View Full Version : Humans that walk on all fours found in Turkey (proof of evolution?)

ll ReNeGaDe ll
03-07-2006, 05:04 PM
jacked from another board.

Tue Mar 7, 7:56 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - The discovery of a Turkish family that walks on all fours could aid research into the evolution of humans.


Researchers believe the five brothers and sisters, who can walk naturally only on all fours, may provide new information on how humans evolved from four-legged hominids to walk upright.

Nicholas Humphrey, evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, told The Times the discovery opened "an extraordinary window on our past".

"I do not think they were designed to be quadrupeds by their genes, but their unique genetic make-up allowed them to be," he said.

"It has produced an extraordinary window on our past. It is physically possible, which noone would have guessed from the [modern] human skeleton."

The siblings, the subject of a new BBC documentary to be aired on March 17, suffer from a genetic abnormality that may prevent them from walking upright.

Instead, they use their palms like heels with their fingers sticking up from the ground.

The BBC said the documentary would contribute to fierce scientific debate and raised profound questions about what it is to be human.

Humphrey, who has contributed to the documentary, believes the style of walking may be a throwback to a form of behaviour abandoned by humans more than three million years ago.

Two sisters and one son have only ever walked on two hands and two feet, while another daughter and son occasionally walk on two feet.

All five are mentally retarded and have problems with language as a result of a form of underdevelopment of the brain known as cerebellar ataxia.

However Humphrey told the Times their behaviour may be partly the result of their parents tolerating the behaviour in childhood.

They are aged between 18 and 34 and live in southern Turkey, athough the makers of the documentary have not disclosed their exact location.

"They walk like animals and that's very disturbing at first. But we were also very moved by this family's tremendous warmth and humanity," Jemima Harrison of Passionate Productions told the Times.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060307/sc_afp/turkeyhealthscience
Photos - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2072832,00.html[/QUOTE]

03-07-2006, 05:07 PM
I think that it is a little to early to call this evidence for human evoloution.

A & B
03-07-2006, 05:13 PM
That's incredible.

ll ReNeGaDe ll
03-07-2006, 05:13 PM
That's incredible.


03-07-2006, 05:38 PM
No, just a genetic defect. But it's proof that the human skeleton is capable of walking on all fours so the long time question whether or not the human skeleton is capable of naturally walking on all fours has been answered. So although it's not proof of evolution, it can't be totally ruled out for humans to have at some point been capable of walking on all fours since it is now shown that it is physically possible - but, clearly, just because a genetic defect goes to show it's possible, doesn't mean that humans did.

03-07-2006, 05:44 PM
This is interesting, but this doesn't provide any new perspective on human evolution that I can think of. We already have a chronological sequence of fossilized specimens showing gradual morphological and behavioral changes leading up to humans. Our ancestors have had the ability to walk upright, although in a much more limited fashion, for five million years or more. It's extremely unlikely that a large population of humans or human ancestors ever walked the way this family does. Other humans probably experienced this same mutation, but they were probably not very successful in terms of survival and reproduction.

In fact, by the time the Homo genus appeared around 1.8 million years ago, our ancestors were easily capable of walking fully upright. The human skeleton is not well suited for quadripedal locomotion but is incredibly well suited for bipedal locomotion, so there's no reason that humans would have ever walked like this unless they also suffered from the same condition.