While the inaccuracy of this evolutionary picture is not immediately apparent, it actually contains some pretty large and important flaws.  All of the attributes present in these drawings were also present in human ancestors at some point, but the main problem is that many of them weren’t around at the same time.  One example of this is the slouching position of the second drawing in the sequence.  While this is certainly how humans began to walk on two legs, this drawing depicts an early human that is way too far along in development for this characteristic.  When early humans were just beginning to walk on two legs they still had a lot of hair covering their bodies, and were much smaller than the modern human.  This picture portrays a relatively hairless animal that is surprisingly big compared to the modern human.  Its face and body structure also looks very similar to a human whereas the first hominids to walk were undoubtedly very similar to modern apes. 

            Another issue that I noticed was the appearance of the figure second to the left.  Like the last drawing discussed, this picture contains features of both the modern human and the earliest human ancestors.  It too is relatively hairless, and doesn’t have the posture or the size that would be expected.  But whereas the second drawing seems too big for its posture, this drawing seems too small.  It is an entire head shorter, yet has almost all of the same features as a modern human, including a tool in his right hand.  If this is meant to represent the Homo erectus, it looks way too similar to a human.    

            Another major issue is all of the missing stages of development.  All of the other flaws aside, they are missing many of the major factors in evolution that might help explain how it occurred.  For one, the first tool that appeared is a sharpened rock, which would be a tool that came along much later in the evolution of hominid tools.  It would have made more sense for the second drawing to have a more basic tool if the creators of this picture to have a representation of how human ancestors grew and developed.  Human ancestors were using tools for a very long time before our most recent ancestor lived.  In fact, the Homo habilis was given this name because the actual translation means “handy man”.  Having seen a few artists’ depictions of the Homo habilis, it seems very clear that the second drawing is much more advanced than the Homo habilis in many ways, yet has no tools.

            Another problem that appears in this picture is the way that it seems to flow.  Evolution doesn’t happen smoothly where every attribute changes very slowly all at the same time to reach a final outcome.  Because evolution only occurs when something in the environment calls for the need to adapt, our ancestors most likely wouldn’t have adapted to lose some hair at the same time as they adapted to walk on two legs.  In other words, while this picture gives the general idea of what evolution is, it fails to tell the whole picture.

                 

Tags:

Comments are closed.