41 Replies to “Paleoanthropologists bungle again…

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    What an excellent summer for ID. First Lucy was disproven, Then the stunning complexity of the Human genome was further clarified by ENCODE, now Homo Habilis is disgorged from its iconic status. Tis truly a fine time to be a IDist.

  2. 2
    DLH says:

    Could textbooks be wrong? Say it isn’t so!

    Editor’s Summary: Nature 448, 9 August 2007
    Head to head
    “. . .new fossil discoveries tell a different story. A particularly small Homo erectus skull, and jaw material from a late-surviving specimen of Homo habilis, were found in contexts that suggest that the two species coexisted in the Lake Turkana basin in Kenya for almost half a million years. As well as overlapping in time, H. habilis and H. erectus overlapped in size as well. A high degree of sexual dimorphism in H. erectus may be a factor in this. The cover shows the new Homo erectus fossil, a partial skull known as KNM-ER 42700, together with the largest African H. erectus, OH 9 from Tanzania.”

    Letter: Nature 448, 688-691 (9 August 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05986
    Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya
    F. Spoor1, M. G. Leakey et al.
    “. . .The new fossils confirm the distinctiveness of H. habilis and H. erectus, independently of overall cranial size, and suggest that these two early taxa were living broadly sympatrically in the same lake basin for almost half a million years.”

    How can they now demonstrate evolution without transitional fossils? Have we returned to Darwin‘s predicament?

    “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”

    Charles Darwin The Origin of Species (1859) VI. Difficulties of the Theory

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0IMof-8Hro

    This 20 second youtube video of Dawkins is very revealing

  4. 4
    guppy says:

    What an excellent summer for ID. First Lucy was disproven, Then the stunning complexity of the Human genome was further clarified by ENCODE, now Homo Habilis is disgorged from its iconic status. Tis truly a fine time to be a IDist.

    Does ID say that we do not have apelike ancestors?

  5. 5

    Hi bornagain77,

    Before one of the Darwinists come in here to bust on you for posting a “hoax” video, here is another link to the raw footage of that Dawkins interview, in which we see that Dawkins was indeed asked that question and did indeed “choke” and decided to completely evade the question.

    The reason why they will say it is a hoax is because they either do not know or conveniently ignore the way interviews for most TV segments are done.

    The big-name reporter rarely sits down face-to-face with the interviewee. He/she usually sends low-level producers to ask the prepared questions and film the answers, which are then edited to fit the time (and possibly the agenda) of the TV segment.

    Of course, this interview method has been going on for decades. It’s on the decline now because of the ubiquity of video equipment that can be used to refute a TV new show’s occasionally skewed portrayal of interview subjects.

    This and many other questionable practices over the past thirty years have made me very skeptical of things I see on TV.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Angry, for the link and covering my behind

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaKryi3605g

    You are right, he completely evades the question that he should have countless examples of to prove evolution is true.

  7. 7
    nullasalus says:

    I remember on some site – I forget where – there was a challenge to people doubting darwinism. There were a couple row of skulls shown off, and doubters were told ‘If you think you’re so smart, how about you pick out which skulls are human, and which aren’t?? Then check your results!’

    I can’t help but smile, thinking the person who made that cute little quiz likely has to go redo at least one of the answers.

  8. 8
    DaveScot says:

    Does ID say that we do not have apelike ancestors?

    No. It says we have ape-like anthropologists.

  9. 9
    scordova says:

    Indeed, this was one of Jonathan Wells’ points in chapter 11 in Icons of Evolution, “From Ape to Human: The Ultimate Icon.”

    Another ID proponent vindicated.

  10. 10

    Someone said once, and I agree, that if one skull can overturn everything you thought you knew, you didn’t know much to begin with.

  11. 11
    Jehu says:

    Homo habilis is as an evolutionist delusion and always has been. This “trash can” taxon is the archtype of how Darwinists, like a psychotic looking at a Rorschach inkblot test, impose their materialist fanatasies on the evidence.

