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Old 07-11-2002, 07:47 AM   #76
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Speaking of evolution.....this is quite topical! From today's Toronto Star:

Skull deepens evolution riddle

It's been pushed back another million years by Chad discovery

OTTAWA The startling discovery of a fossil skull of man's earliest known ancestor in a central African desert has pushed the start of human evolution back at least another million years, according to a report published today.

The skull, about the size of a chimp's, is dated between 6 million and 7 million years old. It shows that the earliest human ancestors ranged far beyond the Great Rift Valley in Kenya in East Africa, where most early-human fossil discoveries have been made.

Experts say it provides convincing evidence that man's evolution from the apes is much more complicated than once thought.

"Missing links simply don't exist. They're fool's gold and we should stop talking about them," said Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard University anthropologist.

Lieberman, one of a handful of experts who have had a chance to examine the fossilized cranium, was referring to a 19th century theory, pegged to Charles Darwin, that there was a hypothetical creature, or "missing link," between modern humans and their anthropoid ancestors.

Instead, the latest discovery reinforces the view of fossil-hunters like Meave Leakey, that human evolution is more like a series of false starts, with dead ends and detours. That means some of the much-publicized hominid fossil finds of the past decade could be no more than branch lines.

"The difficulty is that things evolved more than once and some don't lead back to the supposed ancestor at all," said Bernard Wood, a paleoanthropologist from George Washington University who wrote a commentary for the journal Nature.

The fossil hunters displayed their discovery yesterday in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad.

The team of French and Chadian paleontologists nicknamed the skull Toumai, or "hope of life" in the local Goran language.

The skull, plus two pieces of lower jaw and three teeth, were all uncovered a year ago in a desert in Chad, half a continent away from the previous finds in East Africa.

Experts agree that the skull is a major discovery predating all other fossil evidence of hominids, the term used to describe members of the human family after the apes and chimps separated from some common ancestor.

The next-oldest hominid skull is at least 3 million years more recent than Toumai and the oldest hominid bones until now were dated at 6 million years.

Fossil hunter Tim White predicted the find would spark a flood of information as scientists sought out new African fossil sites for the period between 5 million to 7 million years ago, a Dark Age for paleontologists.

"We're in a position to really write the earliest chapter of hominid history. Toumai won't do it alone, but it's a herald of what's to come," said White, a University of California paleontologist who works closely with the French-Chad team.

The flat-faced skull with thick eyebrows was found in a remote region of desert dunes bordering the Sahara desert, a locale considered unpromising compared to the better-known fossil troves of Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania along Africa's Rift Valley.

Yet Michel Brunet of the University of Poitiers, who has spent more than two decades hunting pre-human fossils west of the Rift Valley, finally found rich fossil layers in the Chadian desert in the mid-1990s.

Since then his 40-member team has uncovered thousands of fossils from prehistoric mammals, including antelopes, three-toed horses and crocodiles.

An undergraduate Chadian student found the skull.

The mammal fossils indicate Toumai lived in a region rich in wildlife and grassland but also including desert and large lakes.

It's unclear whether the hominid regularly walked upright, since no leg bones have been found. The scientists say Toumai was "probably male." "The position of where the spine enters his head doesn't prove that he is bipedal but it shows he could be," said Brunet in an interview relayed by Nature from Chad.

The key evidence of Toumai's hominid status is a canine, or eye, tooth that is much smaller than canine teeth in modern apes or chimps and worn away in the same fashion as human eye teeth.

Toumai is different enough from other pre-humans that it has been classed in its own scientific genus, named Sahelanthropus after the Sahel region. The species name is tchadensis, based on the French spelling for Chad.

"We keep thinking that the farther we go back, the complexity is going to fall away and we're going to be left with just one creature that is the origin of the human species," said Wood. "This discovery shows matters were no less complex 7 million years ago."
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:29 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge
Speaking of evolution.....this is quite topical! From today's Toronto Star:

Skull deepens evolution riddle

It's been pushed back another million years by Chad discovery

Experts say it provides convincing evidence that man's evolution from the apes is much more complicated than once thought.

