I have always been dismayed by the number of people who believe that you have to check your brain at the front door of the church if you are going to be a faithful follower of Christ. So many of the faith cringe when a new story is released that seems to indicate the idea of evolution is correct. Well, cringe no more. (You shouldn't have anyway. One day we will talk about the validity of micro-evolution and the absurdity of macro-evolution.) Released on the Fox News website today is an interesting find in the sandy soil of Africa. It seems that our ancestors may heave originated at near the same time rather than a long string of incredibly difficult mutations. Here is the article almost in it's entirety:
Surprising fossils dug up in Africa are creating messy kinks in the iconic straight line of human evolution with its knuckle-dragging ape and briefcase-carrying man.
The new research by famed paleontologist Meave Leakey in Kenya shows our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, calling into question the evolution of our ancestors.
The old theory was that the first and oldest species in our family tree, Homo habilis, evolved into Homo erectus, which then became us, Homo sapiens.
• Click here to visit FOXNews.com's Evolution & Paleontology Center.
But those two earlier species lived side-by-side about 1.5 million years ago in parts of Kenya for at least half a million years, Leakey and colleagues report in a paper published in Thursday's journal Nature.
In 2000 Leakey found an old H. erectus complete skull within walking distance of an upper jaw of the H. habilis, and both dated from the same general time period.
That makes it unlikely that H. erectus evolved from H. habilis, researchers said.
It's the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter, said study co-author Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.
The two species lived near each other, but probably didn't interact with each other, each having their own "ecological niche," Spoor said.
Homo habilis was likely more vegetarian and Homo erectus ate some meat, he said.
Like chimps and gorillas, "they'd just avoid each other, they don't feel comfortable in each other's company," he said.
They have some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.
Overall what it paints for human evolution is a "chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us," Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.
That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, keeps getting proven wrong and too simple, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings.
He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and wasn't involved in the research team.
"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said.
Scientists used to think H. sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, a closely related species, he said, but now know that both species lived during the same time period and that we did not come from Neanderthals.
Now a similar discovery applies further back in time.
Leakey's team spent seven years analyzing the fossils before announcing their findings that it was time to redraw the family tree — and rethink other ideas about human evolutionary history, especially about our most immediate ancestor, H. erectus.
How about this as an explanation for the beginning of man and woman:
Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his nostrils. The man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 (GW)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is right for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (GW)
21 So the Lord God caused him to fall into a deep sleep. While the man was sleeping, the Lord God took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.
22 Then the Lord God formed a woman from the rib that he had taken from the man. He brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:21-22 (GW)
Don't be afraid of science. The more the unbelieving world learns about our ancestors the more it will lead them back to the Book.
See you around the throne - Pastor Ken.