    If you recalll, Skull KNM-ER 1470 was homo habilis, which we learned in March of this year was manipulated by Leakey to look human. It was blogged about on UD here. Meanwhile, TalkOrigins still flogs Leakey’s flawed view of KNM-ER 1470. Because TalkOrigins is all about the science. Right?

    Now homo habilis has been moved out of the human lineage? Let’s see how long it take that development to register over at TO.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    Hi Jehu:

    The debate over KNM ER 1470 was more complex than your summary suggests. Lubenow’s Bones of Contention has a fascinating look, one which will shake your remaining confidence in the whole field. (Let’s just say one participant in the research and debates left the field to go study medicine. That’s like selling your Winston rods, Renzetti fly-tying vises and Abel reels to go take up golf.)

    Given what has been going on behind the shadow-shows projected to the textbooks and the media, I am not surprised to see the latest playout.

    And so — if you may pardon me a “YEC” indulgence or two — it comes back to what a very wise man warned the people of the capital of a great empire about ever so long ago now:

    Rom 1:20 . . . since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    RO 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    RO 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator . . .

    IMHCO, all that’s really changed in 2,000 years is the technology and sophistication of the images and the stories that go with them.

    GEM of TKI

  13. 13
    guppy says:

    guppy

    : Does ID say that we do not have apelike ancestors?

    DaveScot:

    No. It says we have ape-like anthropologists.

    …who broadcast their mistakes on Nature. But I’ll repeat my question (reframed}: Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens does not share ancestry with apes?

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    guppy,

    ID says nothing about common descent. But what you are witnessing here is mainly what ID does best, namely dispute gradualism as a mechanism for species origin.

    So all this does is shed some more doubt on gradualism. The argument for a gradualistic transition from one species to another is fairly suspect and all this does increase the doubt that Darwin’s ideas were involved in the origin of new species.

    By the way if you dispute my assertion

    “The argument for a gradualistic transition from one species to another is fairly suspect ”

    then step up to the plate and show us why ID is mistaken here. No one ever has on this site or any other site we have read so you can be the first one.

  15. 15
    rrf says:

    Thank goodness the Associated Press broke this story. I bet the Darwinists would have buried (heh) this fossil if some investigative reporter hadn’t scooped them.

  16. 16
    DaveScot says:

    Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens does not share ancestry with apes?

    Some do and some don’t.

    The only general principle held by all ID advocates is that intelligent agency necessarily played some role in the origin and diversification of living things. Gradualism isn’t disputed by ID as no physical law prevents an intelligent agency from being involved any positive number of times. Gradualism is disputed by observation and physical evidence.

  17. 17
    Carl Sachs says:

    My impression, speaking as an outsider to the ID movement, is that it is a ‘big tent’ (as Philip Johnson put it) unified by its opposition to ‘naturalism.’ But within that tent is a wide variety of opinions. Some ID theorists, such as Behe, accept common descent — for example, that humans and apes share a common ancestor. What makes Behe an ID theorist is that he does not think that the process whereby this transition occurred was unguided.

    In short, as far as I can tell, the debate turns on a conflict between a mechanistic conception of nature (nature devoid of agency, purpose, etc) and a teleological conception of nature (nature as guided by some agency, or imbued with purpose).

    However, there is distinction that needs to be made between an immanent teleology and a transcendent teleology. In an immanent teleology, agency and purpose are features that are either (i) basic features of nature as a whole or (ii) emergent features of some aspects of nature under certain conditions. In a transcendent teleology, agency and purpose are missing from nature entirely, and they must be provided for from some other source, e.g. God as conceived by traditional monotheism.

  18. 18
    guppy says:

    Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens does not share ancestry with apes?

    Some do and some don’t.

    Then it is not clear to me which of the two ID camps finds their cause bolstered by the finding that Homo habilis and Homo erectus may have overlapped – which is why I asked the question.

