Evolution - Spin Off from the School Vouchers Thread

152 posts / 0 new
Last post
Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
Evolution - Spin Off from the School Vouchers Thread

Sounds like some of you are spoilin' for an evolution debate. Smile So....I may kick myself for this later but.....

Evolution: Science fact or science fiction? Also, is there scientific evidence for ID? What do you believe, and why?

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

It is a theory, and should be taught as such. ID is also a theory, and should be taught as such. It does little good to hide information. Just like I would never teach my girls that everyone believes just as we do, the public schools should not teach that evolution is the only possible explanation.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

It is a theory, and should be taught as such. ID is also a theory, and should be taught as such. It does little good to hide information. Just like I would never teach my girls that everyone believes just as we do, the public schools should not teach that evolution is the only possible explanation.

Evolution is a theory, that's true. The difference is the meaning of the word "Theory" when we are talking about science.

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

Is Evolution a Theory or a Fact?

It is both. But that answer requires looking more deeply at the meanings of the words “theory” and “fact.”

In everyday usage, “theory” often refers to a hunch or a speculation. When people say, “I have a theory about why that happened,” they are often drawing a conclusion based on fragmentary or inconclusive evidence.

The formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.

Many scientific theories are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them substantially. For example, no new evidence will demonstrate that the Earth does not orbit around the Sun (heliocentric theory), or that living things are not made of cells (cell theory), that matter is not composed of atoms, or that the surface of the Earth is not divided into solid plates that have moved over geological timescales (the theory of plate tectonics). Like these other foundational scientific theories, the theory of evolution is supported by so many observations and confirming experiments that scientists are confident that the basic components of the theory will not be overturned by new evidence. However, like all scientific theories, the theory of evolution is subject to continuing refinement as new areas of science emerge or as new technologies enable observations and experiments that were not possible previously.

One of the most useful properties of scientific theories is that they can be used to make predictions about natural events or phenomena that have not yet been observed. For example, the theory of gravitation predicted the behavior of objects on the Moon and other planets long before the activities of spacecraft and astronauts confirmed them. The evolutionary biologists who discovered Tiktaalik (see page 2) predicted that they would find fossils intermediate between fish and limbed terrestrial animals in sediments that were about 375 million years old. Their discovery confirmed the prediction made on the basis of evolutionary theory. In turn, confirmation of a prediction increases confidence in that theory.

In science, a “fact” typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term “fact” to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.

I'm pretty sure ID doesn't even qualify as a theory, scientifically speaking, as there must be loads of observable data supporting it to be a theory in science.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I can except Micro-evolution as a theory and even fact. We can see that over time subtle differences do change in different species. Macro-evolution, however takes just as much faith to believe as Creationism. It is just not possible that all of this great world puffed into being. I have said before it would be like taking a beautiful Thomas Kinkade painting and saying that someone splashed some paint on a canvas and that is how it turned out. Just not possible. Not only that, that the paint magically appeared and splashed itself on the canvas. You can not teach that as fact because A. No one was there to see it happen, and B. You can't recreate it.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I think it's a misunderstanding to think that evolution is random. True, mutations are random, but whether a mutation makes the animal more likely to survive depends on the environment that the animal lives in. We are shaped by our environments, that is not at all random. For example, if giraffes didn't live in areas where the leaves they eat are up high, they most likely wouldn't have evolved long necks randomly. Sure, some of them would have randomly gotten the long neck mutation, but it wouldn't have been beneficial, and those animals wouldn't have survived longer to reproduce more and pass on their genes more often, so it probably wouldn't have "taken" especially since I imagine those long necks are costly (takes more resources to "fuel", limits where they can live, et cetera.) So it's not random, like splashing paint on canvas, that giraffes evolved to have long necks. The only random part is the mutation itself.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

But what are you saying the giraffe evolved from? It had to come from somewhere. In micro-evolution, you account for differences in different species, but not an ape turning into a man or a single cell turning into a dinosaur.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

Based on what you presented I would call it a fact however when I was in school that nothing in science is fact and is always a theory lol so it's hard for me to say fact but yes based on the definitions given it is fact. It has been proven time and time again and we have evidence to support it.

However, since I believe in God I don't believe evolution to exist without "Him". I think it's all part of our plan here on Earth and that there is a higher purpose for it but I don't think it doesn't exist. That's just silly.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Sorry, double post.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Apologize for the Wiki, too tired to research more extensively tonight. Smile

Giraffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The giraffe is one of only two living species of the family Giraffidae, the other being the okapi. The family was once much more extensive, with over 10 fossil genera described. Giraffids first arose 8 million years ago (mya) in south-central Europe during the Miocene epoch. The superfamily Giraffoidea, together with the family Antilocapridae (whose only extant species is the pronghorn), evolved from the extinct family Palaeomerycidae.[9] The earliest known giraffid was the deer-like Climacoceras.

While the progressive elongation of the neck and limbs can be found throughout the giraffid lineage, it became more pronounced in genera such as Giraffokeryx, Palaeotragus (possible ancestor of the okapi), Samotherium and Bohlinia.[9]Bohlinia entered China and northern India in response to climate change. From here, the genus Giraffa evolved and, around 7 mya, entered Africa. Further climate changes caused the extinction of the Asian giraffes, while the African ones survived and radiated into several new species. G. camelopardalis arose around 1 mya in eastern Africa during the Pleistocene.[9] Some biologists suggest that the modern giraffe descended from G. jumae;[10] others find G. gracilis a more likely candidate.[9] It is believed that the main driver for the evolution of the giraffes was the change from extensive forests to more open habitats, which began 8 mya.[9]

The giraffe was one of the many species first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. He gave it the binomial name Cervus camelopardalis. Morten Thrane Br?nnich classified the genus Giraffa in 1772.[11] In the early 19th century, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck believed that the giraffe's long neck was an "acquired characteristic", developed as generations of ancestral giraffes strived to reach the leaves of tall trees.[12] This theory was eventually rejected, and scientists now believe that the giraffe's neck arose through Darwinian natural selection?that ancestral giraffes with long necks thereby had a competitive advantage that better enabled them to reproduce and pass on their genes.[12]

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"Jessica80" wrote:

Based on what you presented I would call it a fact however when I was in school that nothing in science is fact and is always a theory lol so it's hard for me to say fact but yes based on the definitions given it is fact. It has been proven time and time again and we have evidence to support it.

It is not fact. If it was proven, hundreds of thousands of people would not believe something very different. Where do you think that very first something came from that everything evolved from? The very first something had to come from somewhere or something. It has not, can can not be proven that everything evolved from nothing. Or that people evolved from apes or other animals. Therefore, it should not be taught that is and only this is the only possible explanation for how things came into being.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I think it's a misunderstanding to think that evolution is random. True, mutations are random, but whether a mutation makes the animal more likely to survive depends on the environment that the animal lives in. We are shaped by our environments, that is not at all random. For example, if giraffes didn't live in areas where the leaves they eat are up high, they most likely wouldn't have evolved long necks randomly. Sure, some of them would have randomly gotten the long neck mutation, but it wouldn't have been beneficial, and those animals wouldn't have survived longer to reproduce more and pass on their genes more often, so it probably wouldn't have "taken" especially since I imagine those long necks are costly (takes more resources to "fuel", limits where they can live, et cetera.) So it's not random, like splashing paint on canvas, that giraffes evolved to have long necks. The only random part is the mutation itself.

Yes. And, there is now some evidence that unrelated species developed the similar mutations to adapt to their environments - being that although the species were biologically unrelated and often those populations were found in vastly different parts of the world, their similiar environments in terms of climate, geology, food supply, etc. led them to develop the same genetic mutations at about the same time in history to adapt to those environments. Very, very interesting. So, it seems that some mutations aren't all that random, as traditionally held. Now I have to go and find that research. I love these debates. Smile

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Apologize for the Wiki, too tired to research more extensively tonight. Smile

Giraffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sorry, I am just way to tired to read this with any intelligence. I will have to look at it better tomorrow.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Evolution doesn't talk about the first something, but there is a metric ton of evidence regarding humans evolving from a common ancestor as apes.

Joined: 08/17/04
Posts: 2226

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

It is not fact. If it was proven, hundreds of thousands of people would not believe something very different. Where do you think that very first something came from that everything evolved from? The very first something had to come from somewhere or something. It has not, can can not be proven that everything evolved from nothing. Or that people evolved from apes or other animals. Therefore, it should not be taught that is and only this is the only possible explanation for how things came into being.

As I said, based on the definitions in the article I would go with fact because evolution has been proven and backed with evidence. I also stated it was weird for me to say fact because I was always taught it's never fact only theory but theory also means something different in science.

Of course the very first something had to come from somewhere, I have no idea what though. Through my faith, I feel that God has put it all here and allowed it to evolve however in a scientific thought I know that cannot be proven, at least right now, and I'm comfortable enough with my faith to allow that.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I will have to do more geeky research tomorrow, but I did want to throw one last idea out there. Yes, Apes and humans have common traits, but why wouldn't they if they were created by the same being? Going back to the Thomas Kinkade painting, you can look at it and know it was painted by him. Why? Because he has a style that is all through out his work. I can look at my daughters drawings and know who drew it. They each have a unique way of doing things and I can tell who did it just by looking at it. I paint, and go to painting classes. When I am drawing or painting at home, I am going to do things a certain way. It is very reasonable that the reason that Apes and Humans have similar attributes is because they were made by the same Creator. Is it fact? No, of course not. But neither is it fact that humans evolved from Apes.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3318

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I will have to do more geeky research tomorrow, but I did want to throw one last idea out there. Yes, Apes and humans have common traits, but why wouldn't they if they were created by the same being? Going back to the Thomas Kinkade painting, you can look at it and know it was painted by him. Why? Because he has a style that is all through out his work. I can look at my daughters drawings and know who drew it. They each have a unique way of doing things and I can tell who did it just by looking at it. I paint, and go to painting classes. When I am drawing or painting at home, I am going to do things a certain way. It is very reasonable that the reason that Apes and Humans have similar attributes is because they were made by the same Creator. Is it fact? No, of course not. But neither is it fact that humans evolved from Apes.

