Home » Human evolution, News » New York Times: New human fossil DNA find means new mysteries instead of “neatly clarifying human evolution”

New York Times: New human fossil DNA find means new mysteries instead of “neatly clarifying human evolution”

(Others weigh in here (Nature, ScienceDaily), here (BBC), and here (The Scientist , New Scientist).)

From the New York Times:

The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years. It is possible, for example, that there are many extinct human populations that scientists have yet to discover. They might have interbred, swapping DNA. Scientists hope that further studies of extremely ancient human DNA will clarify the mystery.

“Right now, we’ve basically generated a big question mark,” said Matthias Meyer, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a co-author of the new study.

The new finding is hard to reconcile with the picture of human evolution that has been emerging in recent years based on fossils and ancient DNA. Denisovans were believed to be limited to East Asia, and they were not thought to look so Neanderthal-like. More.

Researchers are currently “rethinking” the last few hundred thousand years of human evolution.

As they say in the movie business, the story has been sent back to Rewrite and needs a script doctor, if not a script ambulance.

From PBS:

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8 Responses to New York Times: New human fossil DNA find means new mysteries instead of “neatly clarifying human evolution”

  1. “Meyer and other ID proponents absolutely must be able to distinguish between random assemblies, evolved assemblies, and designed assemblies if they want ID to be more than a pipe dream. They can’t do it. They don’t know how. I think it’s arguable (after some discussion with some mathematicians) that it is simply not possible to look only at a sequence of anything (DNA, amino acids, numbers, letters, words, etc) and determine if it was designed, evolved, or random. Heck, there are systems that are specifically designed to look as random as possible. That’s the entire basis of modern cryptography. No ID proponent has ever accepted my challenge. I have a string of DNA that I know is designed because a human designed it. I also have a string of random nucleotides generated by random.org. The challenge is simple. Determine which is designed and which is random. – See more at: http://www.skepticink.com/smil.....qus_thread

    Does this make any sense?

  2. Thanks News. If we could clone a neanderthal or a Denisovan or one of those “Sima de los Huesos” people, I’d bet he/she would grow up just like a modern child, learn language, go to school, learn math and be just as smart as any of us.

  3. This kind of thing is the norm for evolutionists. We should not be surprised at this at all. In fact, we should. E surprised if it doesn’t happen.

    What are the chances that any conclusions drawn from this find will not be overturn in the future? Near zero if you ask me. Why trust any of their theories? It just goes to show that what evolutionists claim to “know” is not really known, but simply believed to be true. Whether it is or not, who knows?!

    Actually, as experience seems to show, the chances are quite high that they are wrong. From a creationist perspective, this is to be expected because they are trying to find evidence for an imaginary history that never happened.

    Doing research is great, but let’s be honest about what is found. Evolution is so flexible it can absorb any unsupportive evidence.

  4. No Don, it doesn’t make sense!

    Doncarlo says:

    Heck, there are systems that are specifically designed to look as random as possible.

    So Don, are you arguing that life could be designed to look random? Are you an ID proponent after all?

    I guess that is possible and in that case, it would be difficult to discern the design. However, the design in nature seems quite obvious. It does not look at all like it was “designed to be random”. It doesn’t look random at all so your point doesn’t make sense.

    Normally, design has a purpose, right? If it has no purpose, can you really say it is designed?

    So, if you can figure out the purpose of the random looking design, then you could discern that it was designed even if it does not look like it was.

    While design could conceivably be purposefully made to look random, I highly doubt that random things can accidentally mimic purposeful design.

    So if you see something with real purpose, complexity, information, codes, order, etc. it is fair and rational to conclude that it was designed.

    Can you show examples of non-designed things that have purpose, specified complexity, information, codes, order, etc?

    I have a string of DNA that I know is designed because a human designed it. I also have a string of random nucleotides generated by random.org. The challenge is simple. Determine which is designed and which is random.

    Does the string of human designed DNA have a function or a purpose? Is it meaningful information or is it just randomly assembled junk?

    If the latter, then it really doesn’t count as something that is designed. It wasn’t designed, rather just thrown together for no purpose at all. If it does have a purpose – ie to code for sense of smell etc., then that should be able to be tested and figured out. But just by looking at it, no, you cannot tell. It’s function is what gives away the Designer!

    We are not trying to discern randomness here, but rather design and purpose. The examples and challenge you are giving is focused on the negative rather than the positive.

    Design might be made to look random, but can random processes accidentally produce complex things that look designed? That is the daunting question/problem that threatens evolution!

    We all know that is the claim, but what we want is some real evidence. If we could see evolution generate a new protein, a new organ, or a new function that does not come about through a breakdown of the genome or a loss of information, that would be an impressive start!

  5. Can you show examples of non-designed things that have purpose, specified complexity, information, codes, order, etc?

    A great question. Any answers to this?

  6. And if one answers arguing about definitions or semantics to pettifog, you’ve made a fool of yourself, and move on.

  7. No ID proponent has ever accepted my challenge. I have a string of DNA that I know is designed because a human designed it. I also have a string of random nucleotides generated by random.org. The challenge is simple. Determine which is designed and which is random

    This is ridiculous. This challenge is absolutely ridiculous.

    (1) The program at “random.org” was designed to place random pieces of information together at the behest of the user. A programed mechanism that can enumerate and organize data.
    (2) This “challenge” begs the question as it is assuming there CAN be a randomly assembled string, and once said string is assembled, should design be true, one could tell the difference.

    The huge problem is here. Say I were to come up to you with two equivalent, functional watches. I tell you one watch was made in a Swiss watch factory. I tell you the other was randomly assembled by natural causes and I had found it in a field. I then ask you to tell me which was which.

  8. Skipping the more general discussions, I assume that this means that Mitochondrial Eve is in the odd position of simply being the last common mother of all (almost all?) humans still alive. And that a key feature of her life is that she was NOT descended from humans that were already living in Europe or the Mid East.

    One would then expect to find someplace a pocket of modern humans who have a different ancestral mother.

    The same must be true for Y Chromosome Adam.

    But it is now clear that modern humans are much more than 160,000 years old.

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