Anthropologists: Apes May Not Necessarily Be Human Ancestors

According to the journal called Nature, fossils are being questioned in regards to its authenticity – especially those thought to be related to humans especially during the past 10 years. It is not believed that these fossils were actually great apes.

When the question arose, thought processes were made. The studies that were focused on in particular were the studies of 3 previously discovered fossils. One was known as “Ardi” which was discovered in Ethiopia. All three discoveries were claimed to be humanoid in features, but the likely hood of them being just apes is now a possibility.

Was "Ardi" a human or an ape?
Was "Ardi" a human or an ape?

In papers written by Bernard Wood and his colleague Harrison, it was determined that nothing can be certain on what was previously thought about fossils. Many of the techniques used by palaeontologists are not complete and cannot give the accurate findings. The paper also discusses that Wood and Harrison looked more towards the physical features of many different species. Another example they researched about was the relationship between the wings of a bird and the wings of a bat.

This simple explanation of physical feature relationships was supposed to teach the archaeological community that you cannot only look at physical features of fossils to determine their origins and relationships. Just because they share the same features, does not meant they are in any way related.

The best way to explain this would be to take the example of Ramapithecus. This was a creature believed to be closely related to humans only because there were some similarities in the skull and jaw features. It was later discovered that this fossil was nothing more than a relation to an orangutan.

Wood and Harrison simply want archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists in the world to know that you might need to look a little deeper than just the surface of many fossils they might eventually come across.

  • Anonymous

    The major problem with this article is its title. Science does not claim that apes are our ancestors. Reputable scientists claim that humans and apes have a common ancestor. Humans are distant cousins of apes, not their grandchildren.

    Stop tolerating people who discuss evolution based on gross misinformation. Get informed yourself [check Wikipedia more often than Facebook]. Say no to talking heads who tell us that giraffes grew long necks to munch on tree tops. In fact, the only thing their necks support is Darwin’s insistence that evolution is without purpose.

    This article also has a minor problem in sounding like a bad Bing translation, e.g., “likely hood,” “thought processes were made,” etc. Meanwhile, provide concision, structure, and focus to it by mentioning congruence, the key term that sums up the concerns of Wood and Harrison.

    Further in regard to It’s Nature supporting reputable science, why not mention the peer-reviewed original research that Wood and Harrison merely critique second-hand? And why not mention at least the Kaplan criticism of their article published in the same magazine, the same day?



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