Dmanisi and Answers in Genesis

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Recently, I blogged about the newly discovered skeletal bones of the Dmanisi hominids (Lordkipanidze et al. 2007, Gibbons 2007, Lieberman 2007), and the Discovery Institute’s response to them. (In a nutshell, Casey Luskin of the DI attempted to argue that the Dmanisi hominids were apes, an argument that is untenable for any number of reasons).

I know of only one other creationist discussion of the Dmanisi skeletons, in an article by Answers in Genesis (AIG) (scroll down to the 2nd item). It is fascinating to observe that AIG has decided that the Dmanisi hominids are humans, in contrast to Luskin’s opinion that they were probably apes. If either side is right, the other must be hopelessly incompetent (not excluding, of course, the possibility that both are incompetent).

It’s worth noting that AIG also disagrees with their own “expert” on human evolution, Marvin Lubenow. Lubenow is the author of Bones of Contention (2nd edition, 2004), the leading creationist book on human evolution. It is enthusiastically praised by creationists, and sold and recommended by AIG, who call it “the leading creationist work in fossil study today”. Lubenow’s book doesn’t have any discussion of the Dmanisi skulls (the skeletal bones were not then known), but he does put the largest of the 3 Dmanisi skulls in his list of H. erectus fossils (which he considers human, p.350), and the smaller 2 Dmanisi skulls in his list of H. habilis fossils (p.352), which he considers to be apes.

So I have a question for Answers in Genesis. Why do they say that the smaller Dmanisi skulls belong to H. erectus and are human, if the man they recognize as the creationist expert on human evolution thinks they are apes?

In justifying their diagnosis, AIG quotes one of their other articles on human evolution, which claims:

Answers in Genesis Wrote:

H. erectus was smaller than the average human today, with an appropriately smaller head (and brain size). However, the brain size is within the range of people today and studies of the middle ear have shown that Homo erectus was just like us. Remains have been found in the same strata and in close proximity to ordinary Homo sapiens, suggesting that they lived together.

Let us grant, for the moment and for the sake of argument, AIG’s claim that the skull sizes of Homo erectus fall within the range of modern humans. When AIG wrote that, they were following the approach of Lubenow, who claims that the range of brain sizes in modern humans goes down to about 700 cm3 (compared to about 1350 cm3 for the average modern human). Homo erectus skulls, which have sizes above 700 cm3, are therefore humans, and other hominid skulls such as those belonging to Homo habilis and australopithecines, which all fall under 700 cm3, are apes of some sort.

But this means that by AIG’s own chosen criteria, the Dmanisi skulls are not human. The two smallest of the skulls have sizes of 650 cm3 and 600 cm3, which AIG and Lubenow have hitherto considered to be outside of the human range.

So, another question for AIG: if the Dmanisi skulls are H. erectus, and erectus skulls are “within the range of people today”, could they please provide some evidence of modern humans with similar brain sizes?

It should be pointed out that it’s not only the small brain sizes which show the Dmanisi hominids aren’t modern humans. Both the skulls and skeletal bones are primitive even by Homo erectus standards, and have a number of features reminiscent of Homo habilis:

Gibbons 2007 Wrote:

The bones are so primitive that a few researchers aren’t even sure they are members of Homo. “They are truly transitional forms that are neither archaic hominins nor unambiguous members of our own genus,” says paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood…



Returning to the “for the sake of argument” concession above: it is not true, in any meaningful sense, that normal modern human brain sizes go down to 700 cm3. Lubenow says (pp.127-8) that “Modern humans have a cranial capacity range from about 700 cc all the way to up to about 2200 cc.”, but his sole evidence for this is a quote from another book that says “In fact, there are many persons with 700 to 800 cubic centimetres” (Molnar 1975, cited on p.309 by Lubenow). The smallest actual human brain size Lubenow can find cited anywhere is 790 cm3. So saying, as he did in the first edition of his book (p.162), that the habiline skull ER 1470, at 750-775 cm3, is “well within the normal human range” is a wild exaggeration.

Even if you could find modern human brains that small, they would be incredibly rare. For all practical purposes, modern human brain sizes range from 900 cm3 to 2000 cm3. The anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka measured 12,000 skulls in the U.S. National Museums collections, and the smallest brain size was 910 cm3. Another 19th century study of 600 skulls found a minimum value of 950 cm3. (For more on this topic, read my webpage Creationist Arguments: Brain sizes.)

And, it is certainly not true that H. erectus has “an appropriately smaller head (and brain size)” than modern humans. H. erectus skulls are much smaller than those of equivalently-sized modern humans. The Turkana Boy Homo erectus skeleton belonged to a tall young boy who would probably have grown to around 182 cm (6 feet) in height, but his estimated adult brain size was only 910 cm3, about the size of a 3 or 4 year old modern human child. Quite a few other erectus skulls, particularly the older African ones, are 850 cm3 or smaller.

Lordkipanidze et al 2007 estimate that the Dmanisi hominids weighed between 40 and 50 kg (88 and 110 lbs) and were between 145 and 166 cm in height (4’9” and 5’5”). This is smaller than most modern humans but by no means all of them, and it is larger on average than pygmies. Yet pygmy brain sizes average at least 1150 cm3, about 85% that of average-sized humans, while the Dmanisi hominids have brain sizes between 60% and 45% that of an average modern human.

As you’d expect from the above data, the encephalization quotient (a measure of brain size compared to body size) for the Dmanisi hominids and the Turkana Boy is well below that of modern humans (6.3):

Lordkipanidze et al 2007 Wrote:

Combining cranial and postcranial dimensions, the encephalization quotient for the Dmanisi individuals is in the range of 2.6 to 3.1, which is at the lower end of estimates for KNM-WT 15000 (2.7-3.8) and more comparable to H. habilis (3.1) and australopiths (2.4-3.1).

AIG is correct in saying that the middle ear of Homo erectus was just like ours - not surprising, since, like us, they were obligatory bipeds. (The middle ear contains the semicircular canals which are used in balance and orientation.)

As for AIG’s claims that the bones of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens are found together, this presumably relies upon the tables found in Lubenow’s book which show extensive temporal overlap. One problem is that Lubenow counts as erectus many skulls belonging to fairly recent sapiens, mostly of Australian aboriginal specimens. Some of these are quite atypical compared to the average modern human, but no qualified anatomist (and no, Lubenow is not one) has ever classified them as erectus. Another problem is that Lubenow arbitrarily assigns to H. sapiens many fossils which either belong to H. erectus or other species, or are not readily identifiable.

But the biggest problem is that Lubenow claims that the coexistence of H. sapiens and H. erectus disproves evolution, because an ancestor species cannot coexist with its descendant species (p.120). This is such a pathetic argument that I’m not even going to bother rebutting it; instead I’m going to direct you to AIG’s rebuttal of it. Yes, you heard right. The central argument used by the flagship creationist book on human evolution is so feeble that Answers in Genesis has disowned it - even though they enthusiastically promote that book.

References

Gibbons, A. (2007): A new body of evidence fleshes out Homo erectus. Science, 317:1664.

Lieberman D.E. (2007): Homing in on early Homo. Nature 449:291-292.

Lordkipanidze, D., Jashashvili, T., Vekua, A., Ponce de Leon, M. S., Zollikofer, C. P., Rightmire, G. P. et al. (2007): Postcranial evidence from early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia. Nature, 449:305-310.

Lubenow M.L.: Bones of contention (2nd edition): a creationist assessment of human fossils, Grand Rapids,MI:Baker Books, 2004.

44 Comments

Ah, the inconsistency of Creationists…

On the one hand, thanks to their incompetent fact-checking, they make themselves look like idiots. On the other hand, creationists feel that they are above trifling piffles like peer-review.

Or fact-checking.

“(In a nutshell, Casey Luskin of the DI attempted to argue that the Dmanisi hominids were apes, an argument that is untenable for any number of reasons).”
There’s no way they could be apes, they’re clearly mammals!

Up to their usual monkey business, I see.

