Skip to comments.A bone to pick: Missing link is evolutionists' weakest
Posted on 07/29/2002 6:35:04 PM PDT by Tribune7
Printer-friendly format July 26, 2002, 6:11PM
A bone to pick: Missing link is evolutionists' weakest By JEFF FARMER
It has been said that if anyone wants to see something badly enough, they can see anything, in anything. Such was the case recently, but unlike some ghostly visage of the Madonna in a coffee stain, this was a vision of our ancestral past in the form of one recently discovered prehistoric skull, dubbed Sahelanthropus tchadensis.
Papers across the globe heralded the news with great fanfare. With words like "scientists hailed" and "startling find" sprinkled into the news coverage, who couldn't help but think evolutionists had finally found their holy grail of missing links?
For those of us with more than a passing interest in such topics as, "Where did we come from? And how did we get here?," this recent discovery and its subsequent coverage fall far short of its lofty claims. A healthy criticism is in order.
Practically before the fossil's discoverer, the French paleoanthropologist Michel Brunet, could come out of the heat of a Chadian desert, a number of his evolutionary colleagues had questioned his conclusions.
In spite of the obvious national pride, Brigitte Senut of the Natural History of Paris sees Brunet's skull as probably that of an ancient female gorilla and not the head of man's earliest ancestor. While looking at the same evidence, such as the skull's flattened face and shorter canine teeth, she draws a completely different conclusion.
Of course, one might be inclined to ask why such critiques never seem to get the same front-page coverage? It's also important to point out that throughout history, various species, such as cats, have had varying lengths of canine teeth. That does not make them any closer to evolving into another species.
A Washington Post article goes on to describe this latest fossil as having human-like traits, such as tooth enamel thicker than a chimpanzee's. This apparently indicates that it did not dine exclusively on the fruit diet common to apes. But apes don't dine exclusively on fruit; rather, their diet is supplemented with insects, birds, lizards and even the flesh of monkeys. The article attempted to further link this fossil to humans by stating that it probably walked upright. Never mind the fact that no bones were found below the head! For all we know, it could have had the body of a centaur, but that would hardly stop an overzealous scientist (or reporter) from trying to add a little meat to these skimpy bones. Could it not simply be a primate similar to today's Bonobo? For those not keeping track of their primates, Bonobos (sp. Pan paniscus) are chimpanzee-like creatures found only in the rain forests of Zaire. Their frame is slighter than that of a chimpanzee's and their face does not protrude as much. They also walked upright about 5 percent of the time. Sound familiar?
Whether it is tooth enamel, length of canines or the ability to walk upright, none of these factors makes this recent discovery any more our ancestral candidate than it does a modern-day Bonobo.
So why does every new fossil discovery seem to get crammed into some evolutionary scenario? Isn't it possible to simply find new, yet extinct, species? The answer, of course, is yes; but there is great pressure to prove evolution.
That leads us to perhaps the most troubling and perplexing aspect of this latest evolutionary hoopla. While on one hand sighting the evolutionary importance of this latest discovery, a preponderance of these articles leave the notion that somehow missing links are not all that important any more.
According to Harvard anthropologist Dan Lieberman, missing links are pretty much myths. That might be a convenient conclusion for those who have been unable to prove evolution via the fossil record. Unfortunately for them, links are absolutely essential to evolution. It is impossible for anything to evolve into another without a linear progression of these such links.
The prevailing evolutionary view of minute changes, over millions of years, is wholly inadequate for the explanation of such a critical piece of basic locomotion as the ball-and-socket joint. Until such questions can be resolved, superficial similarities between various species are not going to prove anything. No matter how bad someone wants to see it.
Farmer is a professional artist living in Houston. He can can be contacted via his Web site, www.theglobalzoo.com
The preponderance of fossil evidence for the evolution of horses, whales, and other animals is overwhelming. So too, in my mind, is the evidence for the evolution of the human body as well as that of lower primates. I can't see how anyone can possible challenge this. Pointing out flaws in our interpretation of that data does not necessarily translate into a rejection of the entire concept.
Well, you know - if you can't trust the arts community to get this stuff straight, who can you trust?
It's not arrogance, it's childishness. Ann Coulter makes a good point about Democrats when she points out that they argue by calling their enemies names. At some point in this thread, some Atheist will call a Christian "penis head" and conclude that he has made a brilliant point.
What's that got to do with evolution?
I can see where atheism, being a rather positive statement that God does not exist, takes faith. But if, while you were an atheist, some kind of anti-evolutionary propaganda knocked you completely out of evolution and atheism, you didn't make much of an investigation of the subject. I can't imagine anyone with unimpaired critical faculties reviewing the evidence for evolution and deciding that some sort of invisible magical being is a better explanation.
Nope. That's why I asked the queston in the first place.
Didn't have long to wait: "you are a penis-head" dressed up and with lipstick.
You mean that if one atheist anywhere becomes a deist, as thedilg has cited for his own story, do they all experience the same revelation? Perhaps you've noticed my response to him. I can't imagine where he got the input to his decision or how he evaluated it. And it's not as if he found evidence of creation. I'm aware of none. No, he somehow became an evolution skeptic. How? He doesn't say except that it involved "the evidence."
Huh? I've seen a huge spectrum of anti-evolutionary nonsense in the last 3 1/2 years. I shake my head at the credulity of the people who fall for such bunk.
It's an integral part of the delusional system: No one can tell you that you are not following the evidence, that your belief system is irrational.