Have evolutionists found the ape-man, Kenyanthropus platyops? Carl Wieland suggests some thoughts to keep in mind.

Not another (yawn) ‘ape-man’


26 March, 2001

The news media are abuzz with the latest evolutionary claim about Kenyanthropus platyops, a new claimed ‘human ancestor’. Even the name is suggestive, meaning ‘flat-faced man of Kenya’, from the Greek anthropos = human being, platys = flat, opsis = face. Predictably, many Christians are, occasionally with anxiety, looking to ministries like CMI for an answer.

The flat-faced, small-toothed fossil creature, which was discovered about two years ago, is ‘dated’ at about 3.6 million years ago in the evolutionary scheme of things. The specimen consists of fragments of a skull, including a fairly well-preserved, though distorted, cranium. The specimen is catalogued KNM-WT 40000 in the Kenya National Museum, and was found west of Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolf) in East Africa.

We don’t like to give ‘knee-jerk’ responses, preferring to wait until there has been time to digest the reports in great detail. We hope to have a detailed report on this page in a few weeks. In the meantime, here are some points to keep in mind.

  • Over the decades, one supposed ‘ape-man’ after another has been presented to the public with great confidence as being ancestral to humans–only to quietly drop off the family tree later.

  • Each time, humanists have been gloating, some Christians have been panicking, and the media buzzing.

  • Each time, subsequent events have shown that there was no cause for any of the above.

  • This ‘dropping off the tree’ usually happens because new information, based on careful analysis by trained anatomists, gradually accumulates to the point where the original claim can no longer be sustained.

  • Mostly, the hype and glamour associated with the initial discovery has inpeded the willingness of the paleo-anthropological establishment to accept this new information.

  • The pattern has repeatedly been that no ancestors are abandoned until a new candidate group has been found. It would appear to be a psychological necessity to have at least some group to point to as ‘links’.

  • Up until now, we have been told that the australopithecines (best recognized by most people through the famous ‘Lucy’ specimen) were, without a doubt, man’s ancestor. For one thing, we are told over and over that they walked upright in the human manner.

  • This is despite the fact that careful anatomical analysis by specialists, themselves evolutionists, has shown that they walked distinctly differently from humans. And CAT scans of the skulls showing their organ-of-balance anatomy prove beyond doubt that they did NOT walk anything at all like humans. Lucy’s wrists have even revealed the ‘locking’ mechanism of knucklewalkers, totally overlooked until recently.

  • Kenyanthropus had a brain the size of a chimpanzee’s.1

  • The following quotes indicate that the find is as much an embarrassment to traditional evolutionary theories than something for evolutionists to get excited about.

  • ‘Leakey says the discovery has raised more questions than it has answered.’2

  • ‘If you think of a family tree with a trunk, we’re talking about two trunks, if they’re right.’2

  • Fred Spoor, of the University College of London’s deparment of anatomy, who is actually a co-author of the Nature paper describing the Kenyanthropus find, is quoted as saying that the discovery means it is now impossible to know with any certainty who our earliest ancestor is. He said by telephone from London to the media, ‘If we don’t have to bet on it, then it is likely it is neither Kenyanthropus or Australopithecus.’2

  • If this one find, which is highly fragmented and incomplete, is capable of radically altering views on human evolution, then people should be alerted to the flimsy nature of the existing evidence that has been touted so confidently by evolutionists.

  • In summary, one more extinct type of ape-like creature has been found in East Africa. If it were not for the driving pressure of evolutionary belief, there would be no reason to see it as ancestral to humans. Significantly, the claim that it is a human ancestor can only be true if all the previous claims ‘pushed’ by textbooks, etc around the world about Lucy’s kinds being ancestors are actually false, as it is markedly different from Lucy.

  • Christians need to realize that the history of the world in the Bible really is true, and so no evolutionary ancestors of people will be found because they never existed. Ministries like CMI will continue to expose the falsity of all ‘ape-man’ claims.

Note: See 16 April 2001 followup article from Dr Lubenow.


  1. Lieberman, Daniel E., Another face in our family tree <www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v410/n6827/full/410419a0_fs.html>, Nature 410, 419–420, 22 March 2001.Return to text.
  2. MSNBC News Service, Fossil shakes the evolutionary tree <www.msnbc.com/news/547607.asp>, 21 March 2001.Return to text.

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