by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.
Recently, we addressed the latest fossil find that has been drawing the attention of the evolutionary community—Australopithecus sediba (Miller, 2012; cf. Butt, 2010). Lee Berger, an evolutionary paleoanthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, discovered two sets of sediba fossils in 2008 that some are claiming to be representative of the immediate evolutionary ancestor of the genus, Homo. The sediba fossils continue to be in the limelight, as in April, Scientific American featured them in an article titled, “First of Our Kind” (Wong, 2012).
No essential new evidence was presented in this article, which attempted again to prove that humans evolved from sediba, beyond what was discussed in our previous articles. What is new in this article is a further exposition of the dissent in the evolutionary community over their alleged fossil evidence for evolution. The evolutionary community simply cannot come to a consensus about the implications of its fossil finds, which illustrates the fact that the fossils cannot be definitively used as proof of evolution, since they can be interpreted in so many ways.
While Berger and others contend that the sediba fossils are representative of the ancestor of Homo, others vehemently disagree. William Kimbel of Arizona State University is known for leading the team that found the alleged 2.3 million-year-old upper jawbone in Hadar, Ethiopia that many evolutionists, up to this point, have believed to be the earliest evidence of the genus Homo. Kimbel responded to Berger’s assertion, saying, “I don’t see how a taxon with a few characteristics that look like Homo in South Africa can be the ancestor (of Homo) when there’s something in East Africa that is clearly Homo 300,000 years earlier [i.e., the jawbone he discovered—JM]” (as quoted in Wong, p. 36). Meave Leakey, of the famous fossil finding Leakey family, said, “There are too many things that do not fit, particularly the dates and geography….
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