Secular scientists are continually on the hunt for missing links between humans and apes. After all, if apes really did evolve into humans, shouldn’t there be plenty of transitional forms in the fossil record?
Well, according to a recent study, new research “proves” that Australopithecus sebida is one such missing link. The authors say that newly discovered lower back fossils of an A. sebida specimen, which they’ve named “Issa,” show that it walked like a human but climbed like an ape.
This, they claim, proves the creature is a “human ancestor.” But is it?
Answers in Genesis has been saying for quite some time that A. sebida is actually just an ape. And does this new research change that? Not quite—and for a few good reasons.
1. This claim hinges on an evolutionary worldview.
Paleontologist Dr. Gabriela Haynes makes this point clear:
“The new paper argues that Issa … walked somewhat like a human. However, just because it supposedly could have walked like a human does not make it a human or human ancestor. But because of researchers’ evolutionary worldview, any slight resemblance, or sign of resemblance, leads them to conclude that man and ape shared a common ancestor.”
Studying the past is not like studying the present. That’s the difference between historical science (based on worldview) and observational science (based on observation and repeatable tests).
Claiming that A. sebida is a missing link simply because it could’ve walked upright somewhat like a human is not observational science. That’s an interpretation of the past.
2. The data points to A. sebida simply being an ape.
When A. sebida walked uprightly, it wasn’t quite like a human, says Dr. Haynes. In fact, it was likely a very odd-looking walk.
And yet scientists believe this creature is a missing link. To pursue the scientists’ interpretation further would reveal that upright walking evolved in different ways during human evolution—something scientists would have a hard time accounting for.
Plus, the skull, cranial capacity, body proportions, teeth, and upper chest, are all very ape-like and resemble other australopithecines (apes), says Dr. Haynes.
3. Signs of upright walking could actually be signs of other ape-like behavior.
“The valgus angle (the angle at which the femur and the tibia meet at the knee) is not good evidence for bipedal locomotion since both orangutans and spider monkeys have the same valgus angle within the range of humans,” says Dr. Haynes. “That is a feature related to the way they walk on tree branches.”
Even the study’s authors concede that Issa spent a lot of time climbing trees, not just walking.
Also keep in mind that the study’s interpretations can be influenced by how scientists modify or reconstruct the data (fossil material). That said, the data is hardly conclusive that A. sebida walked upright or is a human ancestor!
Learn About Human Evolution at Answers TV!
Did humans really evolve from apes? Learn biblical and scientific evidence for creationism at Answers TV. Here are a few of our favorite videos to get you started:
Natural history museums and school textbooks display human evolution “trees” or “march of progress” infographics that supposedly show humans evolving from ape-like creatures over millions of years. Do these human evolution trees reflect the truth about our origins? Or does the biblical account actually have more evidence?