"Missing links simply don't exist. They're fool's gold and we should stop talking about them," said Daniel Lieberman, a Harvard University anthropologist.

Lieberman, one of a handful of experts who have had a chance to examine the fossilized cranium, was referring to a 19th century theory, pegged to Charles Darwin, that there was a hypothetical creature, or "missing link," between modern humans and their anthropoid ancestors.

Instead, the latest discovery reinforces the view of fossil-hunters like Meave Leakey, that human evolution is more like a series of false starts, with dead ends and detours. That means some of the much-publicized hominid fossil finds of the past decade could be no more than branch lines.

"The difficulty is that things evolved more than once and some don't lead back to the supposed ancestor at all," said Bernard Wood, a paleoanthropologist from George Washington University who wrote a commentary for the journal Nature.

The fossil hunters displayed their discovery yesterday in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad.

Experts agree that the skull is a major discovery predating all other fossil evidence of hominids, Valley.

Yet Michel Brunet of the University of Poitiers, who has spent more than two decades hunting pre-human fossils west of the Rift Valley, finally found rich fossil layers in the Chadian desert in the mid-1990s.

Since then his 40-member team has uncovered thousands of fossils from prehistoric mammals, including antelopes, three-toed horses and crocodiles.

An undergraduate Chadian student found the skull.



It's unclear whether the hominid regularly walked upright..
Mrs Edge-
My point exactly.
Finite man continues to play contact the dots, much to their aggravation and befuddlement.:idea:
Whats next they'll claim that perhaps Arun is the missing link?
Thank you for the insightful post..
Sincerely-
DB9
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:37 PM   #78
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now diamond


logically...


between you and me


which is more likely to be a neanderthal???
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:39 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arun V
now diamond


logically...


between you and me


which is more likely to be a neanderthal???



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Old 07-11-2002, 01:47 PM   #80
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Finally found time to read this entire thread. I'm impressed by everyone's (well, mostly everyone) well thought out support of his/her own beliefs.

Born and bred Catholic, not as strong in Bible related issues as I'd like, but I do read it everyday (NT anyway) to help me in my daily personal life. I believe in God, that He created us all, loves us and could not imagine that anything other than God created ALL. Because I am human and a creation of God with free will, I have a strong enough ego to make certain choices in my life. That said...

I truly love the PLAY DOH theory

Now I know why it drives me nuts when my kids play with either playdoh or legos...their trying their best to imitate God!!!

Oh, and another point (not that I've made any points here), God certainly has a sense of humor and I experienced it in the spiritual sense in Hamilton (with a special thank you to Arun!!!).

Very big HaHas!! Thank you Diamond!!

(This does not mean I don't respect everyone's right to individual beliefs...God's relationship with each and everyone of us is very personal and spiritual...as I've said before...religion is human...spirit is of God)
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:51 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arun V
now diamond


logically...


between you and me


which is more likely to be a neanderthal???
Would you guys stop trying to make life difficult with impossible choices!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:53 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally posted by drumkeeran

I truly love the PLAY DOH theory
What on earth is that? I'm intrigued by just the name. Someone enlighten me, please.
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:23 PM   #83
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Arun-
As fars as Neandrathals..
I theorize Raf has US both BEAT

For ALL YOU sending me Private Messages..thank you for you support.
Keep hope alive
DB9
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Old 07-11-2002, 02:57 PM   #84
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will all those ppl stop sending diamond pms??


your just encouraging this
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:08 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Arun-
As fars as Neandrathals..
I theorize Raf has US both BEAT

Too bad that the evolucion played a bad joke on you
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:16 PM   #86
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Darwin



Salk






Einstein






Diamond
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:27 PM   #87
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Umm..
I choose..bachelor #3.


DB9
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:38 PM   #88
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Ummmmm......okay! Nice
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Old 07-11-2002, 03:46 PM   #89
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Oh come on diamond...you picked einstein over jonas salk???


look at him...he's a dimonsexy for sure


Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
Umm..
I choose..bachelor #3.


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Old 07-11-2002, 03:59 PM   #90
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diamond is a monkey

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