A STAR IS BORN
Media everywhere have recently carried banner stories about the
discovery in Ethiopia of fossil bones deemed the oldest yet found of
the primate species that eventually evolved into humans. Worldwide
news outlets for TV, print, radio, and wire have trumpeted the
inexorable march of science back to the moment when the so-called
“common ancestor” of apes and humans will eventually be unearthed.
Such reports are given as if no other result is remotely possible;
it is simply a matter of time and circumstance. But is it?
The new fossils average 5.5 million years old, neatly fitting within
the range of 5 to 7 million years ago that is the accepted window
for when humans and apes diverged from the common ancestor. However,
that window is heavily fogged with assumptions rather than provable
calculations. Geneticists have made broad assumptions about mutation
rates in the mitochondrial DNA of great apes, which just happens to
dovetail in the window with equally broad assumptions made by
The anthropological estimate begins with an astonishing string of
human-shaped footprints tracked across volcanic ash 3.5 million
years ago in what today is Laetoli, Tanzania. Upright bipedal
walking is considered a hallmark of humanity and all of its
predecessors, so if it was firmly established at 3.5 million years
ago, the process had to begin at least 2 or 3 million years earlier.
Add 2 to 3 million years to 3.5 million and you arrive at 5.5 to 6.5
million years ago. Tack on another half million front and back for
coverage and presto! Primates started becoming bipedal 5 to 7
million years ago.
THE DOGMA SHUFFLE
Despite howls of protest to the contrary, that is usually how
scientists operate. They will arrive at a poorly supported
conclusion because it seems logical based on what they know at a
certain point in time. Rather than make that conclusion provisional,
which should be automatic because science is nothing more than a
long series of corrected mistakes, their assumption becomes dogma
that is strenuously defended until a new conclusion is shoved down
the unwilling throats of the specialists responsible for
perpetuating the dogma.
A clear example occurred decades ago when scientists arrived at the
seemingly obvious conclusion that humanity was propelled to its
destiny by a radical change in climate. The forest homes of the
early great apes —and the supposed common ancestor of humanity— must
have suffered a severe blight, forcing some primates to begin making
their way out onto the savannas that replaced the forests. In the
process, increased hand dexterity would become essential. Tools and
weapons would have to be held or carried, as well as food and
possibly infants, although this last notion was and remains a point
Though lacking truly opposable thumbs, nonhuman primate infants have
enough strength and dexterity in their hands and feet to cling to
their mothers’ body hair from the first few moments after birth.
Human babies must be carried almost constantly for a full year and,
to be safe, for ample parts of another. Nobody can agree on when —
much less why — such a severely negative physiological trait would
start to manifest, but one assumption is that it started when body
hair began to diminish and/or feet began losing the ability to
Another unsolved strategic puzzle is why prehumans would relinquish
so much physical strength (pound for pound all primates —even
monkeys— are 5 to 10 times stronger than humans) during the
transition onto the savanna. That makes even less sense than giving
up the clinging ability of infants. However, as infants’ hands and
feet lost traction, adult hands became ever more dexterous and their
feet became ever more adapted to upright locomotion, which —though
inexplicable— must have been a worthwhile trade-off.
THE AGONY OF THE FEET
Whatever the reasons, as prehuman hands were utilized for other
tasks, they could no longer be used for locomotion, which
necessitated moving more and more on the rear limbs alone. In short,
so the theorizing went, the more we used our hands, the more we were
forced to stand upright. Furthermore, as we assumed both of those
radical changes in primate lifestyle, our brains grew larger to
accommodate all of the unique new tasks required to succeed in the
new environment. It was a conveniently reciprocal spiral of
ever-increasing sophistication and capability that led (or drove) us
to our destiny.
That dogma stayed in place until 1974, when the famous fossil
hominid “Lucy” was discovered in a dry desert arroyo in Ethiopia.
Dated reliably at 3.2 million years ago, Lucy clearly walked upright
as a fully functioning biped. There was no doubt about it. Problem
was, she had the head and brain of a chimpanzee. In fact, she was
little more than an upright walking chimpanzee, and a small one at
that (3.5 feet tall). Overnight, science lost its ability to insist
that brainpower had to increase, ipso facto, with the coequal
modifications of hand freedom and bipedality.
Lucy created other problems, too. Her arms seemed a bit longer than
they should have been in an incipient human, although lingering
echoes of chimphood were acceptable. A further echo was her hands,
which had thumbs that were not very opposable, and fingers that were
longer and curved a bit more than seemed appropriate. Vaguely
ape-like hands atop markedly human-like feet did not set well with
the established dogma. Then there was the problem of where she was
found, in an area that when she died was primarily wooded forest.
That confounded the dogmatists because forests rarely created
fossils, while prehumans were supposed to be found on savannas,
which did produce
Lucy and several others of her kind (Australopithecus afarensis) forced anthropologists to accept that primate brain
modification had to be caused by something other than hand and foot
modification. However, it still made sense to assume that any
primate moving from forest to savanna had to use its hands to hold
and carry, and its feet to walk exclusively upright. Five years
after Lucy, the Laetoli tracks cemented that assumption, showing
perfect bipedality on a flat, open area —possibly a savanna— at 3.5
million years ago. Anthropologists heaved a sigh of relief and
considered Lucy’s woodland home a fluke.
Then, in 1994, a new fossil group called Ardipithecus ramidus was
found in Ethiopia and dated at 4.4 million years ago. Though 1.2
million years older than afarensis, ramidus was every bit as
bipedal, giving no sign of transition between them. This trashed the
idea that bipedality was an evolutionary lynchpin for humanity.
Worse, ramidus died — and apparently lived — in an area every bit as
forested as afarensis. Yikes!
[Like most of you reading this, I, too, deplore
overblown nomenclature. Would that they could be as succinct as
astronomers. The beginning of everything? The Big Bang. A big red
star? A Red Giant. A small white star? A White Dwarf. And so on….
Unfortunately, anthropologists earn their way making mountains of
suppositions out of molehills of data, the sparcity of which they
obfuscate with pedagogic pedantry.]
In 1995, with anthropologists still reeling from the “ramidus
problem,” two separate groups of fossils were found in Kenya. At
about 4.0 million years old, Australopithecus namensis was only
400,000 years younger than ramidus, but they were different enough
to warrant inclusion in a separate genus, the one that held Lucy and
her ilk. Like afarensis and ramidus, anamensis was a fully erect
biped, which was another stake in the heart of bipedality as a
construct of prehuman evolution. That was bad enough. But despite
its location distantly south of northern Ethiopia, anamensis also
lived and died in a forest.
Now comes the much ballyhooed discovery of Ardipithecus kadabba, 5.5
million years old and 1.1 million years older than ramidus. And
guess what? Kadabba was also found in what was once heavy forest!
That leaves anthropologists everywhere hearing the first chilling
notes of the Fat Lady warming up. Why? Because prehumans
possibly have evolved or developed, or whatever they did, in
forests. If that were true there would be absolutely no reason for
them to abandon established great ape behavior. Great apes have
forest living wired to an extreme, and they have had it wired for
over 20 million years, back to when their ancestors first appeared
in the Miocene epoch.
THE SKELETON IN THE CLOSET
Just as the public did with ramidus, they will overlook or disregard
the new anomalous forested environment, and eventually
anthropologists will be back to business as usual.
Everyone —scientists and public alike— will resume accepting the idea
that some small group of quadrupedal primates left the forests to
live on the savannas of their time and thereby became human. It
could not possibly have happened any other way. Humanity could not
have evolved or developed in a forest because we are physically
unsuited to it. So what could make our earliest ancestors do so?
What could make them stand upright?
Nothing. That’s not a choice any sane creature would make. Forest
dwelling primates — even those like gorillas, which dwell primarily
on the forest floor — would not forego the ability to scamper up
trees, or easily move from tree to tree, without an overwhelmingly
compelling reason, and no such reason could ever exist in the forest
itself. Only a radical, extended change in environment could warrant
the equally radical and extensive physical transformation from
quadruped to biped. And if no evidence for such an environmental
change is discernable over two million years of extremely early
bipedality, right back to the alleged point of divergence between
great apes and prehumans, then anthropology is facing a
quintessential dilemma: How to explain such an inexplicable
Surprisingly, there is an easy and simple solution. Unfortunately,
it is not in the ballpark of a wide range of currently accepted
dogmas within and outside of anthropology, and in this sensitive
area of knowledge anthropologists are the gatekeepers, tasked with
making certain the rest of us aren’t exposed to it. Why? Because, in
the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, they don’t believe we can
handle it. Well, I think all but the most hidebound of us can, so
for better or worse, here it is. Read on if you want to know the
ONCE UPON A TIME
It begins back in the Miocene epoch, mentioned earlier, which
extended for roughly 20 million years (25 to 5 million years ago).
Over the course of those 20 million years, more than 50 species of
tailless primate apes were known to roam the planet. Those 50+ types
have been classified into 20 genera (groups) with names like
Proconsul, Kenyapithecus, Dryopithecus, Sivapithecus, and most
familiar to a general audience, Gigantopithecus. Okay, show of
hands…. how many reading this have heard of the Miocene and of the
dozens of apes that lived during the course of its 20 million years?
Not many, eh?
The reason is because it presents a painful embarrassment to anyone
who supports the notion of Darwinian evolution, which definitely
includes mainstream anthropologists. Now, I am not a
please don’t cop any attitude because of the preceding sentence.
It’s true and it must be stated. Evolution dictates there should
have been one, then two, then three, then four, etc., as the magic
of speciation produced more and more tailless primates to live
wherever they could adapt themselves to fit. Unfortunately for
anthropologists, the exact opposite occurred. Dozens came into
existence during the Miocene, most quite suddenly, with no obvious
precursors, which is difficult enough to explain. But then nearly
all went extinct, leaving only six to thrive: two types of gorilla,
two types of chimp, gibbons and orangutans. Why? How? Is that a
No, it’s not. Miocene apes were ubiquitous, being found throughout
Asia, Africa, and Europe. They came in all sizes, from two-foot-tall
elves to ten-foot giants. In short, the planet was theirs to do with
as they pleased. Their natural predators would have been few, and
the larger ones would have had little to fear from any other
creature, even big cats. But since Miocene apes lived almost
exclusively in forests, and the big cats lived almost exclusively on
savannas, their paths seldom crossed. So for the most part, and as
with great apes today, the majority of Miocene apes were masters of
all they surveyed.
AGAIN UPON THE SAME TIME
Imagine the situation as it was…. dozens of tailless ape
species living throughout the planet’s forests and in some cases
jungles (the dry kind, not swamps), microevolving to whatever degree
necessary to make their lives comfortable wherever they were. Given
that scenario, what would cause all but six types to go extinct?
Well…. nothing, really. In the past 20 million years there have been
no global catastrophes. The last of those was 65 million years ago,
when the dinosaurs were wiped out. So apart from enduring migrations
necessitated by the slow waxing and waning of Ice Ages, all
apes would have been free to pursue their individual destinies in
relative peace and tranquility.
This brings us to the crux of the anthropological dilemma:
explain the loss of so many Miocene apes when there is no logical or
biologically acceptable reason for it?
They should still be with us,
living in the forests and jungles that sustained them for 20 million
years. Species don’t go extinct on a whim, they endure at almost any
cost. They are especially hard to eradicate if they are generalists
not locked into a specific habitat, which many Miocene apes seem to
have avoided. In fact, several were apparently such efficient
generalists, it makes more biological sense for them to have
survived into our own time than ecological specialists like
gorillas, chimps, gibbons, and orangutans.
As it happens, science does not know a tremendous amount about the
bodies of Miocene apes. Most of the categories have been classified
solely by skulls, skull parts, and teeth, which are the most durable
bones in primate bodies. For example, the best known of the Miocene
apes, Gigantopithecus, is classified by only four jawbones and many
hundreds of teeth. Nevertheless, that is enough to designate them as
the physical giants they were, and so it goes with many others.
Among those others, enough fragments of arm and leg bones have been
recovered to show their limbs were surprisingly balanced in length.
Quadrupeds have arms that are distinctly longer than their legs to
make moving on all fours graceful and easy. Humans have arms that
are distinctly shorter than their legs. Some Miocene apes have arms
that are equal in length to their legs. Nonetheless, every Miocene
ape is considered to have been a quadruped. On the face of it, this
would seem to warrant another, perhaps more inclusive or flexible
interpretation. Unfortunately, we can’t have one because
anthropologists insist that the six quadrupeds living among us today
are fully representative of all Miocene categories. That makes
sense, doesn’t it?
I hope by now you can see where this is heading. There is absolutely
no way anyone can say for certain that all Miocene apes were
quadrupeds. Clearly some of them were, but it is equally possible
that some were bipeds as early as 20 million years ago. That is
based on established facts and undeniable logic, but it will be
strenuously disputed by virtually all anthropologists who might be
confronted with it. In fact, if you want to see someone get their
knickers in a twist, as the British like to say, suggest to an
anthropologist that several of the Miocene apes might well have been
bipeds. If you accept this challenge, step back, plug your ears, and
brace yourself. You are in for a tongue lashing.
The problem for anthropologists is that if they acknowledge the
distinct possibility that some of the 50+ species of tailless
Miocene apes might indeed have been bipedal, they are opening the
door to a possibility so embarrassing that they don’t even like to
dream about it, much less actively consider it. That possibility —in
case you haven’t guessed it by now— is hominoids in general and bigfoot/sasquatch in particular. If there are words more able to
infuriate diehard, hardcore bone peddlers, I don’t know what they
Despite the vitriol and invective hurled on hominoids by all but a
handful of certified anthropologists, the historical record and
biological reality dictate that they stand a much greater chance of
existing than of not existing. If we make the assumption that they
may have gotten their start in forests 20 million years ago, and
prospered in them for all those millennia, it establishes a solid
possibility that anthropologists are looking in the wrong direction
trying to figure out the lineage of kaddaba, ramidus, Lucy, and
every other so-called prehuman through Neanderthals — none of which
look anything like true humans.
Instead of looking forward to what such creatures might have
developed into, perhaps anthropologists would be better served to
look back in time, into the Miocene, to try to determine where they
might have come from. Which Miocene ape might have been the ancestor
of Kaddaba? Which might have been the ancestor of Ramidus? Which of
Lucy? And, most blood-chilling of all, which one might have been the
ancestor of bigfoot? Has anybody thought it might be…. well…..
by any chance? A creature that by the undisputed size of its teeth
and jaws had to stand in the range of ten feet or so?
Sounds suspiciously convenient, doesn’t it? A giant ape is certain
to have lived on Earth for many millions of years, while a giant
ape-like creature is alleged to be currently living in deeply
forested areas around the globe. Only people of high intelligence
and extensive specialized training would flagrantly ignore such an
obvious connection. Only those with, say, anthropological Ph.D.’s
could safely deny such a probable likelihood. That’s why we pay them
the big bucks and hire them to teach our children. They are beyond
A BIT OF MEA CULPA
I’m being facetious and even a tad mean-spirited here
because I want to be certain no one misses the point: Miocene apes
are perfect candidates for all the various hominoids that are
alleged to live around the world, and not just the bigfoot kind.
There are at least three other types of varying sizes (two different
man-sized ones and a pygmy type), and quite possibly multiple
examples within the four size-based categories (the way there are
two distinct types of chimps and gorillas). There seems to be at
least three types of bigfoot.
Imagine this scenario: Instead of 50+ Miocene apes, there might have
been only, say, a dozen or so, with regional variations classified
as 50+ different species due to the scarcity of their fossils. Of
those dozen, maybe six were quadrupeds and six were bipeds, with the
bipeds being substantially more intelligent, more active, and more
wide-ranging than the down-on-all-fours genetic kin. All twelve
passed the millennia in their own time-tested fashions and continue
living alongside us humans today. None went extinct.
For as radical as that scenario might sound at first, the facts as
they exist make it far more logical and probable than the current
anthropological dogma that all Miocene apes were quadrupeds, and
that despite living in stasis for millions of years, dozens
inexplicably went extinct and left only the six we classify today.
And please don’t harass me with this old saw:
“If hominoids are
real, why don’t we know about them? Why don’t we ever see them?
Where are they? Where are their dead bodies?”
People who ask such
questions are simply ignorant of an astonishing array of valid
research and hard data that exist but are ignored by mainstream
science because it doesn’t conform to their current dogma.
We do know about hominoids; we do see them regularly; every single
day at some place on the planet some human encounters one or more of
them. They are out there living by the thousands… by the hundreds of
thousands in order to maintain breeding populations. But because
these facts represent such a severe diminution of our knowledge
about the world around us, and equally diminishes our sense of
control over everything around us, we are far more comfortable
rejecting it as a possibility. When the day comes for some lucky
soul to finally cram this blatant reality down our collectively
unwilling throats, we will all get up the next day and go to work as
we have every day prior. But we will never be the same after that
day, not ordinary people and especially not mainstream scientists.
That is why we are not told these things in a truthful, realistic
way. Those in positions of power and authority do not believe we can
handle it. My contention is that it is they, not us, who can’t
handle such stark facts… but I could be mistaken. The rampant success
of tabloids is a powerful indicator that John and Jane Q. Public
might not be quite ready to confront the notion that everything they
know about their genesis is stone cold wrong.
Fortunately, the situation isn’t subject to indefinite manipulation.
No matter how much those in control ignore, reject, or ridicule
unacceptable information, it is out there, it is true, and time will
eventually prove its reality. Meanwhile, the rest of us can only
wait for the next —perhaps final— crack in the dam of fear that keeps
us all mired in ignorance.