Nice fisking. When you get AIG and IDiots fighting each other it’s like a tard fest to the death. Haven’t they ever read the Wedge?

OK, I don’t get it. My reading has always been, homo sapiens falls spang in the middle of the ape clade. We are the ape’s ape. We epitomize essentially everything that distinguishes an ape from a monkey (much less everything else).

So what, exactly, is the issue here? Is it a dispute about the direct lineage which led to our species, as opposed to branches of that lineage which did not, and died out? Is it a dispute about distinguishing hominids from hominans? Seems pretty hazy and not real conducive to the sort of black/white distinction being discussed, where current humans are white and all extinct members of that bush are, well, some degree of less white but the jury is still out on HOW MUCH less, and in what ways.

So it would seem that Luskin and AiG are disagreeing over a distinction that may not exist even in principle. Which renders this a dispute about angels on pinheads - you have to buy into a bunch of arbitrary and unsupportable context before this dispute even begins to make sense.

Cage match under the big tent!

The pygmy comparisons are interesting. While their stature is obviously genetic, just bringing it up makes me curious about the relationship between diet (which can greatly influence body size) and brain size.

Erasmus, FCD said:

Nice fisking. When you get AIG and IDiots fighting each other it’s like a tard fest to the death. Haven’t they ever read the Wedge?

It’s like the Upper-Class Twit of The Year Competition.

“And AIG has run itself over!”

The DI making a long-held creationist argument? How dare we call them creationists!

Flint said:

OK, I don’t get it. My reading has always been, homo sapiens falls spang in the middle of the ape clade. We are the ape’s ape. We epitomize essentially everything that distinguishes an ape from a monkey (much less everything else).

So what, exactly, is the issue here? Is it a dispute about the direct lineage which led to our species, as opposed to branches of that lineage which did not, and died out? Is it a dispute about distinguishing hominids from hominans? Seems pretty hazy and not real conducive to the sort of black/white distinction being discussed, where current humans are white and all extinct members of that bush are, well, some degree of less white but the jury is still out on HOW MUCH less, and in what ways.

So it would seem that Luskin and AiG are disagreeing over a distinction that may not exist even in principle. Which renders this a dispute about angels on pinheads - you have to buy into a bunch of arbitrary and unsupportable context before this dispute even begins to make sense.

Creotards claim there are no intermediates. The fossils are either man or ape. Once you find something in between, it presents a problem (and comedy for us) between the different creotard groups. In short, they have no methods to classify these bones, so each group just makes crap up, and you end up with conflicting statements.

So they wind up with a bone to pick with each other, to all in big tents and purposes.

Creotards claim there are no intermediates. The fossils are either man or ape.

Huh? This is like trying to distinguish between rats and rodents, to show that something is either all rat or all rodent. It doesn’t make sense.

I suspect a terminology problem of some kind here. Maybe “ape” is a term being used to describe all OTHER apes? But how can there be an “intermediate” between a clade, and a member of that clade? How can there be an “intermediate” between rats and rodents?

Yes, I understand that creationists think all “kinds” were independently created and that the taxonomic branching we see is kind of accidental. I understand they don’t think much has changed since that (recent) event. There might be genuine disputes as to whether some fossil is our particular kind of ape, or some previous and/or closely related species of ape. But we are ALL apes.

“I accept that you may be descended from a ape; I can even accept that I may be descended from a ape; but I defy the man to state that General Robert E. Lee is descended from a ape.”

Gen’l George Pickett

Gen. Pickett, I understand, had the misfortune to be personally present at the charge that bears his name, and had been put there by order of Gen. Longstreet, vice Gen. Lee. If all of them had not evolved from apes, but had remained as such, none of them would have been in that unpleasant position.

Regrettably, evolution is blind. Among other adaptations, apes evolved larger brains. Given time, they produced complex technologies, like gunpowder, minie balls and efficient field artillery. They also produced ethical systems that say both that it’s wrong to kill people and also that killing people is acceptable, even admirable, in the line of duty. This allows the seeming paradox of an intelligent, kindly, ethical human being who slaughters thousands of his fellows while shedding the occasional bitter tear over it, and by that act regarding himself - and being regarded by his fellows, even the ones he kills - as decent and upstanding, all without the slightest feeling of hypocrisy.

