October 2, 2009

Before Lucy came Ardi, new earliest hominid found in Ethiopia

WASHINGTON – The story of humankind is reaching back another million years as scientists learn more about "Ardi," a hominid who lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. The 110-pound, 4-foot female roamed forests a million years before the famous Lucy, long studied as the earliest skeleton of a human ancestor.

This older skeleton reverses the common wisdom of human evolution, said anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University.

Rather than humans evolving from an ancient chimp-like creature, the new find provides evidence that chimps and humans evolved from some long-ago common ancestor — but each evolved and changed separately along the way.

"This is not that common ancestor, but it's the closest we have ever been able to come," said Tim White, director of the Human Evolution Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

The lines that evolved into modern humans and living apes probably shared an ancestor 6 million to 7 million years ago, White said in a telephone interview.

But Ardi has many traits that do not appear in modern-day African apes, leading to the conclusion that the apes evolved extensively since we shared that last common ancestor.

A study of Ardi, under way since the first bones were discovered in 1994, indicates the species lived in the woodlands and could climb on all fours along tree branches, but the development of their arms and legs indicates they didn't spend much time in the trees. And they could walk upright, on two legs, when on the ground.

Formally dubbed Ardipithecus ramidus — which means root of the ground ape — the find is detailed in 11 research papers published Thursday by the journal Science.

"This is one of the most important discoveries for the study of human evolution," said David Pilbeam, curator of paleoanthropology at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

"It is relatively complete in that it preserves head, hands, feet and some critical parts in between. It represents a genus plausibly ancestral to Australopithecus — itself ancestral to our genus Homo," said Pilbeam, who was not part of the research teams.

Scientists assembled the skeleton from 125 pieces.

Lucy, also found in Africa, thrived a million years after Ardi and was of the more human-like genus Australopithecus.

"In Ardipithecus we have an unspecialized form that hasn't evolved very far in the direction of Australopithecus. So when you go from head to toe, you're seeing a mosaic creature that is neither chimpanzee, nor is it human. It is Ardipithecus," said White.

White noted that Charles Darwin, whose research in the 19th century paved the way for the science of evolution, was cautious about the last common ancestor between humans and apes.

"Darwin said we have to be really careful. The only way we're really going to know what this last common ancestor looked like is to go and find it. Well, at 4.4 million years ago we found something pretty close to it," White said. "And, just like Darwin appreciated, evolution of the ape lineages and the human lineage has been going on independently since the time those lines split, since that last common ancestor we shared."

Some details about Ardi in the collection of papers:

• Ardi was found in Ethiopia's Afar Rift, where many fossils of ancient plants and animals have been discovered. Findings near the skeleton indicate that at the time it was a wooded environment. Fossils of 29 species of birds and 20 species of small mammals were found at the site.

• Geologist Giday WoldeGabriel of Los Alamos National Laboratory was able to use volcanic layers above and below the fossil to date it to 4.4 million years ago.

• Ardi's upper canine teeth are more like the stubby ones of modern humans than the long, sharp, pointed ones of male chimpanzees and most other primates. An analysis of the tooth enamel suggests a diverse diet, including fruit and other woodland-based foods such as nuts and leaves.

• Paleoanthropologist Gen Suwa of the University of Tokyo reported that Ardi's face had a projecting muzzle, giving her an ape-like appearance. But it didn't thrust forward quite as much as the lower faces of modern African apes do. Some features of her skull, such as the ridge above the eye socket, are quite different from those of chimpanzees. The details of the bottom of the skull, where nerves and blood vessels enter the brain, indicate that Ardi's brain was positioned in a way similar to modern humans, possibly suggesting that the hominid brain may have been already poised to expand areas involving aspects of visual and spatial perception.

• Ardi's hand and wrist were a mix of primitive traits and a few new ones, but they don't include the hallmark traits of the modern tree-hanging, knuckle-walking chimps and gorillas. She had relatively short palms and fingers which were flexible, allowing her to support her body weight on her palms while moving along tree branches, but she had to be a careful climber because she lacked the anatomical features that allow modern-day African apes to swing, hang and easily move through the trees.

• The pelvis and hip show the gluteal muscles were positioned so she could walk upright.

• Her feet were rigid enough for walking but still had a grasping big toe for use in climbing.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the University of California, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and others.


solomon said...

2000+5500 years or 4.4 ,000,000years?

Haymanot said...

DS: why you change the subject? The real issue is our EOTC problem, Lets discus about that, like MK or MS? Because from the beginning until know ; the big problem of our church is this mahber MK inter-faring our church Administration, and interfering with the church business, like our church Dogma and Kenona, dividing our people, dividing our papasats, kahenates, especially if some one is not their mahber member; they think that person is not a Christian so they create conflict with people. Some yewahan memenan, start for that person e-christian assuming, hating, suspicious. So what i am saying is let people judge by God, not by them.........

