New ‘ape-man’ preliminary response

by Dr Carl Wieland

12 July 2002

Newspapers are again abuzz with excitement at one more specimen which is claimed to have significance for ‘human evolution’.

Briefly, this skull, nicknamed the ‘Toumai’ skull, found in Chad’s Sahel region, was given the species name Sahelanthropus tchadensis. The excitement appears to be NOT because it affords any actual additional evidence that man evolved from apes, but because it is revolutionary for theories of human evolution. In other words, if we START with the belief that man evolved from apes, it turns some of the previous notions on their head. In one sense, it seems to make a mockery of the ‘certainty’ with which schoolchildren are taught of the neat ‘schemes’ of our alleged ‘ancestry’. No doubt it will spawn a new orthodoxy, which will be taught with just as straight a face, until the next ‘revolutionary’ discovery (this one is said to have the ‘impact of a small nuclear bomb’. A brief summary of the facts would appear to be as follows:

POST-SCRIPT: Not long after the above was written, doubts were already beginning to be expressed about whether this skull was in the human lineage after all. See Skeptical evolutionists say latest ‘ape-man’ just a female gorilla and Toumai ‘ape-man’ suffers another blow.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: The video In The Image of God (above), which features interviews with fossil researchers, gives major insights into the way paleoanthropological deductions work, and documents many of the comments made above about australopithecines, for example. See Q&A: Anthropology for articles on other claimed human ancestors.