Celebrate ‘Lucy’ Discovery Anniversary with Truth

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.

Lucy’s Pelvis

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.

Read More

“God cannot be a figment of my imagination because He is not at all what I imagined Him to be.”
-C.S. Lewis

“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'”
-Winkie Pratney

“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:

Evolved From PooDoo


5 Responses to “Celebrate ‘Lucy’ Discovery Anniversary with Truth”

  1. Kays-Las Says:

    What you put about lucy not being a hom inid is NOT TRUE! Their not exactly sure if its an evolution but they are ALMOST POSITIVE! SO dont lie to people && make them get a bad grade!

  2. whatthecrap? Says:

    Interesting comment Kays-Las. I think that there is, in fact, quite a bit of evidence that looks the other way concerning Lucy. Consider the following:

    “Dr. Johanson gave a lecture at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, Nov. 20, 1986, on Lucy and why he thinks she is our ancestor. It included the ideas already mentioned and that Lucy’s femur and pelvis were more robust than most chimps and therefore, “could have” walked upright. After the lecture he opened the meeting for questions. The audience of approximately 800 was quiet so some creationists asked questions. Roy Holt asked; “How far away from Lucy did you find the knee?” (The knee bones were actually discovered about a year earlier than the rest of Lucy). Dr. Johanson answered (reluctantly) about 200 feet lower (!) and two to three kilometers away (about 1.5 miles!). Continuing, Holt asked, “Then why are you sure it belonged to Lucy?” Dr. Johanson: “Anatomical similarity.” (Bears and dogs have anatomical similarities).”

    Note that Dr. Johanson must not have mentioned the knee bones being found elsewhere at different times. That seems like a fairly important piece of information, No? Now – why wouldn’t he mention something that? Because he wasn’t totally objective, and honestly, there was no way he could have been. As humans, a 100% neutral stance is an impossibility. My guess is that Dr. Johanson had already concluded in his mind that evolution as a fact was set in stone before he discovered Lucy.

    In the words of Obi’ Wan Kenobi,

    “Luke, you’re going to find that many of the
    truths we cling to depend greatly on our own
    point of view.”

    I don’t know about you – but at the very best, all we can concluded is – we don’t know. Not – that we are “almost positive.” (did you read the rest of the post? There seems to be a great deal of ‘Lucy=ape’ evidence as well.)
    Not to mention – I am only presenting another viewpoint here (much of the post above are quotes from various scientists – credited at the bottom). It is not my intent to “lie” or intentionally mislead. Rather – I would hope that I can present some evidence (often left out and skipped over in text-books) and you could make a judgment on your own.
    Basically – if you are doing research, read several accounts of the story – (the stuff here being only a couple) compare the evidence presented in each – especially the method that it is presented in – then make your own decision. Don’t be fooled by the “Most Experts Agree” mantra. I got this all the time in college. Most experts thought the sun rotated around the earth for hundreds of years…
    Get what I’m sayin’??

  3. vincent Says:

    I know this is a waste of time BUT:

    The Blog above was cut pasted from another Creationist article. I have actually READ Prof Johanson’s books & I can tell you that ALL the quotes are taken completely out of context. Please read the books in question. Paleoanthropologists know their anatomy. Their theories are based on solid reasoning. At least read the evidence yoursel & make up your OWN mind.

  4. Eileen Says:

    Agreeing with the above poster. This entire “article” would be funny if it didn’t showcase such a sad misunderstanding of biological paleoanthropology.

    Why people insist on wearing their ignorance as if it were a badge of honor continues to mistify me.

  5. AcademicFreedomBlog » Blog Archive » Thinking About Ardi Says:

    […] most human part of Lucy was her feet, which were never found. It seems that the less data we have, the more human the parts must be. Thinking for myself, I have not come to the same conclusions as the experts […]

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