The gist of the article is that a 'new' Australopithecine branch has been announced, and touted as our most likely ancestor (keep in mind I haven't read the Science article yet, so I can't state this summary as gospel).
However, the problem comes in that Australopithecus Afarensis ('Lucy', for paleo-anthropology buffs), is dated at around 3 - 4 million years, roughly meaning that Afarensis should (?) be the ancestor to this little beasty...and that H.o.m.o Habilis ('Handy Man') is also dated at around 1.8 - 2 million years.
Now, the rules of naming are that a species lineage determines it's genus, which means that either this find is contemporary to Habilis, but without a common ancestor from the Australopithecines, or that it is contemporary with Habilis and both had a common ancestor from the Australo lineage.
The implication of the first is that the common ancestor to H.o.m.o and Australo's dates back beyond the 4 million year mark, and is yet to be found, and when it does it will have definitive H.o.m.o traits, rather than Australo traits.
The implication of the second is that we aren't what we think we are, and are in actual fact Australopithecines...which means our genus needs a name change to Australopithecus Sapiens.
Very big call on this man's part, and no doubt he will take a right royal beating in paleo-anthropology circles in relation to it.
Yes, it's me.
Gungho |Takeda| Yamagato Masakage
You have spoken with clarity of thought and rhetorical flourish...you have surely earned the favour of the mods.
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