You have mentioned lucy a couple of times now. Lucy was not found intact in one place. I read that the bones, including the knee (which showed, she was probably bipedal) were not just found in different areas, but actually at different depths, showing different age of bones. Sorry if this is off topic, just when people talk about lucy I feel I need to bring this up.
You realize that this is claiming that Lucy is a fraud, and that the scientists are charletans. That's a pretty serious accusation to just drop. I'll just say that your "source" is misrepresenting the truth to you. But you are right this should be a separate topic and NOT discussed here.
This is also a science thread, and statements like that need to be substantiated or withdrawn.
The purpose of this tread is to discuss whether the fossil in question is fact or fraud.
The first thing to address is the source of the claim quoted above.
I read what I said in the previous thread about a year ago (during human evolution section of 7th form bio). A friend had printed off about 10 pages of info of arguments that went through objections to many of the major findings (ie the different types of homo species). Lucy was mentioned somewhere in there. It said that lucy's bones were found in different areas (I dont mean Km's away, more like metres) and it claimed (from memory) that the knee was found 2 metres below the the skull.
I also watched a video where they re-enacted the lucy finding, and it showed them finding the bones over a period of two weeks. They stumbled across a hominid bone in a site which also contained hundreds of other animal bones including elephants etc. They continued looking/excavating around the site and found the pieces which make up lucy.
I am not sure if
This is what actually happened
If the bones being found seperate from each other is important
And no I dont have the paper my friend let me read (I will ask him if he has it now but I doubt it) and I sadly cant remember where i saw the video. So I probably dont have much to go on here. (exams in a week, dont have alot of time to do internet research into it)
Here is a site that I read over before my previous post.
How do we know that her skeleton is from a single individual?
Although several hundred fragments of hominid bone were found at the Lucy site, there was no duplication of bones. A single duplication of even the most modest of bone fragments would have disproved the single skeleton claim, but no such duplication is seen in Lucy
(what is the colour that you use for websites, it looks better than what I used)
It said that lucy's bones were found in different areas (I dont mean Km's away, more like metres) and it claimed (from memory) that the knee was found 2 metres below the the skull.
You are probably partially correct. The knee WAS found 2 meters below the skull. HOWEVER, they were refering to the fact that the knee and skull and many other parts were exposed on the sloping surface of a river gorge. The knee was 2 meters DOWN SLOPE from the skull. That is a huge difference from being buried vertically 2 meters deep in dirt below the skull.
This has circulated quite a bit, and is at least as old as Gish's "Evolution, the fossils say no!". The knee in question was found some distance away and has never in any way been associated with the fossil Lucy outside of generally considered to be the same species. The knee was found the year before and was used as evidence that a biped of unknown affinity live ~3 mya in that region. The knee was found in 1973, Lucy (determined to be from a single individual) and some associated teeth and jaws from other inviduals in 1974, and hundreds of fossils representing as many as 13 individuals the following year ("The First Family"). Also very similar fossils were discovered at another locality in Tanzania along with footprints.
At some point in time (and I cannot pinpoint the guilty party) all of the fossils lumped under the name of Australopithecus afarensis started being reported in creationist literature as a single find (as if evolutionists discovered what they believed to be a single fossil called Lucy). By claiming that evolutionists claimed there was only one individual it became easy to discredit. How could Lucy be one individual if her knew was found hundreds of meters away? How could footprints show she walked upright if those prints were in a different country? And so on. Classic strawman!
Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?" Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true" Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?" Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
At some point in time (and I cannot pinpoint the guilty party) all of the fossils lumped under the name of Australopithecus afarensis started being reported in creationist literature as a single find (as if evolutionists discovered what they believed to be a single fossil called Lucy). By claiming that evolutionists claimed there was only one individual it became easy to discredit.
this is a common creationist strategy. it is sowing two untruths at once, in fact:
1. that paleontologists only have a handful of fossils, and very few hominids. 2. that they are easily fooled, or just make things up, because they sit around all day daydreaming.
it's almost insulting to hear people who have absolutely no understanind of science, anatomy, biology, physiology, or geology just assume that nobody else does either.
