Feature Article - August 2007
by Do-While Jones

Forget Everything!

Forget what you’ve heard about Homo habilis and Homo erectus, the origin of bipedal posture, and the genetic similarity of humans and chimps, because evolutionists have changed their minds, again.

This summer evolutionists have been changing their minds about practically everything they have been telling us about human evolution.

H. habilis and H. erectus

Here is the paragraph from a recent Nature article that stirred up a lot of the trouble.

With the discovery of the new, well dated specimens from Ileret, H. habilis and H. erectus can now be shown to have co-occurred in eastern Africa for nearly half a million years. Previously, the most recent occurrence of H. habilis was at 1.65 Myr ago or older (OH 13). KNM-ER 42703 now provides a reliable and substantially younger age of 1.44 Myr. The earliest occurrence of specimens with affinities to H. habilis is at approximately 2.33 Myr ago at Hadar (A.L. 666), but H. habilis (sensu stricto) first appears in eastern Africa at about 1.9 Myr ago (for example, OH 24). Diagnostic evidence of H. erectus appears in the African record at about the same time (that is, KNM-ER 2598), and the youngest African fossils attributed to that taxon are dated to circa 1.0 Myr ago (for example, OH 12, Daka, KNM-OG 45500). 1

Here is how that paragraph was reported in the popular press. Surprisingly, they got it right!

The fossils, discovered in eastern Africa, challenge the understanding that humans evolved one after another like a line of dominoes, from ancient Homo habilis to Homo erectus and eventually to Homo sapiens, or modern people. 2

The discovery by Meave Leakey, a member of a famous family of paleontologists, shows that two species of early human ancestors lived at the same time in Kenya. That pokes holes in the chief theory of man's early evolution - that one of those species evolved from the other.

And it further discredits that iconic illustration of human evolution that begins with a knuckle-dragging ape and ends with a briefcase-carrying man. 3

The paper is based on fossilized bones found in 2000. The complete skull of Homo erectus was found within walking distance of an upper jaw of Homo habilis, and both dated from the same general time period. That makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis, researchers said. 4

Although they are trying to minimize the importance of the coexistence of these two species, they realize the trouble they are in. The cornerstone of the theory of evolution is extinction. The only way for a new gene to predominate is for two things to happen. First, the struggle for existence must be so great that a large segment of the population dies off. Second, the new gene must provide a significant survival advantage. If these two conditions are true, then the newly evolved variant will drive the older variant to extinction.

If H. habilis existed for more than a million years without being driven to extinction by H. erectus, then H. erectus must not have had a significant survival advantage over H. habilis, and there would have been no reason for the H. erectus genes to predominate.

To make matters worse,

Homo erectus might have exhibited sexual dimorphism, a primitive trait, the researchers said.

Reduced size differences between the sexes is typically considered a trait acquired during human evolution.

"It makes Homo erectus a bit less like us," Anton said. 5

H. erectus was supposedly more highly evolved than H. habilis, but the fact that H. erectus was more primitive than previously thought, makes him less of a stepping stone to modern humans. And speaking of stepping …

Upright Posture

The names H. habilis (handy man) and H. erectus (upright walking man) were chosen based on the evolutionary notion that man first learned to use tools, and then learned to walk upright. Now that is coming into question, too.

The popular explanation: Some chimpanzee-like creature that dragged its knuckles on the ground descended from trees into grasslands, and gradually straightened up to walk like modern humans. 6

Maybe walking upright on two legs isn't such a defining human feature after all. Scientists who spent a year photographing orangutans in the rain forest say the trait probably evolved in ancient apes navigating the treetops long before ancestors of humans climbed to the ground — a hypothesis that contradicts science museums the world over. 7

The idea that a learned behavior (such as walking upright) would result in an inherited change was ridiculous in the first place. But evolutionists were bound to the stupid idea that apelike creatures who learned to walk upright would have offspring who naturally walked upright. Furthermore, walking upright was supposed to be more efficient, allowing more energy to flow to the brain, making them smarter.

Out of Africa

The 19th century view was that apelike creatures evolved into H. habilis in Africa, which evolved into H. erectus in Indonesia, which evolved into Neanderthal man and Cro-Magnon man and eventually white H. sapiens in Europe. This was the scientific justification for believing that the darker the skin, the less highly evolved, and therefore less human, a person was. Scientific "truth" reflected the racial views of European society at the time, and justified slavery.

In the latter part of the 20th century, political correctness made this view unacceptable, so it is not surprising that 20th century scientific evidence was found that reflected current racial views. Humanity evolved in many places simultaneously, making all races equal. But now evolutionists seem to be going back to the 19th century view.

An analysis of thousands of skulls shows modern humans originated from a single point in Africa and finally lays to rest the idea of multiple origins, British scientists said on Wednesday. 8

Genetic Similarity

There have been numerous calculations of the similarity of human and chimp DNA, which generally turn out to 94% to 99%. As we have told you in previous articles 9, they get those numbers by comparing only the parts of the DNA that are similar enough to compare, ignoring large sections of DNA that are so different they can’t be compared. Of course, if you just compare the similar parts you will see that the similar parts are similar. The 99% similarity is totally bogus, and now evolutionists are admitting it.

The consortium researchers aligned 2.4 billion bases from each species and came up with a 1.23% difference. However, as the chimpanzee consortium noted, the figure reflects only base substitutions, not the many stretches of DNA that have been inserted or deleted in the genomes. 10

Why did they do it this way? Evolutionists now admit they wanted to make humans and chimps seem more similar.

In a groundbreaking 1975 paper published in Science, evolutionary biologist Allan Wilson of the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and his erstwhile graduate student Mary-Claire King made a convincing argument for a 1% genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees. … But truth be told, Wilson and King also noted that the 1% difference wasn't the whole story. They predicted that there must be profound differences outside genes--they focused on gene regulation--to account for the anatomical and behavioral disparities between our knuckle-dragging cousins and us. Several recent studies have proven them perspicacious again, raising the question of whether the 1% truism should be retired.

"For many, many years, the 1% difference served us well because it was underappreciated how similar we were," says Pascal Gagneux, a zoologist at UC San Diego. "Now it's totally clear that it's more a hindrance for understanding than a help." 11

Those last two sentences speak volumes about the motivation behind the numbers. When evolutionists wanted us to believe that humans and chimps are very similar, they fudged the numbers to make them look similar. Now that it would be more helpful to emphasize differences, they want to change the numbers.

We have previously said that there really isn’t any valid way to make the comparison. Now a famous evolutionist agrees with us.

Could researchers combine all of what's known and come up with a precise percentage difference between humans and chimpanzees? "I don't think there's any way to calculate a number," says geneticist Svante Pääbo, a chimp consortium member based at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. "In the end, it's a political and social and cultural thing about how we see our differences." 12

Politics affect scientific conclusions. If chimps are 99% human, then courts of law might decide chimps should have human rights, which would restrict the scientists’ freedom to do experiments on them. Since some courts seem to be leaning this way, scientists have to come up with numbers increasing the difference between chimps and humans.

Damage Control

Clearly, these latest publications cause some trouble for evolutionists.

Susan Anton, a New York University anthropologist and co-author of the Leakey work, said she expects anti-evolution proponents to seize on the new research, but said it would be a mistake to try to use the new work to show flaws in evolution theory.

"This is not questioning the idea at all of evolution; it is refining some of the specific points," Anton said. "This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn't do. It's a continuous self-testing process." 13

Every time they say that the old facts are wrong, but the new facts are true, their credibility decreases. Truth doesn’t change on a daily basis. Yes, electrical engineering textbooks used in the 1960’s are obsolete today, but nothing in them is wrong. Ohm’s law is still true. Everything they say about vacuum tube amplifiers is still true. The old electronics textbooks aren’t obsolete because they are wrong. They are obsolete because they don’t contain new information about transistors and integrated circuits. As science advances, new truth is added, but old truth is still true.

This isn’t the case with biology textbooks. The things old biology textbooks say about human evolution aren’t true any more. That means those things weren’t true when the old textbooks were written. Similarly, the things in current biology textbooks will someday be contradicted by future biology textbooks. That’s because the theory of evolution is philosophic, not scientific.

That old evolutionary cartoon [of human evolution], while popular with the general public, is just too simple and keeps getting revised, said Bill Kimbel, who is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and wasn't part of the Leakey team. 14

The cartoon “keeps getting revised” because researchers need to find the oldest (or youngest) something-or-other to get published and get more research funding. When they do claim something is older or younger than previously believed, there are consequences.

Evolutionists seem to be content to admit that all the details about evolution are wrong while insisting the general principles are right. That isn’t good science. It isn’t even good logic. All these “facts” and discoveries can be twisted every which way because they have no foundation in truth. Truth doesn’t change. The theory of evolution never stays the same.

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Footnotes:

1 Spoor, Leakey, et al., Nature, 9 August 2007, “Implications of new early Homo fossils from Ileret, east of Lake Turkana, Kenya” pages 688-691
2 Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters, August 8, 2007, “Fossils paint new picture of human evolution”
3 Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, August 9, 2007,” Evolution revolution creates stir”
4 ibid.
5 Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters, August 8, 2007, “Fossils paint new picture of human evolution”
6 Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press, June 2, 2007, “Did upright walking start in trees?”
7 ibid.
8 Ben Hirschler, Reuters, July 18, 2007, Skulls confirm we're all out of Africa
9 Disclosure, October 2005, “Chimps Are Like Us
10 Cohen, Science, 29 June 2007, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%” p. 1836
11 ibid.
12 ibid.
13 Seth Borenstein, Associated Press, August 9, 2007,” Evolution revolution creates stir”
14 ibid.