New Fossil Find Changes Human Evolution

A new fossil find suggests that Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus lived side by side for a time, rather than the entire Habilis population evolving into Erectus. This has caused an outburst from creationists, but they're griping about nothing. The Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium explains this scenario beautifully. In the age of Homo Habilis, there surely would have been many populations; tribes, if you will. One isolated population could evolve over time, and then rejoin the main population. When it rejoined, it would have been different enough genetically not to interbreed. This is known to happen, it is shown experimentally in fruit flies. Anyway, once it rejoined the population, it would have competed with its parent species. Eventually Habilis went extinct, and Erectus became the dominant species. Now how's that for a just-so story? It is a story, don't get me wrong, but it does illustrate that the new fossils are not fatal, nay, not even damaging, to the theory of evolution. Richard Dawkins put it this way, "Why on earth should a species go extinct, just because some members of that species happen to have evolved into a different one? 'Sorry guys, some of our lot seem to be evolving into a spanking new species, so we'd better all die to make room for them.'"

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