Home » Intelligent Design » More reasons paleoanthropology has a bad reputation and ID continues its advance

More reasons paleoanthropology has a bad reputation and ID continues its advance

Not long ago an anthropologist resigned in ‘dating disaster’. Now we learn world famous paleoantrhopologist Leakey Manipulated His Apelike “Skull 1470” to Look Human .

Dr. Leakey produced a reconstruction that could not have existed in real life….

let’s see if Leakey will recant. Let’s see if the textbook publishers will fix the mistake. His Skull 1470 raised quite a stir at the time and gained Leakey international fame. Now, it comes out that Leakey’s personal bias dictated how he put the puzzle pieces of bone together. How much does this go on in the dubious practice of paleoanthropology? What other instances are out there right now with built-in bias? Here it is 25 years after the discovery before the truth comes out. Remember this next time this crowd trumpets some new missing link. Today’s kids may not know it’s phony baloney till 2032.

Nick Matzke of the NCSE and TalkOrigins trumpeted skull 1470 against the ID community (see : Icon of Obfuscation). But this new development vindicates Jonathan Wells and pro-ID anthropologist Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer who participated in the legendary Mere Creation Conference.

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12 Responses to More reasons paleoanthropology has a bad reputation and ID continues its advance

  1. From ScienceDaily:

    “Dr. Leakey produced an intrinsically biased reconstruction based on erroneous preconceived expectations of early human appearance that violated principles of craniofacial development,” said Dr. Bromage, whose reconstruction, by contrast, shows a sharply protruding jaw and, together with colleague Francis Thackeray, Transvaal Museum, South Africa, a brain less than half the size of a modern human’s.”

    Here is the interesting part:

    “Dr. Bromage developed his reconstruction according to biological principles holding that the eyes, ears, and mouth must be in precise relationship to one another in all mammals.”

    That is an interesting bit of specified complexity I did not know about.

  2. I am firmly convinced that no theory of human evolution can be regarded as satisfactory unless the revelations of Piltdown are taken into account. ~ Arthur Keith

  3. Re KNM ER 1470:

    We should recall that this skull was the centre of a major dispute over dating and the like back in the 1970′s, of course duly smoothed over in presentations to the public. [There is an interesting appendix in Lubenow's Bones of Contention on this specific story.]

    The Piltdown Man case is of course a notorious classic of an actual fraud, where if one had the actual fossils in hand it was obvious [filing of teeth etc], but evidently not so from what paleoanthropologists apparently usually work from — “precision” casts. [That is, representational models of judgement-driven reconstructions at least two steps removed from the actual original skeleton etc.]

    As to the accuracy of such casts relative to the reconstructed fossils, I gather that when there was an exhibit of the “family” in the US in the 1980s, the original fossils in some cases did not fit the foam moulds prepared for them based on such casts.

    In that light, I think we would be wise to be cautious on ALL “reconstructions” of this and other skulls — especially when “flesh” is artistically put on the bones. [And using a computer to do it may only give a veneer of "objectivity" to such subjectivity.]

    Similarly, we should be very cautious indeed on assigned “dates” as well. For, the dates too often embed more assumptions and fudge factors than we should be comfortable with.

    We were not “there” and we are reconstructing based in large part on judgements and hypotheses. Let us be honest about the limitations that implies, and duly cautious and humble in our fossil-driven speculations on the human past.

    GEM of TKI

  4. For over 30 nobody has complained about Leakey’s model. Now all of the sudden it is wrong.

    Why did it take so long for “science” to “self-correct”?

    Obvioulsly there is a lot more speculation in the reconstruction of these skulls than is advertised. I would be surprised if Dr. Bromage doesn’t have his own agenda for how he interprets the bones.

  5. I wonder how many other “proofs” for evolution are actually frauds…

  6. It clearly time for us all to be refreshed and have a nice laugh at this stuff.

    http://cedros.globat.com/~theb.....index.html

  7. http://www.livescience.com/hum.....truct.html

    Another article on the same subject.

    “The new reconstruction suggests the large brains and flatter faces characteristic of modern humans did not appear in our lineage until much later in our history.”

    “So troublesome was the skull that famed paleo-anthropologist Richard Leakey, the leader of the team that discovered it, once told reporters: “Either we toss out this skull or we toss out our theories of early man. It simply fits no models of human beginnings.”"

    Exactly, wasn’t much debate to which option they took.

    Seems like noticed the problem because they wanted to fit into their data, not because it was flat out wrong.

  8. Just so everyone is up to date on skull 1470 and the Jonathan Wells reference:

    From page 219 of Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells:
    “One famous fossil skill, 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, Walder 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.”

  9. Thank you Dr. Cook for the citation in Wells’ book!

    Sal

  10. New Evidence: Lucy was a knuckle walker. May 5, 2000

    “So what was Lucy? Oxnard’s multivariate analysis showed that Lucy could not possibly be an intermediate ‘missing link’ between humans and knuckle-walking ape-like ancestors. He found that the australopithecine fossils ‘clearly differ more from both humans and African apes, than do these two living groups from each other. The australopithecines are unique.’

    The latest evidence not only confirms this, but it also indicates that Lucy was a knuckle-walker, like today’s great apes”.

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....5-2000.asp

  11. PS

    As someone who is sympathetic to a YEC viewpoint. What do you think are some scientific proofs to support TEC argument.

    I greatly respect your opinion, so if you see some truths to the argument for a Young Earth then I feel it is something I should look into.

  12. H’mm:

    Guess I was too tired y/day to track this down, from Lubenow, pp. 161 ff. Excerpting pp 163 – 4:

    The original fossil had been found in hundreds of pieces adn was assembled over a six-week period by Alan Walker, Bernard Wood, and Richard Leakey’s wife, Maeve. The skull was far too large for an australopithecine . . . Pictures taken before plaster was used to fill in the missing pieces reveal that the face of the fossil is rather free-floating. It is attached to the skull only at the top, with nothing to stabilize the slant of the face. Further, the maxilla (upper jaw) is not attached to the rest of the face . . . . The face was given the larger slant off of the perpendicular to make it look more tlike a transitional form between primates and humans, especially when at the time of its reconstruction it was thought to be 2.9 million years old . . . .

    . . . artist Jay Matternes put “flesh” on the bones . . as seen in the June 1974 issue of National Geographic . . . [as] a young black woman who looks very human except that she has an apelike nose. Human noses are composed of cartilage which normally does not fossilize, and the nose is missing on 1470 . . . the purpose in giving the reconstructed skull 1470 woman an apelike nose was to make her look as primitive as possible. The decision of what kind of nose to give her was an entirely subjective one made by Matternes and his advisors.

    In short, Lubenow summarises and claims that in effect we are looking at worldview and research-programme driven reconstructions of the past, not actual direct theory-independent evidence from the past.

    Worse, there was a debate over about a decade on the dating of the fossil, and the story of that dating debate itself serves to throw deep questions on the claimed objective or even “absolute” nature of radiodating exercises in a context where “important” fossils are in play.

    I think we should be very cautious on these reconstructions of fossils, and dating exercises. Then, when such “facts” are used to assign fossils to taxa and tothe “tree of life” we should realise just how heavily the whole is theory-laden.

    And, we have not begun to seriously and credibly — apart form Design — account for the origin of the required biological information and information-processing systems to create the life forms in that record!

    GEM of TKI

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