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Humans descended from ape-like creatures? A skeptical look at the fossil record

From the new special edition of science and culture mag Salvo on science and faith:

Casey Luskin asks,”Has Science Shown That We Evolved from Ape-like Creatures?

It is not uncommon for evolutionary scientists like Wetherington (even those who teach at Christian universities) to be adamant about the evidence in favor of human evolution. Digging into the technical literature, however, we find a situation that’s starkly different from the one presented by Wetherington and many other evolutionary scientists who engage in public debates.

A closer look at the literature shows that hominin fossils generally fall into one of two categories—ape-like species or human-like species (of the genus Homo)—and that there is a large, unbridged gap between them. Despite the claims of many evolutionary paleoanthropologists, the fragmented hominin fossil record does not document the evolution of humans from ape-like precursors. In fact, scientists are quite sharply divided over who or what our human ancestors even were. Newly discovered fossils are often initially presented to the public with great enthusiasm and fanfare, but once cooler heads prevail, their status as human evolutionary ancestors is invariably called into question. More.

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99 Responses to Humans descended from ape-like creatures? A skeptical look at the fossil record

  1. But isn’t the fact that Darwinists usually throw ad hominem feces at anyone who questions Darwinian evolution more than proof enough that we evolved from monkeys? At least proof enough for the Darwinian way of evaluating evidence? I mean really what more do you IDiots want? :)

    note:

    Monkey Theory Proven Wrong:
    Excerpt: A group of faculty and students in the university’s media program left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested macaques. Then, they waited. At first, said researcher Mike Phillips, “the lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it. “Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard,” added Phillips, who runs the university’s Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies. Eventually, monkeys Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan produced five pages of text, composed primarily of the letter S. Later, the letters A, J, L and M crept in — not quite literature.
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/.....051103.htm

    The story of the Monkey Shakespeare Simulator Project
    Excerpt: Starting with 100 virtual monkeys typing, and doubling the population every few days, it put together random strings of characters. It then checked them against the archived works of Shakespeare. Before it was scrapped, the site came up with 10^35 number of pages, all typed up. Any matches?
    Not many. It matched two words, “now faire,” and a partial name from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and three words and a comma, “Let fame, that,” from Love’s Labour’s Lost. The record, achieved suitably randomly at the beginning of the site’s run in 2004, was 23 characters long, including breaks and spaces.
    http://io9.com/5809583/the-sto.....or-project

    Can Monkeys Type Shakespeare? (Doing the math) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkEvzRMEP3s

  2. I still hear the echoes of what used to be my favorite DVD when I was an evolutionist , walking with mammals when they show an Australopithecus walking upright and declaring it to be the first ancestor of ours to walk upright.

    I hate being fooled and evolution had me fooled for 42 years. Australopithecus being a transitionary form is based on only an inference by biologist who assumed evolution and therefore found what they were looking for. The video did the same thing with ambolucetus giving it webbed feet and a body that waddles , despite biologists not even knowing whether it had webbed feet or not and the evidence showing that it was a powerful mover on land.

    This is science?

  3. 3

    Our arguments are ad hominid. :)

  4. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, it can be said of these theoretical ape-men: “Truth proves to be missing.”—Isaiah 59:15.

    WHAT THE FOSSIL EVIDENCE ACTUALLY SHOWS
    ? Fact: At the beginning of the 20th century, all the fossils that were used to support the theory that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor could fit on a billiard table. Since then, the number of fossils used to support that theory has increased. Now it is claimed that they would fill a railroad boxcar.38 However, the vast majority of those fossils consist only of single bones and isolated teeth. Complete skulls—let alone complete skeletons—are rare. [1]

    Question: Has the increased number of fossils attributed to the human “family tree” settled the question among evolutionary experts as to when and how humans evolved from apelike creatures?

    Answer: No. In fact, the opposite is true. When it comes to how these fossils should be classified, Robin Derricourt of the University of New South Wales, Australia, wrote in 2009: “Perhaps the only consensus now is that there is no consensus.” [2] 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. [3] 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. [4]

    ANNOUNCEMENTS OF “MISSING LINKS”

    ? Fact: The media often widely broadcasts the announcement that a new “missing link” has been discovered. For example, in 2009 a fossil dubbed Ida was unveiled with what one journal called “rock-star hype.” [5] Publicity included this headline in The Guardian newspaper of the United Kingdom (UK): “Fossil Ida: Extraordinary Find Is ‘Missing Link’ in Human Evolution.” [6] However, just days later, the UK science journal New Scientist said: “Ida is not a ‘missing link’ in human evolution.” [7]

    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?

    Answer: Regarding those who make these discoveries, Robin Derricourt, quoted earlier, says: “The leader of a research team may need to over-emphasize the uniqueness and drama of a ‘discovery’ in order to attract research funding from outside the conventional academic sources, and they will certainly be encouraged in this by the print and electronic media, looking for a dramatic story.” [8]

    TEXTBOOK DRAWINGS AND MODELS OF APE-MEN

    ? Fact: Depictions in textbooks and museums of the so-called ancestors of humans are often shown with specific facial features, skin color, and amount of hair. These depictions usually show the older “ancestors” with monkeylike features and the ones supposedly closer to humans with more humanlike facial features, skin tone, and hair.

    Question: Can scientists reliably reconstruct such features based on the fossilized remains that they find?

    Answer: No. In 2003, forensics expert Carl N. Stephan, who works at the Department of Anatomical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Australia, wrote: “The faces of earlier human ancestors cannot be objectively constructed or tested.” He says that attempts to do so based on modern apes “are likely to be heavily biased, grossly inaccurate, and invalid.” His conclusion? “Any facial ‘reconstructions’ of earlier hominids are likely to be misleading.” [9]

    [Footnotes]
    [1] Fossils, Teeth and Sex—New Perspectives on Human Evolution, by Charles E. Oxnard, 1987, Preface, pp. xi, xii.
    [2] Critique of Anthropology, Volume 29(2), “Patenting Hominins—Taxonomies, Fossils and Egos,” by Robin Derricourt, 2009, pp. 195-196, 198.
    [3] . 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.
    [4] Acta Biologica Szegediensis, Volume 46(1-2), “New Findings—New Problems in Classification of Hominids,” by Gyula Gyenis, 2002, pp. 57, 59.
    [5] New Scientist, “A Fine Fossil—But a Missing Link She’s Not,” by Chris Bead, May 30, 2009, p. 18.
    [6] The Guardian, London, “Fossil Ida: Extraordinary Find Is ‘Missing Link’ in Human Evolution,” by James Randerson, May 19, 2009
    [7] New Scientist, May 30, 2009, pp. 18-19.
    [8] Critique of Anthropology, Volume 29(2), p. 202.
    [9] Science and Justice, Vol. 43, No. 4, (2003) section, Forensic Anthropology, “Anthropological Facial ‘Reconstruction’—Recognizing the Fallacies, ‘Unembracing’ the Errors, and Realizing Method Limits,” by C. N. Stephan, p. 195.

  5. I’m afraid I would have to (very respectfully) disagree with Casey’s claim that “the fragmented hominin fossil record does not document the evolution of humans from ape-like precursors.” He does make some very good points in his article in Salvo magazine, but I think the fossil evidence for the fact of human evolution is strong, despite the presence of several gaps. Here’s why.

    There are indeed gaps in the human fossil record, but there are no gaps between the first true human beings and their immediate (non-human) precursors. The real gaps in the record are between those precursors and the common ancestor of humans and apes. We still don’t know what the common ancestor of humans and apes was, and we don’t know where Australopithecus came from. There is a gap between Australopithecus and early Homo, who appeared about 2.3 or 2.4 million years ago, but it’s not a huge one. There’s also a gap between early Homo and Homo ergaster (or erectus if you prefer), but once again, it’s smaller than we thought it was ten years ago. From an anatomical standpoint, there isn’t a real gap between Homo ergaster (or erectus) and Heidelberg man. (From a neurological and chromosomal standpoint, the situation may well be very different.) But Heidelberg man (and not Homo erectus) was the first true human being, in terms of possessing reason. Benoit Dubreuil argues in a 2010 paper that Heidelberg man was the first hominid capable of what he calls co-operative feeding and co-operative breeding – that is, altruistically taking part in group hunting expedition for large animals such as mammoths and saber-tooth tigers, even at considerable risk to one’s own life, and making a commitment to enter into a monogamous relationship with a woman and help raise her child over a prolonged and extended period. Those are quintessentially human commitments, requiring a great deal of self-sacrifice, coupled with a rational capacity to envisage the long-term future. You can see the difference between Homo ergaster / erectus (who appeared 1.8 million years ago) and Heidelberg man (who appeared at least 750,000 years ago) in their tools, too.

    A tool like this:

    http://www.cope.co.za/archaeo/.....de%20b.jpg (made in Kathu Pan, South Africa, 750,000 years ago, by an unknown hominid)

    or like this:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....andaxe.jpg (made by Heidelberg man in Boxgrove, at least 500,000 years ago)

    possesses an artistic symmetry and beauty that is altogether lacking in a tool like this:

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-i.....xe-008.jpg (made by early Homo erectus, 1.76 million years ago).

    I might add that the very earliest forms of Homo erectus (found in Dmanisi, Georgia) didn’t even make hand-axes.

    I’d also like to point out that until a few years ago, many anthropologists believed there was a huge gap between Australopithecus and Homo erectus, and some of them also believed that Homo habilis was really on the Australopithecus side of the fence. Collard and Wood argued as much in 1999, and again in their 2007 paper, Defining the genus Homo. That picture is now out of date. Recent papers published in 2012 – see here, here and here show that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo habilis was about the same size as that from Homo habilis to early Homo erectus. As for the transition from Homo erectus to Heidelberg man, it’s been known for a long time that this was a fairly smooth one, anatomically speaking – so much so that some anthropologists, such as John Hawks, don’t even recognize Heidelberg man as a separate species. (When I say “smooth,” I’m just talking about anatomical changes; I’m not talking about the four or so sudden changes in hominid brain structure, which took place 3.5 million years ago, 1.8 million years ago, 700,000 years ago and 200,000 years ago, or about the discontinuous transition from 48 to 46 chromosomes, which took place some time between 3,000,000 and 740,000 years ago.)

    Here’s a quote that conveys the tenor of the new view among anthropologists:

    Recent fossil and archaeological finds have complicated our interpretation of the origin and early evolution of genus Homo. It now appears overly simplistic to view the origin of Homo erectus as a punctuated event characterized by a radical shift in biology and behavior (Aiello and Antón 2012; Antón 2012; Holliday 2012; Pontzer 2012; Schwartz 2012; Ungar 2012). Several of the key morphological, behavioral, and life history characteristics thought to first emerge with H. erectus (e.g., narrow bi-iliac breadth, relatively long legs, and a more “modern” pattern of growth) seem instead to have arisen at different times and in different species. Further, accumulating data from Africa and beyond document regional morphological variation in early H. erectus and expand the range of variation in this species. These new finds also make the differences between H. erectus (s.l.) and Homo habilis (s.l.) less stark and suggest that regional variation in the former may reflect local adaptive pressures that result from inhabiting diverse environments in Africa and Eurasia. The mosaic nature of these acquisitions and the greater range of intraspecific variation, especially in H. erectus, call into question previous inferences regarding the selective factors behind the early evolution of our genus and its eventual dispersal from Africa. They also raise questions about when a modern pattern of life history might have emerged and what role, if any, it played in our early evolution.

    And here’s another:

    The origin of Homo holds particular sway for us and has often been seen as the point in our evolution when the balance tips from a more ape-like to a more human-like ancestor. By the turn of this century, a conventional wisdom had grown up around the origin of Homo and particularly Homo erectus that cast this species as the first hominin to take important biological and behavioral steps in the direction of modern humans (Antón 2003; Shipman and Walker 1989). Homo erectus was envisioned as a large-brained, small-toothed, long-legged, narrow-hipped, and large-bodied hominin with relatively low sexual dimorphism. By virtue of a higher-quality, perhaps animal-based diet, H. erectus is said to have ranged farther, cooperated more, and quickly dispersed from Africa (Aiello and Key 2002; Antón, Leonard, and Robertson 2002; McHenry and Coffing 2000; Walker and Leakey 1993). The paucity of early Homo fossils of Homo habilis sensu lato (including Homo rudolfensis) meant that comparisons of Australopithecus (?Paranthropus) were made to H. erectus (including Homo ergaster) rather than to other early Homo. And the distinctions between Australopithecus and Homo were perhaps overemphasized by the diminutive size of the most complete Australopithecus skeleton (A.L. 288-1; Lucy), on the one hand, and the surprisingly large size of the most complete H. erectus skeleton (KNM-WT 15000; Nariokotome boy), on the other (e.g., Ruff 1993). The comparisons between H. erectus and Homo sapiens were so strongly drawn that the inclusion in the genus of some of the earliest species, such as H. habilis and H. rudolfensis, was seriously questioned on the basis of their more australopith-like postcranial skeleton, among other things (Wood and Baker 2011; Wood and Collard 1999, 2007).

    The fossil record never ceases to upset conventional wisdom, and over the past 2 decades, new discoveries from East and South Africa, Georgia, and even Indonesia have challenged these stark distinctions between Australopithecus and H. erectus and within non-erectus early Homo. In particular, new small-bodied and small-brained finds from the Republic of Georgia and Kenya call to question claims for universally large size in H. erectus (e.g., Gabunia et al. 2000; Potts et al. 2004; Simpson et al. 2008; Spoor et al. 2007) and focus our attention instead on the range of variation within that taxon. This variation in H. erectus has most often been referred to as sexual dimorphism and/or regional/climatic adaptations (Antón 2008; Spoor et al. 2007), although short-term accommodations and phenotypic plasticity are likely to have played an important role (see Antón 2013). And larger-sized, longer-legged Australopithecus have been found (Haile-Selassie et al. 2010), as have members of that genus who may share some postcranial characteristics with Homo (Asfaw et al. 1999; Berger et al. 2010; Kibii et al. 2011; Kivell et al. 2011; Zipfel et al. 2011). Additionally, new fossil remains of non-erectus Homo and new work on previously known remains emphasize the diversity of the early members of the genus and the ways in which they differ from Australopithecus (Blumenschine et al. 2003; Spoor et al. 2007).

    I should say, however, that something very important in human evolution occurred 1.8 million years ago, in terms of brain evolution, and it’s described in this article: How Our Ancestors Broke through the Gray Ceiling. The authors argue that by rights, hominid brains should have stopped growing at 700 cubic centimeters, but our ancestors somehow broke through that threshold. The authors argue that co-operative breeding was the behavioral change that made this possible. On that score, they’re probably correct, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to what kind of co-operative breeding it was. Was it grandmothers helping mothers to find food for their newborn babies, or was it dads helping mums, and making a commitment to stick together for the long term? For Homo erectus, it could have been the former. Only when we get to Heidelberg man, whose brain size falls within the modern human range, does the energetic cost of raising an infant become so great that monogamy would have been an absolute necessity for successful child-rearing.

    The authors of the paper also suggest that Homo erectus engaged in big-game hunting, but as Dubreuil argues in his paper, while there’s good evidence that Homo erectus ate a lot of meat, there’s no good evidence that he hunted large-scale game; probably he was an active scavenger, which means that he ate meat from carcasses that other animals had killed, and confronted any creature that tried to stop him eating. Hunting large-scale game was a risky enterprise which hominids who were unable to control their impulses would have chickened out of, as it required an ability to put the group’s welfare ahead of your own, and maintain your resolve, even as a highly dangerous animal was charging right at you. Dubreuil argues that changes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex made this impulse control possible – and even if you reject materialism (as I do), you can still acknowledge the fact that behaving morally requires having a brain that is wired up in the right way. Dubreuil is wary of claims that human culture emerged in a single step, but as he puts it:

    Our conclusions must thus remain relatively modest. Consequently, I will not claim that there has been a single reorganization of the PFC [prefrontal cortex - VJT] in the human lineage and that it happened in Homo heidelbergensis [Heidelberg man - VJT]. I will rather contend that, if there is only one point in our lineage where such reorganization happened, it was in all likelihood there.

    Finally, I’d like to point out that while the brain size of Heidelberg man (1100 to 1400 cubic centimeters) overlaps with that of modern human beings, the brain size of early Homo ergaster / erectus (around 700-850 cubic centimeters) does not. Normal human brains vary between 1050 to 1500 cubic centimeters for men and 976 to 1400 cubic centimeters for women (see here). The extreme range for human beings is 900 to 2,000 cubic centimeters (see here). I’m afraid that early Homo ergaster / erectus doesn’t make the grade. It took nearly a million years for his brain to grow large enough to fall inside that range. Over that period, the increase was gradual, not sudden.

    To sum up: there are real discontinuities (neurological and chromosomal, as well as behavioral) between human beings and other animals, but if you were just going by the fossil record, the evidence points to continuity rather than discontinuity between man and his immediate precursor, Homo erectus.

    Hope that helps.

  6. KN@3 – lol

  7. Ah, yes, the bright white line between man and ape that is obvious that…. creationists can’t agree where it is?

  8. wd400 claims that “creationists can’t agree where it is?”

    seems that wd400, in his rush to smear all things ‘creationist’, forgot to note that evolutionists can’t agree on the evidence either:

    Human Evolution
    Excerpt: Tattersall thinks H. erectus was an evolutionary dead end. Uconn says he was our immediate ancestor. There are several other differences which we won’t take the time to point out.

    A recent issue of Science presents the six different explanations of hominid evolution at the right, which they refer to as “Figure 1.” Their caption says:

    Figure 1. Cladograms favored in recent early hominin parsimony analyses. (A) Most parsimonious cladogram recovered by Chamberlain and Wood (19) using Chamberlain’s (18) operational taxonomic units. Homo sp. = H. rudolfensis. (B) Most parsimonious cladogram obtained in Chamberlain (18). African H. erectus = H. ergaster. (C) Cladogram favored in Wood (9). Homo sp. nov. = H. rudolfensis and H. aff. erectus = H. ergaster. (D) Most parsimonious cladogram recovered by Wood (2). A. boisei includes A. aethiopicus. (E) Most parsimonious cladogram obtained by Lieberman et al. (20). 1470 group = H. rudolfensis; 1813 group = H. habilis. (F) Cladogram favored by Strait et al. (17).
    http://scienceagainstevolution.org/v4i4f.htm

    The Truth About Human Origins:
    Excerpt: “It is practically impossible to determine which “family tree” (for human evolution) one should accept. Richard Leakey (of the famed fossil hunting family from Africa) has proposed one. His late mother, Mary Leakey, proposed another. Donald Johanson, former president of the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley, California, has proposed yet another. And as late as 2001, Meave Leakey (Richard’s wife) has proposed still another.,,”
    http://books.google.com/books?.....8;lpg=PT28

    Moreover skulls have been grossly manipulated by Darwinists in the past to fit their preconceived conclusion:

    “One famous fossil skull, discovered in 1972 in northern Kenya, changed its appearance dramatically depending on how the upper jaw was connected to the rest of the cranium. Roger Lewin recounts an occasion when paleoanthropologists Alan Walker, Michael Day, and Richard Leakey were studying the two sections of skull 1470. According to Lewin, Walker said: You could hold the [upper jaw] forward, and give it a long face, or you could tuck it in, making the face short…. How you held it really depended on your preconceptions. It was very interesting watching what people did with it. Lewin reports that Leakey recalled the incident, too: Yes. If you held it one way, it looked like one thing; if you held it another, it looked like something else.”
    Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, Second Edition (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997), p 160

    “Dr. Leakey produced a biased reconstruction (of 1470/ Homo Rudolfensis) based on erroneous preconceived expectations of early human appearance that violated principles of craniofacial development,” Dr. Timothy Bromage
    http://www.geneticarchaeology......lieved.asp

    DeWitt’s digital manipulation of skull 1470 – August 13, 2012
    Excerpt: The skull as presented in the news websites has some significant issues that suggests that the facial reconstruction is seriously off.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....kull-1470/

    Artistic reconstructions are an even bigger joke:

    “We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
    Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),

    “National Geographic magazine commissioned four artists to reconstruct a female figure from casts of seven fossil bones thought to be from the same species as skull 1470. One artist drew a creature whose forehead is missing and whose jaws look vaguely like those of a beaked dinosaur. Another artist drew a rather good-looking modern African-American woman with unusually long arms. A third drew a somewhat scrawny female with arms like a gorilla and a face like a Hollywood werewolf. And a fourth drew a figure covered with body hair and climbing a tree, with beady eyes that glare out from under a heavy, gorilla-like brow.”
    “Behind the Scenes,” National Geographic 197 (March, 2000): 140

    Moreover where we do have good fossil evidence, instead of reconstructed fossil fragments, we find that the Darwinian narrative falls apart,,,

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Further note:

    Human/Ape Common Ancestry: Following the Evidence – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: So the researchers constructed an evolutionary tree based on 129 skull and tooth measurements for living hominoids, including gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans, and did the same with 62 measurements recorded on Old World monkeys, including baboons, mangabeys and macaques. They also drew upon published molecular phylogenies. At the outset, Wood and Collard assumed the molecular evidence was correct. “There were so many different lines of genetic evidence pointing in one direction,” Collard explains. But no matter how the computer analysis was run, the molecular and morphological trees could not be made to match15 (see figure, below). Collard says this casts grave doubt on the reliability of using morphological evidence to determine the fine details of evolutionary trees for higher primates. “It is saying it is positively misleading,” he says. The abstract of the pair’s paper stated provocatively that “existing phylogenetic hypotheses about human evolution are unlikely to be reliable”.[10]
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-9266481

  9. Creationism declares there is a bright-white line between humans and apes. Creationsis can’t agree on the line.

    Evolutionary biology predicts no such clear distinction, and that reconstructing evolutionary history will be particularly difficult when we focus on recent and/or rapid events. Evolutionary biologists don’t agree on the phylogeny of recent hominids.

    Which of those do you think is the most telling fact?

  10. wd400, but why do we have quotes like these from leading evolutionists?

    “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)

    Man is indeed as unique, as different from all other animals, as had been traditionally claimed by theologians and philosophers.
    Evolutionist Ernst Mayr (What Evolution Is. 2001)
    http://www.y-origins.com/index.php?p=home_more4

    “Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species….Homo sapiens is as distinctive an entity as exists on the face of the Earth, and should be dignified as such instead of being adulterated with every reasonably large-brained hominid fossil that happened to come along.”
    Anthropologist Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 246.
    (emeritus curator at the American Museum of Natural History)

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Tattersall, Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Definition of the genus Homo is almost as fraught as the definition of Homo sapiens. We look at the evidence for “early Homo,” finding little morphological basis for extending our genus to any of the 2.5–1.6-myr-old fossil forms assigned to “early Homo” or Homo habilis/rudolfensis.”
    http://arjournals.annualreview.....208.100202

    Objective evaluation of the evidence or promissory Darwinism for Mr wd400? My bet is that he ‘wants’ Darwinism to be true so badly that he cannot fathom how pathetic his evidence actually is to the point he wants to be true beforehand! And even if wd400 could provide a gradual sequence of fossils that everyone, even Darwinists, could agree on, he still, as an atheistic neo-Darwinist, has no demonstrated mechanism to appeal to to explain how such changes could take place:

    Thou Shalt Not Put Evolutionary Theory to a Test – Douglas Axe – July 18, 2012
    Excerpt: “For example, McBride criticizes me for not mentioning genetic drift in my discussion of human origins, apparently without realizing that the result of Durrett and Schmidt rules drift out. Each and every specific genetic change needed to produce humans from apes would have to have conferred a significant selective advantage in order for humans to have appeared in the available time (i.e. the mutations cannot be ‘neutral’). Any aspect of the transition that requires two or more mutations to act in combination in order to increase fitness would take way too long (>100 million years).
    My challenge to McBride, and everyone else who believes the evolutionary story of human origins, is not to provide the list of mutations that did the trick, but rather a list of mutations that can do it. Otherwise they’re in the position of insisting that something is a scientific fact without having the faintest idea how it even could be.” Doug Axe PhD.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62351.html

    Douglas Axe co-author of Science & Human Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxMmLakH2LQ

    Thus neo-Darwinian conjectures are based on fantasy not empirical evidence!,, Moreover,,

    Using Numerical Simulation to Better Understand Fixation Rates, and Establishment of a New Principle – “Haldane’s Ratchet” – Christopher L. Rupe and John C. Sanford – 2013
    Excerpt: We then perform large-scale experiments to examine the feasibility of the ape-to-man scenario over a six million year period. We analyze neutral and beneficial fixations separately (realistic rates of deleterious mutations could not be studied in deep time due to extinction). Using realistic parameter settings we only observe a few hundred selection-induced beneficial fixations after 300,000 generations (6 million years). Even when using highly optimal parameter settings (i.e., favorable for fixation of beneficials), we only see a few thousand selection-induced fixations. This is significant because the ape-to-man scenario requires tens of millions of selective nucleotide substitutions in the human lineage.
    Our empirically-determined rates of beneficial fixation are in general agreement with the fixation rate estimates derived by Haldane and ReMine using their mathematical analyses. We have therefore independently demonstrated that the findings of Haldane and ReMine are for the most part correct, and that the fundamental evolutionary problem historically known as “Haldane’s Dilemma” is very real.
    Previous analyses have focused exclusively on beneficial mutations. When deleterious mutations were included in our simulations, using a realistic ratio of beneficial to deleterious mutation rate, deleterious fixations vastly outnumbered beneficial fixations. Because of this, the net effect of mutation fixation should clearly create a ratchet-type mechanism which should cause continuous loss of information and decline in the size of the functional genome. We name this phenomenon “Haldane’s Ratchet”.
    http://creationicc.org/more.php?pk=46

  11. This is significant because the ape-to-man scenario requires tens of millions of selective nucleotide substitutions in the human lineage.

    Lol. Humans and chimps have ~98.5% identity over 3 billion bp. So, there are 0.015 * 3 billion = 45 million differences between humans and chimps. Only half of those were fixed in the human lineage so there are only ~23 million fixations in our linages. Do these guys really think _all_ fixations between human and chimp have to be selective?

  12. (and do they actually think the whole genome is functional? Every base of every intron is there for a reason?)

  13. wd400:
    Do these guys really think _all_ fixations between human and chimp have to be selective?

    No, but based upon the fossil record, you don’t have all the time in the world to fix all these similarities under a model of random drift.

    Heck, you don’t even have the time needed to fix them all under selection!

  14. wd400, before we get into sequence dissimilarity, let’s reiterate the main point I was making to you, YOU HAVE NO DEMONSTRATED MECHANISM FOR NEO-DARWINISM!. Comprehend? Everything you claim for a purely materialistic transition between apes and man is nothing more than fantasy!

    Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) – October 2010
    Excerpt: “Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, “This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve,” said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
    http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.....ruit_flies

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    Excerpt: A technique called “saturation mutagenesis”1,2 has been used to produce every possible developmental mutation in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster),3,4,5 roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans),6,7 and zebrafish (Danio rerio),8,9,10 and the same technique is now being applied to mice (Mus musculus).11,12 None of the evidence from these and numerous other studies of developmental mutations supports the neo-Darwinian dogma that DNA mutations can lead to new organs or body plans–because none of the observed developmental mutations benefit the organism.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....38811.html

    “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain – Michael Behe – December 2010
    Excerpt: In its most recent issue The Quarterly Review of Biology has published a review by myself of laboratory evolution experiments of microbes going back four decades.,,, The gist of the paper is that so far the overwhelming number of adaptive (that is, helpful) mutations seen in laboratory evolution experiments are either loss or modification of function. Of course we had already known that the great majority of mutations that have a visible effect on an organism are deleterious. Now, surprisingly, it seems that even the great majority of helpful mutations degrade the genome to a greater or lesser extent.,,, I dub it “The First Rule of Adaptive Evolution”: Break or blunt any functional coded element whose loss would yield a net fitness gain.
    http://behe.uncommondescent.co.....evolution/

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism
    The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155).
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC, 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    - Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    Moreover, all the foundational presuppositions under-girding neo-Darwinism have now been shown to be compromised as to being true,

    Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Nobel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/10395212

    ,, In the preceding video, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”.
    Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.

    Moreover, the sheer disconnect between phenotype and genotype is a universe wide chasm that neo-Darwinism can never hoped to bridged in bottom up materialistic fashion,,

    Not Junk After All: Non-Protein-Coding DNA Carries Extensive Biological Information – Jonathan Wells – published online May 2013
    Excerpt Conclusion:,, Many scientists have pointed out that the relationship between the genome and the organism – the genotype-phenotype mapping = cannot be reduced to a genetic program encoded in DNA sequences. Atlan and Koppel wrote in 1990 that advances in artificial intelligence showed that cellular operations are not controlled by a linear sequence of instructions in DNA but by a “distributed multilayer network” [150]. According to Denton and his co-workers, protein folding appears to involve formal causes that transcend material mechanisms [151], and according to Sternberg this is even more evident at higher levels of the genotype-phenotype mapping [152]. So non-protein-coding regions of DNA that some previously regarded as “junk” turn out to encode biological information that greatly increases the known information-carrying capacity of DNA. At the same time, DNA as a whole turns out to encode only part of the biological information needed for life.
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0009

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-472108

    Moreover, the polyfunctional complexity to be explained, even if you did have an example of even a single molecular machine and/or protein being generated by Darwinian processes, which you don’t, is unfathomably complex! Complex in an extremely integrated fashion that far beyond what our best computer programmers could ever hope to generate by concerted effort.

    Multiple Overlapping Genetic Codes Profoundly Reduce the Probability of Beneficial Mutation George Montañez 1, Robert J. Marks II 2, Jorge Fernandez 3 and John C. Sanford 4 – published online May 2013
    Excerpt: In the last decade, we have discovered still another aspect of the multi- dimensional genome. We now know that DNA sequences are typically “ poly-functional” [38]. Trifanov previously had described at least 12 genetic codes that any given nucleotide can contribute to [39,40], and showed that a given base-pair can contribute to multiple overlapping codes simultaneously. The first evidence of overlapping protein-coding sequences in viruses caused quite a stir, but since then it has become recognized as typical. According to Kapronov et al., “it is not unusual that a single base-pair can be part of an intricate network of multiple isoforms of overlapping sense and antisense transcripts, the majority of which are unannotated” [41]. The ENCODE project [42] has confirmed that this phenomenon is ubiquitous in higher genomes, wherein a given DNA sequence routinely encodes multiple overlapping messages, meaning that a single nucleotide can contribute to two or more genetic codes. Most recently, Itzkovitz et al. analyzed protein coding regions of 700 species, and showed that virtually all forms of life have extensive overlapping information in their genomes [43].
    http://www.worldscientific.com.....08728_0006

    also see modular complexity

    Without a demonstrated mechanism for neo-Darwinism (in fact the only demonstrations we have evidence of compromise neo-Darwinian mechanisms), we are left with nothing but the imagination of Darwinists that such unfathomable complexity can be had by blind material processes!

  15. No, but based upon the fossil record, you don’t have all the time in the world to fix all these similarities under a model of random drift.

    You guys are too much. Under neutrality the fixation rate is equal to the per-individual mutation rate. Estimates of the human mutation rate are around 2.5E^-8, or ~ 75 mutations per generation using the same approximations as above. So we’d need

    23 million mutations *75 mutations per gen ~ 306,667 generations

    With 20 year generations that’s 20 * 306,667 ~ 6 million years. You can quibble about mutation rate estimates and generation times, but they wont change the numbers such that this suddenly becomes impossible.

  16. Oh, and how can it be that Sanford et al don’t think all human fixations are the result of selection? There are ~20 million on them, and they reckon human evolutoin requires “tens of millions” of selective transformations? Why should we take these people seriously?

  17. 75 mutations per generation???

    Interestingly, even mutation rate of 75 per generation is far greater than what even evolutionists agree is an acceptable mutation rate since detrimental mutations will accumulate far faster than ‘selection’ can eliminate them in any given genome:

    Human evolution or extinction – discussion on acceptable mutation rate per generation (with clips from Dr. John Sanford) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC_NyFZG7pM

    “it would in the end be far easier and more sensible to manufacture a complete man de novo, out of appropriately chosen raw materials, than to try to fashion into human form those pitiful relics which remained…
    it is evident that the natural rate of mutation of man is so high, and his natural rate of reproduction so low, that not a great deal of margin is left for selection…
    it becomes perfectly evident that the present number of children per couple cannot be great enough to allow selection to keep pace with a mutation rate of 0.1..if, to make matters worse, u should be anything like as high as 0.5…, our present reproductive practices would be utterly out of line with human requirements.”
    Hermann Muller quoted by John Sanford; Appendix 1, Genetic Entropy

    moreover

    The Frailty of the Darwinian Hypothesis
    “The net effect of genetic drift in such (vertebrate) populations is “to encourage the fixation of mildly deleterious mutations and discourage the promotion of beneficial mutations,”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ian_h.html

    But neutrality is a dubious proposition:

    Sanford’s pro-ID thesis supported by PNAS paper, read it and weep, literally – September 2010
    Excerpt: Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear that most of the mutation load is associated with mutations with very small effects distributed at unpredictable locations over the entire genome, rendering the prospects for long-term management of the human gene pool by genetic counseling highly unlikely for all but perhaps a few hundred key loci underlying debilitating monogenic genetic disorders (such as those focused on in the present study).
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....literally/

    Inside the Human Genome: A Case for Non-Intelligent Design – Pg. 57 By John C. Avise
    Excerpt: “Another compilation of gene lesions responsible for inherited diseases is the web-based Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD). Recent versions of HGMD describe more than 75,000 different disease causing mutations identified to date in Homo-sapiens.”

    I went to the mutation database website cited by John Avise and found:

    HGMD®: Now celebrating our 100,000 mutation milestone!

    Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations:
    why have we not died 100 times over? Kondrashov A.S.
    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/.....4/art00167

    Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation – Michael Lynch – 2009
    Excerpt: it is difficult to escape the conclusion that the per-generation reduction in fitness due to recurrent mutation is at least 1% in humans and quite possibly as high as 5%.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/961.full

    Dr. John Sanford “Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome” 1/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ-4umGkgos

    Genetic Entropy in Human Genome is found to be ‘recent’:
    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

    And wd400 your presupposition that mutations must be neutral derives from where exactly? theoretical considerations not empirical evidence right??

    Kimura’s Quandary
    Excerpt: Kimura realized that Haldane was correct,,, He developed his neutral theory in responce to this overwhelming evolutionary problem. Paradoxically, his theory led him to believe that most mutations are unselectable, and therefore,,, most ‘evolution’ must be independent of selection! Because he was totally committed to the primary axiom (neo-Darwinism), Kimura apparently never considered his cost arguments could most rationally be used to argue against the Axiom’s (neo-Darwinism’s) very validity.
    John Sanford PhD. – “Genetic Entropy and The Mystery of the Genome” – pg. 161 – 162

    A graph featuring ‘Kimura’s Distribution’ is shown in the following video:

    Evolution Vs Genetic Entropy – Andy McIntosh – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028086

    Majestic Ascent: Berlinski on Darwin on Trial – David Berlinski – November 2011
    Excerpt: The publication in 1983 of Motoo Kimura’s The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution consolidated ideas that Kimura had introduced in the late 1960s. On the molecular level, evolution is entirely stochastic, and if it proceeds at all, it proceeds by drift along a leaves-and-current model. Kimura’s theories left the emergence of complex biological structures an enigma, but they played an important role in the local economy of belief. They allowed biologists to affirm that they welcomed responsible criticism. “A critique of neo-Darwinism,” the Dutch biologist Gert Korthof boasted, “can be incorporated into neo-Darwinism if there is evidence and a good theory, which contributes to the progress of science.”
    By this standard, if the Archangel Gabriel were to accept personal responsibility for the Cambrian explosion, his views would be widely described as neo-Darwinian.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53171.html

    Ann Gauger on genetic drift – August 2012
    Excerpt: The idea that evolution is driven by drift has led to a way of retrospectively estimating past genetic lineages. Called coalescent theory, it is based on one very simple assumption — that the vast majority of mutations are neutral and have no effect on an organism’s survival. (For a review go here.) According to this theory, actual genetic history is presumed not to matter. Our genomes are full of randomly accumulating neutral changes. When generating a genealogy for those changes, their order of appearance doesn’t matter. Trees can be drawn and mutations assigned to them without regard to an evolutionary sequence of genotypes, since genotypes don’t matter.

    Truly pathetic wd400! And we haven’t even gotten to the fact that you are lying about the percentage of sequence dissimilarity.

  18. as to wd400′s stated 98.5 percent similarity:

    Guy Walks Into a Bar and Thinks He’s a Chimpanzee: The Unbearable Lightness of Chimp-Human Genome Similarity – 2009
    Excerpt: One can seriously call into question the statement that human and chimp genomes are 99% identical. For one thing, it has been noted in the literature that the exact degree of identity between the two genomes is as yet unknown (Cohen, J., 2007. Relative differences: The myth of 1% Science 316: 1836.). ,,, In short, the figure of identity that one wants to use is dependent on various methodological factors.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....think.html

    Even ignoring the subjective bias of ‘various methodological factors’ that Darwinists introduce into these similarity studies, the first inkling, at least for me, that something was terribly amiss with the oft quoted 99% similarity figure was this,,,

    Humans and chimps have 95 percent DNA compatibility, not 98.5 percent, research shows – 2002
    Excerpt: Genetic studies for decades have estimated that humans and chimpanzees possess genomes that are about 98.5 percent similar. In other words, of the three billion base pairs along the DNA helix, nearly 99 of every 100 would be exactly identical.
    However, new work by one of the co-developers of the method used to analyze genetic similarities between species says the figure should be revised downward to 95 percent.
    http://www.caltech.edu/content.....arch-shows

    and then this,,,

    Chimps are not like humans – May 2004
    Excerpt: the International Chimpanzee Chromosome 22 Consortium reports that 83% of chimpanzee chromosome 22 proteins are different from their human counterparts,,, The results reported this week showed that “83% of the genes have changed between the human and the chimpanzee—only 17% are identical—so that means that the impression that comes from the 1.2% [sequence] difference is [misleading]. In the case of protein structures, it has a big effect,” Sakaki said.
    http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/0405/119.htm

    this had caught my eye in 2008,,,

    Chimpanzee?
    10-10-2008 – Dr Richard Buggs – research geneticist at the University of Florida
    …Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.
    http://www.idnet.com.au/files/pdf/Chimpanzee.pdf

    And then this caught my eye in 2011:

    Study Reports a Whopping “23% of Our Genome” Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 1/3 of our genes is equal to about 7000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47041.html

    In late 2011 Jeffrey P. Tomkins, using an extremely conservative approach, reached the figure of 87% similarity:

    Genome-Wide DNA Alignment Similarity (Identity) for 40,000 Chimpanzee DNA Sequences Queried against the Human Genome is 86–89% – Jeffrey P. Tomkins – December 28, 2011
    Excerpt: A common claim that is propagated through obfuscated research publications and popular evolutionary science authors is that the DNA of chimpanzees or chimps (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens) is about 98–99% similar. A major problem with nearly all past human-chimp comparative DNA studies is that data often goes through several levels of pre-screening, filtering and selection before being aligned, summarized, and discussed. Non-alignable regions are typically omitted and gaps in alignments are often discarded or obfuscated.
    In an upcoming paper, Tomkins and Bergman (2012) discuss most of the key human-chimp DNA similarity research papers on a case-by-case basis and show that the inclusion of discarded data (when provided) actually suggests a DNA similarity for humans and chimps not greater than 80–87% and quite possibly even less.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....n1/blastin

    Genomic monkey business – similarity re-evaluated using omitted data – by Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman
    Excerpt: A review of the common claim that the human and chimpanzee (chimp) genomes are nearly identical was found to be highly questionable solely by an analysis of the methodology and data outlined in an assortment of key research publications.,,,
    Based on the analysis of data provided in various publications, including the often cited 2005 chimpanzee genome report, it is safe to conclude that human–chimp genome similarity is not more than ~87% identical, and possibly not higher than 81%. These revised estimates are based on relevant data omitted from the final similarity estimates typically presented.,,,
    Finally, a very recent large-scale human–chimp genome comparison research report spectacularly confirms the data presented in this report. The human–chimp common ancestor paradigm is clearly based more on myth and propaganda than fact.
    http://creation.com/human-chim.....-evaluated

    Then earlier this year, 2013, with better resolution of data, and still using an extremely conservative approach, Tomkins reached the figure of 70% genetic similarity between chimps and humans:

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome. In general, the smaller and more gene-dense the chromosomes, the higher the DNA similarity—although there were several notable exceptions defying this trend. Only 69% of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43% of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions. While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....chromosome

  19. Though outliers, I’ve even found studies for percent similarity figures as low as 62%,,

    A simple statistical test for the alleged “99% genetic identity” between humans and chimps – September 2010
    Excerpt: The results obtained are statistically valid. The same test was previously run on a sampling of 1,000 random 30-base patterns and the percentages obtained were almost identical with those obtained in the final test, with 10,000 random 30-base patterns. When human and chimp genomes are compared, the X chromosome is the one showing the highest degree of 30BPM similarity (72.37%), while the Y chromosome shows the lowest degree of 30BPM similarity (30.29%). On average the overall 30BPM similarity, when all chromosomes are taken into consideration, is approximately 62%.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-chimps/

    and even as low as 49%

    Do Human and Chimpanzee DNA Indicate an Evolutionary Relationship?
    Excerpt: the authors found that only 48.6% of the whole human genome matched chimpanzee nucleotide sequences. [Only 4.8% of the human Y chromosome could be matched to chimpanzee sequences.]
    http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2070

    as if that was not devastating enough to the 99% similarity myth, orphan genes are now being found in each new genome that is sequenced:

    Genes from nowhere: Orphans with a surprising story – 16 January 2013 – Helen Pilcher
    Excerpt: When biologists began sequencing genomes they discovered up to a third of genes in each species seemed to have no parents or family of any kind. Nevertheless, some of these “orphan genes” are high achievers (are just as essential as ‘old’ genes),,,
    But where do they come from? With no obvious ancestry, it was as if these genes appeared out of nowhere, but that couldn’t be true. Everyone assumed that as we learned more, we would discover what had happened to their families. But we haven’t-quite the opposite, in fact.,,,
    The upshot is that the chances of random mutations turning a bit of junk DNA into a new gene seem infinitesmally small. As the French biologist Francois Jacob wrote 35 years ago, “the probability that a functional protein would appear de novo by random association of amino acids is practically zero”.,,,
    Orphan genes have since been found in every genome sequenced to date, from mosquito to man, roundworm to rat, and their numbers are still growing.
    http://ccsb.dfci.harvard.edu/w.....n_2013.pdf

    Even Jerry Coyne states:

    “More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren’t found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps.”
    Jerry Coyne – ardent and ‘angry’ neo-Darwinist – professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics.

    Thus, take from it what you will, but I’m not nearly as impressed with the 98.5% similarity number as wd400 seems to be!

  20. Regarding creationist classification of apes and humans:
    So if there is disagreement amongst evolutionists it’s just healthy debate and a sign of good science, but if there’s disagreement among creationists it’s evidence against creationism? I think I’m finally understanding how the world works!

    Anyways, this disagreement would jsut further prove the creationist point that origins science is speculative, meaning that people can look at the same evidence and arrive at different conclusions because they are relying on untestable assumptions.

  21. Regarding creationist classification of apes and humans:
    So if there is disagreement amongst evolutionists it’s just healthy debate and a sign of good science, but if there’s disagreement among creationists it’s evidence against creationism? I think I’m finally understanding how the world works!

    You might try reading what I’ve written. Creationists say there is a very clear distinction between humans and (other) apes.The fact they can’t agree on where this distinction falls is pretty damming, isn’t it?

  22. The sad thing about evolutionists who are clinging to their desperate hope that mutations can account for variation, new genes, and new body plans is that they’re missing out on other naturalistic causes.

    Before hyperventilating about the 98% genetic similarity between chimps and humans, or whatever it is this week, check out a baseline comparison of other species with humans:

    Cat: 90%
    Cow: 80%
    Mouse: 75%
    Fruit Fly: 60%
    Banana: 50%
    Not quite so impressive now . . .

  23. Oh, and damming is what beavers do. :-)

  24. I always amazed that “A simple statistical test for the alleged “99% genetic identity” between humans and chimps posts hasn’t been removed.

    Read it, you’ll find the autors shows on average ~62% of 30bp long sequences from human and chimp show exact identity. ie, 0.62 = 30^p where “p” is the percent of human and chimp bases that are exactly the same. It’s simple to see from there that p = 0.62^(1/30) ~ 98.4%. That’s a familiar number…

  25. #19 Sixthbook

    So if there is disagreement amongst evolutionists it’s just healthy debate and a sign of good science

    In this case, the reason why there’s so much disagreement and debate, is because we have so many intermediate fossils in a gradual series from ape-like creatures to humans, that it is subjective as to where to draw lines between the various species. There are also many closely related species (or sub-species, again, up for debate) living side by side with subtle differences which makes it difficult to discern who are ancestors and who are side branches.

    But, aren’t these the kind of classification controversies you’d expect to find if evolution occurred?
    If only there were gaps it would all be so much simpler.

    but if there’s disagreement among creationists it’s evidence against creationism?

    When those that say that it is “obvious” as to which fossils are human and which are ape, argue endlessly amongst themselves as to which are obviously ape and which are obviously human – is that evidence against the claim that it is, indeed, “obvious”?
    I would say so.

    Reading Creationist literature is like watching a bunch of people arguing that there’s only black and white – and meanwhile they are all looking at shades of gray and arguing amongst themselves as to which are black and which are white.

  26. 26
    TheisticEvolutionist

    There is overwhelming evidence for common descent. What is the creationist explanation for chromosome 2 in humans? Humans and chimp sharing endogenous retroviruses? Atavisms? Vestigial structures? It’s evidence for evolution, as is biogeography. I have never understood why design and evolution have to be at odds.

  27. TE,

    I want to jump in real quick and tell you ‘thank you’ for the substantial response you gave to me on that old 2006 thread last week. You sent me on a field trip where I will have to do some study, reading, and thought.

    Thank You.

  28. Theistic Evolutionist claims:

    There is overwhelming evidence for common descent. What is the creationist explanation for chromosome 2 in humans? Humans and chimp sharing endogenous retroviruses? Atavisms? Vestigial structures? It’s evidence for evolution, as is biogeography.

    Save for the fact that all the evidence you listed is highly questionable evidence of common descent, (of man from apes), you might have had a point:

    It’s cherry picking season!
    Excerpt: the ch2 fusion is cherry picking among many genetic signatures that show no common ancestry. Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg remarked:

    “Of all the known ITSs [interstitial telomeric sequences], and there are many in the genomes of chimps and humans, as well as mice and rats and cows…, the 2q13 ITS is the only one that can be associated with an evolutionary breakpoint or fusion. The other ITSs, I hasten to add, do not square up with chromosomal breakpoints in primates. In brief, to hone in on the 2q13 ITS as being typical of what we see in the human and chimp genomes seems almost like cherry-picking data. Most are not DNA scars in the way they have been portrayed.”, Richard Sternberg, Evolution News And Views, 2009. Sternberg cites Interstitial telomeric sequences (ITSs) are not located at the exact evolutionary breakpoints in primates.

    Likewise, creation geneticist Jeffrey Tomkins has written:

    “I developed software that enables the scanning of whole chromosomes for internal telomere content. … Surprisingly, I discovered that the entire human genome contains many completely intact internal telomere sequences. My preliminary data suggests that the internal regions of human chromosomes are composed of 0.19 to 0.25 percent 100% sequence identity intact telomere sequences. While this may seem to be a very small amount, consider that chromosome 2 (the supposed fusion product) contains over 91,000 (0.23 percent) intact internal telomere sequences. Fewer than 300 of these can be attributed to the so-called fusion site. Chromosome Y was the most internally dense telomere containing chromosome (0.25 percent).”, Designed DNA Blog, 2012
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-431951

    Many more notes are here:

    Refutation Of Chromosome 2 argument
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1enllGchcY4Thz0xWFG8Rj8Y0bddOcBdIzKeoY1XxSqs/edit

    As to endogenous retroviruses:

    The definitive response on ERV’s and Creation, with Dr. Jean Lightner
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feHYEgzaGkY

    Refutation Of Endogenous Retrovirus – ERVs – Richard Sternberg, PhD Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4094119
    Sternberg, R. v. & J. A. Shapiro (2005). How repeated retroelements format genome function. Cytogenet. Genome Res. 110: 108-116.

    Retrovirus in the Human Genome Is Active in Pluripotent Stem Cells – Jan. 23, 2013
    Excerpt: “What we’ve observed is that a group of endogenous retroviruses called HERV-H is extremely busy in human embryonic stem cells,” said Jeremy Luban, MD, the David L. Freelander Memorial Professor in HIV/AIDS Research, professor of molecular medicine and lead author of the study. “In fact, HERV-H is one of the most abundantly expressed genes in pluripotent stem cells and it isn’t found in any other cell types.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....133930.htm

    Transposable Elements Reveal a Stem Cell Specific Class of Long Noncoding RNAs – (Nov. 26, 2012)
    Excerpt: The study published by Rinn and Kelley finds a striking affinity for a class of hopping genes known as endogenous retroviruses, or ERVs, to land in lincRNAs. The study finds that ERVs are not only enriched in lincRNAs, but also often sit at the start of the gene in an orientation to promote transcription. Perhaps more intriguingly, lincRNAs containing an ERV family known as HERVH correlated with expression in stem cells relative to dozens of other tested tissues and cells. According to Rinn, “This strongly suggests that ERV transposition in the genome may have given rise to stem cell-specific lincRNAs. The observation that HERVHs landed at the start of dozens of lincRNAs was almost chilling; that this appears to impart a stem cell-specific expression pattern was simply stunning!”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....192838.htm

    Retroviruses and Common Descent: And Why I Don’t Buy It – September 2011
    Excerpt: If it is the case, as has been suggested by some, that these HERVs are an integral part of the functional genome, then one might expect to discover species-specific commonality and discontinuity. And this is indeed the case.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-buy-it/

  29. Some more (inconsistencies) ERVs that don’t fit into the naturalistic evolutionary assumption of common descent:

    PTERV1 in chimpanzee, African great apes and old World monkeys but not in humans and asian apes (orangutan, siamang, and gibbon).
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....174826.htm

    Conservation and loss of the ERV3 open reading frame in primates.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15081124
    ERV3 sequences were amplified by PCR from genomic DNA of great ape and Old World primates but not from New World primates or gorilla, suggesting an integration event more than 30 million years ago with a subsequent loss in one species.

    From ancestral infectious retroviruses to bona fide cellular genes: role of the captured syncytins in placentation.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22695103
    We focus on the recent discovery of genes derived from the envelope glycoprotein-encoding (env) genes of endogenous retroviruses that have been domesticated by mammals to carry out an essential function in placental development…

    Remarkably, the capture of syncytin or syncytin-like genes, sometimes as pairs, was found to have occurred independently from different endogenous retroviruses in diverse mammalian lineages such as primates–including humans–, muroids, leporids, carnivores, caviids, and ovis, between around 10 and 85 million years ago.

    Retroviruses push the envelope for mammalian placentation
    http://www.pnas.org/content/109/7/2184.short
    Domestication of the syncytin genes represents a dramatic example of convergent evolution via the cooption of a retroviral gene for a key biological function in reproductive biology. In fact, syncytin domestication from a retroviral envelope gene has been previously shown to have independently occurred at least seven times during mammalian evolution…

    Based on this data, certain cases of widespread and similar retroviral genes are attributed to the Darwinian ‘rescue device’ of convergent evolution.

    Many more cases of anomalous ERVs
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-449621

    Further notes

    The Human Lineage Was Somehow “Purged” – Cornelius Hunter – April 2012
    Excerpt: Another such feature is the lack of endemic infectious retroviruses in humans. The problem is that these viruses are present in the other primates, and so according to evolutionists these viruses must be present in their common ancestor which, again according to evolution, would be an ancestor of humans as well.,, In other words, when evolution spontaneously created humans our DNA must have been “purged.” We got a do-over! Hilarious.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....-free.html

    More Counterpoints on ERVs – JonathanM – May 2011
    Excerpt: ‘In the absence of a feasible naturalistic mechanism to account for how evolution from a common ancestor could have occurred, how can we be so sure that it did occur? In such a case, one ought to reasonably expect there to be some quite spectacular evidence for common ancestry. Unfortunately for Darwinists, however, the evidence for common ancestry is paper thin on the ground.’
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46761.html

    there are many more studies suggesting non-random and preferential positioning of retrovirus sequences. This kind of data is very antagonistic to the notion of re-used ERV sites having to be an ‘amazing coincidences’.

    Perpetually mobile footprints of ancient infections in human genome
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/s.....9398004785

    Although not available for HERVs at this point, the results for other retroelements demonstrate that transcriptionally active genome regions might be preferred targets for retrovirus integration and that the site selection during retroposition can be influenced by many factors
    A good example of retroelement–host interaction gives the study of de novo insertions of Ty1 and Ty3 yeast retrotransposons that are analogues of endogenous retroviruses. Most of the integration sites were found clustered upstream of the genes transcribed by RNA polymerase III.
    There were identified `hot spots’ containing integration sites used up to 280 times more frequently than predicted mathematically. A recent study of the de novo retroviral integration demonstrated also preference for scaffold- or matrix-attachment regions (S/MARs) flanked by DNA with high bending potential.

    etc.. etc.. etc.., But you get the idea!

  30. Along that line, Dawkins’ claimed ‘strongest, most irrefutable, piece of evidence’ for common descent between apes and man fell completely apart when scrutinized for integrity:

    Dawkins Best Evidence Refuted – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfFZ8lCn5uU

    As to Atavisms, the examples cited by wiki are

    Hind legs on whales[2] or snakes
    Hind fins on dolphins[2]
    Extra toes on horses, as in archaic horses[7]
    Re-emergence of sexual reproduction in the flowering plant Hieracium pilosella and the Crotoniidae family of mites.[8]
    Teeth in chickens [9]

    As to hind legs on whales you may be surprised to learn:

    An Email Exchange Regarding “Vestigial Legs” Pelvic Bones in Whales by Jim Pamplin
    Excerpt: The pelvic bones (supposed Vestigial Legs) of whales serve as attachments for the musculature associated with the penis in males and its homologue, the clitoris, in females. The muscle involved is known as the ischiocavernosus and is quite a powerful muscle in males. It serves as a retractor muscle for the penis in copulation and probably provides the base for lateral movements of the penis. The mechanisms of penile motion are not well understood in whales. The penis seems to be capable of a lot of independent motion, much like the trunk of an elephant. How much of this is mediated by the ischiocavernosus is not known.
    In females the anatomical parts are smaller and more diffuse. I would imagine that there is something homologous to the perineal muscles in man and tetrapods, which affect the entire pelvic area – the clitoris, vagina and anus.
    The pelvic rudiments also serve as origins for the ischiocaudalis muscle, which is a ventral muscle that inserts on the tips of the chevron bones of the spinal column and acts to flex the tail in normal locomotion.
    James G. Mead, Ph.D. – Curator of Marine Mammals – National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-454624

    Well that certainly doesn’t fit the Darwinian narrative!

    Moreover the horse fossil sequence is far more questionable than you seem to believe:

    “The construction of the whole Cenozoic family tree of the horse is therefore a very artificial one, since it is put together from non-equivalent parts, and cannot therefore be a continuous transformation series”.
    Dr. Heribert Nilsson – Evolutionist – Former Director of the Swedish Botanical Institute.

    For the last century or so, this fine animal has been put to a more unfortunate use. Its alleged ancestry has been used as one of the key ‘proofs’ of evolution. It started in 1879 with the American paleontologist O.C. Marsh and the famous evolutionist T.H. Huxley, known as ‘Darwin’s bulldog.’ Since then, many museums and popular books have presented a neat series starting from the dog-sized, four-toed ‘dawn horse’ or ‘Eohippus,’ which supposedly lived 50 million years ago. The next creature is usually a larger creature like Mesohippus, which had three toes. The next one was larger still, for example Merychippus, which had two of the toes smaller than the third. Finally, there is the large modern horse, Equus, with only one toe, while all that is left of the other two are ‘vestigial’ splint bones.3 Some of the diagrams also show trends in tooth changes, with increasing hypsodonty (high-crowned teeth). This is supposed to demonstrate a change from browsing on bushes to grazing on grass.
    How clear-cut is it, really?

    Two horses galloping through a field of yellow flowersAs the biologist Heribert-Nilsson said, ‘The family tree of the horse is beautiful and continuous only in the textbooks,’4 and the famous paleontologist Niles Eldredge called the textbook picture ‘lamentable’5 and ‘a classical case of paleontologic museology.’6 As shown in a detailed thesis by Walter Barnhart,7 the horse ‘series’ is an interpretation of the data. He documents how different pictures of horse evolution were drawn by different evolutionists from the same data, as the concept of evolution itself ‘evolved.’
    The non-evolution of the horse
    http://creation.com/the-non-evolution-of-the-horse

    You other examples of Atavisms all have gaping holes in them as well as to proving the point that you think (wish?) it does, which it doesn’t, as this following video highlights in regards to latent ‘cyclical’ variations:

    Phenotypic Plasticity – Lizard cecal valve (cyclical variation)- video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtgOApmnTA

    so lets go on to you claim for Vestigial structures and biogeography.

    “The thyroid gland, pituitary gland, thymus, pineal gland, and coccyx, … once considered useless by evolutionists, are now known to have important functions. The list of 180 “vestigial” structures is practically down to zero. Unfortunately, earlier Darwinists assumed that if they were ignorant of an organ’s function, then it had no function.”
    “Tornado in a Junkyard” – book – by former atheist James Perloff

    Vestigial Organs: Comparing ID and Darwinian Approaches – July 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A favorite criticisms of ID is that it is a science stopper. The opposite is true. The Live Science article shows that the “vestigial organs” argument has not changed for over a century, since Wiedersheim coined the term and listed over a hundred examples (in 1893). Evolutionary theory, in fact, has been worse than a science stopper: its predictions have been flat out wrong. Only a handful of alleged vestigial organs remains from Wiedersheim’s original list, and each of those is questionable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62281.html

    Evolutionists try to have their cake and eat it too with their definition of the word vestigial:

    From Jerry Coyne, “Evolution-of-the-Gaps” and Other Fallacies – Jonathan M. – December 5, 2012
    Excerpt: Coyne anticipates the typical response to the argument from vestigiality:
    “Opponents of evolution always raise the same argument when vestigial traits are cited as evidence for evolution. “The features are not useless,” they say. “They are either useful for something, or we haven’t yet discovered what they’re for.” They claim, in other words, that a trait can’t be vestigial if it still has a function, or a function yet to be found.
    But this rejoinder misses the point. Evolutionary theory doesn’t say that vestigial characters have no function. A trait can be vestigial and functional at the same time. It is vestigial not because it’s functionless, but because it no longer performs the function for which it evolved. (p. 58)”
    But surely, by Coyne’s reckoning, this loose definition of “vestigiality” would entail that every organ and structure is vestigial, since, in Coyne’s view, all traits have evolved from something else. As Jonathan Wells explains in his own review of the book,
    “If the human arm evolved from the leg of a four-footed mammal (as Darwinists claim), then the human arm is vestigial. And if (as Coyne argues) the wings of flying birds evolved from feathered forelimbs of dinosaurs that used them for other purposes, then the wings of flying birds are vestigial. This is the opposite of what most people mean by “vestigial.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67091.html

  31. For a prime example of evolution’s failed predictions of vestigial organs, in October 2007, the appendix was found to have essential purpose in the human body:

    Appendix has purpose:
    Excerpt: “The appendix acts as a good safe house for bacteria,” said Duke surgery professor Bill Parker.
    http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Sc.....as_purpose

    Over sixty years ago we find these words from the prestigious Quarterly Review of Biology, “There is no longer any justification for regarding the vermiform appendix as a vestigial structure” (Straus, 1947).
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-actually/

    Surgical removal of the tonsils and appendix associated with risk of early heart attack – June 2011
    Excerpt: The surgical removal of the appendix and tonsils before the age of 20 was associated with an increased risk of premature heart attack in a large population study performed in Sweden. Tonsillectomy increased the risk by 44% (hazard ratio 1.44) and appendectomy by 33% (HR 1.33). The risk increases were just statistically significant, and were even higher when the tonsils and appendix were both removed.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....html#share

    as to biogeography. Here are a few sites that show how Darwinists avoid falsification from the biogeographical data of finding numerous and highly similar species in widely separated locations:

    More Biogeographical Conundrums for Neo-Darwinism – March 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....32471.html

    The Case of the Mysterious Hoatzin: Biogeography Fails Neo-Darwinism Again – Casey Luskin – November 5, 2011
    Excerpt: If two similar species separated by thousands of kilometers across oceans cannot challenge common descent, what biogeographical data can? The way evolutionists treat it, there is virtually no biogeographical data that can challenge common descent even in principle. If that’s the case, then how can biogeography be said to support common descent in the first place?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....52571.html

    As Evidence of Darwinian Evolution, Biogeography Falls Well Short of Satisfying – Jonathan M. – December 6, 2012
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67151.html

    See also Simon Conway Morris on widespread convergent evolution i.e. Darwinian rescue device saves the day again!, but most people would consider a sign of weakness in your theory! But who’s quibbling about such a minor detail as an unfalsifiable scientific theory? That’s all secondary to the fact that atheists get to promulgate their unfalsifiable theory unchallenged in public school right?

  32. I’m afraid I would have to (very respectfully) disagree with Casey’s claim that “the fragmented hominin fossil record does not document the evolution of humans from ape-like precursors.” He does make some very good points in his article in Salvo magazine, but I think the fossil evidence for the fact of human evolution is strong, despite the presence of several gaps. Here’s why.

    There are indeed gaps in the human fossil record, but there are no gaps between the first true human beings and their immediate (non-human) precursors. The real gaps in the record are between those precursors and the common ancestor of humans and apes. We still don’t know what the common ancestor of humans and apes was, and we don’t know where Australopithecus came from. There is a gap between Australopithecus and early Homo, who appeared about 2.3 or 2.4 million years ago, but it’s not a huge one. There’s also a gap between early Homo and Homo ergaster (or erectus if you prefer), but once again, it’s smaller than we thought it was ten years ago. From an anatomical standpoint, there isn’t a real gap between Homo ergaster (or erectus) and Heidelberg man. (From a neurological and chromosomal standpoint, the situation may well be very different.) But Heidelberg man (and not Homo erectus) was the first true human being, in terms of possessing reason. Benoit Dubreuil argues in a 2010 paper that Heidelberg man was the first hominid capable of what he calls co-operative feeding and co-operative breeding – that is, altruistically taking part in group hunting expedition for large animals such as mammoths and saber-tooth tigers, even at considerable risk to one’s own life, and making a commitment to enter into a monogamous relationship with a woman and help raise her child over a prolonged and extended period. Those are quintessentially human commitments, requiring a great deal of self-sacrifice, coupled with a rational capacity to envisage the long-term future. You can see the difference between Homo ergaster / erectus (who appeared 1.8 million years ago) and Heidelberg man (who appeared at least 750,000 years ago) in their tools, too.

    A tool like this:

    http://www.cope.co.za/archaeo/.....de%20b.jpg (made in Kathu Pan, South Africa, 750,000 years ago, by an unknown hominid)

    or like this:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi.....andaxe.jpg (made by Heidelberg man in Boxgrove, at least 500,000 years ago)

    possesses an artistic symmetry and beauty that is altogether lacking in a tool like this:

    http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-i.....xe-008.jpg (made by early Homo erectus, 1.76 million years ago).

    I might add that the very earliest forms of Homo erectus (found in Dmanisi, Georgia) didn’t even make hand-axes.

    To be continued…

  33. I’d also like to point out that until a few years ago, many anthropologists believed there was a huge gap between Australopithecus and Homo erectus, and some of them also believed that Homo habilis was really on the Australopithecus side of the fence. Collard and Wood argued as much in 1999, and again in their 2007 paper, Defining the genus Homo. That picture is now out of date. Recent papers published in 2012 – see here, here and here show that the transition from Australopithecus to Homo habilis was about the same size as that from Homo habilis to early Homo erectus. As for the transition from Homo erectus to Heidelberg man, it’s been known for a long time that this was a fairly smooth one, anatomically speaking – so much so that some anthropologists, such as John Hawks, don’t even recognize Heidelberg man as a separate species.

    To be continued…

  34. Here’s a quote that conveys the tenor of the new view among anthropologists:

    Recent fossil and archaeological finds have complicated our interpretation of the origin and early evolution of genus Homo. It now appears overly simplistic to view the origin of Homo erectus as a punctuated event characterized by a radical shift in biology and behavior (Aiello and Anton 2012; Anton 2012; Holliday 2012; Pontzer 2012; Schwartz 2012; Ungar 2012). Several of the key morphological, behavioral, and life history characteristics thought to first emerge with H. erectus (e.g., narrow bi-iliac breadth, relatively long legs, and a more “modern” pattern of growth) seem instead to have arisen at different times and in different species. Further, accumulating data from Africa and beyond document regional morphological variation in early H. erectus and expand the range of variation in this species. These new finds also make the differences between H. erectus (s.l.) and Homo habilis (s.l.) less stark and suggest that regional variation in the former may reflect local adaptive pressures that result from inhabiting diverse environments in Africa and Eurasia. The mosaic nature of these acquisitions and the greater range of intraspecific variation, especially in H. erectus, call into question previous inferences regarding the selective factors behind the early evolution of our genus and its eventual dispersal from Africa. They also raise questions about when a modern pattern of life history might have emerged and what role, if any, it played in our early evolution.

    And here’s another:

    The origin of Homo holds particular sway for us and has often been seen as the point in our evolution when the balance tips from a more ape-like to a more human-like ancestor. By the turn of this century, a conventional wisdom had grown up around the origin of Homo and particularly Homo erectus that cast this species as the first hominin to take important biological and behavioral steps in the direction of modern humans (Anton 2003; Shipman and Walker 1989). Homo erectus was envisioned as a large-brained, small-toothed, long-legged, narrow-hipped, and large-bodied hominin with relatively low sexual dimorphism. By virtue of a higher-quality, perhaps animal-based diet, H. erectus is said to have ranged farther, cooperated more, and quickly dispersed from Africa (Aiello and Key 2002; Anton, Leonard, and Robertson 2002; McHenry and Coffing 2000; Walker and Leakey 1993). The paucity of early Homo fossils of Homo habilis sensu lato (including Homo rudolfensis) meant that comparisons of Australopithecus (?Paranthropus) were made to H. erectus (including Homo ergaster) rather than to other early Homo. And the distinctions between Australopithecus and Homo were perhaps overemphasized by the diminutive size of the most complete Australopithecus skeleton (A.L. 288-1; Lucy), on the one hand, and the surprisingly large size of the most complete H. erectus skeleton (KNM-WT 15000; Nariokotome boy), on the other (e.g., Ruff 1993). The comparisons between H. erectus and Homo sapiens were so strongly drawn that the inclusion in the genus of some of the earliest species, such as H. habilis and H. rudolfensis, was seriously questioned on the basis of their more australopith-like postcranial skeleton, among other things (Wood and Baker 2011; Wood and Collard 1999, 2007).

    The fossil record never ceases to upset conventional wisdom, and over the past 2 decades, new discoveries from East and South Africa, Georgia, and even Indonesia have challenged these stark distinctions between Australopithecus and H. erectus and within non-erectus early Homo. In particular, new small-bodied and small-brained finds from the Republic of Georgia and Kenya call to question claims for universally large size in H. erectus (e.g., Gabunia et al. 2000; Potts et al. 2004; Simpson et al. 2008; Spoor et al. 2007) and focus our attention instead on the range of variation within that taxon. This variation in H. erectus has most often been referred to as sexual dimorphism and/or regional/climatic adaptations (Anton 2008; Spoor et al. 2007), although short-term accommodations and phenotypic plasticity are likely to have played an important role (see Anton 2013). And larger-sized, longer-legged Australopithecus have been found (Haile-Selassie et al. 2010), as have members of that genus who may share some postcranial characteristics with Homo (Asfaw et al. 1999; Berger et al. 2010; Kibii et al. 2011; Kivell et al. 2011; Zipfel et al. 2011). Additionally, new fossil remains of non-erectus Homo and new work on previously known remains emphasize the diversity of the early members of the genus and the ways in which they differ from Australopithecus (Blumenschine et al. 2003; Spoor et al. 2007).

    To be continued…

  35. I should say, however, that something very important in human evolution occurred 1.8 million years ago, in terms of brain evolution, and it’s described in this article: How Our Ancestors Broke through the Gray Ceiling. The authors argue that by rights, hominid brains should have stopped growing at 700 cubic centimeters, but our ancestors somehow broke through that threshold. The authors argue that co-operative breeding was the behavioral change that made this possible. On that score, they’re probably correct, but there’s a lot of disagreement as to what kind of co-operative breeding it was. Was it grandmothers helping mothers to find food for their newborn babies, or was it dads helping mums, and making a commitment to stick together for the long term? For Homo erectus, it could have been the former. Only when we get to Heidelberg man, whose brain size falls within the modern human range, does the energetic cost of raising an infant become so great that monogamy would have been an absolute necessity for successful child-rearing.

    The authors of the paper also suggest that Homo erectus engaged in big-game hunting, but as Dubreuil argues in his paper, while there’s good evidence that Homo erectus ate a lot of meat, there’s no good evidence that he hunted large-scale game; probably he was an active scavenger, which means that he ate meat from carcasses that other animals had killed, and confronted any creature that tried to stop him eating. Hunting large-scale game was a risky enterprise which hominids who were unable to control their impulses would have chickened out of, as it required an ability to put the group’s welfare ahead of your own, and maintain your resolve, even as a highly dangerous animal was charging right at you. Dubreuil argues that changes in the brain’s prefrontal cortex made this impulse control possible – and even if you reject materialism (as I do), you can still acknowledge the fact that behaving morally requires having a brain that is wired up in the right way. Dubreuil is wary of claims that human culture emerged in a single step, but as he puts it:

    Our conclusions must thus remain relatively modest. Consequently, I will not claim that there has been a single reorganization of the PFC [prefrontal cortex - VJT] in the human lineage and that it happened in Homo heidelbergensis [Heidelberg man - VJT]. I will rather contend that, if there is only one point in our lineage where such reorganization happened, it was in all likelihood there.

    To be continued…

  36. Finally, I’d like to point out that while the brain size of Heidelberg man (1100 to 1400 cubic centimeters) overlaps with that of modern human beings, the brain size of early Homo ergaster / erectus (around 700-850 cubic centimeters) does not. Normal human brains vary between 1050 to 1500 cubic centimeters for men and 976 to 1400 cubic centimeters for women (see here). The extreme range for human beings is 900 to 2,000 cubic centimeters (see here). I’m afraid that early Homo ergaster / erectus doesn’t make the grade. It took nearly a million years for his brain to grow large enough to fall inside that range. Over that period, the increase was gradual, not sudden.

  37. P.S. Although I think the anatomical changes leading from Homo habilis to Homo erectus to Heidelberg man may have been smooth, the changes in hominid brain structure were not. There were four major changes, which took place 3.5 million years ago, 1.8 million years ago, 700,000 years ago and 200,000 years ago. Another discontinuous change took place in our chromosomes, from 48 to 46 chromosomes, some time between 3,000,000 and 740,000 years ago . In short: there’s plenty of room here for intelligent engineering of the human body.

  38. wd400:

    With 20 year generations that’s 20 * 306,667 ~ 6 million years. You can quibble about mutation rate estimates and generation times, but they wont change the numbers such that this suddenly becomes impossible.

    Who needs selection at all then?

    Perhaps I misunderstood the statement I was responding to;

    Do these guys really think _all_ fixations between human and chimp have to be selective?

    What do you mean by “fixations between humans and chimps”?

    Because now, in your response, you’re talking about just humans. I interpreted you to be talking about similarities, but are you talking about differences?

  39. 39

    Vincent, thank you very much for the papers you cited in 31, 32, 33, and 34.

    A key part of my research these days focuses on the emergence of Geist (“spirit”) from Natur (“nature”), as theorized by the German Idealists, and it will help me immensely to understand how contemporary scientists theorize that transition.

    Gratefully,
    KN

  40. Well Dr. Torley, it seems that Tattersall disagrees with your assessment,

    “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)

    Thus there is at least one expert who does not hold to your thinking. I’m sure many more references, supporting abruptness, can be found in these articles defending his thesis from Paul McBride:

    Read Your References Carefully: Paul McBride’s Prized Citation on Skull-Sizes Supports My Thesis, Not His – Casey Luskin – August 31, 2012
    Excerpt of Conclusion: This has been a long article, but I hope it is instructive in showing how evolutionists deal with the fossil hominin evidence. As we’ve seen, multiple authorities recognize that our genus Homo appears in the fossil record abruptly with a complex suite of characteristics never-before-seen in any hominin. And that suite of characteristics has remained remarkably constant from the time Homo appears until the present day with you, me, and the rest of modern humanity. The one possible exception to this is brain size, where there are some skulls of intermediate cranial capacity, and there is some increase over time. But even there, when Homo appears, it does so with an abrupt increase in skull-size. ,,,
    The complex suite of traits associated with our genus Homo appears abruptly, and is distinctly different from the australopithecines which were supposedly our ancestors. There are no transitional fossils linking us to that group.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63841.html

    McBride Misstates My Arguments in Science and Human Origins – Casey Luskin September 5, 2012
    Excerpt: At the end of the day, I leave this exchange more confident than before that the evidence supports the abrupt appearance of our genus Homo.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63931.html

    Frankly Dr. Torley I am surprised that you, whom I’ve come to respect so much in regards to scrutiny of the molecular data, would cling so tightly to evidence that has been so ripe for fraudulent abuse in the past.

