While you and I spend our time wondering when the Phillies bullpen will
next self destruct or why there aren’t as many green M&Ms as there
are brown, or how long it will take Glenn Beck to realize we’re laughing at him, not with him, there are some people in the world (scientists and such as) who pass the time by making ground breaking discoveries, actually furthering the intellect of the human mind.
Move over Lucy. Make way for Ardi.
That’s right. Australopithecus afarensis,
an extinct hominid (most commonly known as Lucy), who was once thought
to be our oldest common ancestor, now must take a backseat to the most
recently proclaimed elder of bipedalism: Ardipithecus (or Ardi for short).
Like it or not, this is a big deal because Ardi is a million years older than Lucy! Consider her the
cougar of the archaeological bar scene. And with her discovery, the
entire evolutionary map of modern day humans and just exactly where we came
from, how we evolved, what we once were, has been totally rewritten.
It is no longer safe to say we share a common ancestor with
chimpanzees. More likely than not, we came from Ardi and whoever (or
whatever) came before her. Her construction is rare, odd, striking: a
bipedal creature with an opposable big toe; an animal that walks
upright on land but acts as a quadruped in its arboreal environment,
Ardi is the corner border in a 5 gazillion trillion piece puzzle that
is the evolutionary road to modern day humans.
We’re starting to know where we came from.
Yet the only plausible explanation science can come up with for where the
ugly flop-sweat of a man known as Vicente Padilla came from is this
thing from the Clash of the Titans:
Hate me ‘cuz I don’t pull punches, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**Special thanks to Jason Russell for the pic and assist. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonrussellUT