The Continuing Search for Man’s “Fossil” Ancestor

By Wayne Jackson

They frantically search for old bones to see who can “scoop” the other. Each of them wants to make a claim to fame for being the one who discovered the oldest “ancestor” of man.

And really, they don’t care much as to how they achieve the recognition. They are willing to distort the evidence significantly to “get ahead” in the evolutionary publicity game. About whom are we speaking? The evolutionary-oriented paleontologists (those who study ancient fossils).

Now, here we go again. Last October, paleontologists in Kenya, Africa unearthed bone fragments which they claim belonged to at least five different individuals – both male and female.

According to Martin Pickford, one of the principals involved, these fossil remains represent “humanity’s earliest-known ancestor” – predating previous discoveries by at least 1.5 million years (according to the evolutionary calendar). This new “ancestor” has been dubbed “Millennium Man,” and he is reputed to be “at least 6 million years old” – almost double the age of grandmother “Lucy” (Australopithicus afarensis) who was disinterred in various fragments in 1974.

And so, the venerable “Millennium Man” is alleged to be a “hominid” who relates “directly to humans.”

The distressing thing about all of this is this: the average person exposed to these allegations, via the popular media, believes them as verified truth, when, the fact is, time-and-again, the theories relative to these “fossil finds” have been revised drastically or abandoned altogether. Yet the common man accepts these conclusions as if they were “carved in stone.” John Q. Public is afraid that if he does not acknowledge these claims, he will be viewed as anti-intellectual.

One could scarcely do better, in demonstrating the confusion that abounds in evolutionary circles, than to reproduce the chart that is found in William Fix’s fascinating book, The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution (New York: Macmillan, 1984). In a simple and memorable format, Fix (not a creationist) tells the twisted story of man’s alleged “fossil” ancestry.

Proposed ancestors of man:
Year discovered or first proposed:
Promoted by:
Career as missing link:

Neanderthal
1856
Most early evolutionists
Abandoned as ancestral species by many anthropologists in 1960s and 1970s

Homo erectus (Java man, Peking man)
1891
Eugene Dubois, Teilhard de Chardin, Franz Weidenreich
Ancestral status made highly questionable by discovery of skull 1470 in 1972

Piltdown man
1912
Arthur Keith and most evolutionists
Exposed as a hoax in 1953

Hesperopithecus
1922
Harold Cook
Found to be an extinct pig in 1927

Australopithecus africanus
1924
Raymond Dart, Robert Ardrey, Maitland Edey
Disqualified by the discovery of skull 1470 in 1972

Australopithecus robustus
1938
Robert Broom
Disqualified by discovery of Homo habilis in 1960s

Gigantopithecus
1946
Franz Weidenreich
Dropped by most anthropologists as too improbable by 1950

Zinjanthropus
1959
Louis Leakey
Displaced by Leakey’s discovery of Homo habilis in 1960s

Homo habilis
1960
Louis and Richard Leakey
Ancestral status is still indeterminate

Ramapithecus
1964
David Pilbeam and Elwyn Simons
Found to be the ancestor of Orangutan in 1979

Lothagam man
1967
Bryan Patterson
Disqualified by new measurement in 1977

Australopithecus afarensis — “Lucy”
1979
Donald Johnson, Timothy White, Maitland Edey
Beset by many problems and mounting controversy in early 1980s

If that is not dramatic enough, note the following confession by an evolutionary zealot, recently published on The Talk Origins Archive in a document titled “Prominent Hominid Fossils”. The bold emphasis is added by this writer.

“[T]here is little consensus on what our family tree is. Everyone accepts that the robust australopithecines (aethiopicus, robustus and boisei) are not ancestral to us, being a side branch that left no descendants. Whether H. habilis is descended from A. afarensis, africanus, both of them, or neither of them, is still a matter of debate. It is possible that none of the known australopithecines is our ancestor. The discoveries of A. ramidus and A. anamensis are so recent that it is hard to say what effect they will have on current theories. It is generally accepted that Homo erectus is descended from Homo habilis (or, at least, some of the fossils often assigned to habilis), but the relationship between _erectus, sapiens and the Neandertals is still unclear. Neandertal affinities can be detected in some specimens of both archaic and modern sapiens.”

That entire paragraph is a concession to the utter confused ignorance of human origins – from the Darwinian perspective.

And so, when you read of another new discovery relative to man’s “apeish” ancestors, file it away; within a few months or years, the story will be different!

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About the Author

Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.