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The simple steps that made us human?

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From the BBC, a slide show of observed or hypothesized changes, “The Simple Steps That Made Us Human,” none of which is in the least bit simple.

The slide show ends with: “Because big questions need answering.” Yes, but one could be a bit more particular about the depth of the answers. These answers seem addressed to people who have no serious questions.

Someone should study the cultural reasons that there is a market for this sort of stuff and why—like unsupported nutrition claims—it gets branded as “science.”

Note: If a religious group did this, I would put them on cult watch. Yet it’s Brit government-funded. – O’Leary for News

See also: Human origins: The war of trivial explanations


Human evolution, the skinny

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5 Replies to “The simple steps that made us human?

  1. 1
    mike1962 says:

    Did the brain changes happen by accident or by design?

    The thing is, if you don’t have a thorough understanding of the neurological programming differences between species A and species B, you can’t begin to answer that question.

    But you’ll never get that sort of admission from the BBC propaganda machine.


  2. 2
    News says:

    The value of taxpayer supported public broadcasting is quite unclear in the age of the internet. There are many places one can go, for free, to get some sense of the true dimensions of issues.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:


    As to the implausibility of changing one creature of trillions of cells into another creature of trillions of cells, here are a few notes:

    Whale Evolution vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg and Paul Nelson – (excerpted from ‘Living Waters’ video) (2015)

    In “Science,” 1975, M-C King and A.C. Wilson were the first to publish a paper estimating the degree of similarity between the human and the chimpanzee genome. This documented the degree of genetic similarity between the two (approx. 99% amino acid similarity) ! The study, using a limited data set, found that we were far more similar than was thought possible at the time. Hence, we must be one with apes mustn’t we? But…in the second section of their paper King and Wilson honestly describe the deficiencies of such reasoning:
    “The molecular similarity between chimpanzees and humans is extraordinary because they differ far more than sibling species in anatomy and way of life. Although humans and chimpanzees are rather similar in the structure of the thorax and arms, they differ substantially not only in brain size but also in the anatomy of the pelvis, foot, and jaws, as well as in relative lengths of limbs and digits (38).
    Humans and chimpanzees also differ significantly in many other anatomical respects, to the extent that nearly every bone in the body of a chimpanzee is readily distinguishable in shape or size from its human counterpart (38).
    Associated with these anatomical differences there are, of course, major differences in posture (see cover picture), mode of locomotion, methods of procuring food, and means of communication. Because of these major differences in anatomy and way of life, biologists place the two species not just in separate genera but in separate families (39). So it appears that molecular and organismal methods of evaluating the chimpanzee human difference yield quite different conclusions (40).”
    King and Wilson went on to suggest that the morphological and behavioral differences between humans and apes,, must be due to variations in their genomic regulatory systems.
    David Berlinski – The Devil’s Delusion – Page 162&163
    *Evolution at Two Levels in Humans and Chimpanzees Mary-Claire King; A. C. Wilson – 1975

    And, just as King and Wilson predicted, the regulatory regions between chimps and humans are found to be very different. In fact the regulatory regions are found to be ‘species specific’:

    Alternative Splicing Codes (Gene Regulatory Networks) are Species Specific

    A Closer Look At Human/Chimp Similarities and Differences – video

    As to Wilson and King’s observation that ‘nearly every bone in the body of a chimpanzee is readily distinguishable in shape or size from its human counterpart’, that fact poses its own insurmountable difficulty for Darwinian explanations.