But in your beliefs weren't sea urchins a albetrosses also made by the same creator? They are nothing like humans. I think apes and humans are similar for other reasons.

I also think that the similarities are more scientific than just 'looking' similar.

FTR. I believe in God as a createor, but i believe it in the same sense another poster already mentioned. I think Evolution is God's design. I think God loves science.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"KimPossible" wrote:

I also think that

You think... That is just it. You don't know. I am not saying not to teach evolution, but to leave room for the possibility that it is theory not fact. Let the students know that this is just one possibility and that we really don't know what happened. That other people have other beliefs. Teach it as what it is, a theory that some people believe and some people don't. Give the children all the evidence and let them make their own decisions. Not indoctrinate them 7 hours a day over 13 years so that they would never consider believing anything else.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

You think... That is just it. You don't know. I am not saying not to teach evolution, but to leave room for the possibility that it is theory not fact. Let the students know that this is just one possibility and that we really don't know what happened. That other people have other beliefs. Teach it as what it is, a theory that some people believe and some people don't. Give the children all the evidence and let them make their own decisions. Not indoctrinate them 7 hours a day over 13 years so that they would never consider believing anything else.

Science has enough evidence to support evolution that they don't really question it any more than they question that the earth moves around the sun (also a "theory"). Pretending like science "just doesn't know" is just....not correct.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Apologize for the Wiki, too tired to research more extensively tonight. Smile

Giraffe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So for a giraffe to have evolved from some gazelle, 2 huge changes would have had to happen simutaneously for it to even survive. As the neck grew longer to reach food, (which wasn't really necessary at all because they can eat at lower levels) it had to evolve a complex blood pressure valve in the neck to go along with it. Plus they have no fossil record of anything like that happening. NONE

"According to the competition hypothesis, giraffes use their long necks to advantage during dry seasons, when food is scarce; but, in fact, the opposite is observed in the field.

"In the Serengeti [an animal preserve in eastern Africa]... giraffe spend almost all of the dry season feeding from low Grewia bushes, while only in the wet season do they turn to tall Acacia tortillis trees, when new leaves are ...plentiful ...and no competition is expected. This behavior is contrary to the prediction that giraffe should use their feeding height to advantage at times of food scarcity".

"Moreover, they report, 'females spend over 50% of their time feeding with their necks horizontal [a behavior so common it is used to determine the sex of animals at a distance]' and 'both sexes feed faster and most often with their necks bent". These observations, they conclude, suggest 'that long necks did not evolve specifically for feeding at higher levels.'"[3]

"When the giraffe lowers its head to drink, the valves close to stop the blood rushing to the brain. These same valves prevent all the blood rushing away from the giraffe's head, when the giraffe stands up again.... without these parts, all working properly, a long necked giraffe would not even be able to drink!" [4]

"...it is not possible for evolutionists to make up a plausible scenario for the origination of either the giraffe's long neck or its complicated blood pressure regulating system. This amazing feature generates extremely high pressure to pump the blood up to the 20-foot high brain and then quickly reduces the pressure to prevent brain damage when the animal bends down to take a drink. After over a century of the most intensive exploration for fossils, the world's museums cannot display a single intermediate form that would connect the giraffe with any other creature." Luther D. Sunderland

The Giraffe's long neck

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Evolution doesn't talk about the first something, but there is a metric ton of evidence regarding humans evolving from a common ancestor as apes.

Can you cite some? Because I haven't seen any.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So for a giraffe to have evolved from some gazelle, 2 huge changes would have had to happen simutaneously for it to even survive. As the neck grew longer to reach food, (which wasn't really necessary at all because they can eat at lower levels) it had to evolve a complex blood pressure valve in the neck to go along with it. Plus they have no fossil record of anything like that happening. NONE

The Giraffe's long neck

If you are saying there is no fossil record of the process of giraffe's developing longer necks, you are incorrect. Here is a link to one article that talks about the fossil record, biochemistry, et cetera. ,You can also Google "Bohlinia" if you would like to see many, many more. (Bohlinia is one of the transitional species ancestral to modern giraffes.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

If there was concrete undisputed proof of evolution, we would not be having this debate. I respect that you believe in evolution. I just ask that you respect that not everyone believes that. The only choises should not be that either I send my child to a school that teaches that evolution is the only way and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool, causing the child to choose between there parents or the school. Or to pay thousands of dollars a year in private schools. We hear so much about tolerance, but there is zero tolerance in many public schools for Christian beliefs.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427
GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

If you are saying there is no fossil record of the process of giraffe's developing longer necks, you are incorrect. Here is a link to one article that talks about the fossil record, biochemistry, et cetera. ,You can also Google "Bohlinia" if you would like to see many, many more. (Bohlinia is one of the transitional species ancestral to modern giraffes.

So the skeleton of some kind of animal the size of a rabbit...

