Alleged 7 Million Year Old Hominid Fossil is Probably
an Extinct Ape
by: Patrick Young, Ph.D.
This letter to the Editor was submitted to the Columbus Dispatch
in July, 2002 but was not published
Dr. Patrick Young's Home page
Before the Columbus Dispatch salivates too much over a perceived new human ancestor ("New fossil discovered 7 million years old", printed 7/11/02), you might want to look at all the scientific information.
- There were no post cranial bone fragments found. They have no idea whether this creature walked upright, crawled, walked on all fours, or lived in trees.
- The 7 million-year age conclusion is dubious because sediments where the skull was found were never directly dated and are considered impossible to date by radiometric methods. The authors based their conclusions on similar fauna found in a completely different region of Africa that was measured by potassium-argon radiochemical dating. Moreover, it is well documented that potassium-argon dating has serious fundamental flaws making it an inappropriate method for absolute dating.
- There is nothing about this skull in itself that would lead you to believe it is some type of human ancestor. The authors’ conclusions are based on the very argumentative idea that the Australopithecines have been proven to be human ancestors. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The most scientific conclusion to be drawn from all the information available is this is a chimpanzee sized extinct form of ape.
Patrick Young, Ph.D.
Canal Winchester, Ohio
Contact Dr. Young with your comments or questions