So I said I'd get to a reply on the skulls eventually...
What evidence do you have that any particular skull in that chart microevolved from the one preceding it? I look at that collection and see an arrangement that's most likely artificial.
Well for the most part it is an artificial arrangement, since our current understanding of human evolution indicates that many of the species which these skulls represent branched off from our line of descent from a common ancestor we shared with Chimps. The reasoning we have for this common ancestor is the genetic evidence that Humans and Chimps are related, from simplistic DNA hybridisation to full genome sequencing, endogenous retroviruses, pseudogenes etc. Now to some, including yourself, a direct comparison between Humans and Chimps would suggest too many differences for the two species to be related, or to put it another way, for them to be related would require some ‘macroevolutionary’ change. The arrangement of hominin skulls illustrates the much smaller ‘microevolutionary’ changes that have occurred between populations leading up towards our own population. You did agree with this by stating that the skulls represented normal human variation, the only exception being skull A, the modern Chimp. However, when you look at skull B it has a lot more in common with skull A then it does with skull N.
The example of the Pod Mrcaru lizards is interesting, and like you I find it impressive how much change can occur in a relatively short length of time. However, for me it increases the scope of what ‘microevolution’ is capable of accomplishing, watering down what can be described as ‘macroevolution’.
I started by saying that the chart that Dr Adequate was, in one respect, an artificial arrangement. As you rightly pointed out, evolution is rarely a neat sequence of gradualism, and a more complete representation of ancestral species shows our descent to be far more complex. However, the arrangement shown was not arbitrary or chosen to support an evolutionist preconception. The ages of the skulls have already been mentioned, and although I accept you don’t accept the numerical values given, these methods do at least give an indication of the relative ages of the skulls. Also as mentioned above, study of the bones creates a catalogue of ancestral and derived features, allowing relationships between species to be identified. An example of the features which are examined can be found in RAZD’s Message 131. I also previously mentioned the size of the brain cavity, which you alluded to in mentioning nothing to indicate the relative sizes of the skulls. So here is a graph showing the transition in cranial capacity of different hominin species, with normal ranges of modern humans and chimps to the right for comparison.
Mostly just want to say thanks for treating my thoughts as intelligent. I think that makes you unique at EvC. But I don't really want to continue the debate here, just add a couple more thoughts and be gone.
Skull B doesn't look very human either, or C either really, but the only one I'm really sure isn't human is A so I left it at that.
Pod Mrcaru shows that microevolution doesn't require millions of years, which is what a creationist would expect from a built-in set of genetic possibilities. To find out if the lizards have enough genetic diversity left for a further change you could isolate another set of pairs and see what happens. You need genetic diversity for evolution and evolution itself uses up genetic diversity. But I don't want to go down that trail again.
But I don't really want to continue the debate here, just add a couple more thoughts and be gone.
In the past you have often declared that you're leaving a thread, which usually greatly inhibits responses to your last comments since you've led people to believe you won't be replying. And then you're back the next day.
Because of this repeated behavior on your part I began responding to your threats to leave by letting you know that if you really left then I wouldn't allow you to return later. I know you feel certain today that you really want to leave, but consider how often you've changed your mind about leaving in the past. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count.
So do you really want to leave? If you want to reconsider then let me know within a day, otherwise I won't be allowing you to return to this thread.
This is the last clarification about threats to leave that you'll receive from me. Any future threats by you to leave a thread will be your last in that thread.
The creationists have spoken. H. naledi is an animal. According to leading creationist Ken Ham: "The preponderance of the evidence suggests they were animals, one of the variations that developed among apes."
In other news, the creationists have spoken. H. naledi is a human. According to leading creationist Kurt Wise: "I think the case is very strong that these fossils are not just of the genus Homo, but are actually fully human (meaning they are descendants of Adam and Eve)."
Well, creationist taxonomy is not an exact pseudoscience. It's essential to creationism that there is a great yawning unbridgeable abyss between ape and human ... but identifying which fossils are on which side of this unbridgeable gap is evidently a matter of hairsbreadth distinctions of infinitesimal subtlety. I guess in the end the important thing is not to know whether the new fossil is totally human or completely animal, but to know that it's definitely one or the other.
According to leading creationist Ken Ham: "The preponderance of the evidence suggests they were animals, one of the variations that developed among apes."
I know we like to bash Ham and his creationist kind here but we must give credit to his well considered observation. I think, looking at what evidence has been presented thus far, Ham is right. H. naledi most likely is an animal. Not of the plant kind at all.
I'd say Ken Ham has it right. It is an animal, and it is an ape.
Curiously I feel that if Ken Ham says something it is usually wrong ...
But Homo sapiens sapiens and all members of the Homoclade are members of the ape clade and all apes are members of the animal clade, so in that sense he is correct, but I get the feeling that you think Homo naledi is not human (Homo) -- can you tell me why, what is your basis for this?
Presumably you have looked through the evidence and read the technical paper with the comparisons to other fossils, yes? (see Message 1 for links).
Why do you think Kurt Wise is wrong?
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It's essential to creationism that there is a great yawning unbridgeable abyss between ape and human ... but identifying which fossils are on which side of this unbridgeable gap is evidently a matter of hairsbreadth distinctions of infinitesimal subtlety.
The point he makes is that while creationists are in complete agreement that there is a very definite and distinct line dividing humans and non-human apes, such that every fossil can be determined as being either 100% human or 100% ape with nothing in the middle, they cannot agree with each other or even with himself which fossil belongs in which group: some they do agree on, some they don't agree on with some creationists calling the fossil human and others calling it ape, and sometimes the same creationist will classify the fossil differently in different of his books.
quote:I first saw creationists in action one night in 1982 on CBN. A Tennessean host would run various debates (I believe it was David Ankerberg). This particular night, a creationist was debating a scientist (kind of looked like Drs. Morris and Awbrey, though I cannot be sure since I didn't know of either of them at the time). I remember that the scientist showed several slides of hominid fossils, such as knee joints (to show evidence of developing bi-pedalism). Then he showed slides of a human pelvis and chimpanzee pelvis side-by-side. First from the side, then from the top, he pointed out two sets of characteristics that clearly distinguish the one from the other (i.e. whether viewed from the side or from the top, the pelvis could be positively identified as human or chimpanzee). Next he showed both views of a hominid pelvis. From one view it was definitely ape, from the other it was definitely human; thus demonstrating it to be a intermediate form. The creationist then proclaimed the hominid pelvis to be 100% ape and not the least bit human by completely ignoring the human characteristic (even when reminded of it repeatedly by his opponent) and concentrating solely on the view that displayed the ape characteristic. Of course, the host declared this to be a creationist victory and threw in the standard gross misinterpretation of punctuated equilibrium for good [?] measure.
This event made a lasting impression on me. The creationist's steadfast ignoring of the blatantly obvious evidence that was repeatedly pointed out to him is a selective blindness that I have found to pervade much of the creationist literature.
True, I change my mind a lot. Sorry to be so difficult. Go ahead and bar me from this thread now, I think that's best. Thanks. .
ABE: OK, SORRY, YES I'M CHANGING MY MIND AGAIN, IN TIME TO STAY ON THE THREAD I HOPE. Yes I sincerely thought there was no point in being here and I had nothing more to say and I've been involved in a completely different project that's been taking a lot of time and didn't want to deal with the things at EvC right now in any depth.
But then dwise came along and posted something I keep thinking about in spite of myself.
I will try to keep from saying I'm leaving from now on since I so often don't. Please forgive.
The posts RAZD has made show that there is a lot of very detailed information available on fossil discoveries for those who want to seek it out. And what he has posted is just the tip of the iceberg--there will be discussion of these bones in the literature and professional conferences for decades.
Obviously this information is not being hidden from creationists as was claimed upthread--rather it is being ignored by them as it doesn't coincide with their a priori beliefs. And what they don't ignore they misrepresent and obfuscate.
There is absolutely no reason to take seriously anything a creationist says on matters scientific. Their methods are the exact opposite of science as their focus is belief and scripture rather than evidence. Indeed, they appreciate evidence about as much as vampires are reported to appreciate garlic!
We have seen living proof of the creationist approach on these very threads.
Again, there is absolutely no reason to take seriously anything a creationist says on matters scientific.
Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein
How can I possibly put a new idea into your heads, if I do not first remove your delusions?--Robert A. Heinlein
It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers
If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle
If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1
"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.