Apes couldn’t do that. “Descended from apes” is indeed a correct description of our lineage.

Flint said:

Creotards claim there are no intermediates. The fossils are either man or ape.

Huh? This is like trying to distinguish between rats and rodents, to show that something is either all rat or all rodent. It doesn’t make sense.

I suspect a terminology problem of some kind here. Maybe “ape” is a term being used to describe all OTHER apes? But how can there be an “intermediate” between a clade, and a member of that clade? How can there be an “intermediate” between rats and rodents?

Yes, I understand that creationists think all “kinds” were independently created and that the taxonomic branching we see is kind of accidental. I understand they don’t think much has changed since that (recent) event. There might be genuine disputes as to whether some fossil is our particular kind of ape, or some previous and/or closely related species of ape. But we are ALL apes.

I never claimed it made any sense, it’s just the way it is with these guys. Man was created as man, he did not evolve from some other primate. Apes are a separate “kind”. That’s why you get the different fossil analysis from these clowns.

I share an office with one, he worships Philip Johnson and will argue all day that ID is not creationism. He tells me that the “designer” exists in another dimension and is not detectable, but it is still science. It won’t matter how many times you point out that anyone could make up any kind of crap and stick it in that space and it would be just as defensible (or indefensible). Also, Homo Erectus were men, and went to hell because they were not “born again”.

A normal person just couldn’t (wouldn’t) make this stuff up.

MememicBottleneck said: Also, Homo Erectus were men, and went to hell because they were not “born again”.

I give that a 9 out of 10 for idiocy. Even granting a 6,000 year old earth, that puts 4,000 years of people before Christ. How could they be born again? The 10 out of 10 is reserved, of course, for Sherri Shephard of The View, and her memorable quote; “I don’t think anything predated Christians.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psGLXqW1kUs

Heh.

eric said:

MememicBottleneck said: Also, Homo Erectus were men, and went to hell because they were not “born again”.

I give that a 9 out of 10 for idiocy. Even granting a 6,000 year old earth, that puts 4,000 years of people before Christ. How could they be born again? The 10 out of 10 is reserved, of course, for Sherri Shephard of The View, and her memorable quote; “I don’t think anything predated Christians.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psGLXqW1kUs

Heh.

I once had this one gentleman try to convince me of the futility of my position by stating that the Big Bang could not have happened because “no one could survive an explosion that big.”

And also pointed out to me that all of the latest scientific discoveries supported the Bible, though, he never bothered to say what ones.

Stanton said:

I once had this one gentleman try to convince me of the futility of my position by stating that the Big Bang could not have happened because “no one could survive an explosion that big.”

That’s awesome. We really need a Creationist Comedy Tour. No jokes, just a list of (the best) ‘serious’ statements made by believers. They could use a giant drawing of St. Augustine as a backdrop.

eric said: We really need a Creationist Comedy Tour. No jokes, just a list of (the best) ‘serious’ statements made by believers.

Well, there is this:

http://www.fstdt.com/fundies/top100[…]px?archive=1

Please remove all fragile objects from the area beneath your jaw before reading. Not all creationist, but many, many are.

DaveH said:

Please remove all fragile objects from the area beneath your jaw before reading. Not all creationist, but many, many are.

I would bet that a few of those are POEs. Unfortunately, it’s not EVEN a bet that not ALL of them are.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

PS: I do have to admit that this one has a certain amount of black wit to it:

I am 100% pro-life, unless we’re talking about capital punishment, in which case I am 100% pro-death.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Uh, pardons me, but I iz an ignerent creationism and pardon my stupidness but will you reel smarts peeple point my ignerent azz to ware yu had evolved 1 single simpel (lyk me) cel what that deevides…in any ov yor phancy laborortories? Yuz make the amino azid and sez it be buildum blok…so buildum cel.

stan said:

Uh, pardons me, but I iz an ignerent creationism and pardon my stupidness but will you reel smarts peeple point my ignerent azz to ware yu had evolved 1 single simpel (lyk me) cel what that deevides…in any ov yor phancy laborortories? Yuz make the amino azid and sez it be buildum blok…so buildum cel.

Again we see the creationist double standard: demand more and more from scientists, demand everything be shown right this instant, never stop screaming for more, and never acknowledge anything already provided. Meanwhile, ignore any request to support your own position, and keep spewing known falsehoods.

Tell you what, show us how to create a human from dirt and magic and we’ll get right on it! You want a demonstration, well turnabout’s fair play, give us a demonstration of creationism! If you can’t offer anything to support your idiocy, fuck off!

Off-topic and provocative trolling comments will be (and have been) deleted.

Thanks Jim. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. Somebody famous once said that, I just agree with it.

Yeah, but it’s too bad that vigilance has to be expended on our freedom from breathtaking inanities.

Henry

DaveH said:

Well, there is this:

http://www.fstdt.com/fundies/top100[…]px?archive=1

Please remove all fragile objects from the area beneath your jaw before reading. Not all creationist, but many, many are.

And I was there when at least one of those was posted.

@Stan: the suggested protocol is take a large number of simple organic reagents on a hot young planet (Refer to the centrefold of the Hot Young Planets special edition of PlayAstronomer) and leave them for several tens of millions of years at least. Have fun.

This blog post is not about abiogenesis, so comments on that topic are banned from now on, as is trolling.

Three cheers Jim. Keep it up.

Great post, Jim.

I recently posted two responses to creationists myself:

“Even Rocks Evolve!”: http://thankgodforevolution.com/node/1525

“Creationist Confusion / Evolution as Meaningful, Inspiring Fact”: http://thankgodforevolution.com/node/1520

Keep up the great work!

~ Michael http://ThankGodforEvolution.com

So, where does one’s conscience originate? Hmmm…

William Cody Bateman said:

So, where does one’s conscience originate? Hmmm…

Irrelevant to the subject in question. Whether you choose to believe it was implanted by God or evolved naturally, it doesn’t change the transitional nature of the Dmanisi hominids. Consciences don’t fossilize.

Jim said: Whether you choose to believe it was implanted by God or evolved naturally, it doesn’t change the transitional nature of the Dmanisi hominids. Consciences don’t fossilize.

…except that the behavior of such notables as Don McLeroy and William Buckingham provide strong evidence that conscience fossilizes in some creationists while they are still alive. :)

Okay I will pay for my social commentary with an attempt at an intelligent Dmanisi question related to consciousness (if not conscience). Artifacts and sometimes burial positions can provide evidence for consciousness. How far back could we reasonably expect to find artifacts? I guess that’s really two questions: at what age do we think they started being made, and; at what age would it be difficult to identify worn stone objects as artifacts even if they were there? I.e. is there a cut-off where its not reasonable to expect to find anything, even if it had existed?

eric said:

Okay I will pay for my social commentary with an attempt at an intelligent Dmanisi question related to consciousness (if not conscience). Artifacts and sometimes burial positions can provide evidence for consciousness. How far back could we reasonably expect to find artifacts? I guess that’s really two questions: at what age do we think they started being made, and; at what age would it be difficult to identify worn stone objects as artifacts even if they were there? I.e. is there a cut-off where its not reasonable to expect to find anything, even if it had existed?

The oldest stone tools are about 2.5 million years old. Some tools around this age have been found with Australopithecus garhi fossils, and in other places around the same time period. So that’s pretty old, and implies the earliest stone tools didn’t belong to genus Homo.

I think that, more so than fossils, when we start finding stone tools is a good indicator of when they started appearing. There would be more tools than individuals originally (because you’d expect each individual to create many tools over their lifetime) and they preserve better - stones can easily last for millions of years, unlike bones. Archaeologists are confident that they can distinguish rocks which are naturally broken from those deliberately worked, so I assume they know what they’re talking about.

