Caveman’s Best Friend, Evolution’s Newest Upset
The evolutionary story of the dog-human relationship has had to be drastically revised in light of recent findings. The old story was that wolves tamed themselves into doggish behavior some 15,000 years ago in Asia by frequenting human garbage dumps. Evidence from caves, fossil prints, and the dog genome, though, has required a near complete overhaul of how our animal companions and their relationships to humans evolved, calling into question whether evolution was involved at all.
According to a lengthy article on the subject in The Wall Street Journal, the first bark that something was wrong with the traditional evolutionary story was the discovery of paw prints next to a child’s footprints in Chauvet Cave in France. This cave is filled with some of the finest art of early man, and is dated by the evolutionary timeline to 30,000 years. The article mentions other evidence of large dogs present with humans even further back in time in widely-spaced regions from Europe to Siberia. It is doubtful the first dogs were the fierce, pack-hunting wolves we know; most likely, they were already tame companions of the cave dwellers. A short video interview with dog historian Mark Derr, embedded with the article, explains the new findings and their implications.
The dog genome, furthermore, has shown evolutionists that only small changes can have big effects in dog appearance. Size, for instance, can be controlled by just one gene. In short, the combined new evidence overturns the evolutionary history of the dog-human relationship, effectively showing that from the earliest times, dogs were already man’s best friend. The degree of surprise to evolutionists from these findings can be noticed in quotes like these:
- Attributing that paw print to a dog or even to a socialized wolf has been controversial since it was first proposed a decade ago. It would push back by some 12,000 years the oldest dog on record. More than that: Along with a cascade of other new scientific findings, it could totally rewrite the story of man and dog and what they mean to each other.
- The standard explanation was that once the dump-diver became a dog, humans took charge of its evolution through selective breeding, choosing those with desired traits and culling those who came up short. This account is now falling apart in the face of new genetic analyses and recently discovered fossils.
- Identification of these early dogs, combined with recent genetic evidence and a growing understanding of animals not as stimulus-response machines but as sentient beings, has broken the consensus model of dog domestication—leaving intact little more than the recognition of the grey wolf, Canis lupus, as progenitor of the dog. Everything else, it seems, is up for grabs.
- Our view of domestication as a process has also begun to change, with recent research showing that, in dogs, alterations in only a small number of genes can have large effects in terms of size, shape and behavior.
- The tableau in the mud of Chauvet Cave is a stark reminder that dogs and humans have traveled together for tens of thousands of years, from ancient hunting camps to farms, ranches cities and suburbs—from the tropics to the poles. The relationship has endured not because dogs are juvenilized wolves but because they are dogs—our faithful companions.
It should be noted that dogs and wolves can interbreed, and the humans that painted the walls of Chauvet Cave were anatomically just as modern as we are, with minds like ours we can relate to through their art. Since the first dog-human relationships go back to the beginning, showing no evolution, it is difficult to understand on what basis the unnamed author of the article can state: “The emerging story sees humans and proto-dogs evolving together: We chose them, to be sure, but they chose us too, and our shared characteristics may well account for our seemingly unshakable mutual intimacy.”
The evolutionists got it wrong again. OK, can we fire them now? Oh, NOoooooo. Perish the thought. Evolutionists are the heroes of the story, don’t you see? They had “the old story,” but now they have “the emerging story.” The word story appears four times in the article. In storytelling, you don’t have to be right – just entertaining. Tossing in a little drama, a little conflict, a little suspense, is what the storyteller wants. Don’t worry. The reader is never told that evolutionists must take responsibility for their previous fibs. Evolutionists never need to apologize for misleading generations of impressionable students and laymen who trusted them to tell the truth about nature. On the contrary, they get to put together new “emerging stories” to replace the old ones.
They love that word emergence. Life emerges from primordial soup, multicellularity emerges, all the animal phyla emerge in the Cambrian explosion, fish emerge, tetrapods emerge, land-dwellers emerge, wolves emerge, humans emerge, and the dog-human relationship emerges. These miracles all take place instantaneously, without evidence of precursors. Don’t kid yourself; despite their allegiance to naturalism, evolutionists believe in miracles.
Step back and look at the dog-human relationship from Biblical history. First off, away with the evolution-incestuous dating methods and calendars evolutionists use. The earth is not as old as they say. Dogs and humans would have been created fully formed as creatures that reproduce after their kinds. Other than genetic drift and deleterious mutations, there was no evolution to either human or dog – just morphological sorting based on innate adaptive capabilities. Humans would have always been humans, and dogs dogs. Some humans in austere circumstances during the Ice Age (a relatively brief period, maybe some centuries) would have hunted with their dogs, and taken their dogs with them into the caves where they expressed their minds and spirits in art. Other people took their animal companions with them to the far east and wherever they went. Over the centuries, they chose to breed dogs with the traits they most admired or found useful. They haven’t evolved in the sense of Darwin’s origin of species; they are all still dogs, still interfertile, still reproducing after their kind.
This is in agreement with the evidence presented with this article. The evolutionists were wrong about Chauvet Cave (8/16/2008). They get it wrong in almost every article in the “evolution” category in these pages (e.g., 10/20/2011, 9/20/2011, and many, many more). They got it wrong again. Who needs them? Become a watchdog. Make like our Baloney-Detector dog Apollos, and bark when you smell evolutionary baloney.