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glorybebe

Study finds twist in human evolution

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WASHINGTON - Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.

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The new research by famed paleontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya shows our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, calling into question the evolution of our ancestors.

The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became us, Homo sapiens. But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.

In 2000 Leakey found an old Homo erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the Homo habilis, and both dated from the same general time period. That makes it unlikely that one evolved from the other, researchers said.

It's the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter, said study co-author Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.

The two species lived near each other, but probably didn't interact with each other, each having their own "ecological niche," Spoor said. Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian and Homo erectus ate some meat, he said. Like chimps and apes, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.

They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.

STUDY

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Nice find, but it is verosimil that two, or more, species of humanoids co-existed occupying different ecological niches. Evolution is not about advancing, about better or about upper and lower. It is about survival. Whatever it takes will be done by the species that want to survive.

Sometimes the evolution even goes backwards, like the Flores Man has proven.

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Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution

I think it's rather simplistic to think of any evolutionary path as a straight line.

The fossil evidence has been telling us a more complicated story all along, but we seem to have been stuck with this simple model for human evolution. Nice to see that the science is moving forward in this area. :)

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I read the whole article and used it in another post to demonstate how a single fossil find at any time can change the whole evolutionary ladder. I am sick of hearing "well, they would have found fossils by now.." "we know by the fossil record..."

The fossil record is incomplete and the whole human evolutionary chain is up for grabs. I think it's only a matter of time before something BIG is found that really challenges what we think we know.

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The idea that this find 'proves' erectus didn't evolve from habilis is a good example of the way so many people totally misunderstand evolution.

In this case, what may have happened is that a group of habilis found themselves living in an area where environmental changes of some kind prompted evolutionary changes. This resulted in this group of habilis evolving into erectus.

However, elsewhere, another group of habilis did not encounter such environmental changes and had no need to evolve to deal with them. So they stayed as habilis.

Thus, erectus evolved from habilis and later co-existed with habilis as well.

Simple :)

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The idea that this find 'proves' erectus didn't evolve from habilis is a good example of the way so many people totally misunderstand evolution.

In this case, what may have happened is that a group of habilis found themselves living in an area where environmental changes of some kind prompted evolutionary changes. This resulted in this group of habilis evolving into erectus.

However, elsewhere, another group of habilis did not encounter such environmental changes and had no need to evolve to deal with them. So they stayed as habilis.

Thus, erectus evolved from habilis and later co-existed with habilis as well.

Simple :)

Well I would imagine the professional scientists would be aware of this. I read this from another article which was larger, and mentioned that the question of habilis evolving to erectus has been under question for some years. So this isn't first evidence. Also they mention the skulls were found within walking distance of each other, probably adding evidence that they didn't undergo significantly different evolutionary pressures.

In case you want to see the other article . The core of it's the same.

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The idea that this find 'proves' erectus didn't evolve from habilis is a good example of the way so many people totally misunderstand evolution.

In this case, what may have happened is that a group of habilis found themselves living in an area where environmental changes of some kind prompted evolutionary changes. This resulted in this group of habilis evolving into erectus.

However, elsewhere, another group of habilis did not encounter such environmental changes and had no need to evolve to deal with them. So they stayed as habilis.

Thus, erectus evolved from habilis and later co-existed with habilis as well.

Simple :)

OK sure, but I think I'd believe Meave Leakey on this one....

"Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis," explains Meave Leakey, one of the lead authors of the paper. Instead, both species must have had their origins between 2 and 3 million years ago, a time from which few human fossils are known. "The fact that they stayed separate as individual species for a long time suggests that they had their own ecological niche, thus avoiding direct competition." http://www.geneticarchaeology.com/Research...n_Evolution.asp

....considering if I can't believe a Leakey on fossil knowledge I can't believe anyone.

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OK sure, but I think I'd believe Meave Leakey on this one....

"Their co-existence makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis," explains Meave Leakey, one of the lead authors of the paper. Instead, both species must have had their origins between 2 and 3 million years ago, a time from which few human fossils are known. "The fact that they stayed separate as individual species for a long time suggests that they had their own ecological niche, thus avoiding direct competition." http://www.geneticarchaeology.com/Research...n_Evolution.asp

....considering if I can't believe a Leakey on fossil knowledge I can't believe anyone.

And we have to agree there. The aim of evolution was not to create Homo Sapiens but to create surviving species. We are a by-product of survival. And we are at the top of the food chain (now) because we adapted best to changes.

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We only have a hand full of pieces to a puzzle with billions of pieces! I think it,s going to be a very long time if ever that we can prove without any doubt what the whole picture and the truth really is! But i do enjoy wondering about it all! :yes:

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And we have to agree there. The aim of evolution was not to create Homo Sapiens but to create surviving species. We are a by-product of survival. And we are at the top of the food chain (now) because we adapted best to changes.

Exactly what I was thinking!

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The idea that this find 'proves' erectus didn't evolve from habilis is a good example of the way so many people totally misunderstand evolution.

In this case, what may have happened is that a group of habilis found themselves living in an area where environmental changes of some kind prompted evolutionary changes. This resulted in this group of habilis evolving into erectus.

However, elsewhere, another group of habilis did not encounter such environmental changes and had no need to evolve to deal with them. So they stayed as habilis.

Thus, erectus evolved from habilis and later co-existed with habilis as well.

Simple :)

One theory states that some Halibis left Africa and evolved into Erectus in Asia. Then returned to Africa. That could of been the very enviromental change you mentioned. There were less edible plants in Asia and meat eating brought about the evolutionary change. Just a thought.

Lapiche

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Evolution of the humans their must have been several variations to adapt to many differing areas then the died and the most adaptable survived.

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Well I would imagine the professional scientists would be aware of this. I read this from another article which was larger, and mentioned that the question of habilis evolving to erectus has been under question for some years. So this isn't first evidence. Also they mention the skulls were found within walking distance of each other, probably adding evidence that they didn't undergo significantly different evolutionary pressures.

In case you want to see the other article . The core of it's the same.

I don't think scientists aren't aware of this, Every anthropologist or biologist I have ever talked to certainly is. It has been known for a long time that human evolution was not linear. The media latched onto to the idea of "from ape right to man", the classical

linked-image.

The media is an institution of their own rules, they do not abide by current scientific opinion, they spread what gets them the most attention. They are a bad forum to get your science from. I wish I had a quick fix for the system, but I do not. I do know though, that the media needs to be more responsible when relaying information between science and public.

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This kind of idea has been around for years.

linked-image

I guess it does not seem as interesting to people as the picture I posted above.

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Nice find, but it is verosimil that two, or more, species of humanoids co-existed occupying different ecological niches. Evolution is not about advancing, about better or about upper and lower. It is about survival. Whatever it takes will be done by the species that want to survive.

Sometimes the evolution even goes backwards, like the Flores Man has proven.

It's interesting how when you start out with a conclusion firmly grasped, no matter what data you find, no matter how obtuse your logic has to be, the data will fit the conclusion.

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It's interesting how when you start out with a conclusion firmly grasped, no matter what data you find, no matter how obtuse your logic has to be, the data will fit the conclusion.

ah, haha, ha.

Well, that sure gave me a good laugh.

Whew, can see that as a Mastercard commercial. You know something like:

Cost of the internet: 45 dollars a month

Cost of home built computer 1200 dollars

Seeing Iams tell someone about "pre-drawn conclusions"?

Priceless.

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I read the whole article and used it in another post to demonstate how a single fossil find at any time can change the whole evolutionary ladder. I am sick of hearing "well, they would have found fossils by now.." "we know by the fossil record..."

The fossil record is incomplete and the whole human evolutionary chain is up for grabs. I think it's only a matter of time before something BIG is found that really challenges what we think we know.

First off- evolution is a word with many meanings that most people will define as "change overtime"; in other words the present is different from the past-no one will argue with evolution at this level. Some biologists define it as "a change in gene frequencies over generations" or "cumulative change over time", which also is uncontroversial. My grandparents' genes are different from my parents' genes and my genes are different from my parents' genes. So what? A change in genes occurs every time a child is born; breeders have been using artificial selection to produce descent with modification for centuries, but always within existing species. Point being lets correctly define this as Darwinism.

The fossil record points to Creation. What happens to a fish when it dies? It is eaten or it decays. In order for it to become a fossil, it must happen rather quickly. To make a fossil requires sediment and pressure. I don't know any better explanation of a fish with a half eaten fish in it's mouth could be a fossil, unless a world-wide devastating flood happened like the account in Genesis. There are also fossils of a fish in the process of giving birth and fish with food in it still digesting. Obviously this could not have been done in millions of years.

Technology has allowed us to more accurately see a cell. In Darwin's days, he could not see the complexity of a cell or the intricate design it has. 1x10 to the 4.6 millionth power is the odds of the simpliest cell coming together randomly. 1x10 to the 18th power is considered impossible to scientists. Think about it.

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Think about it.

And there's the tough thing.

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First off- evolution is a word with many meanings that most people will define as "change overtime"; in other words the present is different from the past-no one will argue with evolution at this level. Some biologists define it as "a change in gene frequencies over generations" or "cumulative change over time", which also is uncontroversial. My grandparents' genes are different from my parents' genes and my genes are different from my parents' genes. So what? A change in genes occurs every time a child is born; breeders have been using artificial selection to produce descent with modification for centuries, but always within existing species. Point being lets correctly define this as Darwinism.

The fossil record points to Creation. What happens to a fish when it dies? It is eaten or it decays. In order for it to become a fossil, it must happen rather quickly. To make a fossil requires sediment and pressure. I don't know any better explanation of a fish with a half eaten fish in it's mouth could be a fossil, unless a world-wide devastating flood happened like the account in Genesis. There are also fossils of a fish in the process of giving birth and fish with food in it still digesting. Obviously this could not have been done in millions of years.

Technology has allowed us to more accurately see a cell. In Darwin's days, he could not see the complexity of a cell or the intricate design it has. 1x10 to the 4.6 millionth power is the odds of the simpliest cell coming together randomly. 1x10 to the 18th power is considered impossible to scientists. Think about it.

