The famous Lucy fossil is not a missing link between humans and ape-like creatures.
Lucy isn't the missing link!
“Lucy” is the popular name given to the famous fossil skeleton that American anthropologist Donald Johanson found in Ethiopia in 1974. To many people, Lucy is regarded as some kind of link between ape-like creatures and humans, thus supposedly proving evolution.
But is Lucy really a pre-human ancestor?
According to Richard Leakey, who along with Johanson became probably the best-known fossil-anthropologist in the world, Lucy's skull was so incomplete that most of it was “imagination made of plaster of paris”. Leakey said in 1983 that no firm conclusion could be drawn about what species Lucy belonged to.
Reinforcing the fact that Lucy is not a creature between ape and man, Dr. Charles Oxnard, Professor of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia, said in 1987 of the australopithecines (the group to which Lucy is said to have belonged):
“The various australopithecines are, indeed, more different from both African apes and humans in most features than these latter are from each other. Part of the basis of this acceptance has been the fact that even opposing investigators have found these large differences as they too, used techniques and research designs that were less biased by prior notions as to what the fossils might have been.”
Oxnard's firm conclusion? “The australopithecines are unique.” They are so different from humans and from African apes that they could not be intermediate between them.
Not ancestor to humans
Neither Lucy nor any other australopithecine is therefore intermediate between humans and African apes. Nor are they similar enough to humans to be any sort of ancestor of ours.
A new species of autralopithecine, Australopithecus garhi, was discovered in 1999 in Ethiopia. Even though this ape was said to be more long-legged than Lucy, it is still just an ape.
In 2002, scientists found another missing link-type suspect. They called this fossil, found in East Africa, the Toumai fossil. It was supposed to be “the oldest trace of a pre-human ancestor”. But even some evolutionists who examined it said it was no such thing.
Jawbone sets Australopithecus apart from humans
As if all this evidence were not enough to show that Lucy had no role in being a human ancestor, more confirmation came in 2007.
Three scientists from the departments of anatomy, anthropology, and zoology at Tel Aviv University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Vol. 104, pp. 6568-72, April 17, 2007) that the jawbone of the Lucy species (Australopithecus afarensis) is a close match to a gorilla's.
The article's abstract admits that “This finding was unexpected given that chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans.”
The scientists concluded that this pretty much discounts these australopithecines as having any role in being a modern human ancestor.
Not a missing link
Lucy and the australopithecines show nothing about human evolution, and should not be promoted as having any sort of “missing link” status. The creationist alternative, that humans, apes and other creatures were created that way in the beginning, remains an explanation consistent with all the evidence.