If there is a thorn in the side of evolutionary argument then the very tip of that thorn must be that expression of liberalism known as the 'artists impression'. Here we see the evolution of romance in full flight. There are secondary allusions towards early attempts at forming the vowel sounds associated with the word "Cheese" For the sake of tree-ring dating theory however, the trees in the background look conveniently as much as they ever have.
(only kidding folks. Just trying my hand at getting a photo hosted all by myself)
I'm a little surprised that no one has linked to the TalkOrigins page on this issue. It goes into the whole history of the claim and its refutation. It gives some more background to what Lithodid-Man explained.
quote: Johanson's writings have always been clear about the fact that his 1973 knee joint was a separate find from Lucy. All of the bones shown in photographs of Lucy were found at a single location.
(image copied from original site to save bandwidth)
AL 129-1 is a complete knee joint, consiting of the distal femur (lower end of the thigh bone, at the top of the photo) and proximal tibia (upper end of the shin bone, at the bottom of the photo) from a single individual. This discovery was conclusive proof of bipedal walking in early humans as old as 3 million years ago. (More recent finds push that benchmark of human evolution back to at least 4 million years ago.)
You will notice it is NOT part of the skeleton in the picture you linked above.
In the summer of 1977, collaborators Donald Johanson and Tim White got together with a roomful of ancient hominids from Hadar and Laetoli. In addition to the famous footprints, they had two well-preserved jaws and isolated teeth from Laetoli. From Hadar, they had not just Lucy but a host of hundreds of fossils, including a knee joint that strongly suggested its owner walked upright.
BOLD mine for emPHAsis. Note the clear distinction between the Lucy fossil set and the knee joint in question.
Fossil Hominids: Lucy (AL 288-1) About 40% of her skeleton was found, and her pelvis, femur (the upper leg bone) and tibia show her to have been bipedal, although there is evidence that afarensis was also partly arboreal (tree-dwelling). She was about 107 cm (3'6") tall (small for her species) and about 28 kg (62 lbs) in weight.
Now it may seem curious to the average layman what those (AL 129-1) and (AL 288-1) numbers mean -- they are the official designations of the fossils, thus clearly showing that the knee and the Lucy fossils were never considered the same individual. You also have enough of the knee on each leg - but not a complete joint - to show that they are from the same species. "AL 288-1" means specimen #1 from Afar Locality #288 -- and here indicating that they are regarded as being from the same individual.
I am not sure if ... If the bones being found seperate from each other is important
That depends on the distance, the number of other bones\fossils found in between and the claims of the finders, etcetera. You can see a little about this on this site down where she talks about the age of the site (shows a 'typical' cross-section not the actual one) http://www.anthro4n6.net/lucy/
They stumbled across a hominid bone in a site which also contained hundreds of other animal bones including elephants etc. They continued looking/excavating around the site and found the pieces which make up lucy.
The general site had\has many fossils, but when the one hominid bone was found they would have searched the immediate area around it, not just anywhere on the hillside.
This clearly shows a combination of bones from several fossil finds. It is also clear that there is plenty of overlap on these bones to justify such an assemblage as being roughly representative of what a complete skeleton would actuall look like.
However, no one claims that these are all from one individual eh?
I read what I said in the previous thread about a year ago (during human evolution section of 7th form bio). A friend had printed off about 10 pages of info of arguments that went through objections to many of the major findings (ie the different types of homo species). Lucy was mentioned somewhere in there.
You realize of course that the printed off pages are not scientific literature, that any number of false and misleading things can be found on the internet, and that it is the responsibility of people to validate what they read there before using it to make accusations.
I also hope you realize that this is a very serious accusation of scientific misconduct and that it should not be made lightly, based more on what you hope is true rather than what you know is true.
I think by now you will agree that your claim was made a bit in haste and with incomplete information,
BUT: I think you need to clearly state whether or not you accept that Lucy (AL 288-1) is a "40% complete specimen" of one individual, and that the knee joint (AL 129-1) is a separate specimen and that NO scientist has claimed they are from the same individual.