Thursday, March 4, 2010
Ardi also known as Ardipithecus ramidus is a fossilized hominid skeleton. They are millions of years old. Ardi share features that are common to both human and ape. Scientists speculate that Ardi might be the “holy grail of anthropology”, the famous missing link between humans and apes.
This is precisely my point, why should one consider Ardi as an intermediate or link species? Why can’t it be seen as its own species (not as an intermediate species) that lived simultaneously with other species but happened to have elements of human and ape? The scientists over the years have created a linear time frame model based on fossils and soil stratification (as far as I know) and try to fit in the fossils within this time frame model. The assumption is older species evolve into newer ones over time depending on where they are placed. This linear assumption is fine as long as we can prove that species did not coexist at the same time.
The null hypothesis in this case is that Ardi is not an intermediate or link species. Therefore the scientists first of all should have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis that Ardi is an “intermediate/link” species between ape and human and at the same time also prove that Ardi did not exist simultaneously during the period of apes and early humans. Only this can show without doubt that Ardi is indeed in-between species suggesting the concept of link or intermediate species. This still does not prove an ape species evolving to Ardi species evolving to human. Testing this hypothesis will only put Ardi type species in a time frame between an ape and human suggesting a link.
Perhaps genetic mapping between the species can establish the concept of link but still does not isolate the question of simultanoeous existance.
I guess I am not convinced fully that merely by placing a species in between a time range and similar physical and other features makes it a link?