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Science: No consensus among experts on when the human race arose

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Science-Fictions-square.gif Science has that story. Meanwhile, back at the vote farm:

In 2009, Mayor Bloomberg of New York held a special ceremony to laud the recently discovered fossil Ida (pictured above), said to be the “missing link” between humans and other primates. Bloomberg was

standing beside Ida’s glass box, his arm around the shoulders of a school girl who was wearing a T-shirt with the TV tie-in logo: “The Link. This changes everything.”

The Guardian’s correspondent quipped, “The main thing Bloomberg was presumably hoping this would change was his prospects of winning an unprecedented third term as New York mayor.” Bloomberg did win, but the Ida fossil was not so lucky; claims for it were shortly retracted.

Significantly, Bloomberg thought Ida improved his re-election chances before the fossil experts had spoken. And that she wouldn’t have harmed his career if she failed their tests.

Real and imagined “human evolution” is now so integral to our culture that demand outpaces authenticity. The disappointing history of Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardi, all hailed in 2001 as human ancestors, attests to the frustrating search for “missing links.” Sediba, another supposed ancestor, fared no better in 2013. A science writer at Wired, not known for intelligent-design sympathies, derides the ceaseless buzz as “ancestor worship.”

If he’s right, we worship what we do not know. Pop culture’s Ascent of Man gives no hint of the disorganization and confusion of current human evolution studies. More.

See also: Science-Fictions-square.gif Does the evidence point to mankind’s fully natural origin?

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How then do they know how many mutations could be fixed? Mung
Ida is 47 million years old, and so was not lauded as the “missing link” between humans and other primates, but rather as a link between prosimians and simians.
But you wouldn't have known that if you read the science blogs/journalism or even regular news sites and forums on the internet. They billed it as the smoking gun of Darwinian evolution. TSErik
BA, Thanks for your Johnson quote. I never heard this specific argument before but of course it makes great sense. Another arrow in the quiver. jerry
...the recently discovered fossil Ida (pictured above), said to be the “missing link” between humans and other primates.
Ida is 47 million years old, and so was not lauded as the "missing link" between humans and other primates, but rather as a link between prosimians and simians. goodusername
Jehu asks a couple of good questions. Here are a couple more. At the beginning of the 20th century, all the “common ancestor” fossils could fit onto a billiard table. Since then, the number has increased so that they would fill a railroad boxcar [The Human Lineage, by Matt Cartmill and Fred H. Smith, 2009, Preface, p. xi.]. Question: are these fossils complete skeletons or skulls? Speaking of “no consensus”, Robin Derricourt of the University of New South Wales, Australia, wrote in 2009: “Perhaps the only consensus now is that there is no consensus.” [Critique of Anthropology, Volume 29(2), “Patenting Hominins—Taxonomies, Fossils and Egos,” by Robin Derricourt, 2009, pp. 195-196, 198.] Question: how, exactly is a common ancestor to be taken as part of evolutionary theory if the scientists who believe it cannot come to agreement? In 2007 the science journal Nature published an article by the discoverers of another claimed link in the evolutionary tree, saying that nothing is known about when or how the human line actually emerged from that of apes. [Nature, “A New Species of Great Ape From the Late Miocene Epoch in Ethiopia,” by Gen Suwa, Reiko T. Kono, Shigehiro Katoh, Berhane Asfaw, and Yonas Beyene, August 23, 2007, p. 921.] Gyula Gyenis, a researcher at the Department of Biological Anthropology, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, wrote in 2002: “The classification and the evolutionary place of hominid fossils has been under constant debate.” This author also states that the fossil evidence gathered so far brings us no closer to knowing exactly when, where, or how humans evolved from apelike creatures. [Acta Biologica Szegediensis, Volume 46(1-2), “New Findings—New Problems in Classification of Hominids,” by Gyula Gyenis, 2002, pp. 57, 59.] Question: When will this debate end? With respect to Ida, The Guardian newspaper of the United Kingdom (UK): “Fossil Ida: Extraordinary Find Is ‘Missing Link’ in Human Evolution.” [The Guardian, London, “Fossil Ida: Extraordinary Find Is ‘Missing Link’ in Human Evolution,” by James Randerson, May 19, 2009] But, just days later, the UK science journal New Scientist said: “Ida is not a ‘missing link’ in human evolution.” [New Scientist, “A Fine Fossil—But a Missing Link She’s Not,” by Chris Bead, May 30, 2009, p. 18-19]. Question: Why is each unveiling of a new “missing link” given wide media attention, whereas the removal of that fossil from the “family tree” is hardly mentioned? Barb
Why is there so much demand for these missing link fossils? Doesn't it speak to a basic insecurity amongst Darwinists? Jehu
as to:
Real and imagined “human evolution” is now so integral to our culture that demand outpaces authenticity.
That reminds me of this quote from Phillip Johnson: In the following video, from 15:05 minute mark to 19:15 minute mark, Phillip Johnson states:
"What I saw about the fossil record again,, was that Gould and Eldridge were experts in the area where the animal fossil record is most complete. That is marine invertebrates.,, And the reason for this is that when,, a bird, or a human, or an ape, or a wolf, or whatever, dies,, normally it does not get fossilized. It decays in the open, or is eaten by scavengers. Things get fossilized when they get covered over quickly with sediments so that they are protected from this natural destructive process. So if you want to be a fossil, the way to go about it is to live in the shallow seas, where you get covered over by sediments when you die,,. Most of the animal fossils are of that kind and it is in that area where the fossil record is most complete. That there is a consistent pattern.,, I mean there is evolution in the sense of variation, just like the peppered moth example. Things do vary, but they vary within the type. The new types appear suddenly, fully formed, without an evolutionary history and then they stay fundamentally stable with (cyclical) variation after their sudden appearance, and stasis (according) to the empirical observations made by Gould and Eldridge. Well now you see, I was aware of a number of examples of where evolutionary intermediates were cited. This was brought up as soon as people began to make the connection and question the (Darwinian) profession about their theory in light of the controversy. But the examples of claimed evolutionary transitionals, oddly enough, come from the area of the fossil record where fossilization is rarest. Where it is least likely to happen.,,, One of things that amused me is that there are so many fossil candidates for human ancestorship, and so very few fossils that are candidates for the great apes.,, There should be just as many. But why not? Any economist can give you the answer to that. Human ancestors have a great American value and so they are produced at a much greater rate.,, These also were grounds to be suspicious of what was going on,,, ,,,if the problem is the greatest where the fossil record is most complete and if the confirming examples are found where fossils are rarest. that doesn't sound like it could be the explanation. - Phillip Johnson - April 2012 - audio/video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJDlBvbPSMA&feature=player_detailpage#t=903s

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