Why don't you see it? They are using our Church and Our God's name for the devil work. From the beginning, our Church problem is MK. Because they interfering with our church administration and Church's business. If you are in that mahber, that means you can't see or understand. Because you think they are doing god's work. No No Big No. Of course devil dosent want you to see that . He wants every body for him self. He is not stupid, so pretending in the name of Kudusan and hate others, they believe him so he is doing his job until last days coming.

Enastewl/// Ewnetu yeminagerewn.

When Geta Yesus crucified, he was by him self, most people think he is guilty, but he was the truth. No body lesson to him only some of them. He is our Lord and our saver. We dont want quantity:, we want quality. So what we EOTC christians saying, MK please don't bother our church, people, papast, kahnat, diakonat, all memenan. Stay if you want peace shut your mouth and leave our church alone. Let them do their job, that is not your job. You can be a peaceful christian if you want, but don't be obstacle for the other innocent christian. If you listen what every body try to tell you, accusing, insulting, fighting, lying, is not saving you. But be the true christian like former and current our fathers.

If you don't judge, We dont judge you too. Please judging christians. Let God do his Job.

DS. Please don't delete at list this comment of mine. Since this blog start, I give comments I believe about 25 times, you deleted all. That is not nice. You see?

Tank you

Lib Yisten

Zetikat said...

No wonder they delete it Haymanot, you don't seem to know what you're talking about. Your comment is full of hatred and prosecution... No one is going to be edified by this ....

Anonymous said...

the topic is about Lucy and Ardi .it is not about the church here.what are the above two talking about?

Anonymous said...

When I am not sure that the age of Adri is 4.4million yrs I am sure the Ethiopian debteras are by far liers than the scientists when they say the world is 7500yrs old. They have nothing to prove excep saying that 'siwed Siwared'

gud fela said...

when do christians think God creats Adam? if Arid is 4.4 milion years old ,may be Adam & Eve were created 5 milions year ago.is that not contradictive idea to the bible?

John Ze Baptist said...

It is not Ethiopian Debaters who said the world is 7500 years, the bible itself testifies it. You can count it from bible. Ask the scholars/theologians of bible about it. But how can we rely on the machine to know the ages of the creature?

First the church doesn't say God is this much old. God has no beginning and end but according to bible (genesis book) the creatures age is around 7500.

Even scientists who earlier said man came from ape have disproved this so we cannot always take science absolute true.

God may want to reveal new thing about this. But we always adhere to bible and follow it as we cannot know the world all in all.

So as we are Christians, we have to challenge this issues from biblical point of view. What is the scholars view on this issue?

Dear Ewunetu and Haymanot, as you are saying you are theologitians and scholars of bible and the church. So we need more clarification about this from you. How can we see bible facts with science?

God bless we all and let he reveal to us useful things.


Zetikat said...

I don't trust the carbon or phosphorus radioisotopes decay rate of measuring ages. I don't have any problem with the principle, but it looks a bit far fetched, may be future science might bring something better.
What the church teaches about the creation of Adam is Biblical and it can be deduced from the Bible. Let us not comment something which we don't have any idea about, requesting explanation would be better.... why are we steadfast for accusation and insults?

Anonymous said...

Which verse in the bible says the world is 7500yrs old? It is all guess,unless you say that my lie is better than your.

John Ze Baptist said...

Dear Last anony, you can count the years from Adam till now following what is stated on bible. Don't expect 7500 years from bible but u can count it from bible. Any ways it is not dogmatic but u can get it from bible itself. Ask scholars around you.

But I was in need to knowing Ewunetu's teaching on this because he was repeatedly saying that no one knows bible except him. So ewunetu can you say some thing about science's research and bibles creation?

40minch said...

How Archeologist calculate age of a fossil?
How accurate is this method ?
Is the accuracy of this method dependable for both some hundred years and some billion of years ranges?

These are the questions we need to answer.

I believe radioactive decay is the method used.
I believe this method is accurate when it comes to few hundred years. We can say that because we have written non-biblical historical evidences to double check against.

If we are talking about thousands and millions of years , I believe the method will not work due to assumption error, science assumes too much stuff when doing such types of maths extrapolation. Take it like an X-Y graph that saturates or get distorted after some point [x,f(X)].

So Christians, there are a lot of stuff science can't explain and calculate, age of our planet being one .

Keep the faith Brothers and Sisters. GOD be with you all till the end, because many start the race with GOD and only a few finish the race with GOD.

solomon said...

