LOS ANGELES The newest candidate for the coveted post of oldest human ancestor has arrived on the evolutionary scene, ranking a new genus and species,
Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Christened "Toumai" - "hope of life" - for
short, it is estimated to be 6-7 million years old. However, Michael A. Cremo, leading
authority on anomalous archeological evidence, claims this discovery is simply another
variety of ape that co-existed with modern humans millions of years ago, as
scientifically documented in his controversial bestseller Forbidden Archeology (Torchlight Publishing).
When contacted for commentary at a science seminar in Budapest, Hungary, Cremo said, "It's another example of the process of "knowledge filtration upholding the ruling paradigm. Every few months some scientist announces the discovery of fragmentary bones of some apelike creature with an age of a few million years.
These are portrayed as earthshaking finds destined to revolutionize our entire picture of human origins." In the past couple of years, discoveries such as Ardipithecus, the Millenium Man, and "Flat Face," or Kenyanthropus were publicized in a similar way.
"Actually this Toumai find is very apelike," said Cremo. His book describes how the knowledge filter works on society to reject sound evidence that contradicts existing beliefs and favor flawed evidence that reinforces deeply held convictions concerning human origins.
Cremo argues that over the past 150 years, archeologists have unearthed huge amounts of evidence, in Africa and elsewhere, showing that humans of the modern type have existed for 7 million years and longer. He maintains that assigning a human ancestry to the Toumai discovery in spite of its ambiguous identity shows how people are attached to the belief system that humans evolved from more primitive apelike beings.
Brigitte Senut, of the National History Museum in Paris, along with a number of other authorities, agrees that the skull's features are not linked to human ancestry, but instead resemble those of a female gorilla.
Cremo has lectured at the Royal Institution of Great Britain (2000), the World Archeological Congress, and the Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as at other prestigious institutions and conferences. With its meticulous documentation of over 100 archeological anomalies, Forbidden Archeology has received international acclaim in the academic and popular press. As Wiktor Stoczkowski notes in his review in L'Homme,
"This book by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson promises to lift the veil of silence that conceals disturbing ideas on the earliest antiquity of mankind."
[note: go to: http://www.mcremo.com/skulll.htm for illustrations to accompany text]