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» Hominid Had Apish Arms and Human-Like Legs

Evolutionists hope the fossils will help them learn how upright walking evolved.

Fossils of four creatures said to have had apish arms designed for swinging in trees but also human-like legs have been discovered in recent years in Bavaria. Walking upright is considered a key characteristic of the human species. The new research was just published in the journal Nature.

Scientists hope to pick up clues from these “12-million-year-old” fossils as to how walking on two legs evolved. If this ancient ape, named Danuvius guggenmosi, was really capable of bipedal walking, it would dramatically push back the timeline for the development of the feature. Previously, scientists have said upright walking didn’t evolve until about six million years ago.

The fossils were of a male, two females and a juvenile. “The finds in southern Germany are a milestone in palaeoanthropology, because they raise fundamental questions about our previous understanding of the evolution of the great apes and humans,” said Prof Madelaine Böhme from the U. of Tübingen, Germany. She added that this ape species could be the best model we have for the “missing link” between humans and apes.

Ever since Darwin, researchers have debated as to how upright bipedal walking evolved. Did this characteristic evolve from apes like orangutans which lived in trees or from knuckle-walking apes like gorillas? The new research suggests it may have originated in a common ancestor of apes and humans which lived in Europe, and not Africa.

The scientists are convinced the fossils indicate this ape was well adapted to both walking upright and climbing in trees using all four limbs. They say that bipedal walking thus evolved in trees over 12 million years ago.

The skeletons of the four creatures were not complete, but the male, which resembles bonobos, is the closest to being complete. He was about one meter in height and about 31 kg (68 pounds) in weight. The females weighed only about 18 kg (40 pounds), which would be less than the weight of any great ape today.

The well-preserved bones helped the researchers to research how they think the animal moved. “For the first time, we were able to investigate several functionally important joints, including the elbow, hip, knee and ankle, in a single fossil skeleton of this age,” Prof. Böhme said. “It was astonishing for us to realise how similar certain bones are to humans, as opposed to great apes.”

Comment: Evolutionary scientists in their never-ending quest to find the imagined common ancestor of humans and apes will usually interpret every newly discovered hominid fossil in ways that might support their beliefs. This new discovery may sound pretty impressive, but it would be more convincing if we were able to see a living Danuvius guggenmosi actually walking along the ground so we wouldn’t have to rely on the interpretations of fallible human scientists. Just as the wings of a chicken don't mean it can fly, having leg bones that look human-like doesn’t prove the animal could walk like a human.

The emphasis in the reference article was on the human-looking leg bones, but we cannot overlook the important differences between this animal and humans. First, note the completely different arms. If the legs were well on their way into evolving into human-like legs, why were the arms so far behind in making a similar move? And why would tree-dwelling apes evolve the feature before gorillas which were already moving along the ground? Also, you have the vast difference in size between these creatures and humans.

Like many new discoveries in the field of human evolution, this one is upsetting some deeply held evolutionist beliefs. Most evolutionists hold to the idea that the first humans evolved in Africa, although there is debate over what part of Africa, as we mentioned in our previous blog post.  In addition, you have to make a major change in the human evolution timeline, moving the birth of bipedal walking from 6 million back to 12 million years ago. It would be surprising if the interpretations of this discovery are not challenged by other scientists.

What we as Bible-based Christians will not challenge is the testimony of Scripture, which clearly rebukes the idea of human evolution. As we discussed in our previous post, there is DNA evidence all humans are descended from a single female, which some scientists have named Eve. That is what the Bible teaches, and the Bible’s timeline leaves no room for nonhuman ancestors of humans ever to have existed.

It would be well if we would spend more time studying the historical record we have in the Bible than we do the history of fossils in the ground, which require way more interpretation. The history in the Scriptures tells us how sin and death entered the world and how sin entered our souls. But it also tells us how Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago by means of his life, suffering and death has covered up our sins so that by faith in Him we can one day pass through heaven’s gates.

And that from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

Reference: Helen Briggs, “‘Astonishing’ fossil ape discovery revealed,” BBC News [November 6, 2019]. (Photo of bonobos, the living apes which may be most comparable to Danuvius guggenmosi.)


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QUESTION OF THE DAY

How do reindeer differ from other deer species?

Reindeer are the only deer species in which females, as well as males, have antlers. No two reindeer antlers are exactly the same.

Source: Stephanie McDorman, “Thriving in a Winter Wonderland,” Answers [November-December, 2019], page 33.

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The opinions expressed here are those of the blog writter and do not necessarily represent the views of LSI. Please note that links in older posts may be broken.

About Me--Warren Krug
Decades ago I attended a so-called Lutheran university where I could have lost my faith. The science professors promoted the theory of evolution and made fun of anybody who believed in the account of creation as presented in the book of Genesis. Thanks be to God, some creationist literature and the Bible soon helped get me back on the right track. Ever since then I have taken an active interest in the creation/evolution controversy.

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