How would a flood kill fish?

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First off- evolution is a word with many meanings that most people will define as "change overtime"; in other words the present is different from the past-no one will argue with evolution at this level. Some biologists define it as "a change in gene frequencies over generations" or "cumulative change over time", which also is uncontroversial. My grandparents' genes are different from my parents' genes and my genes are different from my parents' genes. So what? A change in genes occurs every time a child is born; breeders have been using artificial selection to produce descent with modification for centuries, but always within existing species. Point being lets correctly define this as Darwinism.

The fossil record points to Creation. What happens to a fish when it dies? It is eaten or it decays. In order for it to become a fossil, it must happen rather quickly. To make a fossil requires sediment and pressure. I don't know any better explanation of a fish with a half eaten fish in it's mouth could be a fossil, unless a world-wide devastating flood happened like the account in Genesis. There are also fossils of a fish in the process of giving birth and fish with food in it still digesting. Obviously this could not have been done in millions of years.

Technology has allowed us to more accurately see a cell. In Darwin's days, he could not see the complexity of a cell or the intricate design it has. 1x10 to the 4.6 millionth power is the odds of the simpliest cell coming together randomly. 1x10 to the 18th power is considered impossible to scientists. Think about it.

I found the fish eating fish and giving birth interesting so did some investigating. Here's an explanation for the fish giving birth:

Bone structure is well preserved, especially in the limestone horizons. Adult and juvenile ichthyosaurs are famous from this deposit, in some spectacular cases the young are preserved in the belly region (up to 13 in total). These would have been given birth to when they reached 50-85 cm long; indeed one specimen shows a female in the process of giving birth, probably an unsuccessful labour. The unusual frequency of pregnant females may indicate that this was an ichthyosaur spawning ground. Ichthyosaurs fed on cephalopods, fish and occasionally the young of smaller ichthyosaur species as evidenced by stomach contents. The Posidonia Shale has also been important in increasing our knowledge of the soft biology of ichthyosaurs. Soft tissue preservation indicates that they possessed dorsal fins, fleshy pectoral fins and broad fish-like tails. Interestingly some of the outlines remain perfect despite disarticulation of the skeletal elements.

http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/palaeofiles/l...ia/fossils.html

An unsuccessful labour. Died in childbirth.

Here's the interesting fossil eating a fish: (and a wonderful fossil it is too)

I can think of a few reasons for a fish's death midway through eating a smaller fish. The predator fish died through choking (aspiration) or the prey fish was poisonous to the larger fish or maybe the prey fish has small spines that jammed in the predator fish's mouth to prevent it being swallowed.

I found some other pictures of fish eating fish and this website http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Galleri...enRiverFish.htm

If anyone can find any more information on aspiration in fish occurs I'd appreciate a link.

post-50813-1192889314_thumb.jpg

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Good explanations for a fish dying while giving birth or while eating... but in those cases, the fish would normally get eaten itself, once dead. Decay is almost universal, fossilization takes exceptional circumstances... like extreme and rapid dehydration or intense pressure and absence of oxygen, possibly a few other things... These don't happen to fish in normal circumstances. Massive layers of sediment rapidly burying a fish would do it... can you think of anything else?

JS

Edit: switched a comma to 'or' to clarify two possible different methods.

Edited by jdlsmith

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Good explanations for a fish dying while giving birth or while eating... but in those cases, the fish would normally get eaten itself, once dead. Decay is almost universal, fossilization takes exceptional circumstances... like extreme and rapid dehydration or intense pressure and absence of oxygen, possibly a few other things... These don't happen to fish in normal circumstances. Massive layers of sediment rapidly burying a fish would do it... can you think of anything else?

JS

Edit: switched a comma to 'or' to clarify two possible different methods.

If you go back to that second link that weareallsuckers provided for the Green River fossils, the website provides a possible explaination for the way in which the fossil fish were preserved:

"The unusually excellent preservation of the Green River fish fossils is usually attributed to a combination of two factors: 1) a cold period during the Eocene that would have caused dead fish to sink faster due to a less inflated swim bladder; and 2) the great depth of the lakes and the consequent anoxic conditions that would have often prevented scavengers from disturbing the carcasses."

source: http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Sites/GreenRiverSite.htm

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"The unusually excellent preservation of the Green River fish fossils is usually attributed to a combination of two factors: 1) a cold period during the Eocene that would have caused dead fish to sink faster due to a less inflated swim bladder; and 2) the great depth of the lakes and the consequent anoxic conditions that would have often prevented scavengers from disturbing the carcasses."[/i]

source: http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Fossil_Sites/GreenRiverSite.htm

could vacuum assist in the fossilisation process?

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could vacuum assist in the fossilisation process?

Low atmospheric pressure in combination with low temperature will give you a mummy (freeze-dried), like the ones you find in the Andes.

But it is not the same process, and I assume you are talking about a man made fossil?

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How would a flood kill fish?

This flood was an entire canopy collapsing onto the earth and the great springs of the deep bursting forth. The eruption of huge underground reservoirs of water, along with earthquakes and tidal waves would have buried fish and many other animals (land and sea).

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