Scientists have again embarrassed themselves . . . this time in that fanciful Science Magazine. While creationists (including many of the GOP presidential contenders) have shown that the Earth is only 6000 years old, scientists insist that they have found Australopithecus sediba fossils with the skull, pelvis, hands and feet of the ancient hominin. The fossils with both ape and human characteristics were unearthed three years ago in South Africa.
Palaeoanthropologists are unsure of how to fit A. sediba into the evolutionary chain and some believe it may have evolved into H. erectus. Of course, this depends on a belief in evolution which, with the exception of John Huntsman, is now rejected among our candidates for president on the GOP side. The picture above is a depiction of Huntsman’s standing in polls with GOP voters.
What is interesting is that the article below discusses how the 9-year-old son of one of the scientists discovered the first A. sediba fossil in August 2008 while the two were exploring a collapsed cave system. How cool is that. I am just waiting to see his college application review: “applicants worked as assistant manager at McDonald’s and may have discovered missing evolutionary link for homo erectus.”
Such findings (and such superstitious practices like carbon dating) have been dismissed by creationists in light of passages from in the Bible. This young man may want to skip the application to Bob Jones University or any Texas school offering the graduate degree in “creationist science.”
Source: Scientific American
44 thoughts on “Scientists Find 2 Million Old A. Sediba; Creationists Find a 6000 Year Old Dead Ape”
I searched and found one for you:
Or maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for here?
Once in awhile, Blouise… Once in awhile…
(I’d like a little emoticon that’s giving us a “V” (for “victory”, of course 😉 ), but there isn’t one to be had, apparently…)
“It would be easy to speciate humans – just isolate a population and breed them for a specific set of traits. Eventually they will lose the ability to interbreed with ordinary humans.”
I think Russ Meyer tried that back in the 1970’s.
It would be easy to speciate humans – just isolate a population and breed them for a specific set of traits. Eventually they will lose the ability to interbreed with ordinary humans. It would take a really long time and be ethically reprehensible, but not very hard to do…
“Since humans put pressure on the environment rather than vice versa, will we ever evolve?”
This statement is both wrong and illustrates a fundamental lack of understanding about how feedback works in conjunction with evolutionary processes. Beings and environment effect each other. Environment shapes organisms as it biases certain traits for survival that are better adapted to the environment and what organisms do in that environment (hunt/graze/reproduce/create waste/build) in turn impacts the environment. Humans will evolve further, eventually into a divergent species, provided we don’t kill ourselves first. It’s just a matter of time and environmental pressures influencing adaptation to meet those changes, i.e. natural selection. This discounts that we now have the scientific tools to directly impact evolution in the form of genetics. Our next evolutionary steps may be consciously selected. This option should scare the crap out of you given the long history of bad ideas and poor choices made by humanity.
But a German Shepard is still a dog, it is not a new species. It is a variant on an existing species. I can turn a human being into a very good athlete if given the right gene pool but I cannot turn a human being into a new species.
Since humans put pressure on the environment rather than vice versa, will we ever evolve?
“2 million years from now somebody is going to come across Chevrolets from multiple model years and think they are the product of evolution.”
Isn’t that exactly what they are: products of man-made evolution. In this case, the cars exhibit traits that best suited them for survival – i.e. sales. As new models came on line they kept the most sucessful features like automatic transmissions and added some new desireable traits lilke air conditioning which led to more sales in the environment where that trait was most useful such as the American South and Southwest. While the difference might be that human evolution occurs naturally and our motor vehicles evolve by are own hands, the principle remains the same. Adaption can occur naturally or through intelligent design — our intelligent design, that is, of course.
Thank you for a wonderful example of evolution and survival of the fittest.
“a belief in evolution”
I’m wondering, where did you get the idea that a basic scientific fact like evolution, which is supported by tons of extremely powerful evidence from molecular biology and other branches of science, is a belief?
Do you seriously think facts are beliefs?
Or are you an evolution denier?
Either way there’s something wrong here.
Also, why do you invoke politicians when writing about the foundation of biology? What do they know about science?
From the article: “At around 420 cubic centimeters, A. sediba's puny brain compares to those of other Australopithecus specimens and chimpanzees. But a high-resolution synchrotron scan of the brain's impression on the skull shows enlarged frontal areas that are normally associated with humans and linked to higher cognitive abilities, such as planning.”
You can hardly blame these creationist fools. It’s simply ‘brain envy’ at work. Imagine being inferior in brain capacity to a sediba.
They didn’t find this fossil in Virginia.
1, September 9, 2011 at 9:50 am
Why am I suddenly thinking about vaginas?
ROTFLOL … all damn day! Thank you, thank you ….
@Dredd & Hunter:
A word on terminology: making conclusions about fossils is paleontology.
That is the science of the history of life and just like in human history there will always be things that can not be known with certainty, because there simply isn’t any conclusive evidence left.
Evolution on the other hand is the theory that the inherited traits of populations change with selection pressures.
In other words it is a relatively simple concept of a general mechanism. Evolution is of course central to paleontology, but then it is central to all life sciences. It is a central mechanism in everything living.
Evolution isn’t disputed, because unlike the history of life on earth (which already happened, and we can only reconstruct it by interpreting the signs it has left) it can be observed:
Take for example the antibiotic resistance bacteria develop every time a new antibiotic is used wildly. New antibiotics put selection pressure on bacteria and they adapt to survive these pressures: evolution.
Or the breeds of domestic animals and plants created by selective pressure by man in recorded history: for example a guy named Max von Stephanitz started to breed dogs in January 15,1898 with a very specific goal in mind — the result was the German Shepherd. He put selection pressure on a population of dogs, and the phenotype of that population was drastically changed due to that pressure: evolution.
To say that the phenotype of populations is static and hasn’t changed since some arbitrary point in time (say the fifth and sixth day of creation) is just demonstratively false. The mechanism we call “evolution” does undoubtedly exist.
Which species evolved from which (and when, and where, and why) are questions of paleontology, of life’s history.
Depending on the available evidence these questions may be debated, new evidence may change that debate, and some historical facts may be unprovable (e.g. the behavior of long extinct species), but none of that puts the underlying mechanism of evolution in doubt, because they hold true in other, falsifiable, areas of the life sciences.
Sorry for the long rant.
It really worries me when they tear down old automobile manufacturing plants.
2 million years from now somebody is going to come across Chevrolets from multiple model years and think they are the product of evolution. Who could blame them for their conclusion? They are very likely to find the same basic frame, and even some of the exact same parts.
Although I’m not sure exactly what you mean by creationists vs. evolutionists not being the only game in town, scientists squabbling over the interpretation of one piece of evidence is hardly equivalent to creationists denying the reality of evolution. Evolutionary biologists have often found themselves disagreeing over the proper classification of a fossil. That’s perfectly normal. It hardly blows the theory out of the water, much as creationists try to pretend that it does.
🙂 Good morning.
(I would refer the casual reader to the comments on the “Galileo and the GOP: Huntsman Takes Stand For Science” thread.)
you must not be a true patriot if that is what you are thinking! 🙂
Why am I suddenly thinking about vaginas?
I met a gentleman that is a director for the (state not to be named) Institute for Creation Study’s….needless to say, I listened and was amazed….They do have an interesting way of looking at things…I suppose when you are in a situation where you have to listen and cannot really express your opinion, you can learn a lot….
Creationists v evolutionists is not the only battle in town.
Scientists were squabbling among themselves a while back about Darwinius and Afradapis, two other such finds.
When there is a fine line, even scientists can debate an issue from two or more positions.
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