August 9, 2007

Kenyan Archaeologist’s Findings Challenge Darwinian Evolution Theory

Text of report by Kenyan KTN TV on 9 August

Kenyan archaeologists today launched an unprecedented challenge on Charles Darwin's human evolution theory.

An archaeologist Fredrick Manthi claims two fossils found around Lake Turkana indicate that man may not have evolved from an inferior human-like creature as suggested by the theory. Manthi, who has been studying the fossils for the last seven years, claims human species named homo habilis and homo erectus lived in the same location at the same time and non evolved from the other. KTN's Mwendwa Kiogora reports on what it might mean to rewrite history on the origins of man.

[Kiogora] Charles Darwin's theory of evolution holds it that human beings evolved from inferior ancestors. Man grew through stages, first as homo habilis to homo erectus and to the homo sapiens he is supposedly is today. But Kenyan archaeologist, Dr Fredrick Manthi now disputes the theory. He claims to have discovered an intact skull of a homo erectus and an upper jaw bone of homo habilis at the Ileret region, east of Lake Turkana.

The archaeologist says the findings suggest that the creatures actually lived side by side.

[Manthi] Homo habilis never gave rise to homo erectus. For a long time we've believed that homo habilis gave rise to homo erectus but now these two discoveries have completely changed that story and now we know that these two species co-existed in the Lake Turkana basin.

[Dr Farah Idle, Kenya National Museum director-general] The fact they stayed separate as individual species for a long time, suggest that they had their own ecological niche, thus avoiding direct competition.

[Kiogora] The fossils were found in the year 2000 and the study conducted for seven years. Should the findings be proven right, history may have to be re-written.

[Manthi] That lineal succession theory that homo habilis came, then homo erectus, and then homo sapiens, that is going to change.

[Kiogora] The skull is the youngest specimen of the homo erectus species ever found and researchers believe it could have been that of a female while the jaw is said to be a homo habilis because of its distinctive dental characteristics. Kenya is said to be the cradle of mankind, where several fossils have been found.

The story of evolution has always been a controversial one and open to debate. And now the new findings that homo habilis actually lived side by side with homo erectus brings in a new chapter into this story of evolution.

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