Why don’t you PALEOTARDS try reading the Bible, maybe study the scientific parts? Did you know a man named Isaiah spoke about a “circular” earth thousands of years before “science” found out? Did you know it was written in the Bible thousands of years before “science” found out: blood (plasma)is universal, the water cycle, why it rains, vitamin K??? The fossil record strongly supports the Biblical principal of reproduction after its kind, not evolution of one KIND turning into another. Fossil graveyards are mass burial sites throughout the world that are literally packed with fossilized animals from different climactic zones, The billions of fossils do not show evolution. It clearly is a great memorial to the sudden mass extermination of life from the antediluvian world around 2300 B.C, the Genesis flood.

Polystratic trees are fossil trees which extend through several layers of strata there is a fossilized Lepidodendrid tree in found in Tennessee, how did this happen. TRY reading the Bible and study the scientific and creation side of it. I did, now I am among those who will be raised on the last day to be with the Lord. I pray for all those who think that when they die they go no where but in the ground, the blind leading the blind.

There is no reasoning with the unreasonable; nevertheless, let us try.

The Bible as we now have it predates science by seventeen hundred years or so; they have nothing to do with each other.

Isaiah did speak of a circular Earth. I take it that you do understand the difference between “circular” and “spherical”? He thought of the Earth as a plate suspended in a great ocean, with the sky a dome above it.

The rain cycle occurred to many other early peoples than the Hebrews. The Maya, for example. I have no idea what the remarks about blood and vitamin K mean.

Your statements about the fossil record are wildly incorrect. That record plainly shows the slow replacement of one set of living things with completely different sets, slowly succeeding one another in a more-or-less continuous process (although with several great extinctions). It shows slow but enormous change over deep time.

There are now many full sets of transitional forms - fish to tetrapod, reptile to mammal, dinosaur to bird, hoofed animal to whale, hominid to human. These occur in precisely the order predicted by evolution, from least like today’s animals to most like them, over time. This evidence powerfully supports the idea of common descent.

Many strata are made up of fossil animals, many times more fossils of many more animals than could ever exist on Earth at any one time. These strata lie evenly, not in great swathes or heaps, as one would expect from rushes of water, and they lie in multiple even layers, one over another. They could not have been laid down by one flood. They could only have been slowly accumulated over millions of years as land was covered by water that receded and then was covered again, and the sheer number of fossils can only be accounted by huge numbers of generations.

“Polystrate” trees are fossilised trees that pushed roots through several different strata in river deltas and shorelines when it was soft sediment. Later, the sediments hardened into sedimentary rock, with the structures of the tree roots preserved. (The same is seen with animal burrows.) They’re easily explained, and the explanation has been known since the 1880’s.

I have read the Bible, several times. There is no rigorous science in it, though there is often a shrewd commonsense knowledge of nature. Specifically, there is no science in its account of creation, which is what you would expect of the people who wrote it. They simply lacked the data. You have no such excuse. The facts are easily available to you, if you have the goodwill to seek them out.

I hope that your hopes for salvation will be fulfilled. I would, however, point out to you that if the Lord your God gave you your eyes and your brain, your understanding and your intellect, and the Parable of the Talents is any guide, He expects you to use them. You tell me to read the Bible, which I have done. But if you wish to be taken seriously, you will need to study more than the Bible to arrive at any real knowledge of geology. Try doing that.

OK, whose turn was it to make sure dan got his meds?

Dave Luckett said:

I have read the Bible, several times. There is no rigorous science in it, though there is often a shrewd commonsense knowledge of nature.

It would be better to say “largely inaccurate,” given as how we are dealing with a book that says that hyraxes ruminate and that bats are birds.

Shall we stump Dan with that one simple question that no Creationist has ever been able to answer?

Dan … define exactly what a ‘Kind’ is.

While Dan is busy Lying for Jesus, Let’s remind him, as Dave said in different terms, that he is doing a severe dishonour to his god.

By not observing and accepting the facts that are all around him he is effectively ridiculing the very god he thinks he’s defending. By blinding himself with the lies, contradictions, and ignorance of the bible, Dan has limited himself to seeing only a tiny fraction of the real world supposedly setup by his god.

Now being ominpotent, I doubt Dan’s god gives a rats ass what Dan or anyone else really thinks, but if that god does care, I suspect he will care much less for those who promote blind and violent ignorance rather than for those who dive deep into the true details and facts of his glorious creation.

In other words Dan, if your god does exist, he’ll have us at his side talking about all the great details of his creation, about what we figured out and what we were still trying to learn, while you’re down below burning for eternity for not giving him enough credit, for not believing your god could have created a universe in which life spontaneously formed from chemicals and evolved into sufficient complexity to be able to contemplate it all.

Thanks for the article Jim. I am not a hard-line evolutionist, although I am happy to accept that it might be true. I am still thinking it through (as of 2009). I have read a lot from the few different sides of the debate, and have not been able to come to a clear conclusion just yet. But I respect the fact that many have. The two general sides (evolutionists and non-evolutionists) of the debate seem to have good arguments and counter-arguments. While it might not go down too well on this post, I do believe there is some excellent scholarship on both sides of the debate.

While I didn’t quite agree with everything you said in your article, it has provided some good food for thought. So thank you for that. The only comment I would make (which I’m guessing you’re already aware) is that some of the points you made (e.g. disagreements among creationist, suggesting their incompetence) can also (and has been) levelled against evolutionists (e.g. disagreements about the mechanism for biological macro-evolution). But this is just a small point.

If it’s OK for me to also say, I was a little disappointed by some of the comments made by other people responding to your article. I thought that many respondents were intent on attacking the person rather than the issue at hand. I’m sure people are just venting their frustration at the other side, but to an outsider, it really does look less than intellectual, and doesn’t fair well for their credibility. I’m sure some non-evolutionists are guilty of the same thing.

I only wish the debate was in a more humble and respectful manner from both sides. Humility breeds teachableness, which in turns helps us to see the truth more clearly. Arrogance is often blinding.

I’m just glad you didn’t stoop to this level too much in your article. Perhaps if you could disassociate yourself from some the comments from some that are clearly slanderous, it would encourage people to speak in a more respectful manner.

Humble and respectful like Salvador Cordova, for example? (chuckle)

chris said:

I am still thinking it through (as of 2009). I have read a lot from the few different sides of the debate, and have not been able to come to a clear conclusion just yet.

Here’s a simple question, Chris.

If not evolution, then what, exactly?

What is the actual position that ID takes?

For a moment, don’t criticize evolution.

Pretend Darwin never lived.

Based on the current state if ID research, What supposedly happened? And when did it happen?

Even the vaguest answer to those questions should produce some king of testable leads. Leads that should have certainly turned up some tiny sliver of evidence over the course of 2000 years or so.

Where is it, Chris?

Where is any of it?

Where is the tiny littlest scrap of positive evidence for ID?

Meanwhile, science has been beavering away, filling the worlds museums with bones and it’s hospitals with medicines and it’s bellies with seeds, all of which are based directly on evolutionary concepts.

I don’t mean to be a prick here, Chris, but it’s a little hard to be ‘respectful’ when you’re discussing the knee-deep piles of ancient man-apes that inconveniently keep turning up in the dirt of Africa with a group like AIG that still steadfastly maintains that the Earth popped into existence one afternoon in the middle of the bronze age, and the skeletal hominids in clear view somehow don’t actually exist.

C’mon Chris, it’s the dead parrot sketch only with older, deader, less colorful bodies.

I don’t understand why there’s even a debate. Flat-earthers are ridiculed and listened to only for their entertainment value. Creationalists are (or should be) in the same canoe. On the one hand you have science, on the other you have romantic idealism and its attempt to rewrite factual history.

curran said:

I don’t understand why there’s even a debate. Flat-earthers are ridiculed and listened to only for their entertainment value. Creationalists are (or should be) in the same canoe. On the one hand you have science, on the other you have romantic idealism and its attempt to rewrite factual history.

It’s all about controlling people, controlling the ultimate destinies of people and the societies they live in, and, most importantly, using Jesus to make a buck for yourself.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim Foley published on December 2, 2008 10:30 PM.

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