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Where are the Transitional Forms?

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An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright.

Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.

The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, ‘bear crawl’ on their feet and palms.

Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise.

Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement.

Here’s the link.

Ohhhhh Lucccyyyy, u have some 'splainnin' to do. Yep, Catch22 I'd say and controversial. I'm guessing the quadrapeds next litter will have tails, long snouts, and much more fur before losing their limbs, fur, moving nostrils above and back of the head and becoming whales. Carl Zimmer(writer for Science, NG, Discover) calls Dr. Humphreys to account. The good Doctor responds directly by email and in blog post. Zimmer post back along with fellow skeptics in picking apart obvious problems including ethics. See following link for good discussion points and more info on the developing story line. (tip: Krauze, Telic Thoughts) http://loom.corante.com/archives/2006/03/08/this_week_in_human_evolution.php Michaels7
Michaels7: 'The skeptic in me says, wait. I’ll await to read about the “gene faults” they quote as possible proof of “backwards evolution”.' I'm presuming that they've scientifically looked into it, and have concluded that the phenomena is due to 'genetic faults'. Maybe that's not wise. Nonetheless, if it proves to, indeed, be entirely due to 'genetic faults', then neo-Darwinism has a lot of 'splainin' to do, no? But I reserve judgment, too. Journalists and doctors can get things wrong at times. PaV

PaV, puns are fun ;-). You're correct that assumptions are made. The article leaves much to assume in both directions. Allow me to sharpen my sword of discernment(no doubt very dull from neglect).

For example:

"Two of the daughters and a son have only ever walked on two palms and two feet, but another son and daughter sometimes manage to walk upright."

Why two? Why male/female siblings behavior differ if they share 'genetic faults'? Why are words 'somtimes manage' utilized? Pictures of difficulty to 'overcome' appear in my mind. Words are important. A skeptic may ask are they responding to environmental stimuli? Is the effort required to stand and walk minimal or maximal?

"The five can stand upright, but only for a short time, with both knees and head flexed."

If they can 'all' stand upright - why not 'all' walk upright? Is there curvature of the spine?
Muscles, ligaments, joints stiffen and atrophy if not used or in fixed positions. Rehab is required for full extension of limbs, even of neck positions if long periods of time elapse. All siblings suffer reduced mental capacity. What attempts were made to 1) get them to walk, stand up as children? 2) Does 18-34 years of crawling induce pain when standing upright? It is a valid question. A rehab specialist or physician of anatomy and physiology can answer these questions. The mention of "calloused hands" by researchers hints of ivory tower isolation. Farmer Jones might enlighten them. Or, any woman in high heels. Podiatry depends on high heels for much business :) The observation of calloused hands is no more valid than "knees and head flexed" comments imho.

Some researchers quoted agree with my skeptical observations:

"Others believe it("genetic fault") has led to brain damage which has allowed them to develop the walk." [emphasis mine]

Restating in different words, reduced mental capacity if not met with loving and careful training by parents "...allowed them to develop" the crawl observed today. Parents of Down Syndrome developed networks all over the nation that instruct how to train their children in all avenues of life, including the inhibited mental coordination for standing and walking.

This reminds me of a 90's genetic fallacy introduced to the world by large media outlets on the basis of biased wishful thinking. Later conclusive scientific test showed that twins sharing genes did not always share similar behaviors and thus the genetic predisposition theory was found false. It essentially exposed the researcher's POV bias introduced into the science lab. Having failed, the researcher then asserted physical modifications of body organs as proof for his POV. Independent researchers again found his claims to be false or inconclusive. The stated physical changes were associated with long term behavior patterns, not genetics. This genetic predisposition fallacy is still quoted by many uninformed people as fact today for political causes. The MSM never corrected themselves openly to the public as big as the original announcement splash around the world.

Decreased mental capacity in children can lead to a large variety of physical issues which can spiral downwards if not addressed in a loving environment. The article does not state if the siblings can talk, understand simple instructions or not. I'm not aware of the publications reputation, but the writer leaves much for consideration.

The quoted "evolutionary" psychologist, "Prof Humphrey said he thought the family had reverted to an instinctive form of behaviour encoded deep in the brain but abandoned during evolution."

This is speculation alert imho. Sucking ones thumb can easily be represented as instinctive behavior encoded deep in the brain according to this type of logic. If parental correction or peer pressure is not exerted similar conclusions can be made of adults with reduced mental capacity. Psychologist recognize similar behavior in severe trauma victims who revert to infantile patterns. This is not evidence of evolution. Its actual evidence of infant memory and learned behavior patterns. These cases are well documented. Without loving, caring and training, an infant might retain many regressive behavior patterns.

He concludes: "I do not think they were destined to be quadrupeds by their genes, but their unique genetic make-up allowed them to be."

Again, the word - "allowed" is utilized. This is a key statement and why I'm curious to see what gene mutations they open up to public scrutiny in the documentary. The article does not mention if a "medical doctor" trained in anatomy and physiology viewed their conditions as unique. They only spoke of researchers evolutionary speculative viewpoints.

