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Creation Vs. Evolution: Paleontology

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Walking Out of Africa: Humans or a Missing Link?

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Time and again, evolutionary paleontologists have claimed to have found transitional forms—fossils of creatures that are less than human, but more than ancient apes. However, every such claim has turned out to be wishful thinking, as paleontologist David Raup explained:

A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the over-simplification inevitable in secondary sources.... Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found—yet the optimist has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks (1981, 13:289, emp. added).

Prior to Raup’s explanation and since, each attempt at discovering and reconstructing a “missing link” has failed honestly or been exposed as fraudulent (e.g., Lyons, 2002; Harrub, 2006).

This fact, however, does not stop evolutionists from evaluating new finds according to their assumption-laden geological construct. For example, recent excavations in Dmanisi, a small town in the Eurasian country of Georgia, have evolutionists thinking they have found the connection between two stages of supposed early human development—specifically, Homo habilis and Homo erectus (see Rodriguez, 2007). This connection is in the form of what are thought to be the earliest partial skeletons found in Europe (see “David Lordkipanidze,” 2007). The newly found Dmanisi creature is thought to have been a “diminutive, small-brained, ape-faced creature” (“David Lordkipanidze”). Allegedly, “from 1.75 million years ago, the slender little hominid—pre-human—is rewriting the story of who we are, where we came from and how we got here” (“David Lordkipanidze”).

First, recall that Homo habilis and Homo erectus already have been exposed as hoaxes. The conceptual identity of Homo habilis was so uncertain as to be labeled “a dumping ground for strange and out-of-place fossils” (Major, 1996, 16:76). Also, Homo habilis was found alongside Homo erectus, precluding the possibility that one was ancestral to the other (see Leakey, 1971, 3:272). Furthermore, there are no recognizable differences between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens (Harrub and Thompson, 2003, pp. 76-80).

Second, the Lordkipanidze group found a very limited number of postcranial (behind the cranium) elements. So, while Lordkipanidze may have found the oldest human fossils in Europe, he found insufficient postcranial pieces to warrant the conclusion that the Dmanisi creatures fill an evolutionary blank. Furthermore, the fossils he did find exhibit precious little, if any difference, from modern humans. For example, the length of the femur of the Dmanisi creature falls within the length of modern human femurs (Lordkipanidze, et al., 2007, 449:309). The same is true for the clavicular length, neck angle of talus, tibia length and diameter, and other statistical comparisons (449:309). Clearly the Dmanisi creature was not close to human—it was human. Harrub and Thompson adequately summarized the fossil data as it relates to our supposed near-human ancestors:

A few fossils do have odd characteristics or show abnormal bone structure—variations you probably can see all around you. Some heads are big; others are small. Some noses are pointed, and some are flat. Some jawbones look angled, while some look square. Does that mean some of us still are “evolving”? Or does it mean that there are occasional differences in humans? (2003, p. 84).

The Dmanisi creature may have been “small for his age,” but many modern members of Homo sapiens are as well.

Rodriguez wrote about the Dmanisi creatures for the Chicago Tribune: “Why they left Africa remains a mystery” (2007). Obviously, more “mysteries” remain. For example, why and how the creatures evolved also is a mystery. Most important, evidence supporting a claim that they did evolve lies beyond scientific and biblical knowledge—but fits neatly within the wide, mysterious province of scientific propaganda. Do not be deceived.

REFERENCES

“David Lordkipanidze” (2007), The Rolex Awards for Enterprise, [On-line], URL: http://www.rolexawards.com/laureates/laureate-82-lordkipanidze.html.

Harrub, Brad (2006), “April Fools—and Missing Links,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2911.

Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Leakey, Mary D. (1971), Olduvai Gorge (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press).

Lordkipanidze, David, et al. (2007), “Postcranial Evidence From Early Homo From Dmanisi, Georgia,” Nature, 449:305-310, September.

Lyons, Eric (2002), “Misunderstood...or Missing Link?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1755.

Major, Trevor (1996), “Human Evolution: The Molecular and Fossil Evidence—Part II,” Reason & Revelation, 16:73-77, October.

Raup, David (1981), “Letter to the Editor,” Science, 13:289, July 17.

Rodriguez, Alex (2007), “In Georgia, A Missing Link?,” Chicago Tribune, [On-line], URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/printedition/sunday/ chi-prehistoric_rodrigueznov18,0,4048550.story.




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