Here is what you have probably already heard:
Lucy is a 40% complete skeleton of a three million-year old Australopithecine (early hominid) discovered in Ethiopia by Donald Johanson in 1973. Scientists consider Lucy to be strong evidence for human evolution, because her skeleton shows both ape-like and human characteristics. She probably walked upright, and is thought by many to be on the direct evolutionary line to humans.
Now, here is what you haven’t:
I have trimmed and selected the meat from several articles which you can find links to at the bottom of this post if you want to read the full article.
One of the best known “human ancestors” is an Australopithecus afarensis skeleton called Lucy. Probably nobody knows more about Lucy and her species than her discover, Donald Johanson. So let’s see what Donald Johanson has to say about Australopithecus afarensis.
All Those Fossils
How many fossils do you suppose we have that tell us about Australopithecus afarensis? You might think there are lots. You have probably read something like this:
Of the 250 hominid fossils we found at Hadar between 1973 and 1975 that led to the naming of a new species, Australopithecus afarensis, the earliest bones are from 3.4 million years ago. Dato’s discovery–if it was 3 million years old–had allowed us to double our estimates as to the length of time that hominids lived at Hadar.
Let’s talk about the “250 hominid fossils” they found in just two or three years. It sounds like there is an abundance of evidence, until you see the picture below. It contains at least 16 of those 250 fossils. Presumably they are some of the best. Why would they show the 16 worst if they had 234 better ones to show? (click to view full-rez.)
These “16 fossils” make up just part of one skull.
But if Lucy’s feet don’t show evidence of upright walking, what about her pelvis?
Lucy’s left innominate [hip-joint socket] had been bent out of shape and broken into about forty pieces while it was embedded in the ground. Owen X-rayed the fossil and discovered that the back of Lucy’s pelvis, where the sacrum connects with the innominate, had smashed against a rock or another bone during burial, shattering and twisting the ilium. He then spent six months carefully outlining and numbering each fragment of ilium, casting each piece of the fossil in plaster, smoothing out the edges, and then reassembling them in a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Every fragment had to line up with adjoining pieces from both the front and the back side of the bone to convince Owen that he had overcome any distortion that occurred after the bone was damaged. Once Owen had restored the left side of the pelvis, he sculpted a mirror image of the right side in plaster and placed Lucy’s sacrum in between to complete his masterpiece.…When Owen brings a human pelvis, a chimp pelvis, and a cast of Lucy’s pelvis into an elementary-school classroom, the children have no trouble deciding which two look alike. Lucy’s pelvis has a bowl shape like a human pelvis, but it is not as deep. 11
So, Lucy’s left-half pelvis you saw above isn’t one piece. It is about forty pieces that have been carefully shaped to remove the “distortion” they experienced during burial. Distortion is, by definition, a deviation from the normal shape. But since this is the only pelvis (actually, it is just a half-pelvis) they have for this species, how do they know what it is supposed to look like? All they have is a pre-conceived notion of what it should look like. Since it didn’t look like that when it came out of the ground, they had to reshape it to look the way Owen Lovejoy thought it should look.
Why Call Lucy a “Hominid”?
Australopithecus means “southern ape”. What makes it more than an ape? What human-like characteristics make it “hominid”? Johanson says,
Over this considerable span of time the fossil remains of Australopithecus afarensis reveal a unique but constant mosaic of features: from the neck up, chimpanzee; from the waist down, human. 12
The human characteristics are “from the waist down.” Is he referring to the missing foot bones that are so remarkably human? Or is he referring to the composite foot bones made from a Homo species that supposedly lived more than a million years later? Or is it the pelvis that was radically redesigned during reconstruction to make it look more human and less “distorted” that is the feature that makes Lucy human from the waist down?
What Did Johanson Really Find?
As far as we can tell, the bones that Johanson actually found indicate that Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct ape. It is the bones that he didn’t find (feet bones and an ”undistorted” pelvis) that have human characteristics.Furthermore, by his own reckoning, he found bones that span more than one million years with very little variation in them. He found positive evidence that Australopithecus afarensis shows virtually no sign of evolution in a million years.
“God cannot be a figment of my imagination because He is not at all what I imagined Him to be.”
“People prefer to believe what they prefer to be true.”
-Sir Francis Bacon
“The bible does not say ‘Be Ye transformed by the removal of your mind'”
“That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.”
So, for these 75 years of bamboozlement about Lucy – without further ado: