Has the Missing Link Been Found? | The Institute for Creation Research

Has the Missing Link Been Found?

On September 22, 1994, the news hit the headlines. "New Chimpanzee-size link to humans found in Ethiopian Desert" (USA Today). Similar articles appeared everywhere.

The articles reported a paper published in the British science journal, Nature, authored by Dr. Tim White of U.C. Berkeley and others. Despite a few "qualifying" words, the newspaper articles clearly asserted that humans had evolved from an undiscovered ape-like ancestor and that this new evidence was from a species close to that missing link. Does the evidence support this conclusion?

From the newspaper articles, we learn that 17 scraps of bone and teeth were found, and that these had been gnawed by carnivores. Some were fragments of skulls which had been crushed, others were teeth or tooth fragments, one of which was still embedded in a portion of the jaw no bigger than a man's thumbnail, but labeled "a child's jaw." A significant portion of an upper arm bone was also found. Nothing was found from below the waist, but the anthropologists concluded from the elbow and one tooth that this species had already split off from the apes, and was walking somewhat erect.

Specifically, what was concluded was that these creatures showed some features which were not completely apelike, but more so than the fossil dubbed "Lucy." This remarkable fossil, 40% complete and three feet six inches tall, was found by Dr. Donald Johanson in 1974, who admits that Lucy was chimplike. Although Lucy's skull was not recovered, others of the same species exhibit a chimp-sized brain and chimp-like teeth and jaws, with a few minor differences.

From the neck down, certain clues suggested to Johanson that Lucy walked a little more erect than today's chimps. This conclusion, based on his interpretation of the partial hipbone and a knee bone, has been hotly contested by many paleoanthropologists. But even the most generous view of Lucy was that she was chimp-like, possessing certain features reminiscent of humans. Long curved fingers and toes showed that her species was at home in the trees, although able also to walk on the ground. Perhaps they walked partially erect, but not in the human manner.

Unfortunately, Lucy has come to be considered as "the earliest human," a misstatement seldom (if ever) corrected by knowledgeable evolutionists. This deception continues to influence many, and even creeps into the evaluation of this most recent find.

Note the conclusion and the logic behind it. Lucy was the first human, or clearly on the road to man. The new find was more apelike. Therefore, it now becomes our most ancient ancestor. But without the religiously held conviction that humans came from animals, this evidence would be of little significance. At most, it would reveal evidence of a now extinct species, surely of some interest, but not frontpage headlines.

A great deal is at stake here—the concept that man is an animal. The concept that man was created by God who will one day pass judgment on each individual's actions and attitudes is rejected by many. How much more comfortable it is to think that there is no right and wrong, no external authority over one's life, no heaven or hell. Thus, any scrap of bone, which can be used to justify this position, makes headlines, even if it reflects poor science.

*Dr. John Morris is the President of ICR.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 1994. Has the Missing Link Been Found?. Acts & Facts. 23 (11).

The Latest
NEWS
Greenland Lakebed Fits Flood Narrative
Scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Observatory discovered an enormous ancient lakebed beneath the ice on Greenland.1 Although scientists...

NEWS
Inside December 2020 Acts & Facts
What is ICR’s mission? Why are volunteers vital to our ministry? How do you prepare for creation ministry? What legacy does Dr. Henry M. Morris...

ACTS & FACTS
Perhaps Today!
When I was a young boy, I remember a small, humble plaque that hung on the wall in my grandfather’s ICR office directly opposite his desk. Painted...

APOLOGETICS
December, Winter Weather, and Washington
Wintry-mix weather dominated Christmas night in 1776 as General George Washington and his boat-ferried troops crossed the Delaware River to surprise...

ACTS & FACTS
How Do I Prepare for Creation Ministry?
Many of today’s creation researchers can testify that information from the Institute for Creation Research sparked a burning, lifelong passion...

ACTS & FACTS
Dr. Henry M. Morris III: A Kingdom-Focused Life
Dr. Henry M. Morris III has been at the heart of the Institute for Creation Research’s ministry work for decades, using his gifts as a leader,...

DISCOVERY CENTER
Volunteering God's Creation Truth
“Welcome to the ICR Discovery Center!” Kerry greets the guests with a smile as they walk into the exhibit hall. “Is this your first...

ACTS & FACTS
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?
Scott Arledge and Brian Thomas, Ph.D. “The odds that we are in base reality is one in billions,” says famed inventor Elon Musk.1...

ACTS & FACTS
Osteostracans Aren't Ancestors
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Cambrian Explosion
The modern theory of evolution has its roots in Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species, in which he proposed the fundamental conjecture...