Thursday, April 13, 2006

Awash with discoveries

Some of the more recent news in evolution have been 1. molecular exploitation as a mechanism for molecular complexity and 2. the discovery of the fossil of Tiktaalik roseae--a transitional form between fish and tetrapods. Now there's the discovery of the fossils of Australopithecus anamensis--"the earliest known member of Australopithecus"--right between fossils of the later species Australopithecus afarensis and an earlier one Ardipithecus ramidus.

Since their remains don’t overlap, scientists think the three species are directly related, evolving one from the other, rather than being cousins that shared a common ancestor.

"This discovery fills the gap between Ardipithicus and Australopithecus," said study team member Tim White, an anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

The fossils were discovered in the Middle Awash valley in Ethiopa, an area where "scientists have found the fossils of nearly 250 hominid specimens embedded within more than a mile of stacked sediments representing time periods that stretch back 6 million years." "'Here is one place on Earth where you have 12 separate [sediment layers], one stacked on top of another, whose fossils have filled in many of the gaps in human evolution over the years,' White told LiveScience. 'Many of the links are no longer missing.'"

I suppose it's yet another find the Discovery Institute will be downplaying.

Is there no end to the torrent of evidence for evilution?!

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