelvis and then had a forensic anthropologist carefully cut the replica apart at identifiable fracture marks and then they reconstructed the pelvis into a form that would allow for upright walking.

The reconstructed pelvis, which once fit perfectly together, now was riddled with holes that you could put your fingers through.  At the time, I recorded the program on a VHS tape and played that section of the program over and over and over again.  I could not believe what I saw.  Johanson took a perfectly good pelvis from a quadruped ape and reworked it into a chopped up pelvis that looked like it was made of Swiss cheese.

What is most astounding to me is not that he has the audacity to show you how he falsified his evidence, but that no one in the evolutionary or scientific communities has ever called him on it.

I firmly believe that Lucy was a tree dwelling ape and nothing more.  The research conducted by Alemseged only helps to confirm my opinion that these were a species of ape.  Besides, my earliest ancestor was named Adam, not Lucy.  Adam was created by God on Day 6 of creation about 6016 years ago, not millions.

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