The only complete skeleton of an animal from this group is that of a
rabbit-sized forest dwelling animal called Diacodexus

And the skull of some other animal that is shaped like a giraffe....

Skull of Samotherium. Note the Giraffid-like
ossicones, the elongated muzzle, the large diastema, and bi-lobed
lower canine.

Is proof of the evolution of a giraffe? There is not a shred of proof in that whole article. It is just a bunch of hypothesis and guesses.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

If there was concrete undisputed proof of evolution, we would not be having this debate. I respect that you believe in evolution. I just ask that you respect that not everyone believes that. The only choises should not be that either I send my child to a school that teaches that evolution is the only way and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool, causing the child to choose between there parents or the school. Or to pay thousands of dollars a year in private schools. We hear so much about tolerance, but there is zero tolerance in many public schools for Christian beliefs.

There is concrete proof of evolution. It's not undisputed because it contradicts many creation myths, so religions dispute it, but it's not much disputed in the scientific community. We teach science in our science classes. If science contradicts your beliefs, that is not others being intolerant, we're just telling you what science says. Whether or not you choose to believe it or choose to reconcile it with your beliefs is up to you, but it's not intolerant to teach actual science (and not teach junk science that the scientific community roundly rejects) in science class.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116
KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3318

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

You think... That is just it. You don't know.

Okay you are misinterpreting my use of the word think in this scenario. I said that meaning "I believe the scientific community has defined the links between humans and apes in a more scientific way than just "similar traits". I don't think your comparison to a painting is is accurate because 'looking' at the similarities between objects in a painting painted by the same person is not a scientific process, as oppose to finding the similarities between humans and apes, or birds and dinosaurs.

I am not saying not to teach evolution, but to leave room for the possibility that it is theory not fact. Let the students know that this is just one possibility and that we really don't know what happened.

This is true with lots of science, its ongoing discovery. Honestly how much time needs to be spent saying "its theory". I remember in school spending a large amount of time talking about the scientific process and theory. This is just a basic fact of how science works. And we teach high substantiated theories in school all the time, its not like evolution is the only one. And evolution is highly substantiated. If you have a personal issue with how substantiated it is, teach that to your kids.

That other people have other beliefs.

If its not a scientific belief than it doesn't belong in a science class. Science class doesn't need to be teaching kids about other people's religious beliefs.

Teach it as what it is, a theory that some people believe and some people don't.

Too many people in the scientific community believe it to make it sound this flimsy. Just reinforce to your kids you think that accepted science is bogus then. There is no *scientific* alternative theory to present as an alternative. Evolution is the science communities accepted explanation and it belongs in the academic setting as such. Even if you don't believe it yourself, why don't you want your kids to be aware of the fact that the science community as a whole (minus minority exceptions) believes evolution is valid.

Give the children all the evidence and let them make their own decisions. Not indoctrinate them 7 hours a day over 13 years so that they would never consider believing anything else.

Any child given the correct tools, in a science class, will conclude that evolution is by far the best *scientific* explanation, because it is. Plain and simple. If you don't want your kids to believe a scientific explanation is the answer, then you need to teach them about that, not their science teachers.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

Did you not read the article? There is a whole fossil record as well as biochemistry as well as genetic information that you must have skipped over. If you ask me for evidence and then refuse to concede that anything could possibly be evidence, I can't help you.

Edit: That goes double for the entire list of links I sent you which you responded to with one link that says a couple of people think that the appendix may not be vestigial. LOL Please read the links, or at least concede that you don't care whether or not there is evidence.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

ENSI/SENSI Papers & Articles: Human Evolution: 12 Lines of Evidence (M.Nickels)

Don't see any proof there, just an article about how there are some similar body parts between humans and apes. Funny that he cites Haeckel's drawings as proof that were proved a fraud 100 years ago.

3. COMPARATIVE EMBRYOLOGY (Ernst Haeckel)
- great similarity of primates and humans early in ontogeny

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Did you not read the article? There is a whole fossil record as well as biochemistry as well as genetic information that you must have skipped over. If you ask me for evidence and then refuse to concede that anything could possibly be evidence, I can't help you.

Edit: That goes double for the entire list of links I sent you which you responded to with one link that says a couple of people think that the appendix may not be vestigial. LOL Please read the links, or at least concede that you don't care whether or not there is evidence.

So you really think I have time to go through that whole list in 10 minutes? I am actually at work so I can't read at depth each article. I can skim through though and see if there is any real proof in there, which there wasn't.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Don't see any proof there, just an article about how there are some similar body parts between humans and apes. Funny that he cites Haeckel's drawings as proof that were proved a fraud 100 years ago.

I put that first because it talks about the different kinds of evidence they look at when they are looking for evidence of evolution. I thought it gave a good overview of the different types of methodology they use.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you really think I have time to go through that whole list in 10 minutes? I am actually at work so I can't read at depth each article. I can skim through though and see if there is any real proof in there, which there wasn't.

No, you didn't have to respond within 10 minutes. I'm just saying, if you ask for evidence and then dismiss it without even reading it, I have to conclude that you're not really looking for evidence.

