In 1974 Donald Johanson and associates discovered about 40% of a skeleton of a short (3-4 foot tall), small brained (380-450cc) creature. This find was named "Lucy" since the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was playing on tape recorder in the tent where Johanson was examining the fossils. Johanson announced that Lucy was 3.5 million years old and walked upright.
In the following year, 1975, Johanson's team unearthed 13 more individuals; four juveniles and nine adults. They were declared to be ancestors of man (hominids) and were named the "First Family". With names like Lucy, First Family, Lucy's Child, etc., how can these finds be anything but human ancestors? Lucy and her associates were portrayed as walking upright, with small human bodies and ape-like heads. This view has been widely publicized.
Lucy, et. al. have been given the designation "Australopithecus afarensis" and their claim to fame is walking upright. It should be noted at this point that apes sometimes walk upright - in fact there has even been a case of an ape which almost always used bipedal locomotion (Gish 1985, 162-163).
The view of Lucy habitually walking upright is not a universal consensus; it is challenged by some in the field. Note here that Zuckerman and Oxnard declared that Australopithecines did not walk upright, and they were examining specimens that were supposedly 2 million years younger. If anything, they should have evolved a more erect posture.
In an extensive study by Stern and Susman, they determined that the creatures walked upright, but not necessarily in a fully human manner and that they were adapted to an arboreal (tree climbing) mode of locomotion. From the creationist standpoint, these creatures were apes and no more adapted to bipedal locomotion than chimpanzees or gorillas (Gish 1985, 162).
References: Gish 1985, 151-163Continue with: Early Man: Neanderthal Man
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