    To the side that thinks humans are not related to apes, the relative ages of hominids are completely irrelevant. All that matters is a final divide before Homo sapiens and the rest.

    For the others, fossil findings that change the details of human lineage don’t affect their fundamental belief in ID since they believe in that portion of common descent anyway.

  19. 19
    MatthewTan says:

    Lubenow’s Bones of Contention has a fascinating look, one which will shake your remaining confidence in the whole field.

    I agree. I recommend this book to all Christians, though I do not agree with YEC way of doing Science. This one book is sufficient to shake your belief in human evolution, not matter how many books and papers the evolutionists have written.

    Also, I have posted the following article “Confession of Evolutionist Timothy White” somewhere else.

    Timothy White surely ranked as one of the most “eminent evolutionists”, having published many “scientific” papers on hominid fossils in peer-reviewed “scientific” journals.

    This is his honest confession about how to get published in top “science” journal!

    As I told you before, do not believe them so easily every time they publish something that says a certain-ancestral-human fossil has been discovered so-many-million-years ago.

    The book Bones of Contention by Marvin Lubenow contains numerous wonderful, sensational examples.

    http://www.sciam.com/print_ver.....414B7FFE87

    One of the best talks of the conference was delivered by the U.C. Berkeley paleoanthropologist Timothy White, in which he opened with a prediction made by Stephen Jay Gould in the late 1980s: “We know about three coexisting branches of the human bush. I will be surprised if twice as many more are not discovered before the end of the century.” A glance at the extant fossil record looks like Gould was right. There are at least two dozen fossil species in six million years of hominid evolution. But the bush is not so bushy, says White. The problem lies in the difference between “lumpers” and “splitters” in species classification, and the social pressures to publish extraordinary new discoveries. If you want to get your fossil find published in Science or Nature, and you want the cover illustration, you cannot conclude that your fossil is yet another Australopithicus africanus, for example. You better come up with an interpretation indicating that this new find you are revealing for the first time to the world is the most spectacular discovery of the last century and that it promises to overturn hominid phylogeny and send everyone back to the drawing board to reconfigure the human evolutionary tree. Training a more skeptical eye on many of these fossils, however, shows that many, if not most of these fossils belong in already well-established categories. White says that the specimen labeled Kenyanthropus platyops, for example, is very fragmented and is most likely just another Australopithicus africanus. “Name diversity does not equal biological diversity,” White elucidated.

  20. 20
    scordova says:

    Do supporters of ID claim that Homo Sapiens does not share ancestry with apes?

    I generally reject common ancestry, but I’ll make an exception for the ape ancestry of Larry Moran, John Patterson, and John Rennie. Actually, I think snake would make better phylogenies for them. 🙂

  21. 21
    Borne says:

    bornagain77:

    “First Lucy was disproven, “

    Once again I insist on reminding readers that Lucy was disproven long before 2007.

    The French Sci mag “Science et Vie” published (front page topic) the demise of Lucy as any kind of human ancestor in 1998 – nearly 10 years ago!

    How is it that such relevant and important news, to the ID/evo debate, didn’t get through to the US til this year through some other source?

    Rather revealing of something amiss I’m sure.

  22. 22
    Joseph says:

    Devil’s Advocate:

    Just because two populations existed together, in time, does not mean one did not evolve from the other.

    Here’s the new (“just-so”) explanation:

    An “evolving” population of Hh migrates to a new territory and sets up camp. The area is plentiful with food and water. They settle in.

    Within a few generations some youths get restless and start to explore. They find a “better” place and convince almost half of the Hh population to come along- population Hh’.

    This new place has different foods and also different minerals in the water.

    These new minerals, vitamins and proteins cause an epigenetic shift that drives Hh’ to evolve into He. And as long as the variations aren’t deletrious natural selection just keeps what works the best.

    Once the population of He’s reached a certain point some groups split from it. At least one returned to the original population’s lake.

