Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Human Missing Link
Scientists hoping to provide more evidence of evolution often attempt to locate fossils that are the most recent common ancestors of two species that are extant today. This common ancestor is called the missing link. On page 194, Jerry Coyne states that even Darwin “remained unconvinced that natural selection could explain the higher mental faculties of humans.” Thus, we needed to find fossils in human ancestry that could show our own evolution. What were these fossils, and how did it help us show that our mental faculties did indeed develop by natural selection? Also, the exact missing link that would provide us our most recent common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos has never been found. What would such a link look like, and what kind of effect might it have on the scientific community and the public at large if it was found?