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Fifteen years ago, Berkeley scientist Tim White and a team of researchers from Ethiopia and America found bones of a hominid older than the 3.2 million-year-old Lucy (A. afarensis). The team collected 110 bones, enough to reconstruct the skeletons of what was unveiled today as Ardipithecus ramidus. These bones date from 4.4 million years ago! Carl Zimmer points out several ways that this prehistoric species tells us new things about the development of humans. For example, in some animal species (including apes), male canine teeth are much bigger than the female version. These are the species in which competition for females often turns violent.
White and his colleagues found so many teeth of different Ardipithecus individuals that they could compare male and female canines with some confidence. The male teeth turn out to be surprisingly blunted. This result suggests that hominids shifted away from a typical ape social structure early in our ancestry. If this was a result of males forming long-term bonds with females and helping raise young, this shift was able to occur while hominids were still living a very ape-like life. Ardipithecus existed about 2 million years before the oldest evidence of stone tools, suggesting that technology was not the trigger for the evolution of nice hominid guys.

There have been a couple of hominid bones found that are even older than Ardipithecus, but none with enough fossils to even begin reconstructing a skeleton. Link -via Metafilter

Actually, all that this did in a way was to continue to provide more evidence in the same direction that we already had for human evolution.
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Hahahaha. Ignorance and fear are the only reasons Christians don't believe in evolution. "Don't believe evolution", you are the only one here who needs to get their facts straight.
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Amazing find. As more facts/information becomes available then science modifies its theories and understanding. Too bad it doesn't work that way for the creationist. Oh, yeah--that isn't science!!!
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Get your facts straight? Everybody is entitled to their own oppions. When talking about the Bible <originally written in Hebrew and Armaic I believe, which in "NO WAY" translates to English. So what facts are you referring to. Just oppening a book and reading an interpretation based on an intelligence level at the time in no way leads me to the word fact; however hypothesis does which is what this is. Nobody knows for a "FACT"
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My question is when will we return to that stage of evolution of the ardipithecus...a la idiocracy? I say in, oh, 200 years or so should do it at this rate.
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Why is it that creationists become so uneasy when approaching theories of evolution? The Bible is certainly an interesting book of stories that has been re-written and re-interpreted uncountable times by people, years, decades, and even centuries beyond the times of the noted events.
The Earth is only 6,000 years old? I'm more frightened by the fact that 40% of the world population believes the Bible word-for-word, than anything else.
When creationists can bring more evidence to the table than a book, then I will be one of the first in line to change my opinions and research for my own answers. Besides, isnt it odd that the Church was the one who decided what gospels would and wouldn't be included in the Bible to begin with? Talk about staging your arguments for eternity, lol.
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Can't we all just get along??? Christians, may I remind you we are to love our brothers, when there is no "scientific" reason why we should?? On the other hand, in the Bible it clearly states that "a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day". And even though Our beloved truth says man and therefore woman was created in one day, could it not be open to a little interpretation? The truth is, only God knows everything for certain, and we can all ask him when we see him again...
Nifty discovery to say the least!
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Ultimately there is no comparison between science and religion. They're two different things with two distinct purposes. Evolution in no way disproves the existence of God, it only reveals creation myths as just that. The role of religion isn't to teach us the history of Earth, but to enlighten the spirit. If someone can use pure scientific methodology to prove the statements found in the bible in an unbiased manner, these findings would hold water, but that isn't the point. The point is that religion is about spiritual enlightenment, rather than historical accuracy.

Anyway, back to the Point; This is an incredible find that allows me personally to feel much more connected to this world we all live in. It's harrowing to learn that humanoid species have existed for so much longer than we might have ever imagined.

Though, the offered explanations for "Ardi"s smaller canine teeth and bipedality feel a little forced. I'm curious as to what constitutes evidence of the use of tools, as it seems to me that "Ardi" may easily used, say, sticks or rocks as primitive tools.
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When did evolution and religion become so at odds? It was not that long ago that evolution was taught in Catholic schools. Could not God have gotten the ball rolling? There is no debate....evolution is a fact. Nobody is attacking religion! Find some other people to strike down with your god fearing tongue lashings.
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The part of the story that struck me as both interesting and confusing is that Ardi has the grasping foot of a chimpanzee but walked upright on two feet. Why would she need both? If you're walking on two feet, how can you also be spending so much time in trees that you have to have great tree climbing feet?