    Meanwhile back at the original Hh settlement, they carry on in their own way because nothing has come around to disturb them. They have their niche and they are happy with it. Natural selection keeps the norm because the norm is the fittest in this situation.

    And that is why we see the two different populations “living” at the same time.
    ———————————–

    Personally I do not buy into universal common descent. The fossil record doesn’t support it and genetics doesn’t explain the physiological and anatomical differences observed.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Joseph,
    At least they are pushed back to their imaginative “just so” stories. They can no longer claim the fossil record, however tenuous, as irrefutable empirical proof of human evolution.

  24. 24
    The Scubaredneck says:

    Kairo wrote: “That’s like selling your Winston rods, Renzetti fly-tying vises and Abel reels to go take up golf.”

    Could you give me the address of that yard sale? 😉

  25. 25
    bevets says:

    bornagain77, angryoldfatman

    Re: Dawkins

    Stephen Jones has written a good summary here

  26. 26
    guppy says:

    jerry:
    By the way if you dispute my assertion

    “The argument for a gradualistic transition from one species to another is fairly suspect ”

    Yes I do. However if you want a detailed argument/dialogue you will have to step into an open forum.

    I think ‘gradualism’ is used is several different and contradictory senses. From what I can see Behe’s views are quite ‘gradualistic’. On the other hand if one disputes common descent, then any debate about gradualism is absolutely irrelevant.

    jerry:
    But what you are witnessing here is mainly what ID does best, namely dispute gradualism as a mechanism for species origin.

    See my post in #18 above.

  27. 27
    Joseph says:

    At least they are pushed back to their imaginative “just so” stories.

    I thought that was all “they” had- imaginative “just-so” stories.

    My impression on why universal common descent is accepted is because of those narratives.

    IOW we IDists don’t need to bother with data. All we really need are a few good narratives. 🙂

  28. 28
    lars says:

    Joseph said, “Just because two populations existed together, in time, does not mean one did not evolve from the other.”

    The same objection occurred to me. Yet it’s the Darwinists themselves who conclude that one is not the ancestor of the other, based on the chronological overlap. Why? One of the researchers in the news article said they must have occupied separate eco niches, yet that didn’t seem to keep them from concluding that one did not descend from the other.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    I remember a book written by Henry Gee, the senior editor of NATURE
    called
    IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME
    Beyond the fossil record to a new history of life

    Although he does not, knowingly, support the ID position in his book, He is very critical of the fossil record and points out many fallacies that evolutionists propagate. It is a very interesting book to read.

    I remember one sentence in the begining of the book that says something to the effect,

    “The only place any missing link for the fossil record has ever been found is in the imagination of men”

  30. 30
    Joseph says:

    Lars,

    Given only the data which (allegedly) shows the two populations co-existed- living at the same time and place- there isn’t any way to “conclude” that one population didn’t evolve from the other.

    My story above (comment 22) is as valid as any other evolutionary story.

    Is anyone keeping tabs on what the anti-IDists are saying about this?

  31. 31
    guppy says:

    bornagain77:
    I remember a book written by Henry Gee, the senior editor of NATURE
    called IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME

    Although he does not, knowingly, support the ID position in his book, He is very critical of the fossil record and points out many fallacies that evolutionists propagate. It is a very interesting book to read.

    I remember one sentence in the begining of the book that says something to the effect,

    “The only place any missing link for the fossil record has ever been found is in the imagination of men”

    Your paraphrase is more or less accurate but context is important! The preface is available at google books here.
    He says that any progressive narrative sketched from the fossil record is based on the imagination. As a related point, of course no fossil is ever definitively the missing link, but it can sometimes be established as a close cousin to one. This applies to Lucy too, and in no way has A. afarensis been ‘disproved’.

    FWIW Henry Gee is quite confident about evolution and I wouldn’t say that he is ‘critical’ of the fossil record in the sense that you probably mean. In fact a fair bit of the book deals with how cladistic analysis is performed in practice from fossils.

