The Imaginary Family Tree of Man Australopithecus Homo habilis
The Misconception about Homo rudolfensis Homo erectus Neanderthals: Their Anatomy and Culture Archaic Homo sapiens, Homo heidelbergensis and Cro-Magnon Man
The Collapse of the Family Tree Latest Evidence: Sahelanthropus tchadensis
and The Missing Link That Never Was
The Secret History of Homo sapiens Huts and Footprints












 The Misconception about Homo rudolfensis

The term Homo rudolfensis is the name given to a few fossil fragments unearthed in 1972. The species supposedly represented by this fossil was designated Homo rudolfensis because these fossil fragments were found in the vicinity of Lake Rudolf in Kenya. Most paleoanthropologists accept that these fossils do not belong to a distinct species, but that the creature called Homo rudolfensis is in fact indistinguishable from Homo habilis.

Richard Leakey, who unearthed the fossils, presented the skull designated KNM-ER 1470, which he said was 2.8 million years old, as the greatest discovery in the history of anthropology. According to Leakey, this creature, which had a small cranial capacity like that of Australopithecus together with a face similar to that of present-day humans, was the missing link between Australopithecus and humans. Yet, after a short while, it was realized that the human-like face of the KNM-ER 1470 skull, which frequently appeared on the covers of scientific journals and popular science magazines, was the result of the incorrect assembly of the skull fragments, which may have been deliberate. Professor Tim Bromage, who conducts studies on human facial anatomy, brought this to light by the help of computer simulations in 1992:

When it [KNM-ER 1470] was first reconstructed, the face was fitted to the cranium in an almost vertical position, much like the flat faces of modern humans. But recent studies of anatomical relationships show that in life the face must have jutted out considerably, creating an ape-like aspect, rather like the faces of Australopithecus .192

Richard Leakey misled both himself and the world of paleontology about Homo rudolfensis.

The evolutionary paleoanthropologist J. E. Cronin states the following on the matter:

... its relatively robustly constructed face, flattish naso-alveolar clivus, (recalling australopithecine dished faces), low maximum cranial width (on the temporals), strong canine juga and large molars (as indicated by remaining roots) are all relatively primitive traits which ally the specimen with members of the taxon A. africanus.193

C. Loring Brace from Michigan University came to the same conclusion. As a result of the analyses he conducted on the jaw and tooth structure of skull 1470, he reported that "from the size of the palate and the expansion of the area allotted to molar roots, it would appear that ER 1470 retained a fully Australopithecus -sized face and dentition."194

Professor Alan Walker, a paleoanthropologist from Johns Hopkins University who has done as much research on KNM-ER 1470 as Leakey, maintains that this creature should not be classified as a member of Homo-i.e., as a human species-but rather should be placed in the Australopithecus genus.195

In summary, classifications like Homo habilis or Homo rudolfensis, which are presented as transitional links between the australopithecines and Homo erectus, are entirely imaginary. It has been confirmed by many researchers today that these creatures are members of the Australopithecus series. All of their anatomical features reveal that they are species of apes.

This fact has been further established by two evolutionist anthropologists, Bernard Wood and Mark Collard, whose research was published in 1999 in Science. Wood and Collard explained that the Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis (Skull 1470) taxa are imaginary, and that the fossils assigned to these categories should be attributed to the genus Australopithecus :

More recently, fossil species have been assigned to Homo on the basis of absolute brain size, inferences about language ability and hand function, and retrodictions about their ability to fashion stone tools. With only a few exceptions, the definition and use of the genus within human evolution, and the demarcation of Homo, have been treated as if they are unproblematic. But ... recent data, fresh interpretations of the existing evidence, and the limitations of the paleoanthropological record invalidate existing criteria for attributing taxa to Homo....in practice fossil hominin species are assigned to Homo on the basis of one or more out of four criteria. ... It is now evident, however, that none of these criteria is satisfactory. The Cerebral Rubicon is problematic because absolute cranial capacity is of questionable biological significance. Likewise, there is compelling evidence that language function cannot be reliably inferred from the gross appearance of the brain, and that the language-related parts of the brain are not as well localized as earlier studies had implied......

...In other words, with the hypodigms of H. habilis and H. rudolfensis assigned to it, the genus Homo is not a good genus. Thus, H. habilis and H. rudolfensis (or Homo habilis sensu lato for those who do not subscribe to the taxonomic subdivision of "early Homo") should be removed from Homo. The obvious taxonomic alternative, which is to transfer one or both of the taxa to one of the existing early hominin genera, is not without problems, but we recommend that, for the time being, both H. habilis and H. rudolfensis should be transferred to the genus Australopithecus .196

The conclusion of Wood and Collard corroborates the conclusion that we have maintained here: "Primitive human ancestors" do not exist in history. Creatures that are alleged to be so are actually apes that ought to be assigned to the genus Australopithecus . The fossil record shows that there is no evolutionary link between these extinct apes and Homo, i.e., human species that suddenly appears in the fossil record.

192 Tim Bromage, "Faces From the Past," New Scientist, vol. 133, issue 1803, 11 January 1992, p. 41. (emphasis added)
193 J. E. Cronin, N. T. Boaz, C. B. Stringer, Y. Rak, "Tempo and Mode in Hominid Evolution," Nature, vol. 292, 1981, pp. 117.
194 C. L. Brace, H. Nelson, N. Korn, M. L. Brace, Atlas of Human Evolution, 2. b., Rinehart and Wilson, New York, 1979.
195 Alan Walker and Richard E.F. Leakey, "The Hominids of East Turkana", Scientific American, vol. 239 (2), August 1978, p. 54.
196 Bernard Wood, Mark Collard, "The Human Genus," Science, vol. 284, No 5411, 2 April 1999, pp. 65-71.