በ4.4 ሚሊዩን እድሜ ካመን ሰው ከዝነጀሮ መጣ ወደሚለው የሳይንስ ግኝት መሄዳችን ነው።እኛ እግዚአብሔር የፈጠረን ነን።

Anonymous said...

In the Name of the Father, the Son and Holy Sprit, One God Amen !
We can not believe in both Christianity and Darwin’s theory of evolution on claims such as humans evolved from apes which means Adam and Eve evolved from an ape . We can not serve two masters at the same time God and satan. Evolution is the outlook of the atheists which was masterminded the princess of the darkness to deny existence of God and judgment. Several Scientists themselves do not believe in evolution, The theory main parts are:
1. Simple creatures have evolved into more complex creatures over a long period of time such as apes to humans
2. The origin of life begin by chemical evolution of organic matter into first single celled organism.
1) There is no scientific law that allows something to evolve from nothing on the
contrary the law of conservation of mass and energy states the energy and mass can be neither created or destroyed but can be converted from one form to the other. If there was nothing in the universe to begin with, obviously nothing could happen to cause anything to appear.

2) No scientific law accounts for non-living things coming to life. The plants came from seeds, cuttings, or grafts from other trees and flowers. Chemical evolution is not yet proved in laboratory by developing a living cell in the test tube from organic chemicals.

What does the Bible teach?

The Book of Genesis of course describe the creation and in the Book of Revelation it is written:
You are worthy, O Lord to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things and by Your will they exist and were created (Revelation4: 11).
St Paul said o those who don’t believe in God as the Creator will not have excuse. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Roman 1: 20).
Hence, The statement on creature found in Afar is ancestors of Humans is a fairy(disguised devil) tell!
With regard to carbon dating I will only the method is being more recently to find million of years. The accuracy any measurement system is measured by caliberation. When the method is less 100 years old , you can not compare the measurement for known age fossil of million years. It is based on carbon isotope decay theory! No proof !
Although it is stated the creation took seven days f, some time a day might not be literally 24 hours in the Bible. St. Peter said: with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Peter). In addition, there is not statement How long Adam stayed in Genet. In the Bible, genealogy is given from which we can track the years since Adam left Genet. That is how our church come to 5500 years od years of suffering + 2002 years of salvation.
If there is somebody who doubts the Bible. The proof is the Bible is true because most of the Prophecies written in the Bible are accomplished and the remaining such as false Christ and the second coming of our lord and savour we see also others are in the process .
It is sufficient to read the Book of Daniel
God revealed the exact date month and year of Birth and Crucfication of our Lord Jesus Christ and events leading to His return in Daniel 9.
Let Peace Prevail in EOTC!

Anonymous said...

Dear last anonymous,

Thank you very much for the enlightening opinion.

I always get shocked when I hear some of our church fathers also subscribing to the archeologic view of cradle of mankind being Lucy.
They are pleased just because Ethiopia was praised as the Cradle of Mankind. That is empty praise that we ought to have rejected and it is sad to hear our church leaders reciting what materialist atheists only believe in. The thing is some are beguiled/flattered by the subtle serpent which approached and praised Adam and Eve with the very wrong praise they did not deserve. How can we Christians accept wrong praises?

Let's discern between the faith in God according to the bible and the atheists' point of view.

Anonymous said...

No wonder that the fairy tale has changed from Lucy to Ardi.
It won't be so long before we again hear that the first human being with a different name. The devil will continue leading "them" to a "wonderful" discovery.
We have heard many names before the discovery of "LUCY" as the oldest mankind on earth. When Lucy was found, the world's attention was totally diverted to LUCY.
Again the focus will change to "ARDI". It may change again to "JINNI", literally meaning the DEVIL.

"...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh ,shall He find faith on earth " Luk 18:8

Anonymous said...

My belief is..the seven days of creation..if we take it literally..it would mean all of it is Magic. I do not believe God is a Magican. I believe He used logic and practicality because if you observe the way we function physiologically or psychological we are highly logical creatures. He made us that way because He made the world in logical fashion. You need energy first made by God alone (1st law of theromdynamics; energy can not be created or destroyed that is by Humans) then your atoms of hydrogen,carbon form from the energy(electrons)then universe is made,earth then you make a cell,plants and creatures. IF we say just seven days ..then 'poof' magic!. I dont think so because it doesnt make sense. My brain,heart aren't magically made.they are well established organs. What do you think?

Sam said...

i just can't get the aim of this site, i mean if its abot christianity the why the hell have we to talk about ardi or lucy of whatever......... come on guys thats isn't what worries us at this time...

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