Despite Dennis Venema’s statements to the contrary, there is no clear-cut lineage of fossils leading from ape-like hominids to modern humans.
For the established scientific consensus on human evolution, 2017 was a genuine annus horribilis.
It looks like 2017 could become some kind of genuine annus horribilis for the established scientific consensus on human evolution.
Research into human origins, we mean the entire field, is a mess.
A new paper in the journal Nature, authored by paleoanthropologists Bernard Wood and Terry Harrison and titled “The evolutionary context of the first hominins,” is critical of the claim that Ardipithecus ramidus (“Ardi”) was a bipedal ancestor of modern humans. In 2009, the journal Science devoted an entire issue to introducing Ardi and promoting it as a likely human ancestor. It seems that Nature is in something of a rivalry with Science now that it has published this authoritative paper. When constructing phylogenetic trees, evolutionary biologists generally seek to minimize homoplasy, or instances of convergent evolution. Wood and Harrison observe that the problem for Ardi is that if she is on the human line, then there must be high levels Read More ›