Nicknamed "Toumai," it is the only relatively complete skull ever discovered and could fill a 5 million year gap between the ancestral apes of 9 million years ago and the 4 million year old "southern apes," generally regarded as the closest human evolutionary relative. Tim D. White of the University of California, Berkeley said, "We have now sampled human evolution all the way back to the fork, the place where we humans and chimpanzees split off from a common ancestor." Research team leader Michel Brunet said, "It's overwhelming to hold in my hands the beginning of the human lineage."
The discovery is so significant because the skull has a mixture of both ape and humanlike features. "From the back the Toumai skull looks like a chimpanzee, but from the front it could pass for a 1.75 million-year-old apeman," said anthropologist Bernard Wood of George Washington University.
Scientists are already predicting that this little skull is likely to overturn the conventional thinking about human evolution. Bernard Wood said, "If we accept this as sufficient evidence to classify this creature as a hominid, then it plays havoc with the tidy model of human origins" (read more).
Here is where creationists, like myself, are vindicated by this discovery. As a devout Muslim believer, I reject the notion of the evolution of human beings from prehistoric apes. Our common ancestor was the Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), shaped and created by the very hands of God, and not some chimp-man from 9 million years ago. I do not deny the existence of prehistoric human-like apes: the fossil record clearly shows this. Nevertheless, just because science has a theory about how a certain natural phenomenon came into being, it does not mean that that theory is the truth.
For instance, as long as I can remember, my professors in medical school and residency taught me that giving oral estrogen and progesterone pills to women who have passed menopause is a must. The science at the time said that hormone therapy will decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and help prevent osteoporosis. As recent research studies have shown, however, this turned out not to be the case. While women on hormone therapy had less fractures than those women who took a sugar pill, women who took hormones suffered more heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Consequently, the National Institutes of Health terminated their clinical trial early because of these safety concerns.
I predict the same thing will happen to the theory of human evolution. Now, the scientists can counter by pointing out that I cannot scientifically prove human beings were created by God and not evolved from apes. This is true. Yet, the evolution of human beings also has not been proven scientifically, either. It is still just a theory.
Prior to this discovery, most anthropologists were looking in East Africa for prehuman fossils. Chad is in central Africa, however, and perhaps scientists have not been looking in the best place for all these years. The Toumai discovery has illuminated how much science does not know about the evolution of those "human ancestors."
I think, in the end, God will be vindicated, and I am pretty sure more skulls will prove that humanity came from God, not chimpanzees.