Here’s a post at Ecographica about a typographical error in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the newspaper of the University of Arizona.
How long before some creationist seizes on it to claim Darwin’s theories are dead? 5 . . 4 . . 3 . . 2 . . .
If you find it, will you note it in comments, please?
(Notice how the only stuff creationists can make hay out of, is error?)
- Original story in Daily Wildcat (who deserve thanks for covering the story at all)
- The original paper, on the Laetoli footprints (3.6 million years old), from the Public Library of Science (PLOS); “Laetoli Footprints Preserve Earliest Direct Evidence of Human-Like Bipedal Biomechanics,” by David A. Raichlen, Adam D. Gordon, William E. H. Harcourt-Smith, Adam D. Foster, and Wm. Randall Haas, Jr.; abstract:
Debates over the evolution of hominin bipedalism, a defining human characteristic, revolve around whether early bipeds walked more like humans, with energetically efficient extended hind limbs, or more like apes with flexed hind limbs. The 3.6 million year old hominin footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania represent the earliest direct evidence of hominin bipedalism. Determining the kinematics of Laetoli hominins will allow us to understand whether selection acted to decrease energy costs of bipedalism by 3.6 Ma.
Using an experimental design, we show that the Laetoli hominins walked with weight transfer most similar to the economical extended limb bipedalism of humans. Humans walked through a sand trackway using both extended limb bipedalism, and more flexed limb bipedalism. Footprint morphology from extended limb trials matches weight distribution patterns found in the Laetoli footprints.
These results provide us with the earliest direct evidence of kinematically human-like bipedalism currently known, and show that extended limb bipedalism evolved long before the appearance of the genus Homo. Since extended-limb bipedalism is more energetically economical than ape-like bipedalism, energy expenditure was likely an important selection pressure on hominin bipeds by 3.6 Ma.
Update: Wall of Shame
Here are creationists claiming the findings rebut, refute or befuddle Darwin: