Human Evolution

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    BWSMITH
    For your comment:
    Earliest Ancestor: Teeth, Bones From 5-Million-Year-Old Hominid Uncovered http://more.abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/DailyNews/hominid_ethiopia010711.html

    BTW, it was human evolution that pushed me over the top from OEC to TE. I figure that if mankind was not specially created, nothing was, except the universe itself.


    JOY
    You mean you buy those hoaxes!


    BWSMITH
    How is this a hoax?


    JOHN WELLS
    You mean you haven't read about:

    Neanderthal Man -- is now accepted as a genuine human.

    Cro-Magnon Man -- is now accepted as a genuine human.

    Piltdown Man -- has been proven to be a deliberate hoax.

    Java Man -- has been proven to be a deliberate hoax.

    Nebraska Man -- has been proven to be an over-optimistic mistake. They found one tooth and from this constructed the whole man. Later, they discovered the tooth came from a pig.

    Peking Man -- probably was a hoax. The bones have been lost.

    Zinjanthropus -- studies show this was only a primitive ape.

    Lucy -- strongly suspected of having been fully ape. Only 40% of its bones were found. It was believed to be human due to its angled femur, although all tree climbing monkeys have angled femurs. A knee bone was found 1.5 miles away from the other bones and 200 feet deeper in the strata . This knee was claimed to be Lucy's.

    If this latest find was about the size of a chimpanzee, it probably will be eventually authenticated to be one!


    SCOTT J
    Originally posted by BWSmith: BTW, it was human evolution that pushed me over the top from OEC to TE. I figure that if mankind was not specially created, nothing was, except the universe itself.

    To be honest, the remarkable lengths to which evolutionists have stretched the evidence in an effort to support human evolution is one of my stronger reasons for not believing in evolution. Several of the supposed human ancestors have been proven to be outright hoaxes by secular authorities. All others are open to interpretation and are regarded as such by scientists. Nonetheless, they believe that somehow human evolution did occur.
    The article you cite is a good example. Certain things are assumed. They are assumed not because they have been proven but because they have been repeated confidently so often and lie within the range of possibilities.

    The radiometric dating of the fossils for instance is not pure science. The measurement of the elements within a mineral sample is scientific. But the starting point for comparing the sample to the known decay rate is assumed and largely philosophical. In truth, using the same data you could assume that the sample originally contained 100% mother isotopes (thus very old) or only slightly more mother isotopes than now (thus very young).

    On another board, I had a fairly extensive running debate with an individual who said he was a scientist specializing in evolution at UC Davis. His primary contention was that creation science was not true science since God is scientifically unprovable. I turned his argument back against him. Evolution cannot be true science because it is dependent upon unprovable suppositions. One of the foremost faulty suppositions is demonstrated by this:

    If an intelligent scientist could perform a lab experiment which successfully constructed a single, viable protein from unassociated base elements, he has not proven that such an event could ever occur in nature. What he has in fact proven is that an intelligent creator who is in complete control of the environment can make a protein.

    Proving something can happen is scientific. Assuming it did happen is philosophical.
    I acknowledge that faith is involved in my belief in the biblical creation account. However, I do not believe it to be blind faith. The facts can be legitimately interpretted to support my position of faith.
    Evolution is a matter of faith to you. You may believe that the facts point toward your conclusion however the facts can never prove it. Just from reading your posts, I suspect that part of your motivation stems from a reaction to overzealous, ignorant "Christians."

    There are certainly some quacks on the Creationist side. But I would encourage you to turn the same critical eye toward evolutionists. You might be surprised to find out how long on speculation and short on facts they truly are.


    WORD DIGGER
    According to secular science, the Neanderthal "man" lived thousands of years before the appearence of modern man and died off just before the advent of modern man.
    Through the comparison of DNA from three (3) Neanderthal remains, it has now been demonstrated (and accepted by secular science) that modern man (us) are not genetically related to the Neanderthal.
    This begs the question: If, as the Young Earth Creationists (YECs) claim, the earth and universe is only 6,000 years old, and given that Neanderthal "man" was not genetically related to Adam and Eve, then what were they?
    When did they live?


    JOHN WELLS
    There is NO CREDIBLE evidence of an ancient (millions of years old) human being. There have been numerous unscrupulous attempts to gain fame and notority by finding one, that has led antropologists to go to any means of deception to achieve their goal.
    So to answer your question, the "Neanderthal man" was a hoax, and is an evolutionist's dream.


    BWSMITH
    You're not serious, are you Wells?


    JOHN WELLS
    Sure am! Since you no doubt disagree, why don't you provide some PROOF?


    BWSMITH
    Well, let's start with your distortions regarding our good friend Lucy:
    Wells wrote: Lucy -- strongly suspected of having been fully ape. Only 40% of its bones were found.

    What constitutes an "ape" and what is a "human" in your mind? If Lucy is "fully ape", she must be on the "ape" side of a line that you draw, right?
    Also, what percentage of bones is necessary to make declarations about a specimen, Wells? 40% is remarkably high.


    It was believed to be human due to its angled femur, although all tree climbing monkeys have angled femurs. A knee bone was found 1.5 miles away from the other bones and 200 feet deeper in the strata . This knee was claimed to be Lucy's.

    From talk.origins: "In 1987, creationist Tom Willis accused Donald Johanson of fraud, claiming that the skeleton known as "Lucy" consisted of bones that had been found at two sites about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) apart. Willis had actually confused two separate finds which belong to the same species. (This was in spite of the fact that a best-selling book (Johanson and Edey 1981) has photos of both fossils: AL 129-1 is a right knee, while Lucy has a right femur and a left tibia.) This was a spectacular error which could hardly have been made by anyone who had done the most elementary research, but that didn't stop many other creationists from picking up the claim and repeating it. "

    For more information about this false claim by creationists, see the following: Lucy's Knee Joint: A Case Study in Creationists' Willingness to Admit Their Errors http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/knee-joint.html

    WellsJS suggested that "Neanderthal Man -- is now accepted as a genuine human." Perhaps you meant that "symbolically and not literally", right?
    Here's a report from last year on sequencing Neanderthal DNA in a baby found in the Caucasus mountains:
    DNA Tests: Humans Not Descended from Neanderthals http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/neanderthal000328.html


    KEYLAN
    I have a few questions
    1- Neandrathals buried their dead, with some evidence of ritual -right?
    2- They cared for those in their group unable to fend for themselves right?
    3- They made musical instruments [a flute] which has been found to produce the musical scale, which shows the ability to create and play music, right?
    4- some evidence sugests a religon -bear skulls piled in caves, right?

    Now my question, how different is the DNA of say a wolf or coyote from a toy poople [percentage wise} ?

    What makes a human? DNA?

    Are there differences in DNA in todays ethnic groups?

    Who decides how much of a difference in DNA constitutes a different family? And what criteria do they use and can it be demonstrated that passed a certain percentage always means a different family?

    I am no scientist but it seems to me that if it looks like a duck walks like a duck ect its a duck. Now from what I have been able to gather the Neanderthal looks and acts human - despite the argument over the percentage difference in DNA.


    HELEN
    Hi Keylan and all,
    This summer I was blessed to attend the most incredible multi-disciplinary science conference I have ever been to. It was entitled "Discontinuity" and speakers included men and women from embryology, philosophy, biology, dentistry, chemistry, molecular biology, and more. One of the presentations was on Neandertal man and modern humans. The study was done via DNA results. Without getting technical, the results were that Neandertal was essentially the same as modern humans. The areas of genetic difference tended to cluster around 'hot spots' where mutation rates run high in both us and them. Their heavier brow ridges and receding foreheads are still in evidence (although usually not together) among humans today. Their brain cases were larger than ours and there is simply no evidence that they were 'primitive' in any way.

    Keylan had some other questions as well:

    1- Neandrathals buried their dead, with some evidence of ritual -right?

    Yes, they did.


    2- They cared for those in their group unable to fend for themselves right?

    We have evidence of that, yes.


    3- They made musical instruments [a flute] which has been found to produce the musical scale, which shows the ability to create and play music, right?

    I have heard of this but have not seen the material on it.


    4- some evidence sugests a religon -bear skulls piled in caves, right?

    I don't know.


    Now my question, how different is the DNA of say a wolf or coyote from a toy poople [percentage wise} ?

    I don't know the percentage, but I know it is very small. Wolves and dogs interbreed easily.


    What makes a human? DNA?

    Well, the DNA helps direct body formation and functioning, but first of all DNA is not everything there is where body formation is concerned, and secondly, humans are a whole lot more than just physical bodies.
    So DNA is not the defining factor of humanness.

    Are there differences in DNA in today’s ethnic groups?


    There are more genetic differences WITHIN the various 'races' today than there are between them!

    Who decides how much of a difference in DNA constitutes a different family? And what criteria do they use and can it be demonstrated that passed a certain percentage always means a different family?


    If you are talking about the taxonomic level of 'family' (in contrast to phylum, class, order, etc.), it is not a matter of genetics which decides anything. There is no definition for any of the taxonomic levels except for species, and that has competing definitions!


    I am no scientist but it seems to me that if it looks like a duck walks like a duck etc. its a duck.

    Be careful! Common sense is a dangerous thing!


    Now from what I have been able to gather the Neanderthal looks and acts human - despite the argument over the percentage difference in DNA.

    Bingo.


    KEYLAN
    Thank you Helen for your reply. I guess the DNA thing is much ado over nothin


    THE BARBARIAN
    Smith is right; the DNA tests indicate that Neandertals, while very much like humans, are a bit too different to qualify as ancestors. They are cousins, most likely another species. The evidence in Israel shows that they lived in the same area as anatomically modern humans for many thousands of years, with no evidence of any interbreeding. There is one child's skeleton found in Spain that might qualify as an anatomically modern human/Neandertal mix. Otherwise nothing.
    They seem to have been a species of human especially adapted to very cold climates. They were highly successful in their time and environment. They had larger brains than we do (partially as a consequence of larger muscles) and might have been as intelligent as we are, or even more intelligent. But they are not us, or our ancestors.


    JOHN WELLS
    So Barbarian, should I believe your opinion, or Helen's report from a well attended scientific conference on the subject that refutes your opinion?


    THE BARBARIAN
    I have no way of assessing the credentials of the "well-attended" meeting, but the recent discovery of more Neandertal DNA has made it even more unlikely that the Neandertals were our ancestors.
    http://www.findarticles.com/m1200/2_158/65132271/p1/article.jhtml
    Incidentally, Helen is correct about there being what appears to be a flute, associated with a Neandertal site. It's not unlikely that they were able to play and appreciated music.

    Recently, I've been told, the analysis of the apparent Neandertal/anatomically modern human child found in Spain suggests that it was possible for the two populations to have interbred.

    That only one such individual has been found suggests that such a thing was relatively unusual. It is not unusual for closely related species to produce viable offspring (which, however, are often infertile).
    Or perhaps Neandertals were just highly-evolved members of our own species. Early ones were much more like anatomically modern humans than later Neandertals.


    HELEN
    Recently, I've been told, the analysis of the apparent Neandertal/anatomically modern human child found in Spain suggests that it was possible for the two populations to have interbred.

    I think this means that you ran back to another forum to ask about it and they told you that you were wrong. It’s great how confident you were with your assertion, though! In the meantime, I posted the information about the child on a forum you attended over a year ago. But, being a creationist, of course I didn't know what I was talking about...


    That only one such individual has been found suggests that such a thing was relatively unusual. It is not unusual for closely related species to produce viable offspring (which, however, are often infertile).

    Baloney. They were just as modern as you or me. (You present what you don’t know about with such flair!) Neandertal features are still present in the human race, but spread around, testifying to the mixing of the peoples. Head size? My father's head was one of those "German" heads with the very large cranium and a sort of bulge out the back. My brother is the same. I have an adopted son with a VERY receding forehead going back from his eyebrows. He is Mexican. I have another adopted son who is borderline microcephalic, is now a father, and the middle child, a little girl, is a tiny adorable (aren't all grandchildren?) little elf with the tiny head and small bones of her daddy. All are perfectly normal human beings. In fact there is research which seems to be indicating that the 'ginger gene', responsible for red hair, fair skin, and freckles, might have originated with the Neandertals as a mutation.


