What Do We Know About Our Ancient Human Ancestors?

In the book of Genesis, we learn that God created man in his image, but, according to Darwin, man’s existence was unintended. An article posted by CNN accepts Darwin’s origin story and attempts to explain what has been learned about our ancestors based on a number of discoveries, but it is packed full of assumptions and unprovable conclusions. What should we believe, and how much of it is true?

There’s plenty to take issue with, starting with the writer’s claim that these discoveries are “silencing debates about our ancient human ancestors.” Firstly, good science doesn’t “silence debates”. Further, anyone who says that the ‘science is settled’ is playing games, as if trying to silence the opposition. It goes against the very nature of science because it halts progress and stifles research.

I’ve often been admonished by atheists that science isn’t about truth. It’s about the best explanation of the data available at the time. New evidence, therefore, can alter the best theory, or even falsify it; what was once ‘true’ today will be replaced by a better explanation tomorrow. But if that’s the case, then the science is never settled, and debate should always be welcome.

Interestingly, the founders of science (Francis Bacon) attempted to gain knowledge by understanding God’s creation. They adhered to a Christian worldview and sought a pursuit of truth.

Nonetheless, the CNN writer goes on to explain that “Timelines are being pushed back, mysteries are solved and details of everyday life are revealed.” I think these claims clearly illustrate the problem with those who believe the science is settled. Evolutionists often like to claim that evolution is a fact, and dating methods are accurate. But if that’s true, and the science is settled, then how could these new discoveries change timelines? If they were accurate and factual in the first place, and the debate was settled then, then new information would never alter the timeline, right? They could only be altered if they were initially inaccurate. If they were wrong then, is it possible they could still be wrong now, even though they insist the debate is settled? Perhaps you can see how contradictory the writer’s premise is. Pushing back the timeline is evidence that the science was never settled, and it would be foolish to silence debate. Good science should always be open to critical thinking.

Another claim is that “The findings point toward the shared core of humanity.” I’d argue that it does no such thing. As we shall see, this claim is an unsubstantiated opinion based on circular reasoning.

The writer asks, “Where did we come from?” then goes on to claim that three ancient human ancestors- Homo erectus, Australopithecus, and Paranthropus- have been discovered living at the same time and place, two million years ago.

How do they know this? Well, researchers found “a multitude of bone fragments” outside Johannesburg, Africa, and they identified a skullcap belonging to Homo erectus.

If the past has taught us anything, I think it’s important to realize that there are many examples of bone fragments being forced together, or spliced from different organisms and claimed to be a single individual. The famous Piltdown man is the first example to come to mind, and it turned out to be a hoax, as a human skull was combined with orangutan teeth and announced to be a missing link to humans. So, I think it’s appropriate to be cautious about the identification of fragmented fossils, but we will accept their conclusion for now. My point is, we need to be aware that ancient fragmented fossils aren’t always what they seem.

The skull is said to represent the oldest Homo erectus fossil ever discovered, and it is the first found in South Africa. It’s supposedly 150,000 to 200,000 years older than any other Homo erectus fossil and assumes they originated in South Africa before migrating to East and North Africa.

But here is where it gets interesting. One researcher said, “We can now say Homo erectus shared the landscape with two other types of humans in South Africa, Paranthropus and Australopithecus.”

One big problem with this conclusion is that neither Australopithecus nor Paranthropus are human. Both are ape-like creatures whom evolutionists assume are related to us. Yet the writer makes it clear they all looked different, had different sized teeth, probably lived in different areas, had different forms of mobility, and ate different food. Despite all these and many other differences, evolutionists want to convince us we’re all related.

The study tries to make the case that the Australopithecine brain, though similar to modern apes, would grow and develop much like a human. They determined this by comparing juvenile and adult Australopithecine skulls to modern humans. But even if we wanted to believe in evolution, this evidence is hardly convincing. Without being able to observe living Australopithecines, this is guesswork that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. How can we know for certain that 3 million-year-old fossils developed similarly to humans? We can’t. It must be accepted by faith alone.

The story also makes the case that Australopithecines, like Lucy, walked upright, but other evidence suggests otherwise; Lucy has the classic morphology of a knuckle walker, making the case for human evolution weak.

According to the article, Homo erectus didn’t use weapons, however, this claim is contradicted by scientists who have demonstrated that they did use weapons. According to Chen Shen of the Royal Ontario Museum, “Peking Man lithic technology was not simple as previously thought.” He went on to explain, “The micro-wear evidence indicates many typed tools were made for specific tasks related to processing animal substances.”

Another case for evolution is made by suggesting that Australopithecine skulls are 20 percent larger than Chimpanzees, but the fact is, Australopithecine cranial capacity ranges from 350- 450 cc, while Chimps range 300-500 cc (very similar). Humans, however, average 1300- 1500 cc, a big difference.

The writer acknowledges that little is known about many of these species, including Homo naledi, another alleged human ancestor. But if that’s true, then why are they so willing to accept evolution?

In a different study, researchers try to convince us that Paranthropus walked upright AND climbed trees. The leg bones and hip joints were analyzed, and it was claimed they look more like a human than an ape, and this is how they ‘knew’ it walked upright. Interestingly, they admit they don’t even know if it was a Paranthropus fossil, or something else!

None of this is legitimate evidence that this creature (whatever it was) walked upright like humans. Without observing a living animal, it’s all conjecture, guesswork, and wishful thinking. One researcher, Matthew Skinner, admitted, “It has been challenging to resolve debates regarding the degree to which climbing remained an important behavior in our past. Evidence has been sparse, controversial and not widely accepted, and as we have shown in this study, the external shape of bones can be misleading.”

Oh, really???

Even though news outlets like CNN tout evolution as fact, none of the evidence presented is convincing. Indeed, there’s an unbridgeable gap between animals and humans, and no amount of wishful thinking can change that. I think it’s much more believable that God created humans fully human from the beginning. Thus, all our ancient ancestors were fully human, and I believe the evidence supports this.

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