Friday, 25 March 2016

Death of the missing Link


With  the new discovery of Homo naledi a while back, I started to think a bit about human origins.

There used to be an idea of the missing link between humans and ... pre-humans.
Now its' more a case of  'what came when and how did our multiple groups of ancestors  come together to create 'us'. As opposed to the old idea of  one fossil that shows evolution caught in the middle of it's work.  What would that even look like?

There are still new ancestors out there to be found (see above). Some that we aren't even looking for & some that we have genetic evidence for , but do not have confirmed physical remains for.
Like inferring a planet by the dimming &/ wobbling of a star, we can infer a branch on the family tree by having knowledge of predecessors and and antecedents?

If we are still finding preserved remains that we never expected,  how many may still be out there that we simply haven't found yet? 

Families, like the individuals they are made up of, can be messy affairs. They are rarely simple and straight forward, they are rarely one dimensional cliche's and they certainly don't do what you want, when you want.

If our modern day families are messy,& complicated and sometimes unpredictable, why would we expect our ancestors (and our ancestry) to be any different.

Sometimes when looking into your family history,  learning the unexpected can be the best part of genealogy. 'Cool, my great grandmother was native or my great great grandfather was a horse thief'.

The genealogy of our species is likely the same way.  We are made up of this group and have a branch like that, COOL!'