    Or perhaps Neandertals were just highly-evolved members of our own species. Early ones were much more like anatomically modern humans than later Neandertals.

    Earlier, later, schmater...
    Some had more of what we consider Neandertal traits and some less. Some blacks are darker than others. Some orientals have eyes more almond shaped than others. So what's the big deal?


    THE BARBARIAN
    …I posted that on a forum you attended over a year ago. But, being a creationist, of course I didn't know what I was talking about...

    Now, Helen, you know I'd never say that about you. All we had to go on back then was some anatomical markers. It did look like a hybrid of both populations. But more recent analysis makes it look even more so.


    Baloney. They were just as modern as you or me.

    Nope. The last of them died a long time ago. A very long time ago. They are, of course, more evolved than we are, in a different direction.

    [Regarding similarities of Neandertal traits with what is seen in modern humans]: Might be. But who would confuse a Neandertal skull with that of an anatomically modern human?
    Some had more of what we consider Neandertal traits and some less.
    Specifically, the earliest ones had less, and the later ones had more.
    It's hard to say with any confidence whether they had evolved sufficiently to have become another species. But the one possible hybrid would suggest that they had. I believe you acknowledge speciation occurs, so it's not giving away the store to admit that these could have changed enough to become partially or fully isolated reproductively.


    HAL PARKER
    An article on the hybrid is
    Lagar Velho 1 child skeleton: a Neandertal/modern human hybrid by Marvin Lubenow in Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal Vol. 14(2) 2000. http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/area/magazines/TJ/TJv14n2_Neandertal.pdf


    THE BARBARIAN
    I mentioned the issue to my daughter today. She asked how Neandertals differed from humans today.
    "Well," I said, "they were powerfully built, with large skulls, stocky limbs, and large noses."
    And she said "Uhhhh... Dad?"
    Darn, and I'm red-headed, too. With freckled arms. Maybe Helen was right.


    JOHN WELLS
    Quoted from Answers In Genesis:
    LUCY:
    ‘Early Man walked on all fours’ proclaims one news headline, while another asks, ‘Did Lucy walk on her knuckles?’ News media releases of the latest scientific ‘discovery’ about human origins herald the finding that the fossil ‘Lucy’ (Australopithecus afarensis) has the same wrist anatomy as ‘knuckle-walking’ chimpanzees and gorillas.
    Some of the media said this was a surprise to evolutionists, who now have to abandon their theory that ‘our early tree-dwelling ancestors came down from the trees and were already adapted to walking upright.’ But evolutionists who insist that Lucy walked upright have already modified their story to accommodate the new information on Lucy’s wrist anatomy. Refusing to concede anything other than upright walking they say that her knuckle-walking wrist joints are a leftover (or ‘vestige’ from an early ancestor who came down from the trees and walked on her knuckles as chimpanzees and gorillas do.