    K´necting The Dots: Modeling Functional Integration In Biological Systems – June 11, 2010
    Excerpt: “If an engineer modifies the length of the piston rods in an internal combustion engine, but does not modify the crankshaft accordingly, the engine won’t start. Similarly, processes of development are so tightly integrated temporally and spatially that one change early in development will require a host of other coordinated changes in separate but functionally interrelated developmental processes downstream” (1)

    “This is the issue I have with neo-Darwinists: They teach that what is generating novelty is the accumulation of random mutations in DNA, in a direction set by natural selection. If you want bigger eggs, you keep selecting the hens that are laying the biggest eggs, and you get bigger and bigger eggs. But you also get hens with defective feathers and wobbly legs. Natural selection eliminates and maybe maintains, but it doesn’t create….
    (Lynn Margulis Says She’s Not Controversial, She’s Right,” Discover Magazine, p. 68 (April, 2011)

    “The real number of variations is lesser than expected,,. There are no blue-eyed Drosophila, no viviparous birds or turtles, no hexapod mammals, etc. Such observations provoke non-Darwinian evolutionary concepts. Darwin tried rather unsuccessfully to solve the problem of the contradictions between his model of random variability and the existence of constraints. He tried to hide this complication citing abundant facts on other phenomena. The authors of the modern versions of Darwinism followed this strategy, allowing the question to persist. …However, he was forced to admit some cases where creating anything humans may wish for was impossible. For example, when the English farmers decided to get cows with thick hams, they soon abandoned this attempt since they perished too frequently during delivery. Evidently such cases provoked an idea on the limitations to variability… [If you have the time, read all of the following paper, which concludes] The problem of the constraints on variation was not solved neither within the framework of the proper Darwin’s theory, nor within the framework of modern Darwinism.”

    Of related note to ‘coordinated changes’:

    Gene previously linked to obesity is unrelated – June 29, 2015
    Excerpt: … in the real world of careful analysis, scientists are just not finding the “genes” that the headline writers need. British geneticist Steve Jones points out that most human traits are influenced by so many genes that there is no likely systematic cause and effect:
    “We know of more than 50 different genes associated with height … That has not percolated into the public mind, as the Google search for “scientists find the gene for” shows. The three letter word for — the gene FOR something — is the most dangerous word in genetics.”
    And the craze is not harmless, he warns. …

    Evolution machine: Genetic engineering on fast forward – June 2011
    Excerpt: Yet changing even a handful of genes takes huge amounts of time and money. For instance, a yeast engineered to churn out the antimalarial drug artemisinin has been hailed as one of the great success stories of synthetic biology. However, it took 150 person-years and cost $25 million to add or tweak around a dozen genes – and commercial production has yet to begin.

    The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology – Bard – 2011
    Excerpt: If more than about three genes (nature unspecified) underpin a phenotype, the mathematics of population genetics, while qualitatively analyzable, requires too many unknown parameters to make quantitatively testable predictions [6]. The inadequacy of this approach is demonstrated by illustrations of the molecular pathways that generates traits [7]: the network underpinning something as simple as growth may have forty or fifty participating proteins whose production involves perhaps twice as many DNA sequences, if one includes enhancers, splice variants etc. Theoretical genetics simply cannot handle this level of complexity, let alone analyse the effects of mutation..

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    a few more notes:

    Scant search for the Maker
    Excerpt: But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol.

    “A number of hominid crania are known from sites in eastern and southern Africa in the 400- to 200-thousand-year range, but none of them looks like a close antecedent of the anatomically distinctive Homo sapiens…Even allowing for the poor record we have of our close extinct kin, Homo sapiens appears as distinctive and unprecedented…there is certainly no evidence to support the notion that we gradually became who we inherently are over an extended period, in either the physical or the intellectual sense.”
    Dr. Ian Tattersall: – paleoanthropologist – emeritus curator of the American Museum of Natural History – (Masters of the Planet, 2012)

    Our Quantum Leap There Is a Huge Chasm Between Humans & Nonhuman Animals by Michael Egnor – Nov. 2015
    Excerpt: Human rationality is not merely a highly evolved kind of animal perception. It is qualitatively, ontologically different. It is different because it is immaterial. Contemplation of universals cannot have material instantiation, because universals are not material and cannot be instantiated in matter.,,,
    It is in our ability to think abstractly that we differ from apes. It is a radical difference—an immeasurable qualitative difference, not a quantitative difference. We are more different from apes than apes are from viruses. –

  5. 5
    News says:

    U Brit u pay

    PS: Canada’s CBC might be worse. It’s hard to track headlong descents that are FTL

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