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KP 271 (a fossil humerus) was human (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (KP 271 (a fossil humerus) was human (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CC054:

The fossil humerus KP 271 is an apparently human fossil from four million years ago, which, according to the standard evolutionary model, is well before the appearance of modern humans.


  • Lubenow, Marvin L. 1992. Bones of Contention: A creationist assessment of the human fossils. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, pp. 54-58.

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. Even a humerus from a chimpanzee looks similar to a human humerus; it should not be surprising that the humerus from a closer relative would look even more similar. However, the anatomical evidence strongly indicates that the specimen is not human and is a good match with Australopithecus anamensis (Lague and Jungers 1996).

Since Talk.Origins' cited source post-dates Bones of Contention this makes the claim at worst out of date. However, Talk.Origins implies that Lubenow based his conclusion that KP 271 is human on a visual inspection only, when he actually based it on three anatomical studies, one of which used the same method as Talk.Origins' source.

One reason why Talk.Origins' source could be in error is that it is most likely that these studies used replicas and not the actual bones. Molds tend to become less accurate as they are used, so Talk.Origins' source may have been using replicas that were less accurate than those used by Lubenow's sources. The accuracy of Lubenow's sources are supported by their agreement.