Sunday, February 13, 2011

Humans walked upright 3.2 million years ago

Thomas H. Maugh II (LA Times, Feb. 12, 2011)
The 3.2-million-year-old skeleton called Lucy, left, and a life-size model on display in 2007 in Houston's Museum of Natural Science. Lucy's feet were probably arched for walking, new evidence indicates (Michael Stravato/AP).

A foot bone from a species made famous by the 1974 discovery of the specimen called Lucy had arched feet like the feet of modern humans.
A fossilized foot bone from Ethiopia indicates that human ancestors had largely abandoned swinging from trees by 3.2 million years ago and were spending virtually all of their time walking upright, researchers said this week.

The metatarsal bone from Australopithecus afarensis -- the species made famous by the 1974 discovery of the specimen known as Lucy -- clearly shows that the species had stiff, arched feet just like modern humans. Such feet are stiff enough to push off from the ground when taking a step and flexible enough to absorb shock when the foot touches down. But they have lost the ability to grasp branches and other objects, a distinguishing characteristic of Lucy's predecessors, Ardipithecus ramidus. More>>

Wisdom Quarterly (COMMENTARY)
Evolution is partly right, and so is the "other" theory. It was not Natural Selection that originated the evolving human form. However, it seems clear that evolution continues by natural (i.e., impersonal) processes. Such mechanisms result in our physical form. Karma accounts for much else, but it is inextricably enmeshed with form. Genetic manipulation has taken place, is being conducted now, and our DNA origins in more primitive (less like devas) form is hardly in dispute. The real history of the planet is so convoluted that this could hardly surprise anyone. The many kinds of humans did not evolve from a single forbear.

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