November 24th marked the 41st anniversary of the discovery of Lucy, and Google celebrated it with a “doodle“.
Lucy was a finding of bones that are believed to be around 3.2 million years ago. The bones, which were found in Ethiopia, belong to a species of called Australopithecus afaraensis. They are believed to be the ancestors of Homo sapiens. At the time of the discovery, it was the first set of bones found from that time.
The discovery, made in 1974, was big in the fact that is helped us better understand how we evolved as humans. Her skeleton suggested she walked upright. This allowed researcher to believe we separated from ape ancestors earlier in time than what we thought.
Lucy isn’t the oldest known fossil linked to our ancestry as humans. There have been other significate finds after 1974. For example, the oldest known fossil linking to our ancestry is actually TM 266 or Toumai. It belonged to a species called Sahelanthropus tchadensis and it is believed to be 7 million years old. It was discovered in Chad, Africa.
Altogether, there have been around 15 species found believing to be older than Lucy found. However, Lucy’s discover in 1974 was significant because it helped us better shape our understanding.
While this discover was big, it hasn’t received much appreciation from creationist who do not believe in evolution. On the 41st anniversary, Google decided to promote it on their homepage with a Doodle as they do with other major accomplishments, discoveries, and other historic moments. Critics went to twitter proclaiming their anger towards it with some interesting words.
Below are some of the reactions Google received over their homepage:
Funny how the main Google image today is the evolution of humans from monkeys. If that was a cross, world would be up in arms. Shame.
— Mike Doyle (@MikeDoyleJr) November 24, 2015
I love how Google can have a “doodle” celebrating evolution, but they can’t have one celebrating the historical significance of Easter…
— Patrick (@Patrick1392) November 24, 2015
In short, people are accusing Google of being biased. They are saying Google promotes Evolutions but doesn’t promote religious beliefs such as the creationist story in the Holy Bible. However, this isn’t the case when one considers that Google once answered questions about the dinosaurs with answers from a creationist site. Back in June 2015, the card showed information from Answers in Genesis that explain the dinosaurs died out due to the flood. Since then, the card was updated and it no longer gives that result.
For those interested, creationists further this argument by separating the difference between historical science and operational science. Historical science is trying to explain something that happened in the past. Operational science is the science of today that can be tested. There was a debate between Bill Nye and Ken Hamm that took place in February of 2014. In in, Bill Nye argued that normal scientist do not make a distinction between historical and operational science. As explained by Nye, the same laws apply today as they did millions of years ago.