Let me ask you this: Apparently, all of the different types of evidence that they have to support evolution (fossils, genetics, biochemistry, the way that geology neatly dovetails with the fossil record, et cetera) none of that is anything you would consider "evidence." Since that is the case, what would you agree DOES constitute as evidence? Like, what type of evidence could scientists provide (if any) that you would find compelling?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Can you cite some? Because I haven't seen any.

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: Part 1

And if you back out one page from this page, you'll find about a thousand more links you can follow.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: Part 1

And if you back out one page from this page, you'll find about a thousand more links you can follow.

Those skulls aren't such great proof. Here is the story of one of them.

Dr. Johanson named his find Australopithecus afarensis—the southern ape from the Afar depression of northeastern Ethiopia (Johanson, et al., 1978, 28:8). The creature quickly earned the nickname “Lucy,” after the Beatles’ song, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which was said to be playing all through the celebratory night back at Johanson’s camp. The fossil, officially designated as AL 288-1, consisted of skull fragments, a lower jaw, ribs, an arm bone, a portion of a pelvis, a thighbone, and fragments of shinbones. It was said to be an adult, and was dated at 3.5 million years. [Johanson also found at Hadar the remains of some 34 adults and 10 infants, all of which he dated at 3.5 million years.] In their assessment of exactly where this new species fit in, Johanson and colleague Tim White took pride in noting: “These new hominid fossils, recovered since 1973, constitute the earliest definitive evidence of the family Hominidae” (1979, 203:321). Not only was this fossil find unusually complete, but it also was believed to have been from an animal that walked in an upright fashion, as well as being the oldest human ancestor—the equivalent of a grand slam in baseball.

Having collected the fossils, Johanson and White were responsible for publishing their descriptions, as well as giving their interpretation of exactly how they fit into the hominid family tree. Not wanting to waste valuable space on the description of A. afarensis in one of the major science journals, they ultimately decided to publish it in Kirtlandia, a relatively obscure publication of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Then, in what was either an extremely na?ve (albeit zealous) move, or a calculated and ambitious one, Johanson and White decided to bump the Leakey’s prized Australopithecus africanus off the main hominid tree and replace it with A. afarensis (for their full assessment, see Johanson and White, 1979). Leakey’s A. africanus was relegated to a tangential side branch that went—literally—nowhere. This decision eventually would weigh heavily on Lucy as she fell under attack from scientists who felt she was nothing more than another example of A. africanus—or worse, an animal with numerous chimp-like qualities.

One of the ironic discoveries regarding Lucy had to do with the size of her skull. Prior to her discovery, evolutionists had assumed that these ape-like species had evolved larger brains, which then allowed them to crawl down out of the trees and begin foraging for food on the ground. According to evolutionary timelines, the creatures adopted bipedalism as their primary form of transportation, and once on the ground, began to use tools. Lucy, as it happened, took this nice, neat little story and turned it upside down. Her brain case was not enlarged. In fact, from all appearances, it was comparable in size to the common chimpanzee. And yet, Johanson and White steadfastly defended the position that this creature walked uprightly like man. They noted:

Bipedalism appears to have been the dominant form of terrestrial locomotion employed by the Hadar and Laetoli [in Tanzania—BH/BT] hominids. Morphological features associated with this locomotor mode are clearly manifested in these hominids, and for this reason the Laetoli and Hadar hominid remains are unequivocally assigned to the family Hominidae (Johanson and White, 1979, 203:325, emp. added).

Dr. Johanson insisted that A. afarensis was the direct ancestor of man (see Johanson and Edey, 1981). In fact, the phrase “the dramatic discovery of our oldest human ancestor” can be found emblazoned on the cover of his 1981 book, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind. Numerous evolutionists, however, strongly disagree. Lord Solly Zuckerman, the famous British anatomist, published his views on the australopithecines in his book, Beyond the Ivory Tower. He studied these creatures for more than fifteen years, and came to the conclusion that if man did, in fact, descend from an apelike ancestor, he did so without leaving a single visible trace in the fossil record (1970, p. 64). Some might complain, “But Lord Zuckerman’s work was done before Lucy was even discovered.” True, but that misses the point. Zuckerman’s research—which established conclusively that the australopithecines were nothing but knuckle-walking apes—was performed on fossils younger (i.e., closer to man) than Lucy!

Apologetics Press - Lucy Dethroned

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

No, you didn't have to respond within 10 minutes. I'm just saying, if you ask for evidence and then dismiss it without even reading it, I have to conclude that you're not really looking for evidence.

Let me ask you this: Apparently, all of the different types of evidence that they have to support evolution (fossils, genetics, biochemistry, the way that geology neatly dovetails with the fossil record, et cetera) none of that is anything you would consider "evidence." Since that is the case, what would you agree DOES constitute as evidence? Like, what type of evidence could scientists provide (if any) that you would find compelling?

If evolution were true, there would actually be the REAMS of evidence you speak of. But there isn't. A few skulls which in many cases aren't even complete with no evidence of where they even really fit other than conjecture isn't proof.