The skeptic in me says, wait. I'll await to read about the "gene faults" they quote as possible proof of "backwards evolution". I'll wait for a peer reviewed research paper as well. Maybe its already done, but the article does not mention it. A BBC documentary does not lend credibility imho.

Food for thought: I seem to remember Mowgli maneuvering identically while emulating the elephant herd. nostrowski
Michaels7----------- Nice try, but it won't work. You make too many ad hoc assumptions for your case to stand up to scrutiny (excuse the pun). PaV
uhhhhuh, the scientist say... "The five are all mentally retarded. Their mother and father, who are closely related are believed to have handed down a unique combination of genes which result in the behaviour." "Closely related?" How close? They can all stand upright. They crawl like a baby with palms flat. Evolutionist are saying that the mentally handicaped give us a look back in time? Is this what evolutionist believe is evidence? Babies crawl - so depending upon the IQ level and their developmental skills, these siblings may never have stopped such behavior and their parents may have just given up or actually 'not cared' since they were damaged goods. Not to be unkind, but a rural area in this kind of society, I'm surprised they're even alive. Children mimic their parents in all sorts of odd ways and in this case they mimic their older brothers and sisters. Once one 'mentally handicaped' sibling crawled, so did the other younger ones. Limited mental capacity and possibly uncaring or uneducated parents attributed to the 'nurtured' behavior. Remember, autism was thought to be uncontrollable nightmare until one Mother and Father decided not to give up on their child. They then learned that the autistic child was hearing and could comprehend. Helen Keller anyone? New parents learn quickly about their own behavior patterns from the feedback of their newborns. Babies and children pick up their parents habits amazingly fast as anyone who's been around children know. This is simply learned behavior of a child-like adult which never matured mentally or which parents never impressed upon them to do so. Since they do not mention the gene and only that they 'think they have discoverd' one. I'll wait to see if its not just related to typical mental disorders. The facial expressions especially of the man looks fairly recognizable, but hard to tell. Are there any 'real doctors' in the house? There are known troubles with the mentally handicaped child's natural progression in walking and all parts of human developmental cycles who having grown older, still crawl if not encouraged by parents to not do so. My gosh, we'd all be sucking our thumbs if Mom and Dad didn't tell us to stop. Learned behavior, not genetic. Evolutionist are really reaching. Lets see what else they say.... "Study of the five has shown the astonishing behaviour is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise." "Largely unable", uhuh. Maybe someone should take them to medical rehab facility and work their muscles???? Lord have mercy. A medical student could tell immediately what type of atrophy has set in over the years from this behavior. Of course the joints will be stiffened in place after 18-34 years! That's why Rehab is required to retrain muscles and to loosen them, flex them. "Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement." "extraordinary", nothing to it, we all do it if we get on all fours. Its painful to do it for too long because as a child we learned to walk upright and have been since the age of two or three. Look at the picture, there is nothing extraordinary about it except for the fact someone is making a profit from hocus pocus science on BBC in the future in the name of evolution for the mass indoctrination of Scigod. An example of a chimp who walks on fours in action by another 'scientist' who refuses to recognize difference between himself and a lower order beast. This scientist considers himself 'a friend' of the chimps. The video is not graphic, but the chimp does attack the man. He gets away. http://www.wimp.com/chimp/ The chimps get excited, the scientist stays, its a mistake. He gets away, with face lacerations, a Mike Tyson ear experience and his fingers mauled. I'm not sure which is worse. The devolution of a scientist to believe chimps are safe in the wild. Or, scientist who believe learned behavior of mentally handicapped adults is genetic related to their physical movement instead of their mental capacity and the learned nurtured behavioral environment they grew up in. Tune in tomorrow when scientist discover men swimming in ocean is an indication we once were fish. :-) Michaels7
In the somewhat related field, Speaking of walking on all fours, who let the 'big dog' out? See video of a 4 legged Dogbot creature rather large in the following link. http://www.newscientist.com/channel/mech-tech/dn8802.html Loud prototype but the walking mimicry is quite good and the ability to recover balance even when kicked on the side is quite remarkable as well as going up hill, through mud and snow. (hattip) http://officersclub.blogspot.com/ which naturally looks to the future Star Wars transition. Fun stuff in science.... Michaels7
i don't think this would truly represent a saltation event. It's probably caused by a mutation of one gene. Not multiple genes at once. Right? Fross
A noted Italian biologist, Giuseppe Sermonti, suggests that it is possible that chimps "devolved." But you're missing the point. Here's what they researchers have found: "Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement." Notice that this (1) happened in ONE generation, and (2) affected ALL the siblings. Thus they could mate and continue on this condition. This is called "saltation"; something Darwin vehemently opposed, and what most Darwinists today vehemently opposed. PaV
Old news but check out Natasha: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5479501/ Patrick
This is good evidence IF the theory said chimps "devolved" from humans... But anyway- that "bear crawl" is one of the best excercises there is! A full-body workout in 50 yards! (if you can make it that far) Joseph

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