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“Crucial Gaps” Filled by Fossil Discovery? We’ve Heard That Before…

Anika Smith

Another year, another fossil with some serious media backing. This week it’s a Homo habilis said to be “almost-complete” — of course, the report from the Telegraph also claims that Homo habilis was “previously unknown,” so you might want to take that with a grain of salt.
In fact, you might want to read a bit more before you throw that OMG Missing Link Found! party I know you were planning. (Squatch is going to take it hard when you cancel his first music gig since the Sonics left town.) This is the same species that was reported in an AP article from 2007 which disowned Homo habilis as a human ancestor. As far back as 1999, a paper in Science explained that this species should not even be considered a member of the Homo genus.

Are you surprised by this? After Australopithecus anamensis, Ida, and Ardi? By now the pattern should be clear: Big media push celebrates fossil that doesn’t actually prove anything.

Anika Smith