An article from USC News highlights a particular weakness in evolutionary theory. Simply put, it stems from circular reasoning- the assumption that evolution is true. In this case, because evolutionists believe evolution, they have concluded that their studies on an extinct apelike creature helps them understand how our ancestors used their arms. Evolution isn’t in question, nor is the idea that this particular animal is related to humans. But if their assumptions are wrong, then the fossils don’t reveal anything about humanity.
The fossil in question is called Little Foot, a 3.67 million year-old, nearly-complete Australopithecus from South Africa, which may have been about four-feet tall. Researchers from USC analyzed the fossil’s pectoral girdle, and, not surprisingly, it confirms exactly what they want it to confirm- evolution! You see, to these researchers, Little Foot is human… or an early human ancestor, to be more precise.
Yet, when we examine the details of this study, ape-to-human evolution is largely refuted. For instance, the study confirms that this Australopithecine’s shoulder is apelike! The researchers are actually surprised that the arms are “well suited” for climbing trees and hanging from limbs (unlike humans). But why would they be surprised by this? Were they expecting the shoulders to be more human-like? Probably.
According to lead author Kristian J. Carlson, “When we compare the shoulder assembly with living humans and apes, it shows that Little Foot’s shoulder was probably a good model of the shoulder of the common ancestor of humans and other African apes like chimpanzees and gorillas.”
That quote is chock-full of evolutionary assumptions and little skepticism. Obviously, if humans are not related to apes, then Little Foot is not the good model they think it is. In which case the analysis only helps us understand how the shoulders of Australopithecines may have functioned.
The researchers stumble upon evidence that should caution them against evolution, but instead they use it as further confirmation. They admit that, in order for this organism to become human, the shoulders would require massive organizational, anatomical and functional changes. In other words, the shoulders would have to evolve from being well suited for climbing trees to being redesigned for human abilities. Major mutations in the DNA would be necessary over the course of hundreds of thousands and millions of years, all the while surviving and avoiding extinction until the transformation was complete. But there’s no explanation as to how these transitional forms could have defended themselves, surviving through an in-between phase. One would think such a transitionary phase would put this creature at an evolutionary disadvantage, where it would be susceptible to extinction.
Another important point is that the transitionary period had to have been much shorter than previously assumed. According to Carlson, it had to be more recent, which means any evolutionary transition would need to have occurred over a much shorter duration. I would argue that this makes a weak case for evolution (and a compelling refutation).
To be fair, one reason why evolutionists believe Australopithecines are related to humans is because they believe they shared certain similarities, such as being bipedal, but even that is disputable.
Therefore, without assuming evolution, this study does not help unlock when humans and apes diverged, nor does it confirm how our human ancestors used their arms. However, if we reject evolution, the study only provides information about the anatomy and functionality of Australopithecines.
The best explanation of the data is that God created humans in his likeness from the beginning, and Australopithecines are simply an extinct, ape-like creature. Differences exist because people are not related, and there are similarities because God was pleased to create a great variety of animals to fill various niches.