Home » Human evolution, Intelligent Design, News » Gibraltar museum curator: Human evolution best seen as a braid, not a tree?

Gibraltar museum curator: Human evolution best seen as a braid, not a tree?

Remember how Darwin’s tree of life ended up as a sort of circular thingy, like Girl Scouts of various ages holding hands in a circle and singing kumbaya on the lakeshore?

Karma? Kismet?

Anyway, the latest is, human evolution is better imaged as a braid than a tree? (The Girl Scouts win again, it seems.)

Yes, further to “New Scientist offering to explain how swearing made us human,” and John Hawks’s free (and gotta-be-more-credible) chapter on human evolution, we now hear from Clive Finlayson, Gibraltar Museum director on the Dmanisi find ,

I have been advocating that the morphological differences observed within fossils typically ascribed to Homo sapiens (the so-called modern humans) and the Neanderthals fall within the variation observable in a single species.

Good call. It’s looking more that way all the time.

Then he goes on to ask the dread question:

If the fossils of 1.8 or so million years ago and those of the more recent Neanderthal-modern human era were all part of a single, morphologically diverse, species with a wide geographical range, what is there to suggest that it would have been any different in the intervening periods?

The entire period would look a lot like the modern human world, which is pretty diverse actually. (Granted, more people alive today possibly permits more extreme outliers, but only up to a point.)

And the braid?

Some time ago we replaced a linear view of our evolution by one represented by a branching tree. It is now time to replace it with that of an interwoven plexus of genetic lineages that branch out and fuse once again with the passage of time.

This means, of course, that we must abandon, once and for all, views of modern human superiority over archaic (ancient) humans. The terms “archaic” and “modern” lose all meaning as do concepts of modern human replacement of all other lineages.

Eliminating the ascent of man and separate species of humans annihilating each other accords well with evidence, but it is a story other than Darwin’s. Once top people realize that, its telling may get riskier.

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5 Responses to Gibraltar museum curator: Human evolution best seen as a braid, not a tree?

  1. Also from the article:

    It seems that almost every other discovery in palaeoanthropology is reported as a surprise.

    The identity of the fourth player remains unknown but it was an ancient lineage that had been separate for probably over a million years.

    Just to show how little we really know of the human story, another genetic surprise [DNA from a 400,000-year-old human thigh bone] has confounded palaeoanthropologists. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie.....t-25559172

    I suggest the new braided “interwoven plexus of genetic lineages” be woven into the shape of a question mark until all this gets sorted out!

    In the mean time, as the age of human species keeps getting pushed further and further back in time, it leaves less and less time for development from the human/chimp node of the tree/shrub/bush/circular thingy.

  2. About time spectrums in these things came up from evolutionists.
    This can be done with everything.
    for example. tHey measure skulls/brains to determine intelligence in primates, alive/fossil. so what is the difference between our smallest brain human and biggest brain primate? nOw and in fossils?
    I say the spectrum defeats claims that size helps determine intelligence. yet they must do this to explain our intelligence over apes.

  3. Robert heres a materialists website on human evolution it has tons of cool skulls and fossils but the uncool part is the evolution part: http://exposingreligionblog.tu.....9779540482

  4. Remember how Darwin’s tree of life ended up as a sort of circular thingy, like Girl Scouts of various ages holding hands in a circle and singing kumbaya on the lakeshore?

    Umm, it’s not a circle. The two ends don’t meet. It is a tree – the graphic is merely bent around in order to better fit it into a smaller space. But it’s structurally a tree.

    Here’s a zoom in on it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....fe_SVG.svg

  5. Dr. Craig Venter Denies Common Descent in front of Richard Dawkins! – video
    Quote from video…
    “I think the tree of life is an artifact of some early scientific studies that aren’t really holding up.”
    - Dr. Craig Venter, American Biologist
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXrYhINutuI

    Perhaps the most candid discussion of the problem came in a 2009 review article in New Scientist titled “Why Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life.”9 The author quoted researcher Eric Bapteste explaining that “the holy grail was to build a tree of life,” but “today that project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence.” According to the article, “many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.”,,,
    Syvanen succinctly summarized the problem: “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree any more, it’s a different topology entirely. What would Darwin have made of that?” ,,,
    “battles between molecules and morphology are being fought across the entire tree of life,” leaving readers with a stark assessment: “Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don’t resemble those drawn up from morphology.”10,,,
    A 2012 paper noted that “phylogenetic conflict is common, and [is] frequently the norm rather than the exception,” since “incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species.”12,,,
    http://www.salvomag.com/new/ar.....ed-out.php

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