[i]Skeletal remains found in a South African cave may yield new clues to human development and answer key questions of the evolution of the human lineage, according to a series of papers released today in Science magazine co-written by a Texas A&M University anthropology professor. (…)
“It’s a great find,” he adds, “because it provides strong confirmation for Darwin’s theories about evolution.”[/i]
This find was in the news last year but the good professor finished his paper and published the findings.
I saw that…What’s kind of interesting is how hard it is to find these in-betweeners. I just wonder why the clues are so rare as you would expect to find, as the species became more adept, why weren’t they likewise more populous.[/quote]
One individual from a large group has a genetic variation that proves beneficial to its survival. This variation is passed-on to its offspring and because the offspring has a better chance of survival the genetic variation becomes, over time, inherent to the subsequent group of individuals.
So here you have a large group of individuals without this particular genetic variation —> a very small subset of individuals with a new benign genetic variation —> a large group where the genetic variation is inherent.
The odds of finding the first small subset of individuals that possess the genetic variation after millions of years is minute.