    Hominid Hype and the Election Cycle – Casey Luskin – September 2011
    Excerpt: Ignoring fraudulent fossils like Piltdown man, the last 50 years have seen a slew of so-called human ancestors which initially produced hype, and were later disproven.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....50801.html

    For instance Dr. Torley, I noticed you, in your references, relied heavily upon homo erectus evidence to support your claim for gradual transition, but this particular line of evidence that you rely on has been notoriously ripe for abuse:

    Hominids, Homonyms, and Homo sapiens – 05/27/2009 – Creation Safaris:
    Excerpt: Homo erectus is particularly controversial, because it is such a broad classification. Tattersall and Schwartz find no clear connection between the Asian, European and African specimens lumped into this class. “In his 1950 review, Ernst Mayr placed all of these forms firmly within the species Homo erectus,” they explained. “Subsequently, Homo erectus became the standard-issue ‘hominid in the middle,’ expanding to include not only the fossils just mentioned, but others of the same general period….”. They discussed the arbitrariness of this classification: “Put together, all these fossils (which span almost 2 myr) make a very heterogeneous assortment indeed; and placing them all together in the same species only makes any conceivable sense in the context of the ecumenical view of Homo erectus as the middle stage of the single hypervariable hominid lineage envisioned by Mayr (on the basis of a much slenderer record). Viewed from the morphological angle, however, the practice of cramming all of this material into a single Old World-wide species is highly questionable. Indeed, the stuffing process has only been rendered possible by a sort of ratchet effect, in which fossils allocated to Homo erectus almost regardless of their morphology have subsequently been cited as proof of just how variable the species can be.” By “ratchet effect,” they appear to mean something like a self-fulfilling prophecy: i.e., “Let’s put everything from this 2-million-year period into one class that we will call Homo erectus.” Someone complains, “But this fossil from Singapore is very different from the others.” The first responds, “That just shows how variable the species Homo erectus can be.”
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20090527a

    Moreover, when researchers tried to verify any particular scenario for human evolution to the molecular level, the whole thing artificial construction came crashing down:

    Human Origins, and the Real Reasons for Evolutionary Skepticism – Jonathan M. – December 9, 2012
    Excerpt: “Cladistic analysis of cranial and dental evidence has been widely used to generate phylogenetic hypotheses about humans and their fossil relatives. However, the reliability of these hypotheses has never been subjected to external validation. To rectify this, we applied internal methods to equivalent evidence from two groups of extant higher primates for whom reliable molecular phylogenies are available, the hominoids and paionins. We found that the phylogenetic hypotheses based on the craniodental data were incompatible with the molecular phylogenies for the groups. Given the robustness of the molecular phylogenies, these results indicate that little confidence can be placed in phylogenies generated solely from higher primate craniodental evidence. The corollary of this is that existing phylogenetic hypotheses about human evolution are unlikely to be reliable.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....67181.html

    And if one thinks that scientists would never abuse such a wide open classification system, as was noted by Tattersall with homo erectus, to advance their pet theory for human evolution, let Phillip Johnson disabuse you of that notion:

    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. Archaeopteryx would be the prime example. Its a bird so we expect it to rarely be fossilized. Yet it has been exhibit number one in the Darwinian case. There’s nothing else around it. Unlike those marine invertebrates. So you can tell a story of progressive evolution that might not work out at all if you saw through the whole body of things around it. Likewise with the ape-men. That is another area where fossilization is very rare. And where the bones of humans and apes are rather similar anyway. So (someone) can find a variant ape bone, its pretty easy to give it a story about how it is turning into a human being. If you tell the story well enough, and successfully, you get your picture on the cover of National Geographic and you become rich and famous. This could effect your judgement. One of the things that amused me is that there are so many fossil candidates for human ancestry, and so very, very, few that are candidates for ancestors of the great apes. There should be just as many (if not more) but why not? Well any economist can give you the answer to that. Human ancestors have a great American value so they are produced at a much greater rate. Now these were also grounds to be suspicious with what was going on. That there was obviously so much subjectivity. ,, The Standard explanation for why the fossil record is not more supportive of Darwinian expectations than it is, if you find that out at all (that the fossil record does not fit Darwinian expectation), is that there are so few fossils, (thus) most things aren’t fossilized. That is why (we are told by Darwinists) that the fossil record has so many gaps. Not that the theory has many gaps but that the fossil record has so many gaps. Yet that is odd 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 (15:00 minute mark?)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....age#t=903s

    A few notes on that abuse:

    “We have all seen the canonical parade of apes, each one becoming more human. We know that, as a depiction of evolution, this line-up is tosh (i.e. nonsense). Yet we cling to it. Ideas of what human evolution ought to have been like still colour our debates.”
    Henry Gee, editor of Nature (478, 6 October 2011, page 34, doi:10.1038/478034a),

    Paleoanthropology
    Excerpt: In regards to the pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journal Science the following regarding their highly speculative nature:
    “Unfortunately, the vast majority of artist’s conceptions are based more on imagination than on evidence. But a handful of expert natural-history artists begin with the fossil bones of a hominid and work from there…. Much of the reconstruction, however, is guesswork. Bones say nothing about the fleshy parts of the nose, lips, or ears (or eyes). Artists must create something between an ape and a human being; the older the specimen is said to be, the more apelike they make it…. Hairiness is a matter of pure conjecture.”
    http://conservapedia.com/Evolu.....thropology

    “National Geographic magazine commissioned four artists to reconstruct a female figure from casts of seven fossil bones thought to be from the same species as skull 1470. One artist drew a creature whose forehead is missing and whose jaws look vaguely like those of a beaked dinosaur. Another artist drew a rather good-looking modern African-American woman with unusually long arms. A third drew a somewhat scrawny female with arms like a gorilla and a face like a Hollywood werewolf. And a fourth drew a figure covered with body hair and climbing a tree, with beady eyes that glare out from under a heavy, gorilla-like brow.”
    “Behind the Scenes,” National Geographic 197 (March, 2000): 140

    One can see that ‘artistic license’ for human evolution being played out on the following site.

    10 Transitional Ancestors of Human Evolution by Tyler G., March 18, 2013
    http://listverse.com/2013/03/1.....evolution/

    Please note, on the preceding site, how the sclera (white of the eye), a uniquely human characteristic, was brought in very early on, in the artists’ reconstructions, to make the fossils appear much more human than they actually were, even though the artists making the reconstructions have no clue whatsoever as to what the colors of the eyes, of these supposed transitional fossils, actually were.

    Dr. Torley, given the punctuated nature of the rest of the fossil record, and the history, as well as incentive, for fraudulent abuse of the human fossil record, I simply cannot fathom how you don’t exercise some of the same skepticism towards it as you have done towards the molecular evidence in the past. It seems to me to be a severe disconnect in the way you evaluate the evidence, with a much tighter scrutiny exercised at the molecular level, with the direct observational evidence we have, than you exercise for this far less reliable historical evidence that is so ripe for abuse by imaginative story telling:

    “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way… To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
    - Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life

  41. supplemental note to Jonathan M.’s link:

    Human/Ape Common Ancestry: Following the Evidence – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: So the researchers constructed an evolutionary tree based on 129 skull and tooth measurements for living hominoids, including gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans, and did the same with 62 measurements recorded on Old World monkeys, including baboons, mangabeys and macaques. They also drew upon published molecular phylogenies. At the outset, Wood and Collard assumed the molecular evidence was correct. “There were so many different lines of genetic evidence pointing in one direction,” Collard explains. But no matter how the computer analysis was run, the molecular and morphological trees could not be made to match15 (see figure, below). Collard says this casts grave doubt on the reliability of using morphological evidence to determine the fine details of evolutionary trees for higher primates. “It is saying it is positively misleading,” he says. The abstract of the pair’s paper stated provocatively that “existing phylogenetic hypotheses about human evolution are unlikely to be reliable”.[10]
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-9266481

    Here is a later summary of Luskin’s work:

    How do Theistic Evolutionists Explain the Fossil Record and Human Origins? – Casey Luskin – September 14, 2012
    Excerpt: In six recent articles (see the links at right), I have argued that the fossil record does not support the evolution of ape-like species into human-like species. Rather, hominin fossils generally fall into two distinct groups: ape-like species and human-like species, with a large, unbridged gap between them.,,, Third, not all paleontologists agree with Kidder that the lack of transitional fossils is simply the result of the unsophisticated (and all-too-easy) excuse the fossil record is poor. Consider what paleontologist Niles Eldredge and paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersal (who are both committed evolutionists) co-wrote in a book on human origins:
    “The record jumps, and all the evidence shows that the record is real: the gaps we see reflect real events in life’s history — not the artifact of a poor fossil record.”
    (Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution, p. 59 (NY: Columbia University Press, 1982).)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64301.html

  42. 42
    TheisticEvolutionist

    bornagain77 if you reject common descent, then can you explain what your scientific replacement is? Are you saying God created millions or billions of species? At different intervals?

  43. actually TheisticEvolutionist, if I read you correctly, you hold to “almost” a purely deterministic universe, but that position is false:

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Thus the more correct picture of the universe, that is brought to us by our best understanding in physics, is to state that God, in his infinite power, ‘creates’ the universe every 10^-43 Planck time for each unique point of conscious observation in the universe. Philosophers refer to this as God ‘sustaining’ the universe. But as to the creation of life on earth, I hold a much more reserved ‘top down’ position of disparity preceding diversity that is held by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig:

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....53881.html

    But even this ‘top down’ position may be far to generous to power of Darwinian processes as is noted here:

    Orphan Genes (And the peer reviewed ‘non-answer’ from Darwinists) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zz6vio_LhY

    Genes from nowhere: Orphans with a surprising story – 16 January 2013 – Helen Pilcher
    Excerpt: When biologists began sequencing genomes they discovered up to a third of genes in each species seemed to have no parents or family of any kind. Nevertheless, some of these “orphan genes” are high achievers (are just as essential as ‘old’ genes),,,
    But where do they come from? With no obvious ancestry, it was as if these genes appeared out of nowhere, but that couldn’t be true. Everyone assumed that as we learned more, we would discover what had happened to their families. But we haven’t-quite the opposite, in fact.,,,
    The upshot is that the chances of random mutations turning a bit of junk DNA into a new gene seem infinitesmally small. As the French biologist Francois Jacob wrote 35 years ago, “the probability that a functional protein would appear de novo by random association of amino acids is practically zero”.,,,
    Orphan genes have since been found in every genome sequenced to date, from mosquito to man, roundworm to rat, and their numbers are still growing.
    http://ccsb.dfci.harvard.edu/w.....n_2013.pdf

    and here:

    Proteins and Genes, Singletons and Species – Branko Kozuli? PhD. Biochemistry
    Excerpt: Horizontal gene transfer is common in prokaryotes but rare in eukaryotes [89-94], so HGT cannot account for (ORFan) singletons in eukaryotic genomes, including the human genome and the genomes of other mammals.,,,
    The trend towards higher numbers of (ORFan) singletons per genome seems to coincide with a higher proportion of the eukaryotic genomes sequenced. In other words, eukaryotes generally contain a larger number of singletons than eubacteria and archaea.,,,
    That hypothesis – that evolution strives to preserve a protein domain once it stumbles upon it contradicts the power law distribution of domains. The distribution graphs clearly show that unique domains are the most abundant of all domain groups [21, 66, 67, 70, 72, 79, 82, 86, 94, 95], contrary to their expected rarity.,,,
    Evolutionary biologists of earlier generations have not anticipated [164, 165] the challenge that (ORFan) singletons pose to contemporary biologists. By discovering millions of unique genes biologists have run into brick walls similar to those hit by physicists with the discovery of quantum phenomena. The predominant viewpoint in biology has become untenable: we are witnessing a scientific revolution of unprecedented proportions.
    http://vixra.org/pdf/1105.0025v1.pdf
    Of Note: Branko Kozulic is on the editorial team of BioComplexity
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....TeamBio/23

  44. “In short: there’s plenty of room here for intelligent engineering of the human body.” – vjtorley

    Dr. Torley of course means capitalised ‘Intelligent Engineering’ just like he means when he hypothesizes a capitalised ‘Intelligent Designer.’ Torley is usually very clear on this and has explained why in the past. If he were consistent in this thread, the capitalisation of ‘Intelligent Engineering/Engineer’ would still hold.

    Of course, I agree with Torley re: “disagree with Casey’s claim.” So do the majority of the RCC’s scientists. So do most thoughtful persons today, outside of mainly fundamentalists in USA, Turkey, Australia, etc. I’d be glad to see Torley take a stronger stand against such fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism in between his English language classes.

    Likewise, most thoughtful persons disagree with Dr. Torley’s PHILOSOPHICAL defenses of IDism and the bad theology of IDism (which of course, IDists duplicitly claim not to be about theology *at all*!).

    “I think the fossil evidence for the fact of human evolution is strong” – vjtorley

    Why not invite MSc lawyer Luskin here to discuss it? That Torley goes out of his way to say he is ‘very respectful’ of Luskin suggests that Torley wouldn’t actually tell Casey to his face that his grasp of the relevant science is lacking or that he had been deceived by IDists or YECists (or probably both). That’s why Torley is still safely part of the IDM, even from the other side of the world in a country where he doesn’t know a single IDist like himself.

  45. 45
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Thus the more correct picture of the universe, that is brought to us by our best understanding in physics, is to state that God, in his infinite power, ‘creates’ the universe every 10^-43 Planck time for each unique point of conscious observation in the universe. Philosophers refer to this as God ‘sustaining’ the universe. But as to the creation of life on earth, I hold a much more reserved ‘top down’ position of disparity preceding diversity that is held by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig.

    This is utterly confusing stuff! I will stick with Occam’s razor. Common descent does it for me :)

  46. bornagain77 if you reject common descent, then can you explain what your scientific replacement is? Are you saying God created millions or billions of species? At different intervals?

    All YEC’s believe in common descent from a few critters on an ark.

    It’s amazing to me that they so no evidence of common descent in the fossils. But I suppose that if you believe that all fossils were caused by the flood …

    I just can’t for the life of me understand why there was common descent after the flood but not before it. And if there was common descent before the flood, why isn’t it reflected in the fossils?

  47. Mung

    Evolutionist universal common descent (UCD) is all species from an unique common ancestor (UCA), via reproduction and unguided transformistic macroevolution.

    Reasonable limited LCD is all species from a set of different kinds/families (roughly as that on the ark) via reproduction and microevolution. I believe in this reasonable LCD. No problem about that.

    What is absurd is evolutionist UCD from a unique self-replicator, all the way down, by means of RM+NS only.

  48. TheisticEvolutionist #41

    if you reject common descent, then can you explain what your scientific replacement is? Are you saying God created millions or billions of species? At different intervals?

    My answer:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....hitecture/

  49. 49
    TheisticEvolutionist

    What ark? If it existed why haven’t they found it by now ;)

  50. niwrad:

    Reasonable limited LCD is all species from a set of different kinds/families (roughly as that on the ark) via reproduction and microevolution. I believe in this reasonable LCD. No problem about that.

    I thought I saw someone claiming that there was no evidence for common descent in the fossil record. If you ask me that belief is incoherent, and that’s what I was seeking to point out.

    Whether you believe in pre-flood LCD or post-flood LCD there’s no reason that I can think of that either or both would not be reflected in the fossil record.

    And for those YEC’s such as yourself who believe in post-flood microevoluton (if I read you correctly) you run into a far worse version of Haldane’s dilemma than would any evolutionist. As far as I am concerned you may as well believe in post-flood continuing special creation.

  51. 51
    TheisticEvolutionist

    I thought I saw someone claiming that there was no evidence for common descent in the fossil record. If you ask me that belief is incoherent, and that’s what I was seeking to point out.

    I first learnt some of the evidence for common descent in a book called “Evolution and Christians” by Philip Gilbert Fothergill. It’s an old book published in 1961 but it was written by a biologist who was also a Catholic and he had no problem with accepting common descent. There should be no dispute between religion and science. Religious books should not be read literally!

  52. Mung

    I wrote “roughly as that on the ark” to give an idea of the set.

    I leave un-predicated the history time questions (YEC or OEC) because I consider more important the mechanisms of creation.

  53. To back up niwrad’s position of

    Evolutionist universal common descent (UCD) is all species from an unique common ancestor (UCA), via reproduction and unguided transformistic macroevolution.

    Reasonable limited LCD is all species from a set of different kinds/families (roughly as that on the ark) via reproduction and microevolution. I believe in this reasonable LCD. No problem about that.

    What is absurd is evolutionist UCD from a unique self-replicator, all the way down, by means of RM+NS only.

    ,,, Yet from an old earth perspective, Dr. Behe found that the ‘Edge of Evolution’ fell where YEC’s had deduced it to be before Dr. Behe from a different method of reasoning, and line of evidence, than Dr. Behe had used:

    A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism by Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: So Michael Behe comes to the grand conclusion to his survey: ‘Somewhere between the level of vertebrate species and class lies the organismal edge of Darwinian evolution’ (p. 201). A diagram illustrates this (p. 218), which he reproduces on the page facing the title page of the book (figure 2).

    Interestingly, the creationist study of baraminology (defining the limits of the original created kinds, or baramins, of Genesis 1) has arrived at conclusions consistent with Behe’s proposition, using a different approach based on hybridization criteria, where possible, combined with morphology, etc.4 In fact, in 1976 creationist biologist Frank Marsh proposed that the created kinds (baramins) were often at the level of genus or family, although sometimes at the level of order.5
    http://creation.com/review-mic.....-evolution

    More evidence for ‘top down’ common descent comes from the fossil record and also from what is known as ‘Dollo’s law’. There is actually ample evidence in the fossil record to infer that the principle of Genetic Entropy has been rigidly obeyed over the course of the history of life on this earth. The following article is important in that it shows the principle of Genetic Entropy being obeyed in the fossil record by Trilobites, over the 270 million year history of their life on earth (Note: Trilobites are one of the most prolific ‘kinds’ found in the fossil record with an extensive worldwide distribution. They appeared abruptly at the base of the Cambrian explosion with no evidence of transmutation from the ‘simple’ creatures that preceded them, nor is there any evidence they ever produced anything else besides other trilobites during the entire time they are found in the fossil record).

    The Cambrian’s Many Forms
    Excerpt: “It appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion,” Hughes said, but not later. “No one has shown this convincingly before, and that’s why this is so important.”"From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on,”….(Yet Surprisingly)….”There’s hardly any variation in the post-Cambrian,” he said. “Even the presence or absence or the kind of ornamentation on the head shield varies within these Cambrian trilobites and doesn’t vary in the post-Cambrian trilobites.” University of Chicago paleontologist Mark Webster; article on the “surprising and unexplained” loss of variation and diversity for trilobites over the 270 million year time span that trilobites were found in the fossil record, prior to their total extinction from the fossil record about 250 million years ago.
    http://www.terradaily.com/repo.....s_999.html

    In fact, the loss of morphological traits over time, for all organisms found in the fossil record, was/is so consistent that it was made into a ‘scientific law’:

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes:
    Excerpt: “As the history of animal life was traced in the fossil record during the 19th century, it was observed that once an anatomical feature was lost in the course of evolution it never staged a return. This observation became canonized as Dollo’s law, after its propounder, and is taken as a general statement that evolution is irreversible.”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/91.....l.pdf+html

    A general rule of thumb for the ‘Deterioration/Genetic Entropy’ of Dollo’s Law as it applies to the fossil record is found here:

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes
    ABSTRACT: Dollo’s law, the concept that evolution is not substantively reversible, implies that the degradation of genetic information is sufficiently fast that genes or developmental pathways released from selective pressure will rapidly become nonfunctional. Using empirical data to assess the rate of loss of coding information in genes for proteins with varying degrees of tolerance to mutational change, we show that, in fact, there is a significant probability over evolutionary time scales of 0.5-6 million years for successful reactivation of silenced genes or “lost” developmental programs. Conversely, the reactivation of long (>10 million years)-unexpressed genes and dormant developmental pathways is not possible unless function is maintained by other selective constraints;
    http://www.pnas.org/content/91.....l.pdf+html

    And seeing as Darwinian processes cannot account for the origination of new genes and proteins (Axe) or anatomical features (Behe) but can account for the loss of genes and anatomical features quite readily (Sanford) then you can see a picture start to emerge from the fossil data that is consistent to what we are finding in our direct observational evidence. Dr. Hunter puts the pattern this way:

    Evolutionists Are Losing Ground Badly: Both Pattern and Process Contradict the Aging Theory – Cornelius Hunter – July 2012
    Excerpt: Contradictory patterns in biology include the abrupt appearance of so many forms and the diversity explosions followed by a winnowing of diversity in the fossil record. It looks more like the inverse of an evolutionary tree with bursts of new species which then die off over time.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....badly.html

    I have a few more examples I could give from the fossil record, but suffice it for now to say that this picture is far more coherent to the evidence we have, especially concidering the Cambrian Explosion, than neo-Darwinism is

  54. Mung,

    I mean exactly the question Rupe and Sanford set out to answer:

    We then perform large-scale experiments to examine the feasibility of the ape-to-man scenario over a six million year period. … This is significant because the ape-to-man scenario requires tens of millions of selective nucleotide substitutions in the human lineage.”

    There are only “tens of millions” of nucleotide substitutions in the human lineage, so Rupe and Sanford are either unaware of that fact, or think all of them are the result of selection. Hard to think which option is more favourable.

    I see no one has a reply to the fact UD’s own post confirms the 98.5% identity between human and chimp genomes…

  55. Mung:
    “And for those YEC’s such as yourself who believe in post-flood microevoluton (if I read you correctly) you run into a far worse version of Haldane’s dilemma than would any evolutionist. As far as I am concerned you may as well believe in post-flood continuing special creation.”

    Doesn’t Haldane’s dilemma refer to the problems with fixation of new mutations? I’m pretty sure the post flood rapid speciation just requires a “front loaded” genome that becomes less diverse and more specific as it speciates from the kind on the ark to the species we know today.
    I think it’s fundamentally different from how Haldane’s dilemma affects macroevolution because the YEC model has all the information already there in the original kind, the evolution model doesn’t.

  56. We’ve often heard of the overwhelming evidence for evolution — the mountain of evidence. Well, I’ve looked into a site called talkorigins.org for the evidence it has for human evolution. So I’ve put together a little comparison here at http://ayearningforpublius.wor.....-evidence/
    Other than a good deal of text at talkorigins.org, and more pictures of skulls I fail to see the mountain.

  57. wd400 @53:

    Ah, I see. You’ll forgive me if I missed it I hope. I tend to quickly scroll through most of ba77′s link-fests. I’ve made clear in the past my opinion of debate by link-flooding but BA and I have agreed to disagree. :)

    Yes, I wonder where they get their figures. But I would be surprised of they did not have at least some basis for them.

    Here’s what I found even more interesting:

    Using realistic parameter settings we only observe a few hundred selection-induced beneficial fixations after 300,000 generations (6 million years).

    So ReMine appears to be vindicated.

  58. sixthbook,

    I’d prefer not to have to spend my time correcting YEC nonsense, but each side has it’s faithful. Isn’t that ironic?

    I think it’s fundamentally different from how Haldane’s dilemma affects macroevolution because the YEC model has all the information already there in the original kind, the evolution model doesn’t.

    The dilemma is the same for both. Worse for the YEC scenario, as I said. It doesn’t depend on the source of the “information” or whether it was “front-loaded” or it originated on the fly.

    The problem is spreading it through the population, and if one is going to accept the Darwinian model at this point (microevolution) they are relying on the Darwinian mechanism. They are basically saying God put the info there and then it was hands off, which is just silly.

    The model is one of mathematical probabilities, and unless you’re going to let God alter the probabilities, you still are faced with the same problem.

    As ReMine put it, you have to out-reproduce the alternatives. Were these members of the population that had these special gifts particularly “fruitful”?

    What I’d really like to see is the model that shows how this post-flood diversification by microevolution supposedly worked.

    btw, I’m perfectly happy with God did it. His continuing activity in the creation is no problem for me.

  59. To know that you’d have to know how their model worke (the paper doesn’t seem to be available). The fact these guys think tens of millions of substitutions are require for human evolution doesn’t fill me with confidence about their abilities…

  60. Are they using Mendel’s Accountant?

  61. OT: Don’t Mess With ID – Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JeYJ29-I7o

  62. Of related interest, Paul Geim has done a video covering Casey Luskin’s work in ‘Science and Human Origins’ on the fossil record
    (Casey Luskin) Human Origins and the Fossil Record (3) 6-22-2013 by Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ

    The first two parts of the 5 part series are here:
    (Ann Gauger) Science and Human Origins (1) 6-8-2013 by Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ
    (Doug Axe) Darwin’s Little Engine that Couldn’t (2) 6-15-2013 by Paul Giem
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ
    Of note: I believe there is also a part 4 and 5 to the series in the playlist

    also of interest is Paul Giem does another video (5 parts) on covering the objections that were raised against “Science and Human Origins”. Here is part 1:

    Science and Human Origins–Objections (Part 1 of 5) 7-13-2013 by Paul Giem
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ

    Also of interest is that Paul Geim has just recently (yesterday) started a new series on Meyer’s book ‘Darwin’s Doubt’:

    Darwin’s Doubt – Paul Giem – video uploaded 9-28-2013 – (Part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ

  63. TheisticEvolutionist concluded:

    This is utterly confusing stuff! I will stick with Occam’s razor. Common descent does it for me.

    What’s really confusing is that you get different family trees when you look at genetic data (for example FOXP1, FOXP2, FOXP3). In science, when things don’t make sense, you’re supposed to look for new, more encompassing ideas, rather than picking the one that is most compatible with your preconceptions, world view, or morality.

    Mung questioned:

    I just can’t for the life of me understand why there was common descent after the flood but not before it. And if there was common descent before the flood, why isn’t it reflected in the fossils?

    How would it be reflected in the fossils? Surely one can easily create any sequence of supposed descent based on morphology, which is notoriously unreliable.

    Imagine a world populated with animals that have genomes with large genetic variability potentials (such as the dog/wolf rather than the tiger).

    It’s easy if you try.

    Now imagine environmental challenges and the culling of traits (a loss of information) through natural selection. Instead of a continuous spectrum of genetic variation in a “kind” of animal, there are now *large gaps* between what we now term “species.” Here’s an example of what I mean.

    Imagine that after severe selection pressure due to environmental changes, the dog/wolf “kind” left is limited to great danes, wolves, and chihuahuas. From the “fossil record,” you might assume that they had a common ancestor, when in fact, ALL their ancestors were common. Or, alternatively, you might order these as an evolutionary progression based on the paucity of fossils: chihuahuas, wolves, and then great danes, when no such progression occurred.

    I contend that the genetic data favors the large genome interpretation over evolutionary fantasies. And don’t claim that ERVs help, since they produce contradictory family trees.

    WD400 chortled:

    I see no one has a reply to the fact UD’s own post confirms the 98.5% identity between human and chimp genomes…

    But WD400 failed to see that Bornagain77 produced the following information:

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome.

    Now, in a previous post, Querius noted that published results of comparisons included the observation that cats also share 70% and bananas share 50% of the human genome.

    Once can hope that WD400 might take notice of these facts as well . . .

  64. What’s to notice? The UD post really does estimate the the human and chimp genomes have 98.5% identity when talking about SNPs. I don’t think there is anything very magical about that number, but it’s true.

    I do think that post is funny, but no one wants to talk about that

  65. wd400

    I am the author of that UD post. I stopped working on human genomic comparison when some said there were doubts that the human genome was obtained, at least partially, from the scaffold of the chimp one. I don’t like to waste my time working on faked data.

  66. In the following video Paul Giem deals with the objections to Casey Luskin’s work in ‘Science and Human Origins’ on the fossil record:

    Science and Human Origins–Objections (Part 3) 7-27-2013 by Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ

  67. 67
    TheisticEvolutionist

    What’s really confusing is that you get different family trees when you look at genetic data (for example FOXP1, FOXP2, FOXP3). In science, when things don’t make sense, you’re supposed to look for new, more encompassing ideas, rather than picking the one that is most compatible with your preconceptions, world view, or morality.

    Common descent is a fact. It’s taught in nearly all schools and universities around the world. 99.9% of scientists support it. The mainstream textbooks have chapters on common descent which you will never be able to get rid of because the evidence is rock solid (you never quote these textbooks). Every year there are countless scientific papers offering new evidence for it. I see no reason to invoke a conspiracy. The evidence is real. The only people who deny it are religious people. If the Bible had not been written you would have no problem with accepting the evidence for common descent. If you spent a week honestly looking at the evidence you would accept it.

    You guys talk about wanting design to get more mainstream recognition then you would need to accept common descent if that is ever to happen. All this talk about YEC kinds or a global flood is embarrassing and puts you in a camp of pseudoscience.

    The older evolutionary “design” theorists who were all theists such as Edward Drinker Cope, Samuel Butler, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Teilhard De Chardin, Henri Bergson, Hans Driesch and Pierre Lecomte du Noüy all accepted common descent.

    The biologist St. George Jackson Mivart author of On the genesis of species (one of the best anti-Darwinian books I have ever read) accepted the fact of common descent and was a Catholic.

    Frank B. Salisbury a plant physiologist (and a Mormon!) author of brilliant book “The Case for Divine Design” accepts the fact of common descent…. so what is the problem? Why are you equating common descent with atheism?

  68. Hi bornagain77,

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments above (#39). I’d like to make a few points in response.

    1. Distinctness of Homo sapiens. You quote anthropologist Ian Tattersall as remarking that “[e]ven allowing for the poor record we have of our close extinct kin, Homo sapiens appears as distinctive and unprecedented.” A few points:

    (a) If you place the skull of Heidelberg man (Homo sapiens‘s presumed predecessor) alongside a skull of modern man, the differences between the two look pretty startling (see here for a good example, taken from a very well-argued article by Melissa Cain Travis). However, the Heidelberg man skull in her illustration is an extreme example: it’s the Kabwe skull (formerly known as Rhodesian man). Other skulls of Heidelberg man look more modern – for instance, this skull of Petralona man (now thought to be 350,000 years old, not 120,000, 200,000 or 700,000 as once claimed). The Steinheim skull , which is 250,000 years old, also looks similar to Homo sapiens. So I’d be wary of saying that Homo sapiens is absolutely unprecedented in the fossil record.

    To be continued…

  69. 1. (b) Tattersall also contends that language and the capacity for symbolic thought are unique to Homo sapiens – indeed, he thinks they appeared tens of thousands of years subsequent to the appearance of Homo sapiens. On this point, however, I think he is mistaken. There’s an excellent 2013 article by Dediu and Levinson, titled, “On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences”, which argues that the capacity for human language goes back to Heidelberg man. Here is the timeline proposed by the authors, who adduce several converging pieces of cultural evidence to support their case that Heidelberg man and Neandertal man were both capable of language:

    H. heidelbergensis and immediate successors were adept tool users, likely fashioned aerodynamic javelins, brought down large game, possibly used red ochre presumably for symbolic purposes, were regular fire users and perhaps buried the dead. They dispersed throughout Western Europe and the bulk of skeletal material comes from Atapuerca in Spain, dating to ~500 thousand years ago (kya)….

    The Neandertals had a complex stone tool technology (the Mousterian) that required considerable skill and training, with many variants and elaborations (see Klein, 2009: 485ff). They sometimes mined the raw materials at up to 2 meters depth (Verri et al., 2004). Their stone tools show wear indicating usage on wood, suggesting the existence of a wooden material culture with poor preservation, such as the carefully shaped javelins made ~400 kya from Germany (Thieme, 1997). Tools were hafted with pitch extracted by fire (Roebroeks and Villa, 2011). Complex tool making of the Mousterian kind involves hierarchical planning with recursive sub-stages (Stout, 2011) which activates Broca’s area just as in analogous linguistic tasks (Stout and Chaminade, 2012). The chain of fifty or so actions and the motor control required to master it are not dissimilar to the complex cognition and motor control involved in language (and similarly takes months of learning to replicate by modern students). The Neandertals managed to live in hostile sub-Arctic conditions (Stewart, 2005). They controlled fire, and in addition to game, cooked and ate starchy foods of various kinds (Henry et al., 2010; Roebroeks and Villa, 2011). They almost certainly had sewn skin clothing and some kind of footgear (Sorensen, 2009). They hunted a range of large animals, probably by collective driving, and could bring down substantial game like buffalo and mammoth (Conard and Niven, 2001; Villa and Lenoir, 2009).

    Neandertals buried their dead (Pettitt, 2002), with some but contested evidence for grave offerings and indications of cannibalism (Lalueza-Fox et al., 2010). Lumps of pigment—presumably used in body decoration, and recently found applied to perforated shells (Zilhao et al., 2010)—are also found in Neandertal sites. They also looked after the infirm and the sick, as shown by healed or permanent injuries (e.g., Spikins et al., 2010), and apparently used medicinal herbs (Hardy et al., 2012). They may have made huts, bone tools, and beads, but the evidence is more scattered (Klein, 2009), and seemed to live in small family groups and practice patrilocality (Lalueza-Fox et al., 2010).

    Taken together, I think there can no longer be any reasonable doubt that the Neandertals, and presumably Heidelberg man as well, were fully rational and capable of using language.

    Where Dediu and Levinson go wrong, I would contend, is in arguing that this evidence for an ancient origin of language supports the hypothesis that it evolved gradually. That’s a pure supposition on their part.

    To be continued…

  70. 1. (c) That being the case, the claim by Tattersall, that “[w]e [i.e. members of Homo sapiens - VJT] differ from our closest known relatives in numerous features of the skull and of the postcranial skeleton, in important features of brain growth, and almost certainly in critical features of internal brain organization as well,” doesn’t support the creationist claim that human beings appear suddenly in the fossil record. For if there were true human beings living before Homo sapiens, then what we really need to show is that they appeared suddenly in the fossil record.

    But if Heidelberg man is the first instance of true human beings, possessing rationality, language and a capacity for symbolic thought, then we have to honestly admit that the fossil evidence doesn’t support a sudden origin for this species. It’s not easy to draw the line between Heidelberg man and Homo antecessor, for instance, or between Homo antecessor and Homo ergaster. What does support a sudden origin for Heidelberg man is the evidence from Dubreuil’s article of a substantial increase in the prefrontal cortex coinciding with the appearance of this species, coupled with genetic evidence that the transition from 48 to 46 chromosomes (which took place somewhere between 740,000 and 3,000,000 years ago ) may have coincided with the emergence of Heidelberg man.

    To be continued…

  71. 1.
    (d) Nevertheless, I will admit that the highly distinctive rounded skull of Homo sapiens, evidence for changes in the temporoparietal cortex with the appearance of our species (see Dubreuil’s article) and the relative dearth of evidence for art prior to Homo sapiens (apart from a few cases of the use of red ocher by Heidelberg and Neadertal man and shells by Neandertal man, 50,000 years ago), does support the claim of intelligent engineering of the human brain, not only 700,000+ years ago (with the emergence of Heidelberg man) but also 200,000 years ago, resulting in a cognitive leap of some sort. The question is: why would God tinker with the human brain not only at the dawn of human history, but 500,000+ years later? I have to say: I have no idea. It does sound odd. But there it is.

    To be continued…

  72. 2. Concerning the taxon Homo erectus you write: “Tattersall and Schwartz find no clear connection between the Asian, European and African specimens lumped into this class.” Even if they’re right, it doesn’t matter: all I need to show is that one of these could have evolved into Heidelberg man, and that in one of the continents, Heidelberg man could have evolved into Homo sapiens. In any case, I would agree that African Homo erectus probably deserves to be placed in a separate species (Homo ergaster), and perhaps Homo georgicus as well. I can’t see why the European and Asian specimens of Homo erectus should be classified separately, however.

    3. You make a good point when you highlight the ‘artistic license’ for human evolution in drawings of prehistoric man. This can be seen if we look at drawings of Homo ergaster / erectus, for instance. This picture makes him look subhuman: somehow he doesn’t look as if he’s quite all there. This picture, on the other hand, makes him look quite shrewd and intelligent, as does this one and this one. Whom are we to believe? Little details like the whites of the eyes, the prominence of the brow and the expression on the face can make quite a difference in one’s intuitive assessment of whether a prehistoric face shows the spark of intelligence. Artistic license, indeed!

    4. I was very interested to read Phillip Johnson’s sagacious observation that “the examples of claimed evolutionary transitionals, oddly enough, come from the area of the fossil record where fossilization is rarest.” That remark certainly should give one pause. Does it count against the truth of Darwinism? Yes, decisively so. Does it count against intelligently guided evolution? I don’t think so. One could argue that the species which fossilize least are the very ones most in need of intelligent guidance in their diversification from an ancestral form – which means that on the rare occasions when they do fossilize, they’d be more likely to leave behind transitional fossils. Just a thought.

    5. Finally, I was very heartened to see you quoting from Dr. Branko Kozulic’s paper, Proteins and Genes, Singletons and Species. As Dr. Kozulic shows, each species has hundreds of chemically unique proteins associated with it (incidentally, geneticist Jeff Tomkins writes: “Modern humans and Neanderthals are essentially genetically identical.”) This fact alone should be enough to silence those who doubt the case for Intelligent Design in the human lineage. The idea that random copying errors could transform an ape-like creature into a human being, when the differences between the two are so profound, is frankly ridiculous, for reasons that I have explained in this post.

    Thanks once again for your comments, bornagain77.

  73. TheisticEvolutionist

    If the Bible had not been written you would have no problem with accepting the evidence for common descent.

    Not at all. I deny CD from a pure engineering point of view. No engineer on earth would make systems transforming themselves when they are working, because it is an engineering suicide. Imagine to transform a car engine into a gas turbine while it is running? If this is an impossibility for an engine, go figure transforming living beings during their life, which are far more complex and fragile systems.

    The scientists supporting CD are not engineers.

  74. News:

    I thought I might let you know that there’s something very odd going on with posts on this thread. I haven’t pinpointed exactly what it is, but it appears that there may be a very low length limit, and also some hyperlinks cause problems. All I know is that when I attempt to post, I often get thrown out and asked to complete a security check before posting – and when I do so, I get a message which says, “Your comment is awaiting moderation” – except that it never gets moderated! The only way I’ve found to dodge that obstacle is to chop my posts up into tiny little bits and to experiment with removing some links – however, I can’t figure out exactly what it is in the links that’s triggering this last-minute security check. Any ideas from the technical staff? Something funny is definitely going on.

  75. TheisticEvolutionist

    Common descent is a fact. It’s taught in nearly all schools and universities around the world. 99.9% of scientists support it.

    That defense is as silly as claiming that Science is fixed and immutable. Science is never fixed and immutable. That schools and universities teach something is never evidence of the accuracy of what is taught. These same institutions and the books they promote also derided continental drift about 40-45 years ago.

    Your *identical* arguments would have vigorously defended the fixed locations of the continents as a “fact.”

    Think about it!

  76. Querius:

    How would it be reflected in the fossils?

    Don’t ask me! Ask the people who claim the fossil record supports “microevolution” within “kinds” bu doesn’t support “macroevolution” or descent from a universal common ancestor.

    I’m merely pointing out the inherent inconsistency.

  77. Good point, niwrad!

    It would be interesting to see whether any DNA fragments could be extracted from some of these ancient bones, which are presumably much younger than those of dinosaurs.

    My guess is that considering the genetic choke point indicated by Mitochondrial Eve, it’s likely that there once was a much greater genetic diversity among humankind.

    This loss of genetic diversity might have been due to a regional or even global catastrophe, such as a flood of Martian proportions. ;-)

  78. Dr. Torley, thank you for your thoughtful reply (I’m going to save the drawings portraying the ‘artistic license’ of Darwinists.) But to the main point,,,

    The gap in skull sizes is gone over at the 29:11 minute mark in the following video, in an extremely fair and even even-handed manner by Dr. Geim, and, frankly, I don’t see the gradual transistion that is adamantly claimed to be so evident by Darwinists and by you.

