Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Human Evolution in 5 minutes

This is very cool video. Using "morphing software" the people (person?) that posted this on YouTube show the presumed evolution of humans from "Australopithecus to Homo sapiens in 5 minutes, following five fossils in and around our lineage in this artistic rendition." The rate of change is about 500 generations every second. Of course this presumes that all the information about human ancestry, that is, all transitional fossils in our direct line have been discovered. This may not be true as evidenced by the recent controversy following the discovery of an extinct, diminutive people known as "hobbits" from the Indonesian island of Flores and thought to be a new species of primitive humans (Homo floresiensis) and not just modern pygmies. But whether the morphing video is the final answer to the story is not the point. As indicated in the YouTube information the authors suggest that evolution is ongoing, there is no such thing as fixed species as supposed in the Creation myths. There is variation and selection based on suitability to environmental conditions, evolution is ongoing and continuous and not goal oriented. Enjoy the video, but you may want to turn down the sound as I think the music a little off putting.

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