Once again it has been too long since I last posted. This real life stuff just takes so much time! But I saw this articleon MSN.com (so probably everyone who looks at real news outlets has already seen it) about the fossil of the human ancestor believed to be 1 million years older than Lucy – she was previously the oldest human-linked fossil ever found. The new guy is nicknamed Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus, and is dated at 4.4 million years old. He is not a human fossil of course, but he is believed to be another link in the chain back to a common ancestor of humans and apes. He has some human type characteristics, some ape/chimp type characteristics, and some that are neither but could be from a common starting point before both human and ape/chimp characteristics evolved fully. This explanation makes sense to me, since I never got how apes could have essentially stopped evolving when humans branched off – it seems much more logical to think that there was a common starting point but that both branches have continued growing and changing since then, than it does to think humans evolved from apes and apes haven’t changed since then. Maybe that’s how evolutionary scientists have seen it for years, but it isn’t how it was taught in schools as recently as 15 years ago (yes, I’m dating myself here).