  32. 32
    guppy says:

    Joseph: Is anyone keeping tabs on what the anti-IDists are saying about this?

    What you’d expect them to be saying.

  33. 33
    scordova says:

    lars wrote:

    Joseph said, “Just because two populations existed together, in time, does not mean one did not evolve from the other.”

    The same objection occurred to me. Yet it’s the Darwinists themselves who conclude that one is not the ancestor of the other, based on the chronological overlap. Why? One of the researchers in the news article said they must have occupied separate eco niches, yet that didn’t seem to keep them from concluding that one did not descend from the other.

    As Michael Denton pointed out (indirectly), the problem of living transitionals is almost as bad!

    Why are their no living transitionals, from one major division to the next, even today? Upon seeing that, one might conclude the norm is that living transitionals don’t happen.

    Does any living creature look like it was man’s ancestor, or for that matter any other creature the ancestor of another (excepting things like dogs and wolves or things that hybridize, etc.)

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Hi Scuba:

    So would I!

    (Maybe, a yard sale of like ilk is coming to your friendly local College town real soon . . .)

    GEM of TKI

  35. 35
    guppy says:

    bornagain77: I remember a book written by Henry Gee, the senior editor of NATURE
    called
    IN SEARCH OF DEEP TIME
    Beyond the fossil record to a new history of life

    Although he does not, knowingly, support the ID position in his book, He is very critical of the fossil record and points out many fallacies that evolutionists propagate. It is a very interesting book to read.

    I remember one sentence in the begining of the book that says something to the effect,

    “The only place any missing link for the fossil record has ever been found is in the imagination of men”

    Your paraphrase is accurate but major clarification is needed! Henry Gee is saying that a progressive narrative woven out of fossils is imaginary. You can read the preface here.

    Far from being ‘critical’ of the fossil record, part of his book deals with how cladistic analysis is performed on them in practice.

  36. 36
    guppy says:

    sal cordova:

    Does any living creature look like it was man’s ancestor, or for that matter any other creature the ancestor of another…

    Of course. Why would you expect it to?

  37. 37
    guppy says:

    Of course, I meant ‘of course not’ above.

  38. 38
    scordova says:

    I said:

    Does any living creature look like it was man’s ancestor, or for that matter any other creature the ancestor of another…

    guppy responded:

    of course not

    So on what grounds then do you expect habilis to be coexisting with its new decendant line given you don’t see anything like that today?

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Thank you for the Link to Henry Gee’s book guppy that was very nice of you. I do like how he says in the first few pages, of the introduction, that the fossils have no labels on them and that we are pretty much free to make them fit any story we have about them.
    That’s why his one line on page 2 “If there are any “missing links”, they exist only in our imagination really stuck with me all these years since I read his book.

  40. 40
    guppy says:

    scordova:
    Does any living creature look like it was man’s ancestor, or for that matter any other creature the ancestor of another…

    guppy responded:

    of course not

    So on what grounds then do you expect habilis to be coexisting with its new decendant line given you don’t see anything like that today?

    The ‘of course not’ was meant for human ancestors. Our last ancestor with modern apes lived ~4 million years ago. Of course right after a speciation ‘event’ (which is a process not a fixed point in time) the ancestral species and descendants overlap. In fact case, in a cladistic sense they overlap forever or at least till all lines become extinct. So if H. erectus diverged from H. habilis – they could overlap. It is just that till now they were believed not to have done so.

    Which brings me to my post #18. Why is this relevant to ID?

  41. 41
    scordova says:

    Which brings me to my post #18. Why is this relevant to ID?

    Thank you for your comments. The thread was filed under “evolution” not ID.

    However, evidence for Darwinian evolution of major complexity is generally evidence against ID.

    Thus discrediting evidence offered in favor of Darwinism helps the case for ID if only by defeating ID’s competitor.

    If complexity can be achieved in slow mindless steps, then there would not be a lot of need to postulate ID, since such mindless processes would seem as abundant as rain.

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