Afarensis has chimed in on the Ilert fossils, as well as Ann Gibbons of Science. Please check out both their pieces on these two fossils.

To make this a more complete post, I’m also shamelessly plucking a well-illustrated diagram of hominin evolution from Afarensis’ post. I don’t know where he got it from… But, I’m using it to make a point that if anyone ever thought that paleoanthropologists propose that human evolution is entirely anagenetic, then they are wrong.

Hominin Evolution

Of course, one branch of human evolution was ultimately anagenetic — hell, it led to us, H. sapiens! However, as Afarensis mentions, both cladogenesis and anagensis have played a role throughout human evolution. It really is a matter on how narrow you want to view the scope down in on… and at the point it comes down to says H. erectus versus H. habilis, then I consider it futile even foolish to debate one or the other.