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Creation 17(1):6, December 1994

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That new ‘missing link’


News services around the world have carried stories of a ‘sensational’ missing link found in Africa. Dated by evolutionists at 4.4 million years, it appears to consist of some teeth, fragments of skull, and the bones of one arm, about the size of a pygmy chimp.

Early reports suggest that these fragments are similar to ‘Lucy’ (Australopithecus afarensis) and her kin, and are classed in the same genus, Australopithecus (the new fossil is called Australopithecus ramidus).

If indeed the australopithecines (including Lucy) were the evolutionary ancestors of humans, and the dating was reliable, then the hype would at least have some basis. This is because it would be 800,000 years (on the evolutionists’ timescale) earlier than Lucy, and so should be closer to the alleged common ancestor between apes and humans.

However, the amazing thing is that the careful work of trained anatomists (themselves evolutionists) such as the late Lord Solly Zuckerman of Birmingham, and Professor Charles Oxnard of the University of Western Australia, on the australopithecines is being totally overlooked.

Using objective computerized multivariate analysis of many measurements on the bones, they (and an increasing number of other researchers who are not associated with the discovery of any of these creatures) invariably find that all of the australopithecines, grouped together anatomically, are further away from both apes and humans than these two groups are from each other.

They thus conclude that the australopithecines were a unique group of extinct creatures, not anatomically intermediate between apes and humans, so were not evolutionary ‘links’ at all.

Did australopithecines walk upright in the human manner, as evolutionists commonly claim? (The reports speculate that A. ramidus might have—if only they could find the leg bones.) No, say these anatomists, and recent discoveries of other Australopithecus bones have highlighted this further. These creatures had long, powerful arms and curved fingers suited to tree-dwelling.

Some interesting new work has also helped to demolish the idea that the australopithecines habitually walked upright. Computerized X-ray scans are able to reveal the bony structure of the inner ear. The shape of this has been shown to directly reflect patterns of movement. Understandably, humans (the only creatures alive that walk habitually upright) have an inner ear structure which stands out from the rest. When this analysis is carried out on fossil skulls, the results are completely in line with modern creationist expectations. So-called Homo erectus (which even some evolutionists are saying should be reclassified as Homo sapiens) has an inner ear structure just like ours; whereas that of all australopithecines (and habilines) studied are ‘decidedly ape-like’.

In summary, whether the fragments of ramidus (if indeed it even deserves a separate species name) turn out to be even more chimp-like (as evolutionists expect) than Lucy or not can give no comfort to their desperate search for ‘missing links’, since no matter how many more australopithecines are dug up, the evidence already overwhelmingly shows that the group was not ancestral to people anyway.


  1. Based on Reuter and AP news releases.
  2. See CSF’ The Revised Quote Book, p. 14, for Oxnard’s comments and references.
  3. P. Shipman, ‘Those Ears Were Made for Walking’, New Scientist, July 30, 1994, pp. 26-­29.
  4. F. Spoor, B. Wood and F. Zonneveld, ‘Implications of early hominid labyrinthine morphology for evolution of human bipedal locomotion’, Nature, Vol.369, June 23, 1994, pp. 645­648.

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