The anatomical peculiarities of the Neanderthal men are known to exist within the normal boundaries of human variation potential. In other words, the Neanderthals were just regular humans who looked a little different than you and I do today (similar to how Australian aborigines look significantly different than Native American Indians and yet they are all human).

The Neanderthals were known to bury their dead (whose bodies they covered in flowers), they used tools, worked with animal hides, took care of each other and generally acted like humans act. There is no indication that they were the brutish beasts they are seen as by many today. Their brain cavity was actually much larger than the average brain today.

It appears that many of the Neanderthals suffered from a Vitamin D deficiency. This caused their bones to grow soft and deformed. This has contributed the popular hunched-over ape-man misconception. The Vitamin D deficiency may simply be indicative of the era in which they lived. Vitamin D comes from fish oils and dairy products and is produced in the body when the skin is exposed to the sun. The Neanderthals obviously had a very poor diet. In addition to this, they appear to have spent much of their time taking shelter in caves. It is believed by many scholars that the Neanderthals lived during an Ice Age. This would explain their poor diets and lack of exposure to the sun. So, while the ape-man perspective has been shown to be false, Neanderthal man was certainly a caveman in the true sense of the word.

Neanderthal Man

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

It's my belief that even in the face of irrefutable data some people will hold steadfast to the theory they believe to be true. That is why it's called faith - belief in the absence of proof. I have to weigh what I believe to be truer - evolution or creationism. One is at least plausible because there is scientific data to back it, even if some creationists say there is no concrete 'proof'. I find it ironic that creationists discount macro-evolution because there is no proof, but neither is there proof of creationism. So, why is it acceptable to expect that burden of science but not creationism?

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Those skulls aren't such great proof. Here is the story of one of them.

Apologetics Press - Lucy Dethroned

Well, I didn't realize any of the skulls in my link were Lucy. Oh right. None of them are. Are you ignoring the transitional skulls that are growing in size to that of a modern human? Or are you just saying that something 4 million years old with the brain the size of a chimp's isn't a human? Because with that I WILL agree.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

It's my belief that even in the face of irrefutable data some people will hold steadfast to the theory they believe to be true. That is why it's called faith - belief in the absence of proof. I have to weigh what I believe to be truer - evolution or creationism. One is at least plausible because there is scientific data to back it, even if some creationists say there is no concrete 'proof'. I find it ironic that creationists discount macro-evolution because there is no proof, but neither is there proof of creationism. So, why is it acceptable to expect that burden of science but not creationism?

But if the theory of intelligent design is not creationism, what is it? Intelligent design is an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins that challenges strictly materialistic views of evolution. According to Darwinian biologists such as Oxford's Richard Dawkins (1986: 1), livings systems “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” But, for modern Darwinists, that appearance of design is entirely illusory. Why? According to neo-Darwinism, wholly undirected processes such as natural selection and random mutations are fully capable of producing the intricate designed-like structures in living systems. In their view, natural selection can mimic the powers of a designing intelligence without itself being directed by an intelligence of any kind.

In contrast, the theory of intelligent design holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe - for example, the information-bearing properties of DNA, the miniature circuits and machines in cells and the fine tuning of the laws and constants of physics - that are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected material process. The theory does not challenge the idea of “evolution” defined as either change over time or common ancestry, but it does dispute Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected. Either life arose as the result of purely undirected material processes or a guiding intelligence played a role. Design theorists affirm the latter option and argue that living organisms look designed because they really were designed.

CSC - A Scientific History and Philosophical Defense of the Theory of Intelligent Design

CSC - Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated)

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Well, I didn't realize any of the skulls in my link were Lucy. Oh right. None of them are. Are you ignoring the transitional skulls that are growing in size to that of a modern human? Or are you just saying that something 4 million years old with the brain the size of a chimp's isn't a human? Because with that I WILL agree.

So you mean neanderthals then? Yes they were human.

Top 10 Misconceptions About?Neanderthals

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3318

Intelligent design is not scientific. You can't point to scientific stuff and then say "its best attributed to an intelligent cause" and call that science LOL

At most it could be considered philosophical....at best it could be called religous faith. You can't test it, there is no possible way to try to prove its false. Its not science.

Its speculation

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I don't believe in the heliocenric theory. I'm not sure on the whole gravity thing because I don't think 2 objects dropped from the same height should hit the ground at the same time even though they don't way the same.

In looking at different religions they seem to have equal weight regarding how the earth was created.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

Any child given the correct tools, in a science class, will conclude that evolution is by far the best *scientific* explanation, because it is. Plain and simple. If you don't want your kids to believe a scientific explanation is the answer, then you need to teach them about that, not their science teachers.[/QUOTE]

Sorry I am on my Kindle and it is hard to quote.

This the attitude that I am talking about. This is some Freedom of Religion. You can believe whatever you want, but we are going to make darn sure your kids don't believe it. This is why a school that teaches evolution as fact in not compatable with a family that teaches creation at home. In my opinion it is not acceptable to teach children that evolution is the only possible explination, because it is not. You are essence telling the child that what they are taught at home is false, and it is foolish to believe otherwise. Many students are with there teachers more of there waking hours than with their parents.

