Today it was announced that scientists have been able to piece together the common ancestor to homo sapiens and Neanderthals using a fingernail clipping found among an ancient cave system. The fingernail, said to be dated to about 250,000 – 500,000 years ago, appears to have been neatly removed from the fingernail of our common ancestor, dubbed homo fingerlungus.
One of the discoverers, Dr. Lea P. Offaith, explains how the discovery sheds light on mankind's evolutionary past:
This fingernail clipping is perfectly shaped in a crescent moon figure, showing that the creature that had it was intelligent enough to use a sharp tool to remove it, and it also may have served a primitive religious purpose. When we view the clipping, which was amazingly found on the cave surface among much older artifacts, we knew we had an amazing finding.
Not all are convinced, however, that this is the major find that it's claimed to be. Pastor B. Ible Thumper of the Eighth Church of Sinning Servants, a somewhat conservative Christian group, had this to say about the finding:
I understand that they [the scientists] are establishing the date of the finding using the context. However, did anyone stop to think about whether this fingerclipping is of divine origin? Of course not! The very idea negates the possibility for them! Look at the shape, a perfect crescent! That can only mean that this was some sort of ancient human, not an evolutionary ancestor!
Professor Wisenthings of the Institute of Higher Amphibian Education in North Pole, Alaska, views the findings with optimism and skepticism, stating simply, "Although significant, I would like to see the dating of the find confirmed by another method, and the surrounding environment scoured for additional evidence."
Dr. Con Fusi Ng agrees: "These are very intriguing claims. However, fingerlungus must also be confirmed by a third party."
After an extensive round of tests, the following pictures were made available for publishing:
The fingerlungus nail clipping as held by a lab technician.
The footprint remains of fingerlungus.
A field assistant examines a large black bag at the site.
Ancient food remains and containers at the site
This was found near the location of the fingerclipping.
Clearly, there is no reason to believe that the find was in any way disturbed by previous visitors. Scientists are certain that this will be hailed as one of the greatest finds in science.