Friday, 17 June 2011
Fresh Doubts About Homo Habilis
A reconstruction of a H. habilis skull.
For several decades Homo habilis, “handy man”, had his place as a human ancestor in Darwinian thinking. He was thought to be one of the earliest stone tool users on the way to becoming fully human.
Recently, however, H. habilis has gone the way most evolutionary links go – i. e. into oblivion.
It has become increasingly evident that H. habilis was more of an ape than an early human. The journal Science acknowledges: “H. habilis matured and moved less like a human and more like an australopithecine, such as the famous partial skeleton of Lucy.”
In addition, the Science article also mentioned research soon to be published in the Journal of Human Evolution that suggests that H. habilis even ate like an ape.
With assumed human ancestors becoming extremely rare, there is a more viable approach described in a book called Genesis.
Gibbons, A. 2011. Who Was Homo habilis—And Was It Really Homo? Science 332 (6036): 1370-1371 (17 June).