The Evolution of “Ida”: Darwinius masillae Fossil Downgraded From Ancestor to Pet

A few months ago, “Ida” was sitting on top of the world. She’d been lauded as the “eighth wonder of the world” whose “impact on the world of palaeontology” would be like “an asteroid falling down to Earth.” Falling, indeed. On October 21, Nature published an article announcing that “[a] 37-million-year-old fossil primate from Egypt, described today in Nature, moves a controversial German fossil known as Ida out of the human lineage.” Wired also published a story, noting that, “[f]ar from spawning the ancestors of humans, the 47 million-year-old Darwinius seems merely to have gone extinct, leaving no descendants,” further quoting a paleontologist calling Ida “a third cousin twice removed … only very distantly related to living and fossil anthropoids.” Read More ›

Artificially Reconstructed “Ardi” Overturns Prevailing Evolutionary Hypotheses of Human Evolution

The missing link presently being touted in the media, Ardipithecus ramidus, has had more reconstructive surgery than Michael Jackson. Assuming that their “extensive digital reconstruction” of its “badly crushed and distorted bones” is accurate, what does A. ramidus (or “Ardi” as the fawning media is affectionately calling it) really show us that we didn’t already know? We already knew of upright walking / tree-climbing, small-brained hominids–that’s what Lucy, an australopithecine, was. We already knew that there were australopithecine fossils dating back to before 4 million years, and this fossil is only a little bit older. So what does this fossil teach us? Assuming all the reconstructions of Ardi’s crushed bones are objective and accurate, this fossil teaches us at least Read More ›

Bones of “Ardi,” New Human Evolution Fossil, “Crushed Nearly to Smithereens”

Another new alleged missing link has been found, if you consider something discovered in the early 1990’s new. This fossil seems to have spent almost as much time under the microscope at Berkeley as it did in the ground in Ethiopia, when it was first buried about 4.4 million years ago. Why did it take over 15 years for the reports on this fossil to finally be published, besides the fact that it allowed more time for planning the now-customary PR campaign? A 2002 article in Science explains exactly why: the bones were so brittle, “squished,” “chalky” and “erod[ed]” when cleaned such that many of the bone fragments had to be “reconstruct[ed]”–and that took a long time. Here’s the story Read More ›

Materialist Science Fiction on Human Evolution Promoted to Kids at Local Public Libraries

Last December, I wrote a post about a book titled Life on Other Planets, aimed at junior-high-aged kids. I found it at a local library. The book promoted materialist science fiction about the origin of life on earth. More recently, the Seattle Public Library system had its annual booksale, and I loaded up. One now-former library book I bought was Journey from the Dawn: Life with the World’s First Family, by Donald Johansen and Kevin O’Farrell (Villard, 1990). I liked this book far better than Life on Other Planets, but instead of promoting materialist science fiction to kids on the origin of life, this one promoted science fiction to kids regarding paleoanthropology and the origin of humans. The book starts Read More ›

Texas Hold ‘Em Part III: Calling Ronald Wetherington’s Bluffs About Human Evolution in His January Texas State Board of Education Testimony

As a final installment in my “Texas Hold ‘Em” series calling the bluffs of Texas evolutionists, I’d like to highlight one section from Discovery Institute’s rebuttal to Ronald Wetherington’s Testimony before the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE). Wetherington, who is a professor of anthropology at SMU, testified extensively to the TSBOE about human evolution, his area of expertise. Wetherington stated regarding human origins that we have “arguably the most complete sequence of fossil succession of any mammal in the world. No gaps. No lack of transitional fossils. … So when people talk about the lack of transitional fossils or gaps in the fossil record, it absolutely is not true.” But a close look at the evidence, as reported in Read More ›