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Thread: "Ardi"

  1. #1
    nightflier
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    "Ardi"

    This is certainly a significant achievement:

    ***********************************

    Hominid creature Ardipithecus ramidus "Ardi" sets a new milestone for anthropology.

    International scientists have assembled the partial skeleton of a pre-human who lived 4.4 million years ago during one of the earliest known periods of human evolution.

    The scientists, led by UC Berkeley anthropologist Tim D. White, named their hominid creature Ardipithecus ramidus, and nicknamed her "Ardi" after the first of her bones were unearthed in the remote Afar desert of the Ethiopia and analyzed in 1992. Since then, they have learned increasingly more about Ardi and others like her whose legs, arms and skull show features that are part ape and part human.

    During 17 years of repeated fossil-hunting expeditions in the region, the team found and recovered more than 150,000 fossil bones from the varied animals and plants that lived in Ardi's territory - as well as individual bones of some 36 other members of Ardi's line. They are announcing their discoveries today in a series to be published Friday in a special edition of the journal Science.

    The habitat of Ardipithecus ramidus was a cool, verdant and spring-fed woodland of palms and fig trees later to be uplifted by volcanoes, the buried, and eroded into a floodplain again and again by rainfall over countless millennia.

    Ardi, a 110-pound adult female less than four feet tall, whose foot bones showed she walked upright but flatfooted, and was apparently no knuckle-walker like her relatives the modern chimpanzees.

    Her hands, still with their large, extended opposable thumbs, meant that evolution had retained from her ape-like ancestry the ability to climb and swing among the trees with ease.

    Ardi and her kind are at least a million years older and much different from the famed and more recent "Lucy," the hominid that lived some 3.2 million years ago and was discovered in 1974 by Donald Johanson in the desert only 45 miles north of the Ardi discovery site.

    The roadless desert site where White and his co-leader, Berhane Asfaw of the Rift Valley Research Service in Ethiopia, have been working with their colleagues since 1992 lies near the tiny village of Aramis along Ethiopia's Awash river, about 140 miles northeast of Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

    The new discoveries are being reported in 11 separate papers in Science by a total of 47 authors from around the world.

    "This is an extraordinary achievement," said David Pilbeam, a noted Harvard anthropologist who was not connected with any of the research teams.

    In an e-mail, Pilbeam called it "one of the most important discoveries for human evolution. The find itself is extraordinary, as were the enormous labors that went into the reconstruction of a skeleton shattered almost beyond repair."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copyright 2009 SF Chronicle
    (10-01) 09:59 PDT SAN FRANCISCO

  2. #2
    3LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    "one of the most important discoveries for human evolution. The find itself is extraordinary, as were the enormous labors that went into the reconstruction of a skeleton shattered almost beyond repair."

    I'm glad it worked out for them
    Repost this on your wall if you love Jesus.

  3. #3
    nightflier
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    What do you mean?

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    So ... you're not a Creationist?

  5. #5
    nightflier
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    I take the good from both sides. I have an open mind to new ideas and discoveries.

  6. #6
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    I take the good from both sides. I have an open mind to new ideas and discoveries.
    Both sides of what? Evolution is a fact.

    This Ardi is a remarkable discovery -- the most ancient human ancestor, or at least condecendant from a common ancestor, yet found.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    I didn't post this to get into religious discussion, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Both sides of what? Evolution is a fact.
    To some, belief in something greater is also a fact.

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    To some, belief in something greater is also a fact.
    "Something greater" doesn't necessarily exclude the fact of evolution.

    For example, as a child my mother explained to me that evolution happened but was guided by God. That seems like a satisfactory explanation to me at the time. But then we weren't people who believed that every verse in the Bible on a stand-alone basis, was literally true.

  9. #9
    nightflier
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    Evolution also doesn't necessarily exclude the fact of creation by a higher power.

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Evolution also doesn't necessarily exclude the fact of creation by a higher power.
    Agreed. That's basically the same thing as what I said.

  11. #11
    nightflier
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    Well I certainly don't agree with these guys:

    Creationists: 'Ardi' simply an ape that disproves missing link

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Well I certainly don't agree with these guys:

    Creationists: 'Ardi' simply an ape that disproves missing link
    Me neither, although it is reasonably well written article, it does set up some straw man arguments.

    National Geographic, in fact, was among those who said the Ardi fossil disproved the "missing link," the theory that a part-human, part-chimpanzee creature once existed that linked humans with supposed chimpanzee ancestors.
    For starters, it is wrong to assume that the common ancestor looked like a chimpanzee or that it had predominently chimp characteristics. In the same vein, it is understood that both human beings and chimps would have evolved away from a common ancestor -- whose characteristics we don't yet know. But I don't think NG is saying that there is no common ancestor for man and chimps.

    Significantly, though, the scientists behind the findings won't say whether they believe Ardi -- and other fossils like her -- are a direct ancestor to humans.
    "We will need many more fossil recoveries from the period of 3-5 million years ago to confidently answer that question in the future," the scientists wrote in a briefing document, BBC News reported.
    Indeed, nobody has said that Ardi was a direct human ancestor. So what's their point? Scientist don't know whether Ardi is a direct ancestor (true), or that they don't believe that a common ancestor exists (false)?
    Last edited by Feanor; 10-09-2009 at 03:34 PM.

  13. #13
    nightflier
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    Yes, it's always entertaining to see how language is used to introduce doubt rather than refute evidence. Welcome to the school of Coulter, Palin, and O'Reilly.

  14. #14
    Charm Thai™
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    Just saw a special on this last nite.

  15. #15
    nightflier
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    And what did you think of it?

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