    NEANDERTHALS
    One of the world's foremost authorities on Neanderthal man, Erik Trinkaus, concludes: "Detailed comparisons of Neanderthal skeletal remains with those of modern humans have shown that there is nothing in Neanderthal anatomy that conclusively indicates locomotor, manipulative, intellectual or linguistic abilities inferior to those of modern humans." (Natural History vol. 87, p. 10, 1978). Why then are there continued efforts to make apes out of man and man out of apes?
    There has been recent media fanfare about the sequencing of parts of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA. Some researchers claim that it gives powerful support to the theory that all humanity descended from an ‘African Eve’ about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, and that Neanderthals were an evolutionary dead end.
    Some researchers claim that the genetic differences indicate the Neanderthals were a different species than the early humans who swept them aside in Europe and western Asia — although they appear to have split from a common ancestor 500,000 years ago (according to evolutionary dating methods).
    As always, we urge caution. In the last 12 months we have seen big media fanfare about the ‘feathered dinosaurs’, ‘176,000-year-old’ Aboriginal remains, and especially ‘Mars life’. But the media never seem to give the same prominence to the refutation of these ‘evidences’, even by secular scientists. However, Creation magazine and of course the News section of the Answers in Genesis Website have dealt with all these issues as they arose. So let’s wait for more data.
    At the moment, we should question whether the DNA found would have remained intact if it is old as claimed. DNA is quickly broken down by water and oxygen, so under favorable conditions, DNA might last tens of thousands of years at the most.
    With the Neanderthal issue, the media have reported some criticisms, which are unfortunately obscured by the flashy headlines, and I give some examples below:
    Critics of that theory say the argument will rage on, and they await the results of many more DNA tests.
    ‘It is a brilliant, innovative piece of work. I just doubt that it can be faulted on technical grounds’, said Milford H. Wolpoff, professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. But Wolpoff also said that the researchers may have ‘jumped too soon to conclusions’ where there are actually several different ways of interpreting the data. If early human populations were ‘very small and isolated from one another’, gradually each would accumulate ‘different losses [in mitochondrial DNA] until they all came to look really different from each other because of the drift. Of course their last common ancestor would appear to be very far in the past.’
    Apart from the claimed dates, this is consistent with the Biblical model, where all people are descended from Noah’s three sons and their wives. These descendants’ languages were confused at Babel, so people separated into small groups and migrated their own separate ways. Nothing in the new data rules out the possibility that Neanderthals interbred with ordinary Homo sapiens, which would make them part of the same species.
    So-called Neanderthal features are recognizable in some Europeans today. Also, many Neanderthal skeletons show evidence of arthritis and rickets — this, rather than primitivity, explains the stooped dumb-looking posture that most people are familiar with. This is explained by noting that some of the groups from Babel would have lost a lot of their ancestors’ technology, and been forced to live in caves. Such people may have been deprived of sunlight and nutrition. So they would have been prone to diseases such as arthritis and rickets. Neanderthals are one such branch of Noah’s descendants.
    So in one sense, they are a side branch when compared with humans alive today. This could explain why their DNA is so different from that of living people. But it should be stressed that Neanderthals were still fully human, and descendants of Noah.



    WILL
    I think that the evidence shows that Neanderthal was not related to man, however doesn't this take away one more link in the evolutionary tree?
    [I have a question about] Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba. Don't you think its much too early to draw conclusive observations from what was found, a tiny piece of a lower jaw bone and a part of a knuckle from a toe? I found it funny that Time magazine was able to provide a whole series of drawings based on these finds. Their imaginations were certainly working overtime.


    BWSMITH
    It depends on which observations you consider "premature". Certainly the dating of the fossils isn't premature, right? We have the strata.

    I found it funny that Time magazine was able to provide a whole series of drawings based on these finds. Their imaginations were certainly working overtime.

    Any conceptualization of hominids is naturally going to be based on a total accumulation of evidence and not the Ardipithecus fossil in a vacuum. You should view the drawings with the grain of salt that it does assume the standard evolutionary model to fill in the gaps. It's not like we dug up a photograph of a hominid in action...


    SCOTT J
    Any conceptualization of hominids is naturally going to be based on a total accumulation of evidence and not the Ardipithecus fossil in a vacuum. You should view the drawings with the grain of salt that it does assume the standard evolutionary model to fill in the gaps. It's not like we dug up a photograph of a hominid in action...

    And here you have the crux of the matter, the expectations dictate how the data is interpreted. This is not science. At the core is the philosophical choice to believe that creation occurred without the supernatural act of God.
    Please note the implicit circular reasoning. You said the "total accumulation of evidence" was used. This evidence was also incomplete and subject to interpretation by the same presupposed model as the most recent evidence.


    BWSMITH
    And here you have the crux of the matter, the expectations dictate how the data is interpretted. This is not science.

    What IS science, then?


    At the core is the philosophical choice to believe that creation occurred without the supernatural act of God.

    Wrong. I believe in both God the Creator and evolution.


    Please note the implicit circular reasoning. You said the "total accumulation of evidence" was used. This evidence was also incomplete and subject to interpretation by the same presupposed model as the most recent evidence.

    By what model would you prefer to interpret specimens that are part-ape, part human?
     

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