Should only the wealthy parents get to send their children to schools that will respect their belief system?

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"KimPossible" wrote:

Intelligent design is not scientific. You can't point to scientific stuff and then say "its best attributed to an intelligent cause" and call that science LOL

At most it could be considered philosophical....at best it could be called religous faith. You can't test it, there is no possible way to try to prove its false. Its not science.

Its speculation

It is no more speculation than macro-evolution is.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3318

Sorry I am on my Kindle and it is hard to quote.

This the attitude that I am talking about.

its not attitude, its fact. *within the realm of science* evolution is the only thing that makes sense. Don't want your kid to believe in science? That is up to you, yes. Science is a standard part of any academic Curriculum that i thank the heavens is included. What you are saying here suggests science doesn't belong in schools because it might not jive with someone's unscientific beliefs.

This is some Freedom of Religion. You can believe whatever you want, but we are going to make darn sure your kids don't believe it.

Sorry but i don't think you can have your cake and eat it too. Either you believe in science and want to reap the benefits of it and having our children benefit from having it in the school system....or you don't. I think "teach my kids science....except for this part that doesn't jive with my relgious beliefs" is bogus. If you have a conflict between science and religion, that is up to you, as the believer i that religion to handle when it comes to parenting. Your life is worlds better with science in it, it should not be the concern of the science community that you have to work harder to teach your kids something you want them to believe.

This is why a school that teaches evolution as fact in not compatable with a family that teaches creation at home.

Because its hard to explain to your kids? Yep. But its up to you to explain why the two don't work together and yours is better. not school. Schools should teach science. They don't teach religion.

In my opinion it is not acceptable to teach children that evolution is the only possible explination, because it is not.

It is the only acceptable scientific explanation and we are talking about science classes. There are no good scientific alternatives.

You are essence telling the child that what they are taught at home is false, and it is foolish to believe otherwise. Many students are with there teachers more of there waking hours than with their parents.

Nope, just teaching kids what the scientific community believes. You can tell your kids that the scientific community is silly and makes no sense if you really want to.

Should only the wealthy parents get to send their children to schools that will respect their belief system?

Yes, because having your faith taught to your child by someone else is not a right.

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3318

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

It is no more speculation than macro-evolution is.

That's juts false and there is no other way to put it. You can research macro-evolution scientifically.

"Its best to attribute this to an intelligent cause" There is nothing scientific about that at all and no way to research it scientifically.

You can not believe Macro-Evolution is true, but it is still scientific in nature. Intelligent Design is not scientific in nature, it is simply a guise to make it look scientific so it can be forced into a science class.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you mean neanderthals then? Yes they were human.

Top 10 Misconceptions About?Neanderthals

Did you even look at the skulls? The neanderthal skulls precede the modern human skull. Look back at skull A - that of a modern chimp - and follow it's transition long before the existence of homo sapien through to neanderthals and then modern humans. You see no evolutionary possibility there? Because I see much more than just possibility.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Did you even look at the skulls? The neanderthal skulls precede the modern human skull. Look back at skull A - that of a modern chimp - and follow it's transition long before the existence of homo sapien through to neanderthals and then modern humans. You see no evolutionary possibility there? Because I see much more than just possibility.

So what makes a Neanderthal a chimp? Looks like they were pretty smart to me.

Until recently, archeologists have thought of Neanderthals, an early relative of humans, as thick, slow thinking and likely uncreative. Now, new evidence dispels part of that image. Archeologists digging in the Netherlands have unearthed flint and bone fragments from 200,000 years ago that have remnants of red ochre on them, indicating that Neanderthals were using the material much earlier than was previously thought. The research team has published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more at: Research team finds evidence of red ochre use by Neanderthals 200,000 years ago

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

A single finger bone found in this Siberian cave led to an amazing discovery. Early humans and Neanderthals co-existed with another humanoid species called Denisovans. And many present-day humans carry genes that prove our ancestors had children with Denisovans, too.

The new species is named after the cave where the 30,000 year-old finger bone was found. Researchers had been searching for Neanderthal bones in the area, and were surprised to discover what they initially thought was a fossil from an early human's little finger. To find out more, they shipped the bone off to the Max Planck Institute in Germany, where evolutionary biologist Svante P??bo had already sequenced several Neanderthal genomes. P??bo's tests gave a shocking result: The genome sequence they got from the bone showed that it was neither human nor Neanderthal.

And yet it was undeniably a human relative, who had clearly lived among humans and Neanderthals thousands of years ago in the caves of Siberia. After careful analysis, a team of genomics experts figured out where the Denisovans fit into the puzzle of human ancestry. Most likely they are descended from a common ancestor shared with Neanderthals. When early humans left Africa about 300 or 400 thousand years ago, they spread out across Europe and Asia. Those who went west to Europe became the heavy-browed, squat Neanderthals. And those who went East became Denisovans.