For the creationists - since you don't believe in evolution then you don't have to worry about flu viruses evolving. If you've had the flu once, you'll never get it again because the virus will never change, never evolve.

Soooo, please quit getting flu vaccines for yourselves and your children. It seems that there are shortages nearly every year, so if you believers in bible science want to live your creed, you can opt out of the vaccines, leaving more for the rest of us.

Thank you, we'll put them to good use.
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Just goes to show you the difference between modern man and prehistoric man. Modern man does scientific research to prove as much truth as possible. Prehistoric man relies on biblical parables and prophecy.
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I am a Christian, but
Creationist Theory is wrong.
Scientists are wrong in the fact that they think we evolved.
Before either side gets pissed and starts ranting read on.

Creationists are wrong in that the earth is only 7000 years old. The light being seen thru the hubble telescope is millions of years old because of the distance that it takes for light to reach the earth. Fossils found on this earth are accurately dated to millions of years old. Therefore how do we explain this?

If you use the Authorized King James Version of the bible it explains everything in Genesis and several other books of the bible.

The earth was created in the first 2 verses in the bible. Then there is a huge gap in history until the third verse pics back up and starts the 7000 year ago creation story of adam.

Other verses in the bible and books talk about what was on this earth those eons ago and how lucifer reigned upon the earth. There are also 2 different types of men mentioned in genesis.

For a very indepth study better than I could describe here go to this site and it is all layed out.

Scientists are right in that this earth is very very old and the things they have found are valid, only out of context to how it happened. Ardipithecus proved that we did not evolve from monkeys, and that there was once a creature on this earth (early version of man to say) that is not the same as us. This proves that there was a race of man on this earth before adam and was later wiped out along with the dinosaurs.
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"there was once a creature on this earth (early version of man to say) that is not the same as us."

Ardi's not the same as us because 4.4 million years is a lot of time for evolution to bring about significant change.

"This proves that there was a race of man on this earth before adam and was later wiped out along with the dinosaurs."

First of all, Ardi doesn't appear to have had the intelligence to make tools, tame fire, hold a conversation or conceive of God. So it's a way big stretch to call her human. Secondly, do you really believe that dinosaurs and Ardi co-existed?

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CathyG - On your earlier comment/question regarding Ardi's feet: We may have found her at a point and time when evolution was kicking the toe off the foot and moving toward a more bipedal form. Much the same way today's snakes still have that remnant of a leg that they use during mating....just a thought.

I once took the opportunity to talk to some Jehovah's witnesses for several hours (why? cause I'm curious) and their explanation of the days of creation were that a day could have been the equivalent of millions of years and the use of the term days was used purely metaphorically.

and by all means, if I've misquoted something, or offended, please correct me
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Pete -

Yes, I think it must have been an intermediate stage, too. It's just hard to imagine what set of competitive pressures would bring a woodland inhabiting creature, with physical characteristics that enabled her to be a very efficient tree climber/dweller to also stand up and walk around on two feet. As the documentary points out, bipedalism is inefficient and slow. What advantage did it offer to Ardi? I guess I wasn't convinced by the argument that it allowed males to bring breakfast in bed to their mates.

As my husband and I and our friends have aged and begun to experience increasing stiffness in our backs and hips, I've come to believe that this bipedal design of ours must be a work in progress. Hopefully, all the kinks will be ironed out before another 4 million years pass.

I think an interpretation of the Judeo-Christian creation story that allows for days that last hundreds of millions of years is much more sensible than strict, literal interpretations.
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For those who dont belive in the Bible..and DO believe Evolution . I challange you to read a particular book.
"Darwin on Trial." by Phillip Johnson. It shreads the evolution theory on every level !!! this fossil skeleton helps to prove the bible by showing that this perosn WAS NO A KNUCKLE WALKER from sthe study of its hand..hence not from the primate family, interesting isnt it? Once you read with an open mind..beware of the other lies you might discover have been told to the book..!!!
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i hate that im a christian and as soon as i question evolution im considered crazy..the problem with science is you can prove whatever you want .. a real scientist trys to disprove his hypothesis that is the only way to get a non bi-est conclusion...btw human or not shes a FOX
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