Friday, May 22, 2009

Liz Cheney Spars With Lawrence O'Donnell Over Waterboarding

Mexican Corruption -- Jail "Break"

Is This Truly the Missing Link?? Darwinius Masillae (Ida)

I have held off on this topic a bit to read a bit more on it. With the past conclusions made by the evolutionary community in the past about supposed missing links and their turning out to be fraud, fiction, or misinterpreted... I am always skeptical of people who interpret the world thusly:

Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic. (Correspondence to Nature, 410 [6752], 30 September, 1999).

May I be so bold as to submit that with the track record of "scientism" that maybe they are wrong on this as well. Apologetic Press does a good job on exposing the infighting already that has surrounded this fossil. I will post a portion of their summation as well as a section of other supposed missing links taken from the book, The Face That Demonstrates The Farce Of Evolution. Before those two, I just want to give a quick response to the opposable thumb thing (source):

Ida has opposable thumbs, which the ABC News article states are “similar to humans’ and unlike those found on other modern mammals” (i.e., implying that opposable thumbs are evidence of evolution). Yet lemurs today have opposable thumbs (like all primates).

Lemurs have opposable thumbs and long toes for gripping tree branches (left). Like all other lemurs, this red ruffed lemur (right) has a big, bushy tail that helps with balance. Lemurs also wave their tails in the air as a form of communication.

Alright, now some imported articles/book quotes:

From Apologetics Press

It has been called, not just “a discovery of great significance” (“The Link,” 2009), but the “most significant scientific discovery of recent times” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Some scientists claim “it will finally confirm irrefutably Sir Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Dr. Jens Lorenz Franzen of Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world” (as quoted in Scally, 2009), and confidently proclaimed: “When our results are published, it will be just like an asteroid hitting the Earth” (“The Link”). Apparently, Google was so enamored with the find that on May 20 the search engine mogul incorporated an illustration of the animal into its logo. So what’s all the hoopla about? “Our earliest ancestor,” of course (“The Link”). At least, that is what some evolutionists and their friends in the media are telling everyone.

Dubbed Ida (pronounced Ē-da), this 23-inch, lemur-like fossil found in a quarry near Frankfurt, Germany is reportedly the “most complete fossil primate ever discovered” (“Did a Strangely...,” 2009). That, in and of itself, is noteworthy. And, if that was all that was being reported about the fossil, there would be no controversy. Unfortunately, however, some evolutionists have placed the fossil on the Darwinian pedestal....

....many in the evolutionists own camp have “questioned the conclusions of Hurum and his colleagues about how closely it [Ida—EL/KB] is related to ancestors of monkeys and humans” (Ritter, 2009). John Fleagle, distinguished professor at the State University in New York [and co-author of Primate Evolution and Human Origins], referred to the scientists’ analysis of Ida as “‘a pretty weak link’ between the new creature and higher primates” (as quoted in Ritter). “Quite frankly,” Fleagle said, “It doesn’t really tell us much about anthropoid origins” (as quoted in Ritter). In an article appearing in New Scientist titled “Why Ida Fossil is not the Missing Link” (emp. added), Chris Beard, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, wrote:

In order to establish that connection [between Ida and anthropoids—EL/KB], Ida would have to have anthropoid-like features that evolved after anthropoids split away from lemurs and early primates. Here, alas, Ida fails miserably. So, Ida is not a “missing link”—at least not between anthropoids and more primitive primates. Further study may reveal her to be a missing link between other species of Eocene adapiforms, but this hardly solidifies her status as the “eighth wonder of the world” (2009, emp. added).

Beard added: “I actually don’t think it’s terribly close to the common ancestral line of monkeys, apes and people.... I would say it’s about as far away as you can get from that line and still be a primate” (as quoted in Ritter). He further stated that rather than a primate “aunt,” this creature is “more like a third cousin twice removed” (as quoted in Ritter). In his article that is favorable toward the find being an evolutionary link, Tom Leonard conceded: “She is not a direct ancestor of humans and monkeys but it provides a good indication of what such an animal may have looked like” (2009, emp. added). Chris Beard concluded his article by saying: “Instead, Ida is a remarkably complete specimen that promises to teach us a great deal about the biology of some of the earliest and least human-like of all known primates, the Eocene adapiforms” (2009, emp. added).

So, if Ida is not an evolutionary link between anything, what is “she”? Philip Gingerich, president elect of the Paleontological Society in the U.S., described the creature as “a young female adapid” (Naik, 2009). What are adapids? The Princeton University Web site WordNet defines the term as: “extinct small mostly diurnal lower primates that fed on leaves and fruit; abundant in North America and Europe 30 to 50 million years ago” (“Adapid,” n.d.). Notice that adapids are simply “lower primates.” Basically, Ida looks like a lemur that does not have a tooth comb or a grooming claw (Naik, 2009). Some have suggested that the creature did not have “a wet nose,” but Dr. Gingerich is on record as saying: “We can’t say whether it had a wet nose or not” (as quoted in Naik, 2009). ...

Creationists and Christians should be grateful for the candor of doctrinaire evolutionist Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the prestigious British Museum of Natural History, which houses the world’s largest fossil collection – sixty million specimens – when he said:

For almost 20 years I thought I was working on evolution…. But there was not one thing I knew about it…. So for the last few weeks I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people. Question is: “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?” I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, "“es, i do know one thing -–it ought not to be taught in high school.”… During the past few years… you have experianced a shift from evolution as knowledge to evolution as faith…. Evolution not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge.


Nebraska Man

In 1922, a tooth was discovered in Nebraska. With a little imagination the tooth was connected to a mythological jawbone, the jawbone was connected to a skull, the skull was connected to a skeleton, and the skeleton was given a face, features and fur. By the time the story hit a London newspaper, not only was there a picture of “Nebraska man” but there was also a picture of “Nebraska mom.” all of that from a single solitary tooth [which was used as proof of evolution at the Scopes trial]. Imagine what might have happened if a skeleton had been discovered. Perhaps a yearbook would have been published!

Some time after the initial discovery, an identical tooth was found by geologist Harold Cook. This time the tooth was attached to the skeleton of a wild pig. Thus, Nebraska man, known by the “scientific” designation Hesperopithecus harolcookii, has been unmasked as a myth rather than a man in the making.

Ironically, while scientists were attempting to make a monkey out of a pig, the pig made a monkey out of the scientists. While one would think this blunder would preclude the possibility of similar fantasies, a parade of pretenders continues to persist.

Pithecanthropus Erectus

Speculation about Pithecanthropus erectus, the ape-man that walked erect, is far and away the most famous “ape-man” fiction still being circulated as fact. While over time he has evolved into a new classification called Homo erectus, millions regard him as a friendly ancestor, not just a fossil, and simply refer to him by the nickname Java Man.

It is generally known that Java Man was initially discovered by a Dutchman named Eugene Dubois on the Dutch East Island of Java in 1891. What is not so well known is that Java Man consists of nothing more than a skull cap, a femur (thigh bone), three teeth, and a great deal of imagination. Even more disturbing is the fact that the femur was found fifty feet from the skullcap and a full year later. Most unsettling of all is that for almost thirty years, Dubois downplayed his discovery of two human skulls (the Wadjak skulls), which he found in close proximity to his original “finds.” this alone should have been sufficient to disqualify Java Man as humankind’s ancestor.

The famous evolutionist, Sir Arthur Keith, drove this point home in humorous fashion:

If, on his return in 1894, [Dubois] had placed before the anthropologists of the time the ape-like skull from Trinil [the skull of Java Man] side by side with the great-brained skulls of Wadjak, both fossilized, both from the same region of Java, he would have given them a meal beyond the powers of their mental digestion. Since then our digestions have grown stronger.

Keith, of course, was speaking tongue-in-cheek to underscore the fact that those in his own profession have become increasingly gullible. In truth, the most thorough fact-finding expedition ever conducted on Java Man utterly demolished Dubois’s claims. This trek, commonly referred to as the Selenka Expedition, included nineteen evolutionists bent on demonstrating that evolutionary conjectures about Java Man were true. However, their 342-page scientific report, which, according to Keith, “commands our unstinted praise,” demonstrates beyond peradventure of a doubt that Java Man played no part in human evolution.

Despite all the evidence, it is truly amazing that Time magazine printed “How Man Began,” an article that shamelessly treated Java Man as though it were a true evolutionary ancestor. Even more incredible is the fact that Donald Johanson, best known for his discovery of a famous fossil named Lucy (after the Beatles’ tune, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), still regards Java man as a valid transitional form; and Harvard’s Richard Lewontin thinks this information about Java Man should be taught as one of the five “facts of evolution.”

Piltdown Man

while Pithecanthropus erectus (Java Man) can best be placed in the category of fiction, Piltdown Man (Eoanthropus dawsoni) may be factually described as a fraud. While the fraud may have been cleverly conceived, it was crudely carried out. The jaw of an ape was stained to make it appear as though it matched a human skull; the Piltdown fossils along with some accompanying bones were not only stained but also reshaped. As Marvin Lubenow explains:

The file marks on the orangutan teeth of the lower jaw were clearly visible. The molars were misaligned and filed at two different angles. The canine tooth had been filed at two different angles. The canine tooth had been filed down so far that the pulp cavity had been exposed and then plugged.

Despite the fact that the Piltdown fossils were clearly “doctored,” highly esteemed scientists in the field affirmed their veracity. William Fix notes in The Bone Peddlers that the two most eminent paleoanthropologists in England at the time, Sir Arthur Keith and A. S. Woodward, declared that Piltdown Man “represents more closely than any human form yet discovered the common ancestor from which both Neanderthal and modern types have been derived.”

it wasn’t until 1953, after the Nature Conservancy had spent a considerable amount of taxpayer money to designate the Piltdown site as a national monument, that Dawson’s Dawn Man (Piltdown) was formally declared a fake. Although there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to who perpetrated the fraud, A. S. Woodward (keeper of geology at the British Museum), Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (a Jesuit priest), and Charles Dawson (the lawyer who unearthed Piltdown Man in 1912) are front-runners in the long list of possible suspects.

While Piltdown Man may well be ranked as one of the more notorious scientific frauds [over 500 doctoral dissertations were written on Piltdown, and it adorned every textbook for over 40 years] in history, it was used for forty years to dupe unsuspecting students into thinking that evolution was a fact.

Peking Man

While Java Man is fictitious and Piltdown man is a fraud, Peking Man might best be described as pure fantasy. Like Nebraska Man, Peking Man was based originally on a dusty old tooth. It was conveniently discovered in China, just as Canadian physician Davidson Black was about to run out of funds for his evolutionary exploration in 1927.

The Rockefeller Foundation rewarded this discovery with a generous grant, permitting Black to continue digging. Two years later, he discovered what he fervently believed was Peking Man’s braincase, and he estimated Peking man to be half a million years old. Unfortunately, Black’s fame was fleeting, for at age forty-nine, he died of a heart attack.

Black’s death, however, did not end his dreams. By the time World War II broke out, the evolutionary community had “discovered” fourteen skulls and an interesting collection of tools and teeth. All fourtten skulls were “missing in action” by war’s end, yet the pretense persisted.

The photographs and plaster casts that remained had some interesting similarities. Apart from the fact that the lowere skeletons were missing, the skulls had all been bashed at the base. As Ian Taylor points out, Teilhard de Chardin of Piltdown fame made his former professor, Marcellin Boule, angry “at having traveled halfway around the world to see a battered monkey skull. He pointed out that all the evidence indicated that true man was in charge of some sort of ‘industry’ and that the skulls found were merely those of monkeys.” [The “industry” mentioned was extracting Lime from ore.]

