Darwin’s Failed Predictions, Slide 11: “Human evolution remains a mystery” (from JudgingPBS.com) (Updated)

[Editor’s Note: This is slide 11 in a series of 14 slides available at JudgingPBS.com, a new website featuring “Darwin’s Failed Predictions,” a response to PBS-NOVA’s online materials for their “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” documentary.] In 1980, the famed late evolutionary paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould noted that, “[m]ost hominid fossils, even though they serve as a basis for endless speculation and elaborate storytelling, are fragments of jaws and scraps of skulls.”1 PBS confidently asserts that our species, Homo sapiens, evolved from ape-like species, but the fossil record tells a different story. The fossil record contains two basic types of hominids: those that can be classified as ape-like and those that can be classified as modern human-like. But there Read More ›

Human-Chimp Evolution Dialogue (Part 2): Author of Science‘s “The Myth of 1%” article Backpedals, Promotes the “Myth” of 1%

In Part 1, I recounted how Darwinists are deeply invested in the rhetorical value of the emotional argument that humans and chimps have a 98% – 99% genetic similarity. Anthropologist John Marks reports that sometimes Darwinists even use this statistic to contend that our lives are “meaningless”! To explore this debate, I recently blogged about a Science news article entitled “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%” that reported that the 1% human/chimp genetic difference statistic was a “myth,” because “studies are showing that [humans and chimps] are not as similar as many tend to believe.” The Science news article reported that improved genome comparison modeling methods indicate that humans and chimps are “6.4%” genetically distinct from one another. Apparently my Read More ›

Human-Chimp Evolution Dialogue (Part 1): An Exchange with Jon Cohen, Author of Science‘s “The Myth of 1%” Article

From a technical scientific perspective, the degree of genetic similarity between humans and chimps seems to be of questionable relevance when one is trying to determine whether two species share a Darwinian past. After all, designers regularly re-use parts that work, especially programming components, so there’s no reason to presume that mere genetic similarity necessarily implies common descent over common design. Moreover, even if such genetic similarities were to imply common ancestry, they don’t demonstrate a plausible stepwise Darwinian evolutionary pathway. Nonetheless, on a rhetorical level, the claim that humans and chimps are 99% the same is a powerful emotional argument aiding those seeking to evangelize for Darwinism. For example, last year a cover story of Time magazine proclaimed: “chimps Read More ›

1% Genetic Difference Between Humans and Chimps a “Myth”

Last July, David Tyler wrote an insightful post at ARN stating, For over 30 years, the public have been led to believe that human and chimpanzee genetics differ by mere 1%. This ‘fact’ of science has been used on innumerable occasions to silence anyone who offered the thought that humans are special among the animal kingdom. ‘Today we take as a given that the two species are genetically 99% the same.’ However, this ‘given’ is about to be discarded. Tyler was quoting a Science news article entitled “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%,” which reported that “human and chimpanzee gene copy numbers differ by a whopping 6.4%.” The statistic of an alleged 1% difference between human and chimp DNA is Read More ›

Human Origins Update: Harvard Scientist and New York Times Reporter Get the “Plug Evolution Memo”…Sort of

What a difference a month, and a couple likely internal memos, can make. Last month I discussed the fact that newly reported Homo erectus fossils predated fossils of “Homo” habilis, meaning that habilis could not possibly have been an evolutionary link between the Australopithecine apes and our genus Homo. When the press covered that story, Harvard biological anthropologist Daniel Lieberman was quoted in the New York Times stating that those fossils “show ‘just how interesting and complex the human genus was and how poorly we understand the transition from being something much more apelike to something more humanlike.’” It’s a fascinating admission, and I wrote at the time, “Daniel Lieberma[n] apparently did not get the memo about refraining from making Read More ›