Genomics expert Richard Edward Green worked on analyzing the Denisovan DNA. In an email to io9, he explained:

The genome of the Denisovans is more diverged from modern humans than any two humans are from each other. It's almost exactly as diverged as the Neanderthal genome was. That's one of the reasons that we think the Denisovans and the Neanderthals are descendants of a single migration event into Eurasia.

Another wave of early human migration spilled from Africa about 70 to 80 thousand years ago. These travelers encountered both Neanderthals and Denisovans, eventually settling down and forming families with them. As a result, many Europeans have Neanderthal DNA; and, as the researchers report today in Nature, some Melanesian people from Papua have Denisovan DNA.

The picture of early human life that emerges is a lot messier than what we believed even just twenty years ago, when many anthropologists believed humans diverged from Neanderthals and the two species never interbred again. Now it seems that humans had many cousin species - at least two that we know of - and that we separated from them only to rejoin them later, forming families and creating lineages that persist to the present day.

So what makes the Denisovans and Neanderthals separate species from early humans anyway, given that all three groups co-habitated and had children together? Green said:

Answering that question - How much DNA divergence is necessary to call something a new species? - is a very difficult one. We know there was admixture between early modern humans and a population related to the Denisovans. We can see this in the genomes of individuals from Papua New Guinea, as described in the paper. Thus, from this perspective they were similar enough to successfully mate with our ancestors. The sad, frustrating truth, though is that there is no simple answer to how much divergence must be present to call something a different species or sub-species or variety or whatever.

Another humanoid species co-existed with early humans and Neanderthals

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

The next time you're tempted to call some oaf a Neanderthal, you might want to take a look in the mirror.

According to a new DNA study, most humans have a little Neanderthal in them—at least 1 to 4 percent of a person's genetic makeup.

The study uncovered the first solid genetic evidence that "modern" humans—or Homo sapiens—interbred with their Neanderthal neighbors, who mysteriously died out about 30,000 years ago.

What's more, the Neanderthal-modern human mating apparently took place in the Middle East, shortly after modern humans had left Africa, not in Europe—as has long been suspected.

"We can now say that, in all probability, there was gene flow from Neanderthals to modern humans," lead study author Ed Green of the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a prepared statement.

That's no surprise to anthropologist Erik Trinkhaus, whose skeleton-based claims of Neanderthal-modern human interbreeding—previously contradicted with DNA evidence—appear to have been vindicated by the new gene study, to be published tomorrow in the journal Science.

Neanderthals, Humans Interbred

The results showed that Neanderthal DNA is 99.7 percent identical to modern human DNA, versus, for example, 98.8 percent for modern humans and chimps, according to the study. (Related: "Neanderthals Had Same 'Language Gene' as Modern Humans.")

In addition, all modern ethnic groups, other than Africans, carry traces of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes, the study says—which at first puzzled the scientists. Though no fossil evidence has been found for Neanderthals and modern humans coexisting in Africa, Neanderthals, like modern humans, are thought to have arisen on the continent.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

A series of cave paintings in Spain are thousands of years older than scientists realized, raising speculation — but no proof — that Neanderthals could have been the earliest wall artists in Europe.

The oldest image, a large red disk on the wall of El Castillo cave in northern Spain, is more than 40,800 years old, according to an advanced method that uses natural deposits on the surfaces of the paintings to date their creation. The new findings, detailed in the June 15 issue of the journal Science, make the paintings the oldest reliably dated wall paintings ever.

They also push the art back into a time when early modern humans, who looked anatomically like us, co-existed with their Neanderthal cousins in Europe. Some researchers think the paintings may predate European Homo sapiens, suggesting that the art may not be the work of modern humans at all.

Neanderthals have been portrayed as brutish, animalistic cavemen, but the archaeological evidence suggests they weren't dummies. They buried their dead, made complex tools, and used decorative pigments. In 2010, Zilhao and his colleagues excavated shells coated in red and yellow pigments from a Neanderthal site in southern Spain. They suspect the pigments were used as makeup or body paint.

Neanderthals went extinct around 30,000 years ago. Before they did, they mixed and mingled with humans. Between 1 percent and 4 percent of some modern humans' DNA came from Neanderthals, indicating the two species got amorous.

Were Neanderthals Europe's First Cave Artists? : Discovery News

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Team Uncovers New Evidence of Recent Human Evolution - ScienceNOW

This just proves we all came from a common ancestor. I don't dispute that. Just that it was a monkey.

*In 1987, a group of genet*icists published a surprising study in the journal Nature.* The* researchers examined the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) taken from 147 people across all of today's major racial groups. These researchers found that the lineage of all people alive today falls on one of two branches in humanity's family tree. One of these branches consists of nothing but African lineage, the other contains all other groups, including some African lineage.

*Even more impressive, the geneticists concluded that every person on Earth right now can trace his or her lineage back to a single common female ancestor who lived around 200,000 years ago. Because one entire branch of human lineage is of African origin and the other contains African lineage as well, the study's authors concluded Africa is the place where this woman lived. The scientists named this common female ancestor Mitochondrial Eve.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/evolution/female-ancestor.htm

Pages