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Early Man in Trouble

New findings (or claims) are throwing long-held beliefs about human ancestors into disarray.  Early people were smarter, and traveled farther, than paleoanthropologists thought.     One report summarized by PhysOrg says, “A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been developed at least 75,000 years […]

Mind Matters

The conundrum of how reasoning could have emerged by an undirected evolutionary process persists.  Atheists and materialists are convinced that natural selection is up to the task, while theists strongly disagree and use human rationality as evidence for creation by an intelligent source (usually God).  Perhaps a few recent findings can illuminate on the options. […]

Animals Can Skew Archaeological Dates

Archaeologists date stone age artifacts by the depth of the layer.  They may not have paid sufficient attention to one factor that could have shoved them deeper down: animals trampling over them.  “Animals push human tools into ground�and back in time, study says,” was a subtitle of a report in National Geographic News.  This factor […]

Cosmic Accidents Are Not Scientific Explanations

Sunday Meditation Oct 3, 2010 — The classic understanding of science is that it explains things with reference to natural laws, makes predictions, is testable, quantifiable, and falsifiable.  Depending on the branch of science, many researchers still attempt to hold to those ideals.  Eugenie Scott put it this way: “modern science operates under a rule […]

More Neanderthal Promotion

It’s a good time to be a Neanderthal.  You’ll get more respect than ever before from paleoanthropologists.  The latest example, published in PhysOrg, is headlined, “Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought.”  Julien Riel-Salvatore [U of Colorado at Denver] says he is “rehabilitating Neanderthals” by challenging a half-century of “conventional wisdom” that portrayed them as numbskulls.  […]

Evolution Storytellers Unrepentant

Evolutionists have been criticized for telling “just-so stories”1 for decades and decades, even by other evolutionists (see 08/08/2010), yet the storytelling continues, as recent examples in the news media illustrate. Blame Mom:  In its “Science News” category, Science Daily trumpeted the headline, “Acting Selfish?  Blame Your Mother!”  In the article, we are told, “The fact […]

Down with Human Evolution Just-So Stories

Stories of human ancestors around campfires evolving larger brains by eating meat or caring for animals often sound themselves life campfire stories.  For example, Jeremy Hsu in Live Science speculated that “Caring for Animals May Have Shaped Human Evolution.”  A cute girl with a puppy adorns the article.  “Our love of all things furry has […]

Recapitulation Theory Gets Recap

The long-discounted “recapitulation theory” of Ernst Haeckel, the idea that the development of an embryo replays its evolutionary history, pops up every once in awhile in evolutionary explanations.  Evolutionary biologists (most notably the late Stephen Jay Gould) have long since disparaged the idea that evolutionary history would be preserved in embryos.  In addition, photos of […]

Tricks to Preserve Deep Time

It’s not always easy to prove that things are very, very old.  After all, no one has ever experienced deep time (millions and billions of years).  The key is to maintain a public “feeling” in the oldness of things.  Once that feeling is in place, some pretty major tweaks can be made by the experts […]

Tibetans Evolved Altitude Tolerance in 3,000 Years

Tibetans and other peoples who live at high altitudes possess a remarkable tolerance to the thin atmosphere.  Now, scientists at UC Berkeley have identified some 30 genes related to oxygen regulation that differ in Tibetans from Han Chinese.  Since those tribes are thought to have diverged 3,000 years ago, natural selection for these changes must […]

Lucy Gets a Date with Big Man

Another specimen of Australopithecus afarensis has been announced from Ethiopia.  This one supposedly preceded Lucy by 400,000 years, and according to its discoverers, belonged to a group of primates that shows they “were almost as proficient as we are walking on two legs, and that the elongation of our legs came earlier in our evolution […]

Fossils Without Evolution

New fossils continue to turn up around the world.  Many of them have an amazing characteristic in common: they look almost exactly like their living counterparts, despite being millions of years old, according to the evolutionary timescale.  It’s interesting sometimes to hear how the evolutionists explain the remarkable lack of evolution in all that time. […]

Darwin’s Sweatshop: Why Ethiopia Made People Hairless

Five scientists think they have figured out why people walk upright and don’t have fur like other mammals.  They had to evolve in Ethiopia, where it is hot.  This led to the loss of body hair, and the evolution of sweat glands and other adaptations to deal with the heat.     It’s not that […]

Humans and Neanderthals Are One

If Neanderthals bred with modern humans, they are one and the same species.  That must be the case according to the most widely-accepted definition of a species: those who can breed and produce fertile offspring.  The news media are abuzz with Science magazine’s cover story this week, “The Neanderthal Genome.”1  Most anthropologists are now accepting […]

Another Fossil “Human Ancestor” Claimed

Meet Australopithecus sediba – or is it Homo something?  Scientists are arguing over how to classify new fossils found in a cave at Malapa, South Africa.  Announced today in Science,1 the fossils, alleged to be just under 2 million years old, are producing a strange mixture of hopeful headlines and cautionary counsels from experts.   […]
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