Boule was not far from the truth. As Gish has pointed out in debates against evolutionists, it now seems likely that the tools found with Peking Man were used on him, not by him. As it turns out, while monkey meat is difficult to digest, monkey brains are delicious. To this day, natives of Southeast Asia lop off the heads of monkeys, bash them in at the back [the exact same spot on the Peking skulls], scoop out the brains, and eat them as a delicacy. If you saw the movie Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom, that’s exactly what Jones and his cohorts had for dinner – “Peking Man on the half shell.” it is now clear to anyone who looks at the evidence with an open mind that Peking Man was not a distant relative but rather dinner.

To say that “hominids” like Peking Man and his partners are closely related to humans because both can walk upright is like saying that a hummingbird and a helicopter are closely related because both can fly. In reality, the distance between an ape who cannot read or write and a descendant of Adam who can compose a musical masterpiece or send a person to the moon is the distance of infinity.

All this evidence in the world, however, is not sufficient to convince those who do not want to be confused with facts. To wit, Walter Cronkite, in the television premier of Ape Man: The Story of Human Evolution, declared that monkeys were his “newfound cousins.” Cronkite went on to say: “If you go back far enough, we and the chimps share a common ancestor. My father’s father’s father’s father, going back maybe a half a million generations – about five million years – was an ape.”

In fairness it should be pointed out that not all evolutionists believe humans evolved from monkeys. Some in fact believe quite the opposite – that monkeys evolved from humans. Geoffrey Bourne, former director of the Yerkes Primate Research Center of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is a classic case in point. An article in Modern People points out that Bourne, who “is considered one of the world’s leading experts on primates,” believes that “monkeys, apes, and all other lower primate species are really the offspring of man.” [Dr. Bourne is Oxford educated, and is an American cell biologist /[slash]/ anatomist.]

Bourne’s beliefs are bolstered by an article in New Scientist in which John Gribben and Jeremy Cherfas say they “think that the chimp is descended from man.” their theory is that “the genetic changes that produced early man from an ape were cleanly reversed to produce early chimps and gorillas from man/” The truth, however, is that evolutionists who believe humans evolved from chimps over millions of years, as well as those who believe chimps evolved from humans, are dead wrong.

Anthropologist Edmund R. Leach told the 1981 Annual Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science:

“Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so.”

David Raup, curator of geology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago:

“He [Darwin] was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn’t look the way he predicted it would and, as a result, he devoted a long section of his Origin of Species to an attempt to explain and rationalize the differences…. Darwin’s general solution to the incompatibility of fossil evidence and his theory was to say that the fossil record is a very incomplete one…. Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information [archaeopteryx as well].”

Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, probably evolution’s leading spokesperson today, has acknowledged:

“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

George Gaylord Simpson, perhaps the twentieth century’s foremost paleontologist, said:

“This regular absence of transitional forms is not confined to mammals, but is an almost universal phenomenon, as has long been noted by paleontologists. It is true of almost all orders of all classes of animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate.”

David B. Kitts of the school of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote:

“Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of ‘seeing’ evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires [key word, requires] intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them.”

Dr. Steven Stanley of the department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, John Hopkins University, says:

“The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic [structural] transition and hence offers no evidence that the gradualistic model can be valid.”

Professor Heribert Nilsson, Director of the Botanical Institute at Lund University, Sweden, declared after forty years of study:

“It may, therefore, be firmly maintained that it is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleobiological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled.”

Gareth J. Nelson, of the American Museum of Natural History:

“It is a mistake to believe that even one fossil species or fossil ‘group’ can be demonstrated to have been ancestral to another. The ancestor-descendant relationship may only be assumed to have existed in the absence of evidence indicating otherwise.”

Moreover, Newsweek reported:

“In the fossil record, missing links are the rule: the story of life is as disjointed as a silent newsreel, in which species succeed one another as abruptly as Balkan prime ministers. The more scientists have searched for the transitional forms between species, the more they have been frustrated.”

Moreover, one of my favorite quotes from an article entitled Paleontology and Uniformitarianism:

“Contrary to what most scientists write, the fossil record does not support the Darwinian theory of evolution because it is this theory (there are several) which we use to interpret the fossil record. By doing so, we are guilty of circular reasoning if we then say the fossil record supports this theory.”