SCIENCE Question & Answer
Lucy is in the news again with the discovery of a single metatarsal in Ethiopia where all the Australopithecus afarensis "Lucy" fossils have been found. To the left, one of the photos (black and white) shows four views of the bone found. The next photo of a skeletal foot then shows where the researchers place the bone--in a HUMAN foot--of course that is very speculative on their part.
Part of the excitement surrounding this new discovery is due to the fact that no foot bones had ever been found for Lucy until now (note the photo of the famous original find by Donald Johannsen--a 40% complete skeleton without any foot bones). However, having no bones did not deter many evolutionists from claiming that Lucy had humanlike feet. On what basis you may ask? Their claim is based on fossil footprints found ~1000 miles away in Tanzania--the famous Laetoli prints (see photos). These footprints would be considered human (and are by creationists) by any "uninformed" observer, however, since evolutionists date the Laetoli prints to be 3.6 million years old, they de facto refuse to assign them to Man. Coincidentally, though the Lucy fossils found in 1974 by Johannsen were orginally determined to be close to 2 million years old, based on radiometric measurements, the determined age was changed to the 3+ million year range of the Laetoli prints found 4 years later. Then Lucy was credited with making those prints with her humanlike feet!
This is consistent with many interpretations of the evidence concerning Lucy which are driven more by the motivation to present Lucy as an "apeman" than a pursuit of truth. Another example of this motivation is found in the statement by an artist for a March 1996 National Geographic article depicting Lucy, "I wanted to get a human soul into this apelike face to indicate something about where she was headed."
Creationists' objections to many of the evolutionary interpretations of Lucy fossils, and in particular the 1974 Johannsen discovery, are clearly explained in an excellent video, "Lucy-She's No Lady" by Dr. David Menton. He was assoc. prof. of anatomy in the Washington U. Medical School for 34 years, and now works with Answers In Genesis. Among the issues Dr. Menton explains are, 1) the hand and wrist bones indicate Lucy was a knuckle-walker, 2) the "bowlegged" anatomy is not unique to humans; apes which are accomplished at walking along tree limbs also have that anatomical feature, 3) the pelvis, until it was altered by Dr. Lovejoy, was a typical apelike pelvis which would not allow a humanlike in-line stride. All these factors support the interpretation that Lucy was an ape not very different from several apes alive today.