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Small Hobbit Brain Means Little

Central in the debate whether Homo floresiensis (nicknamed hobbits) were human is the matter of their small brains.  Could diminutive human-like skeletons really be human with such small skulls? (cf. 03/04/2005).     Scientists at the University of Cambridge conducted a detailed analysis of brain size vs. body size for a number of primates.  They […]

Barefoot Is Better

Who do we wear shoes?  It seems obvious; we expect that they help us avoid injuries and provide comfort.  Maybe we should think of the injuries we are getting by wearing them.     The image of the barefoot person is usually of someone poor, deprived, lower-class, hick, unclean, redneck or something else unattractive.  Shoes […]

Neanderthals Admired Beauty

This may be the last evidence needed to debunk the image of Neanderthals as dim-witted brutes: they wore make-up.  The BBC News reported the discovery of their cosmetics containers: seashells with pigments kept for the purpose of improving their self-image.  If that is not a human characteristic, what else is?     The shells contained […]

Evolutionary Explanations Assume Evolution Explains

The facility with which some evolutionary biologists appeal to almost magical powers of evolution to explain anything and everything is revealed in some recent science articles.  Whatever needs explaining is due to evolution – evidence or not.  These four examples can be considered representative of the genre. The evolution of shopping:  Both PhysOrg and Science […]

What’s Natural for Humans?

Should humans do what comes naturally?  What comes naturally?  And what do we mean by natural?     Nicholas Wade in the New York Times said, “We May Be Born With an Urge to Help.”  He began with the same question: “What is the essence of human nature?”  Then he discussed evidence that infants have […]

Ardi Party Is Over

The hubbub over Ardipithecus (10/02/2009) may have been premature.  Despite 600 pages of material submitted to Science in October, many doubts and questions remain about the status of this hominin, or hominid, or whatever it was (the nomenclature is confusing and inconsistent even among paleoanthropologists).  In an article by Katherine Harmon in the pro-evolutionary magazine […]

Evolutionary Explanation Is Always a Work in Progress

As evolutionary biologists examine diverse plants and animals, it seems they are never able to give a definitive answer as to how they got that way.  Their work merely begins or continues to search for clues.  Like mothers, their work is never done.  At least this provides them job security. Box jellyfish:  There are about […]

In Brains, It’s Quality, Not Quantity, that Counts

Most anthropologists are obsessed with brain size.  How many cc’s (cubic centimeters) of brain could fit in the skull of this or that hominid?  PhysOrg reminds us that “Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains.”  Here’s a shocker from scientists at Queen Mary University: “Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger […]

Darwinizing Everything

150 years after The Origin of Species, it’s clear that Darwin succeeded in one thing: granting biologists free rein to speculate about how everything under the sun evolved.  Anything not understood, or seemingly contrary to the law of natural selection, or to previous speculations, can be shuttled off to future research. Noble amoebas:  You may […]

Darwinizing of Religion Continues

In an ongoing series for the Year of Darwin in Science magazine,1 Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article with the Darwinesque title, “On the Origin of Religion.”2  The editor’s summary acknowledges that “No consensus yet exists among scientists,” but sought the only answer in Darwinian terms: “in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers […]

What Is Man?

Science often makes pronouncements about the human species.  We should be mindful of the worldview behind them.     Live Science published an article with the confident-sounding title, “Human Evolution: Where We Came From,” accompanied by the iconic sketch of Ardi (see 10/02/2009) and an obligatory reference to Darwin.  Even though reporter Charles Q. Choi, […]

Materialists: What Do You Know?

For people who brag about their work, scientists are an odd lot.  At one moment they are touting science as the surest path to knowledge and understanding.  The next moment it seems like they are at square one.  This is particularly true of materialist cosmologies and Darwinian theories for the origin and development of life.  […]

Modern Men Are Wimps

Whatever happened to survival of the fittest?  Our ancestors were much stronger, says the author of a new book on anthropology.  PhysOrg reported on a book by Peter McAllister that says today’s males don’t measure up physically to their counterparts even a century ago, let alone those in the Roman empire and earlier.     […]

Beethoven: It All Began With a Thump

Live Science in all seriousness, “When monkeys drum, they activate brain networks linked with communication, new findings that suggest a common origin of primate vocal and nonvocal communication systems and shed light on the origins of language and music.”     Choi reported on work at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics to determine […]

What’s in a Name?  Sima Fossils Confuse Human Evolution Story

“A hush fell over the room….”  Ian Tattersall had just astonished paleoanthropologists gathered for a meeting on human origins in Gibraltar.  The group was puzzling over a treasure trove of hominin bones found in the mid-1990s at Sima de los Huesos in Spain.  What should they be called?     The co-discoverer, Juan Luis Arsuaga, […]
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