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Paleontologist Günter Bechly: “No Well-Established Tree of Fossil Humans”

David Klinghoffer


On a new ID the Future episode, Discovery Institute paleontologist Günter Bechly talked with host Andrew McDiarmid about recent fossil finds that scramble yet again what scientists thought they knew about human origins. They discuss the discovery of remains of Homo luzonensis on Luzon Island in the Philippines, hailed as a new human species and dated to between 50,000 and 67,000 years old.

A fascinating question is how the creatures got there, considering that Luzon is not now and was not then connected to the mainland. A hypothesis that they had the skill and intelligence to sail runs up against, among other problems, the fact that the oldest preserved boat, a canoe, is just 8,000 years old. It’s another reminder of what a “mess” (Dr. Bechly’s characterization) the fossil record is. Bechly explains:

There is no well-established tree of fossil humans, contrary to the impression you might get if you look at many textbooks. And that’s mostly because there is a very chaotic rather than an orderly distribution of these primitive and modern characters in various fossil humans. So the character pattern does not align well with a nested hierarchy.

Meaning that it does not fit, either, with Darwinian expectations, though evolutionists seek to keep that fact decorously veiled from the public. Download the podcast or listen to here. See also, “New Fossil Human Species Thwarts Core Darwinian Predictions.”

Photo: Callao Cave on Luzon Island where the remains of Homo luzonensis were uncovered, by Ervin Malicdem [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Andrew McDiarmidCallao CavecanoeDarwinismfossil recordGünter BechlyHomo luzonensishuman originsID the FutureLuzon Islandnested hierarchyoldest boatpaleontologyPhilippinespodcastsailingtextbooks