    Science and Human Origins–Objections (Part 3) 7-27-2013 by Paul Giem – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ejbXpXV7VQ

    Personally, in the chart he presents laying the fossil evidence out, I see much disjointed, i.e. ‘gappy’, evidence pieced together to fit a preconceived historical narrative, but when looked at objectively, as I hold Dr. Geim does in an extremely even handed manner, THE MAIN GAP REMAINS, as Dr Geim himself notes in the end of his analysis of the objections leveled against Luskin about skull sizes. As well, I can only agree with Dr. Geim when he notes that the Darwinists who objected to Luskin’s conclusions never addressed the main part of his argument but only to peripheral issues where they thought they could score some points. That by itself sends up a huge red flag for me. Luskin himself noted the prejudiced manner in which the evidence was evaluated in his response to McBride,,,

    Read Your References Carefully: Paul McBride’s Prized Citation on Skull-Sizes Supports My Thesis, Not His – Casey Luskin – August 31, 2012
    Excerpt of Conclusion: This has been a long article, but I hope it is instructive in showing how evolutionists deal with the fossil hominin evidence. As we’ve seen, multiple authorities recognize that our genus Homo appears in the fossil record abruptly with a complex suite of characteristics never-before-seen in any hominin. And that suite of characteristics has remained remarkably constant from the time Homo appears until the present day with you, me, and the rest of modern humanity. The one possible exception to this is brain size, where there are some skulls of intermediate cranial capacity, and there is some increase over time. But even there, when Homo appears, it does so with an abrupt increase in skull-size. ,,,
    The complex suite of traits associated with our genus Homo appears abruptly, and is distinctly different from the australopithecines which were supposedly our ancestors. There are no transitional fossils linking us to that group.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63841.html

    Dr. Torley, thus, considering the fossil record itself and the disingenuous way in which Darwinists have tried to undermine Luskin’s main argument, color me unpersuaded that the main gap is not real. Perhaps you can have a personal discussion with Luskin privately to iron out your disagreement as he knows this evidence quite a lot better than I do.,, In my personal opinion, Your strongest evidence against the creationist narrative, that you did hit on, is Neanderthal and Heidelberg man, and, leaving Heidelberg aside, frankly I’ve been quite mystified as I’ve watched Neanderthal, over the past few years, from the genetic evidence, morph from being a brutish caveman into being practically one of the human family, instead of a being completely separate species as it once was considered. This certainly was not a good development for Darwinists, nor for you either. Particularly since you too, like Darwinists, want a gradual scenario to be true so as to fit your preconceived position. So thus, with this scientific morphing of Neanderthal, practically before my eyes, into being ‘one of the family’, and being the complete novice I am in this matter, I’m left scratching my head as to what else I have been misled about on the fossil evidence from Darwinists. I have literally dozens of links showing Darwinists hyping evidence in headlines for human evolution and only later, after the hype dies down, is the evidence shown to be far less robust to supporting its position than its initial claim led people to believe. I don’t know about you Dr. Torley, but I find such a manner of practicing science to be extremely distasteful, and I’m certainly not so easily persuaded, by this fossil evidence especially when I seen so much to question within it. Moreover, I remind you of the extremely questionable status of this historical evidence as compared to our direct observational evidence:

    “No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way… To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
    - Henry Gee, In Search of Deep Time: Beyond the Fossil Record to a New History of Life

  79. Mung,

    You wrote

    I just can’t for the life of me understand why there was common descent after the flood but not before it. And if there was common descent before the flood, why isn’t it reflected in the fossils?

    I can’t for the life of me understand the logic of what you’re trying to say. Microevolution doesn’t necessitate macroevolution. For example . . .

    Certainly you’ll agree that bacteria are some of the most well-adapted and highly adaptable organisms in the planet. So, after millions of years of evolution, why aren’t we seeing some lucky bacteria evolving into something other than bacteria right now? We should be seeing a whole range of hopeful organisms that have bacteria as their most recent ancestor–AS EVIDENCED BY THE CLOSE SIMILARITY OF THEIR DNA.

    I’m aware that Pseudomonas aeruginosa can “evolve” multiple flagella in certain environments:
    http://www.cell.com/cell-repor.....%2900388-4

    Or perhaps Pseudomonas aeruginosa evolved back from an ancestor with multiple flagella but poorer biofilm production–I don’t know how anyone would know.

    But I’m referring to *entirely new feature* that requires more than a single point mutation.

    - Perhaps such as a mutated subspecies of a bacteria that have nuclei, that first tiny step to “higher” organisms.

    - Or maybe a bacterial colony with specialized and differentiated cells.

    - Or how about flagellum that have evolved into helicopter-like propellers adapted for flying in the air!

    - What about flagella that look like modern ship propellers? If plant hoppers can evolve gears, then with millions of times the reproduction rate, bacteria should be able to evolve the gears for a simple simple transmission.

    Surely, examples of all these moacroevolutionary advancements are commonly found in-progress among all bacteria today! Right?

  80. But Dr. Torley, instead of rehashing this highly questionable historical evidence, lets get to the observational evidence for seeing if there is an unbridgeable gap between man and monkeys. I think you will readily agree that observational evidence provides, by far, our best source of evidence as to ascertaining a whether something is possible or not? right? Well, much like the Neanderthal evidence, I’ve watched with quite a bit of interest as a gap between monkeys and man has widened within the genetic evidence to the point of providing an ‘unbridgeable’ chasm between the two. Though I’ve already laid out some of the evidence, bear with me as I back up to the beginning of the evidence so that you may get the full flavor for which way the observational evidence is heading.

    First, it is found that the genetic similarity one derives is highly subjective to ‘various methodological factors’

    Guy Walks Into a Bar and Thinks He’s a Chimpanzee: The Unbearable Lightness of Chimp-Human Genome Similarity – 2009
    Excerpt: One can seriously call into question the statement that human and chimp genomes are 99% identical. For one thing, it has been noted in the literature that the exact degree of identity between the two genomes is as yet unknown (Cohen, J., 2007. Relative differences: The myth of 1% Science 316: 1836.). ,,, In short, the figure of identity that one wants to use is dependent on various methodological factors.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....think.html

    Even ignoring the subjective bias of ‘various methodological factors’ that Darwinists introduce into these similarity studies, the first inkling, at least for me, that something was terribly amiss with the oft quoted 99% similarity figure was this,,,

    Humans and chimps have 95 percent DNA compatibility, not 98.5 percent, research shows – 2002
    Excerpt: Genetic studies for decades have estimated that humans and chimpanzees possess genomes that are about 98.5 percent similar. In other words, of the three billion base pairs along the DNA helix, nearly 99 of every 100 would be exactly identical.
    However, new work by one of the co-developers of the method used to analyze genetic similarities between species says the figure should be revised downward to 95 percent.
    http://www.caltech.edu/content.....arch-shows

    and then this,,,

    Chimps are not like humans – May 2004
    Excerpt: the International Chimpanzee Chromosome 22 Consortium reports that 83% of chimpanzee chromosome 22 proteins are different from their human counterparts,,, The results reported this week showed that “83% of the genes have changed between the human and the chimpanzee—only 17% are identical—so that means that the impression that comes from the 1.2% [sequence] difference is [misleading]. In the case of protein structures, it has a big effect,” Sakaki said.
    http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/0405/119.htm

    this had caught my eye in 2008,,,

    Chimpanzee?
    10-10-2008 – Dr Richard Buggs – research geneticist at the University of Florida
    …Therefore the total similarity of the genomes could be below 70%.
    http://www.idnet.com.au/files/pdf/Chimpanzee.pdf

    And then this caught my eye in 2011:

    Study Reports a Whopping “23% of Our Genome” Contradicts Standard Human-Ape Evolutionary Phylogeny – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. (of note; 1/3 of our genes is equal to about 7000 genes that we do not share with chimpanzees)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47041.html

    In late 2011 Jeffrey P. Tomkins, using an extremely conservative approach, reached the figure of 87% similarity:

    Genome-Wide DNA Alignment Similarity (Identity) for 40,000 Chimpanzee DNA Sequences Queried against the Human Genome is 86–89% – Jeffrey P. Tomkins – December 28, 2011
    Excerpt: A common claim that is propagated through obfuscated research publications and popular evolutionary science authors is that the DNA of chimpanzees or chimps (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens) is about 98–99% similar. A major problem with nearly all past human-chimp comparative DNA studies is that data often goes through several levels of pre-screening, filtering and selection before being aligned, summarized, and discussed. Non-alignable regions are typically omitted and gaps in alignments are often discarded or obfuscated.
    In an upcoming paper, Tomkins and Bergman (2012) discuss most of the key human-chimp DNA similarity research papers on a case-by-case basis and show that the inclusion of discarded data (when provided) actually suggests a DNA similarity for humans and chimps not greater than 80–87% and quite possibly even less.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....n1/blastin

    Genomic monkey business – similarity re-evaluated using omitted data – by Jeffrey Tomkins and Jerry Bergman
    Excerpt: A review of the common claim that the human and chimpanzee (chimp) genomes are nearly identical was found to be highly questionable solely by an analysis of the methodology and data outlined in an assortment of key research publications.,,,
    Based on the analysis of data provided in various publications, including the often cited 2005 chimpanzee genome report, it is safe to conclude that human–chimp genome similarity is not more than ~87% identical, and possibly not higher than 81%. These revised estimates are based on relevant data omitted from the final similarity estimates typically presented.,,,
    Finally, a very recent large-scale human–chimp genome comparison research report spectacularly confirms the data presented in this report. The human–chimp common ancestor paradigm is clearly based more on myth and propaganda than fact.
    http://creation.com/human-chim.....-evaluated

    Then earlier this year, 2013, with better resolution of data, and still using an extremely conservative approach, Tomkins reached the figure of 70% genetic similarity between chimps and humans:

    Comprehensive Analysis of Chimpanzee and Human Chromosomes Reveals Average DNA Similarity of 70% – by Jeffrey P. Tomkins – February 20, 2013
    Excerpt: For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76%, depending on the chromosome. In general, the smaller and more gene-dense the chromosomes, the higher the DNA similarity—although there were several notable exceptions defying this trend. Only 69% of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43% of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal sequence-slice conditions. While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....chromosome

    Moreover, due to the conservative approach Tomkoins employed, I’m fairly certain that Tomkins did not even include the Orphan gene percentages in his 70 percent figure:

    Genes from nowhere: Orphans with a surprising story – 16 January 2013 – Helen Pilcher
    Excerpt: When biologists began sequencing genomes they discovered up to a third of genes in each species seemed to have no parents or family of any kind. Nevertheless, some of these “orphan genes” are high achievers (are just as essential as ‘old’ genes),,,
    But where do they come from? With no obvious ancestry, it was as if these genes appeared out of nowhere, but that couldn’t be true. Everyone assumed that as we learned more, we would discover what had happened to their families. But we haven’t-quite the opposite, in fact.,,,
    The upshot is that the chances of random mutations turning a bit of junk DNA into a new gene seem infinitesmally small. As the French biologist Francois Jacob wrote 35 years ago, “the probability that a functional protein would appear de novo by random association of amino acids is practically zero”.,,,
    Orphan genes have since been found in every genome sequenced to date, from mosquito to man, roundworm to rat, and their numbers are still growing.
    Per Harvard edu

    Orphan Genes (And the peer reviewed ‘non-answer’ from Darwinists) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zz6vio_LhY

  81. Even Jerry Coyne himself, the self appointed grand inquisitor of Darwinism, admits to a large percentage of Orphan genes:

    From Jerry Coyne, More Table-Pounding, Hand-Waving – May 2012
    Excerpt: “More than 6 percent of genes found in humans simply aren’t found in any form in chimpanzees. There are over fourteen hundred novel genes expressed in humans but not in chimps.”
    Jerry Coyne – ardent and ‘angry’ neo-Darwinist – professor at the University of Chicago in the department of ecology and evolution for twenty years. He specializes in evolutionary genetics and censorship of ID proponents.

    moreover the gene count is now known to be broadly similar across species, even at the most ‘primitive’ level:

    More Questions for Evolutionists – August 2010
    Excerpt: First of all, we have 65% of the gene number of humans in little old sponges—an organism that appears as far back as 635 million years ago, about as old as you can get [except for bacteria]. This kind of demolishes Darwin’s argument about what he called the pre-Silurian (pre-Cambrian). 635 mya predates both the Cambrian AND the Edicarian, which comes before the Cambrian (i.e., the pre-Cambrian) IOW, out of nowhere, 18,000 animal genes. Darwinian gradualism is dealt a death blow here (unless you’re a ‘true believer”!). Here’s a quote: “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function. What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.” (Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley.) I want to know, too!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....utionists/

    and even Zebrafish,,

    Family Ties: Completion of Zebrafish Reference Genome Yields Strong Comparisons With Human Genome – Apr. 17, 2013
    Excerpt: Researchers demonstrate today that 70 per cent of protein-coding human genes are related to genes found in the zebrafish,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....131725.htm

    and even Kangaroos and opossums had a surprise,,

    First Decoded Marsupial Genome Reveals “Junk DNA” Surprise – 2007
    Excerpt: In particular, the study highlights the genetic differences between marsupials such as opossums and kangaroos and placental mammals like humans, mice, and dogs. ,,,
    The researchers were surprised to find that placental and marsupial mammals have largely the same set of genes for making proteins. Instead, much of the difference lies in the controls that turn genes on and off.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.....m-dna.html

    Yet what accounts for such drastic differences in the species if the gene count is basically the same across species? Alternative splicing does. But alternative splicing is found to be species specific:

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

    The mouse is not enough – February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

    Moreover alternative splicing arises, in large measure, from RNA sequences, but RNA sequences are far more uncooperative to the Darwinian narrative than DNA sequences were (as uncooperative as DNA sequences were to alignment):

    Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution – Tiny molecules called microRNAs are tearing apart traditional ideas about the animal family tree. – Elie Dolgin – 27 June 2012
    Excerpt: “I’ve looked at thousands of microRNA genes, and I can’t find a single example that would support the traditional tree,” he says. “…they give a totally different tree from what everyone else wants.” (Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution, Nature 486,460–462, 28 June 2012) (molecular palaeobiologist – Kevin Peterson)
    Mark Springer, (a molecular phylogeneticist working in DNA states),,, “There have to be other explanations,” he says.
    Peterson and his team are now going back to mammalian genomes to investigate why DNA and microRNAs give such different evolutionary trajectories. “What we know at this stage is that we do have a very serious incongruence,” says Davide Pisani, a phylogeneticist at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, who is collaborating on the project. “It looks like either the mammal microRNAs evolved in a totally different way or the traditional topology is wrong.
    http://www.nature.com/news/phy.....on-1.10885

    And considering that the recent ENCODE study, which found 80% plus functionality for the genome, is calling for a redefinition of the entire concept of a ‘gene’, I don’t see ever changing my mind in the future about the ‘observational’ fact that the 99% genetic similarity figure is now completely overthrown:

    Landscape of transcription in human cells – Sept. 6, 2012
    Excerpt: Here we report evidence that three-quarters of the human genome is capable of being transcribed, as well as observations about the range and levels of expression, localization, processing fates, regulatory regions and modifications of almost all currently annotated and thousands of previously unannotated RNAs. These observations, taken together, prompt a redefinition of the concept of a gene.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/j.....11233.html

    Demise of the Gene – September 19, 2012
    Excerpt: Although the gene has conventionally been viewed as the fundamental unit of genomic organization, on the basis of ENCODE data it is now compellingly argued that this unit is not the gene but rather the (RNA) transcript (Washietl et al. 2007; Djebali et al. 2012a). On this view, genes represent a higher-order framework around which individual transcripts coalesce, creating a poly-functional entity that assumes different forms under different cellular states, guided by differential utilization of regulatory DNA. (What does our genome encode? John A. Stamatoyannopoulos Genome Res. 2012 22: 1602-1611.)
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....64371.html

    All of the preceding evidence is far more devastating than most people realize.. ,,,The reason why finding very different alternative splicing codes between closely related species is devastating to (bottom up) neo-Darwinian evolution is partly seen by understanding ‘Shannon Channel Capacity’:

    “Because of Shannon channel capacity that previous (first) codon alphabet had to be at least as complex as the current codon alphabet (DNA code), otherwise transferring the information from the simpler alphabet into the current alphabet would have been mathematically impossible”
    Donald E. Johnson – Bioinformatics: The Information in Life

    Shannon Information – Channel Capacity – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5457552/

  82. One way to understand why this is so devastating to (bottom up) neo-Darwinian evolution is by taking a look at ‘ontogenetic depth’

    Darwin or Design? – Paul Nelson at Saddleback Church – Nov. 2012 – ontogenetic depth (excellent update) – video
    Text from one of the Saddleback slides:
    1. Animal body plans are built in each generation by a stepwise process, from the fertilized egg to the many cells of the adult. The earliest stages in this process determine what follows.
    2. Thus, to change — that is, to evolve — any body plan, mutations expressed early in development must occur, be viable, and be stably transmitted to offspring.
    3. But such early-acting mutations of global effect are those least likely to be tolerated by the embryo.
    Losses of structures are the only exception to this otherwise universal generalization about animal development and evolution. Many species will tolerate phenotypic losses if their local (environmental) circumstances are favorable. Hence island or cave fauna often lose (for instance) wings or eyes.
    http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/7ece8/

    But perhaps the best way to understand why this is so devastating to neo-Darwinian (bottom up) evolution is by taking a look at what Richard Dawkins has said about what would happen if one were to ‘randomly’ change part of the genetic code once it is in place:

    Venter vs. Dawkins on the Tree of Life – and Another Dawkins Whopper – March 2011
    Excerpt:,,, But first, let’s look at the reason Dawkins gives for why the code must be universal:
    “The reason is interesting. Any mutation in the genetic code itself (as opposed to mutations in the genes that it encodes) would have an instantly catastrophic effect, not just in one place but throughout the whole organism. If any word in the 64-word dictionary changed its meaning, so that it came to specify a different amino acid, just about every protein in the body would instantaneously change, probably in many places along its length. Unlike an ordinary mutation…this would spell disaster.” (2009, p. 409-10)
    OK. Keep Dawkins’ claim of universality in mind, along with his argument for why the code must be universal, and then go here (linked site listing 23 variants of the genetic code).
    Simple counting question: does “one or two” equal 23? That’s the number of known variant genetic codes compiled by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. By any measure, Dawkins is off by an order of magnitude, times a factor of two.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....44681.html

    The bottom line is that if any regulatory code, such as the alternative splicing code, or the protein address codes, or the acetylation codes, or the RNA codes, or the metabolic codes, or the cytoskeleton codes, or the histone codes, is ‘randomly changed’ in part, it throws the entire code out of whack and will be ‘instantly catastrophic’, to use Richard Dawkins most appropriate term, thus rendering gradual change to the code impossible. The entire code must be implemented ‘top down’, all at one time, when the species is created!

    Perhaps now, Dr. Torley, you can see, from observational evidence, why I find a gradual scenario severely implausible, especially a materialistic/Darwinian scenario to be implausible but even a Theistic scenario! Moreover please note that Darwinists went, in a few short years (about a decade), from having something like 99% similarity, to having nothing really solid whatsoever that they can point at to support their atheistic/materialistic case. Perhaps the evidence may come back for them somewhat, but I highly doubt it. As far as I can tell, It is a sheer disconnect and moreover, the further we dive into the complexity of the genome, the worse evidence becomes for the neo-Darwinists! I seriously don’t see a reversal for Darwinists!

    Verse and Music:

    Genesis 2:7
    Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    Jason Gray – Remind Me Who I Am -
    http://myktis.com/songs/remind-me-who-i-am/

  83. “Common descent is a fact. It’s taught in nearly all schools and universities around the world. 99.9% of scientists support it.”

    LOL just like it was taught that the native americans happily and willingly helped europeans … and they were a primitive culture..and christopher columbus discovered america… and all those other “facts” that the text books preach. don’t ever question the facts!

  84. 84
    TheisticEvolutionist

    Ok if there’s a global conspiracy theory to teach common descent when it is actually a flawed theory then please explain the creationist scientific replacement that can be observed, testable, repeatable etc etc.

  85. BA,

    Try and understand what these studies are sauing…

    The results reported this week showed that “83% of the genes have changed between the human and the chimpanzee—only 17% are identical

    So, the average protein is ~ 300 amino acids long. This study found 0.17 of these proetins where identical, from which you can estimate amino acid identity across the two genomes as 0.17^(1/300) = 99.4%

    Luskin doesn’t understand something called incomplete lineage sorting, Tomkins method (if I understand it) doesn’t account for genetic rearrangements.

  86. BA #76

    The gap in skull sizes is gone over at the 29:11 minute mark in the following video

    I watched that part of the video several times trying to tell which part of the graph he’s talking about, because there’s no gap anywhere. He then even says, “Yes, there’s an overlap right here, but it’s fascinating that they’re that way.” Huh?

    He seems to be talking about a jump in brain size with H. erectus, although as the graph shows, they overlap previous species of Homo (such as habilus) in both brain size and time range.

  87. Without the geological context the hominds would just be apes living alongside historical man.
    If conclusions about biological descent must be based on geological context and without it IT is all worthless then the whole matter is not a issue of science.
    Science demands the subject being studied must make its case on the subject itself. Not use a neighbour for help.

  88. Querius:

    I can’t for the life of me understand the logic of what you’re trying to say.

    As someone who seems to deny that anything at all useful can be inferred from the fossil record I am not surprised.

    Microevolution doesn’t necessitate macroevolution.

    I never said it did.

    I am talking about the fossil record and whether it provides any sort of evidence for evolution within kinds, whether microevolution or macroevolution it doesn’t really matter.

    Young Earth Creationists just don’t get to have it both way. They cannot both affirm and deny evidence for evolution in the fossil record. Well, they can, and do, but I try to point it out when I see it.

  89. TheisticEvolutionist wondered

    Ok if there’s a global conspiracy theory to teach common descent when it is actually a flawed theory then please explain the creationist scientific replacement that can be observed, testable, repeatable etc etc.

    You’re giving up too easily. Personally, I think there’s a lot of evidence available to create a better naturalistic explanation for adaptation, but it’s going to be significantly more technical.

    Origins are tough because, as you point out, it’s hard to come up with anything that could be observed, measured, or repeated.

    What I think needs more attention is not defending the points of agreement with current theory, but investigating the interesting points at variance. Then you start asking questions. A lot of them! And so on.

  90. goodusername, 32:44 minute mark of the video, Dr. Geim states,

    “You’ve got a pretty clear division point”

    But again this is only the skull evidence Geim is looking at and which Luskin readily admitted that there was ‘skulls of intermediate size’, but taken in full context of ‘all the evidence’, as Luskin does, the gap between man and monkey is undeniable. Even Tattersall, paleontologist and emeritus curator at the American Museum of Natural History, states in regards to the skull evidence:

    “Something extraordinary, if totally fortuitous, happened with the birth of our species….Homo sapiens is as distinctive an entity as exists on the face of the Earth, and should be dignified as such instead of being adulterated with every reasonably large-brained hominid fossil that happened to come along.”
    Anthropologist Ian Tattersall, The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know about Human Evolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 246.
    (emeritus curator at the American Museum of Natural History)

    Moreover, the evidence for transistion is far more dubious than most Darwinists are willing to let on to the general public. For instance, homo habilis,,

    Who Was Homo habilis—And Was It Really Homo? – Ann Gibbons – June 2011
    Abstract: In the past decade, Homo habilis’s status as the first member of our genus has been undermined. Newer analytical methods suggested that H. habilis matured and moved less like a human and more like an australopithecine, such as the famous partial skeleton of Lucy. Now, a report in press in the Journal of Human Evolution finds that H. habilis’s dietary range was also more like Lucy’s than that of H. erectus, which many consider the first fully human species to walk the earth. That suggests the handyman had yet to make the key adaptations associated with our genus, such as the ability to exploit a variety of foods in many environments, the authors say.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....70.summary

    And the hyper variable homo erectus, with its wide open classification system that Tattersall noted, still cannot be conclusively claimed to be intermediate:

    Human Evolution
    Excerpt: Tattersall thinks H. erectus was an evolutionary dead end. Uconn says he was our immediate ancestor. There are several other differences which we won’t take the time to point out.

    A recent issue of Science presents the six different explanations of hominid evolution at the right, which they refer to as “Figure 1.” Their caption says:

    Figure 1. Cladograms favored in recent early hominin parsimony analyses. (A) Most parsimonious cladogram recovered by Chamberlain and Wood (19) using Chamberlain’s (18) operational taxonomic units. Homo sp. = H. rudolfensis. (B) Most parsimonious cladogram obtained in Chamberlain (18). African H. erectus = H. ergaster. (C) Cladogram favored in Wood (9). Homo sp. nov. = H. rudolfensis and H. aff. erectus = H. ergaster. (D) Most parsimonious cladogram recovered by Wood (2). A. boisei includes A. aethiopicus. (E) Most parsimonious cladogram obtained by Lieberman et al. (20). 1470 group = H. rudolfensis; 1813 group = H. habilis. (F) Cladogram favored by Strait et al. (17).
    http://scienceagainstevolution.org/v4i4f.htm

    So thus, taken all together, and noting the ‘bedtime story’ (Henry Gee) nature of the fossil evidence, how much weight you place on this evidence is entirely at you own risk, and, as I’ve pointed out, where our evidence is strongest, i.e. our observational evidence, the transitional ‘bedtime story’ becomes untenable because codes, such as the alternative splicing code, must be implemented all at one time.

    Supplemental note as to reconciling the with our observational evidence:

    Human/Ape Common Ancestry: Following the Evidence – Casey Luskin – June 2011
    Excerpt: So the researchers constructed an evolutionary tree based on 129 skull and tooth measurements for living hominoids, including gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and humans, and did the same with 62 measurements recorded on Old World monkeys, including baboons, mangabeys and macaques. They also drew upon published molecular phylogenies. At the outset, Wood and Collard assumed the molecular evidence was correct. “There were so many different lines of genetic evidence pointing in one direction,” Collard explains. But no matter how the computer analysis was run, the molecular and morphological trees could not be made to match15 (see figure, below). Collard says this casts grave doubt on the reliability of using morphological evidence to determine the fine details of evolutionary trees for higher primates. “It is saying it is positively misleading,” he says. The abstract of the pair’s paper stated provocatively that “existing phylogenetic hypotheses about human evolution are unlikely to be reliable”.[10]
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-9266481

  91. Of somewhat related interest, so great are the anatomical differences between humans and chimps that a Darwinist actually proposed that a chimp and pig mated with each other and that is what ultimately gave rise to humans:

    A chimp-pig hybrid origin for humans? – July 3, 2013
    Excerpt: Dr. Eugene McCarthy,, has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees. Extraordinary theories require extraordinary evidence and McCarthy does not disappoint. Rather than relying on genetic sequence comparisons, he instead offers extensive anatomical comparisons, each of which may be individually assailable, but startling when taken together.,,,
    The list of anatomical specializations we may have gained from porcine philandering is too long to detail here. Suffice it to say, similarities in the face, skin and organ microstructure alone is hard to explain away. A short list of differential features, for example, would include, multipyramidal kidney structure, presence of dermal melanocytes, melanoma, absence of a primate baculum (penis bone), surface lipid and carbohydrate composition of cell membranes, vocal cord structure, laryngeal sacs, diverticuli of the fetal stomach, intestinal “valves of Kerkring,” heart chamber symmetry, skin and cranial vasculature and method of cooling, and tooth structure. Other features occasionally seen in humans, like bicornuate uteruses and supernumerary nipples, would also be difficult to incorporate into a purely primate tree.
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-c.....umans.html

    Moreover, Physorg had another article up showing that this pig-chimp hybrid theory for human origins is much harder to shoot down than Darwinists had originally supposed it would be to shoot down:

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-h.....dence.html

    The obvious question is, of course, if such a dubious theory, such as the pig-chimp hybrid theory, can cause such havoc with you original theory, what makes anyone think we evolved from apes or anything else in the first place? Any reasonable person would realize that if such a dubious theory as the pig-chimp hybrid theory can cause such a commotion (and still not be shot down), for what was suppose to be such a well established science, then perhaps the Darwinian theory for human origins is not nearly as robust as Darwinists have dogmatically held it to be in the first place? Some might even hold that such ‘flimsiness’ in ones theory would be a clear indication that the original theory is not really hard science but a highly speculative pseudo-science (which is, in fact, what Darwinism actually is, as even Dr. Torley admits):

    Macroevolution, microevolution and chemistry: the devil is in the details – Dr. V. J. Torley – February 27, 2013
    Excerpt: After all, mathematics, scientific laws and observed processes are supposed to form the basis of all scientific explanation. If none of these provides support for Darwinian macroevolution, then why on earth should we accept it? Indeed, why does macroevolution belong in the province of science at all, if its scientific basis cannot be demonstrated?
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-details/

  92. supplemental note:

    Double Standards and a Single Variable – Casey Luskin – August 2012
    Excerpt: (arguments) revolving around a single variable (brain size) which he claims (wrongly) shows smooth, gradual evolution. Even if this variable did evolve smoothly, I provide an extensive discussion in my chapter of why that would not demonstrate that humans share a common ancestor with apes. McBride fails to engage my discussion of the evolution of brain size, ignoring my arguments why skulls of “intermediate” size demonstrate very little. And as we’ll see in a further article, the authorities he relies upon to claim that the evolution of cranial capacities displays a “lack of discontinuity” in fact argue that there is great discontinuity — including “punctuational changes” and “saltation” — in the hominin fossil record as it pertains to skull size.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63661.html

  93. BA #88

    “You’ve got a pretty clear division point”

    Yes, he says that, but like I said, I can’t tell where’s he’s talking about, as there is no division point at all. And, of course, he had just admitted that a moment earlier.

    taken in full context of ‘all the evidence’, as Luskin does, the gap between man and monkey is undeniable. Even Tattersall, paleontologist and emeritus curator at the American Museum of Natural History, states in regards to the skull evidence:

    Do you agree with Tattersall on this? Luskin certain doesn’t. You keep quoting him arguing a point that I’m pretty sure you don’t hold. If you do agree, are you saying that H. erectus, Neandertals, H. heidelbergensis, etc are all “monkeys”?

    Moreover, the evidence for transistion is far more dubious than most Darwinists are willing to let on to the general public. For instance, homo habilis,,

    Who Was Homo habilis—And Was It Really Homo? – Ann Gibbons – June 2011
    Abstract: In the past decade, Homo habilis’s status as the first member of our genus has been undermined. Newer analytical methods suggested that H. habilis matured and moved less like a human and more like an australopithecine…

    Well, it is dubious as to whether habilus was Homo or Australopithecine, and some designate H. habilus as A. habilus. Equally, there are those arguing that A. afarensis should be H. afarensis. Why do you suppose that is?

  94. Well I certainly can see the disparity he is talking about, especially when the color is added to the graph and the disputed fossils (skulls) are boxed (plus when ‘artistic license’ is considered). Moreover, I don’t hold any firm position on the fossil record as I am a complete novice in this area as I stated before. Thus my suggestion that Dr. Torley correspond with Luskin personally so as to iron out their differences. I’m just stating my very unqualified opinion as a novice that I don’t see anything convincing from this line of evidence, especially considering the severe bias of Darwinists in interpreting the evidence, that should make me think that the punctuated pattern observed for the rest of the fossil record was somehow granted a special exception between humans and primates. It simply doesn’t make sense from a science perspective!,,, As to Tattersall’s nuanced position, I plead ignorance again as I don’t know his subtleties of interpretation of the fossil record, but I do know, again as a novice, that for him to adamantly claim that gaps are present, especially considering his unprecedented access to the fossils as curator of the Natural History museum, does not bode well at all for those who want hold to a atheistic myth for how we originated. Which brings me to the main evidence. Darwinists HAVE NO DEMONSTRATED MECHANISM to explain the changes even if the fossil record did offer a non-punctuated view of life. Go figure! How in the world can claim with certainty they know for a fact we got here with no mechanism is beyond me. But alas, that what we are faced with with the outlandish claims of Darwinists!

  95. Bornagain77 observed

    Which brings me to the main evidence. Darwinists HAVE NO DEMONSTRATED MECHANISM to explain the changes even if the fossil record did offer a non-punctuated view of life.

    Exaggerating some previous responses . . .

    But it MUSTA happened, so it’s just a matter of time before a plausible explanation surfaces that a consensus of evolution scientists agree on, gets published in a refereed journal, and is taught in schools and colleges, which makes it true.

    Unlike God-of-the-gaps explanations, Darwin-of-the-gaps explanations are infinitely more scientific, assuming that God doesn’t exist, of course.

    Excerpt: Dr. Eugene McCarthy, has amassed an impressive body of evidence suggesting that human origins can be best explained by hybridization between pigs and chimpanzees.

    Of course!

    - That’s why among some previously cannibalistic peoples, it was discovered that pork tasted like human flesh. In the Marquesas Islands of Polynesia, human flesh was called “long pig.”

    - According to at least one Islamic scholar, the Qur’an does NOT call Jews the offspring of “pigs and apes” (it was referring to a specific ancient town in which Jews lived, and among them were people who broke the Sabbath law).

    - Winston Churchill famously said, “I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

    While none of these points in itself provides definitive proof of the McCarthy Hypothesis, taken together, they provide remakable synergistic convergence. It’s just matter of time before conclusive genetic evidence is assembled. ;-)

  96. BA #94

    Moreover, I don’t hold any firm position on the fossil record as I am a complete novice in this area as I stated before. Thus my suggestion that Dr. Torley correspond with Luskin personally so as to iron out their differences.

    Fair enough. A discussion between the two would be interesting.

    Well I certainly can see the disparity he is talking about, especially when the color is added to the graph and the disputed fossils (skulls) are boxed (plus when ‘artistic license’ is considered).

    Well, of course, the reason why certain fossils are “disputed” is because they’re intermediate. Notice that the disputed fossils are those with “multiple designations,” in other words some paleontologists argue that a fossil is Homo while others argues it’s australopithecine. Obviously if you were to remove from the graph all such “disputed” fossils, it will create a gap between australopithecines and Homo, since you just removed the fossils on the border. :-)

  97. Quoting Ian Tattersall (#10) for evidence against hominid evolution is bound to be out of context – he made distinguished contributions to our understanding of human evolution. Based in some part on what I have learned from him, here is the forest, where this discussion seems to be over trees. First, fossilized remains of anything are very rare, so forget trying to find (or demanding that someone find) the “missing link” between chimpanzee/bonobo ancestors and human ancestors. If it follows the path of most speciation, the founding population was very small, and likely not located in a spot that would both create fossils and then yield them up to the surface for us to find. Second, (and definitely Tattersall’s point) our evolution is more like a bush than a tree, and the fossils we to have are more likely twigs a bit off the stem than directly ancestral to human beings. Every paleoanthropologist demands that his fossil is obviously directly ancestral, since that’s how you make a stellar career in that business (those guys fight with sharp knives), but they are more likely similar to, but not quite on, the line. Third, there are bunches of dead ends, some of which we have. Not all those Austrolopithicus species could be directly ancestral, and it is only recently (Tattersall’s point again) that there has been only one hominid species on Earth at the same time. Overall, the fossil record keeps improving, and the conflicts keep getting argued out, so we are getting much closer to an understanding of our lineage. There has been a big change in the forty years that I have been in contact with (but not a participant in)the field. Sadly, we have virtually nothing on the other side – the evolution from the split seven or so million years ago down to the chimps and bonobos today. It appears that they simply did not live in areas that allowed fossils to form.

  98. goodusername, though I have already noted Luskin’s and Geim’s valid complaint that Darwinists have focused on this one single variable to the exclusion of all the rest of the evidence that Luskin presents to support his case for an abrupt appearance, I have one more piece of evidence. A piece of evidence directly countering the Darwinist’s singled minded focus on skull sizes. A piece of evidence that comes from where our record is far more complete than the disjointed and fragmented fossil record for skulls that Darwinist are currently trying to build their present case with:

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Why is it always when we get to where the evidence is real clear for us instead of murky and hard to make out, that the evidence, with that added clarity, always runs counter to Darwinian expectations?

    Also of interest to brain sizes is the fact that Darwinists cannot even account for the origination of a single neuron, much less the entire reorganization of a brain. Consider the complexity being dealt with:

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    It is simply beyond ludicrous to believe that that level of fantastic complexity, sitting inside each of our skulls, accidentally, through blind/random material processes, organized itself into what has repeatedly referred to as the ‘most complex structure in the universe’. Shoot we cannot even accurately model a single neuron accurately due to the level of integrated complexity involved:

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 2012
    Excerpt: “This is bad news. Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years.,,,
    even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.”,,,
    Even with shortcuts like averaging, “any possible technological advance is overwhelmed by the relentless growth of interactions among all components of the system,” Koch said.
    to read more go here:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    Of course none of these deep underlying issues which should give severe pause, if not outright falsification of the Darwinian account, are ever honestly dealt with by Darwinists. It’s all a big yawn for them as far as I can tell. But by golly give them a crushed bone fragment from half a million years ago and they think they have just verified General Relativity to another order of magnitude. I truly would have never believed such dishonesty would be allowed in science until I seen it first hand for myself!

  99. If brain sizes had been getting larger, it would have been accepted uncritically as Yet Another Proof of Darwinism.

    But since brain sizes have instead been observed to be getting smaller, it gets a little more complicated.

    First, it has to be noted that brain size does not always correlate with intelligence, and that evolution MUSTA resulted in a more efficent organization of the brain, allowing it to become smaller, faster, and facilitating childbirth.

    So, despite the initial scare, it will then be confirmed that smaller brain sizes are Yet Another Proof of Darwinism.

    And people wonder why some of us have a problem calling this Science?

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