I was wondering if you’ve come across the book, Contested Bones , which was published in 2017 after 4 years of research into the primary scientific literature on bones thought to represent transitional forms between ape and man. It’s written by Dr John Sanford and Christopher Rupe. Here’s a summary I found online. It’s an interesting read.
I quote verbatim from the article on what is covered in the book below:
1) Collapse of the traditional understanding of ape-to-man evolution.
2) Field in crisis—newest data only suggests “messy and undecipherable bush”, no clear fossil trail leading to man.
3) In the present, we see a diversity of ape-forms and a diversity of human forms. The fossils indicate that the same was true in the past—but there was even more diversity. Despite the diversity observed in the present and also in the past, it is still generally not difficult to distinguish ape bones from human bones—as long as the skeletons are substantially intact.
4) There is mounting fossil evidence that man and the australopithecine apes coexisted and interacted (at least until the australopiths went extinct).
5) There are major problems with the methods used to date the hominin fossils.
6) New genetic data indicates that ape-to-man evolution is no longer credible—evolution is going the wrong way.
7) Almost every major claim is fiercely contested within the field of paleoanthropology. Unfortunately, the competing views are not widely publicized. The interpretation that receives the most publicity is the claims made by the discoverers, who almost always promote their finding as a human ancestor.
For the last 150 years, bones and bone fragments have been used to promote the concept of ape-to-man evolution. One by one, these bones have been questioned, then challenged, and then have been either abandoned or simply put on the shelf. Tens of thousands of bones and bone fragments have now been catalogued, named, and often re-named. Some of these bones have been very strange indeed. Despite all this, the scientists who study these things now conclude that these bones DO NOT SHOW a clear progression from ape to man. All that is seen is a messy, tangled “bush” with no fossil trail leading to man.
What do the bones show? They show that there are basically two types of bones of interest— bones of the ape type (cataloged Australopithecus), and bones of the human type (cataloged Homo). There are no bones that are clearly transitional between the ape type and the human type.
As always, I would appreciate more thoughts on this.