Bones of Contention: How Will Creationists Respond To A Huge New Hominid Fossil Find?

Where no animal except a lost owl and rodent has ever found themselves, through skinny passages that I could not fit through, laying on or just under fine sediments, the partially fossilized bones of at least 15 individuals have been found deep in a cave in South Africa.

UPDATE: I have written a follow-up to this article that examines in more detail the responses of young earth creationists to these bones:  Bones of Contention II:  Human, Ape or Fraud?  Young Earth Creationists Respond to Deniladi Chamber Fossil Find

How did these bones get there? Whose bones were they? When did these individuals live?

Almost two years ago I wrote about the Rising Star Expedition which was an expedition into a deep dark cave to recover newly discovered remains of what was a possible new human relative. (See: Science in Progress: The Rising Star Expedition in South Africa) While openly inviting experts and students to be involved in the expedition and subsequent research to describe the findings, the answers to some of these these questions have been understandably kept under wraps until this morning.   A press conference, two research articles and a 2-hour PBS-Nova presentation next week are the first fruits of nearly two years of intensive research.

I have skimmed through the two research papers (see links below) and plan to write an article about the cave that they were found in as part of my “Geological context of human fossils” series.

Some of the bones from the cave in South Africa. Image by John Hawks who is one of the co-authors of the paper describing these bones.

Some of the bones from the cave in South Africa. Image by John Hawks who is one of the co-authors of the paper describing these bones.

For now let me just say the results published so far are stunning in their detail and complexity and are raising many new and fascinating questions. Over 1500 bones collected so far (there are many more waiting further collection) representing at least 15 individuals which themselves represent babies to old adults. The bones all point to a group of small-brained, upright walking but also tree-climbing individuals. Clearly this represents a complex and curious combination of features that has never been seen before in a single individual much less a group of individuals.

This collection of bones is huge and will certainly grow. This isn’t just a finger bone or a piece of jaw from which much speculation must be added. These are large sets of bones from multiple individuals of different ages and sexes.  Such a large collection will allow for many detailed comparative analyses which will we will hearing about for many years to come.

You should take a look at the two original research papers (see links below) to appreciate the detailed studies that have already been done on these bones. While the interpretation of the origin of these bones as the result of intentional burial is a hypothesis that still needs more testing, there is strong support for these individuals being a unique lineage of hominids never seen before.

Bones of contention among creationists

Even as anthropologists debate the significance of these bones with respect to other hominid bones these bones will certainly evoke a response from creationists of all types. I don’t have time to delve into all the details or outline all the possible responses they may have to these bones but here are some early observations and predictions:

The Young Earth Creationists (YECs – Answers in Genesis/Ken Ham and the Institute for Creation Research): YECs strongly deny common ancestry of apes and modern humans and so when confronted with fossils hominids they are compelled to call them either ape or human. However, they have struggled to come to consensus on which hominid fossils are apes and which are humans. Typically they are most likely to lump what are conventionally called the genus “Homo” as being human which means they interpret as descendants of Adam and Eve. And they would place what are called the Australopithecines, like Lucy, as being related to apes. These new fossils are being labeled a new species of Homo. Some YE creationists will probably simply declare them to be human not much different than you or me. However, others will probably recognize the obvious ape-like features of these skeletons and the lack of any cultural artifacts and declare that these fossils were misnamed and are just a type of ape.  I am going to predict that there will be some initial disagreement among YECs but that when Ken Ham declares these to be just another type of ape that most will come around to claiming that the “Homo” distinction is just a case of wishful thinking and they will dismiss the traits of these individuals that are more human than ape.  On the other hand he may claim that these are just a strange pygmy race of modern humans.  Either way he will state that there is a clear distinction as either human or ape.

When I explore the geological context of where these bones were I will show that regardless of whom the bones belong to, the location of the bones should cause the young earth creationists to have nightmares if they allow themselves to try to explain their origin.

Rana-Response-Homo-NalediOld Earth Creationists (Hugh Ross, Fazale Rana, Reasons to Believe): Drs Ross and Rana have just published an update of their book “Who was Adam” where the continue to promote the view that only anatomically modern humans, even to the exclusion of Neanderthals, with evidence of certain types of cultural capacities are “human” and therefore descendants of Adam and Eve.  As such this fossil find will be met with little resistance though they will downplay the possibility that this was a ritual burial site. In fact, Dr. Rana has already expressed his lack of interest in this find on Facebook this morning. See image to the right.

An atypical creationist response

Dr. Todd Wood, an atypical young earth creationist, has already commented on this new batch of fossils. I always appreciate Dr. Woods enthusiasm for science and this morning he expressed his amazement at this fossil find and rightly acknowledges the challenges that these bones represent.   I am going to quote the last paragraph of his post here because he also speculates about what the response, which is very similar to mine, will be from the creationist’ community:

As for other creationist organizations, I’m not entirely sure how they will react.  Given that Hugh Ross only accepts Homo sapiens sapiens as human, Reasons to Believe will certainly judge these remains as nonhuman and probably will dispute the burial hypothesis.  As for the young-age creationist organizations, there will probably be some that side with RTB and dispute the idea that H. naledi was human.  I suspect others (I don’t know which) will be impressed with the burial evidence like I am.  I doubt that any will be hesitant in their judgments, though.

The last sentence I found to be especially true and is what separates Wood from many other creationists. Numerous creationists are likely to pick sides quickly and then declare rather definitively how this new find confirms their views.  Contradictory data will be swept under the rug and memes will be constructed to entrench viewpoints in their followers minds.  This is unfortunate and dangerous because it discourages real discussion.  A discussion that deserved to be had because this won’t be the last time that Christians are confronted by new and strange data that don’t easily fit into neat and tidy interpretative frameworks.

UPDATE (5 hours later): Ken Ham has made his first comment already.  Its basically a form letter which he uses to dismiss anything.  He has pulled out the “were you there” argument.

But we can say with confidence that this discovery changes nothing about our understanding of human history. You see, the only eyewitness account of human origins is the one provided by God our Creator in the Bible’s book of Genesis. No scientist witnessed the origin of man, and evolutionary scientists only believe there were intermediate evolutionary links between an ape-like ancestor and man because they have disregarded God’s Word and substituted their own fallible opinions in its place.

UPDATE II:  In the evening the Institute for Creation Research posted their first impressions.  They were similar to Ham’s,  dismissing the find as just another story that doesn’t add anything new:

We predict, on the basis of the creation model, Homo naledi too will become just one more dead end in the questionable human evolution parade. In fact, the story itself is rife with caution, unanswered questions, and speculation.

They didn’t comment on what they think the bones actually represent. I suspect they will wait until Ken Ham makes a pronouncement about whether this is a group of malformed pygmy humans stunted by inbreeding following their journey from Babel or they are an equally malformed type of chimpanzee that got lost in this came and fell to their death in this chamber.

UPDATE III: At least one young earth creationist has now taken a strong stance in favor of these bones being “fully human.”  Kurt Wise is quoted in a World Magazine article as stating:

“I think the case is very strong that these fossils are not just of the genus Homo, but are actually fully human (meaning they are descendants of Adam and Eve),” said Kurt Wise, director of the Center for Creation Research at Truett-McConnell College. Wise noted that early humans dispersed after the biblical Tower of Babel incident would have lived in isolated populations and developed highly distinct traits.

It will be interesting to see if Answers in Genesis takes the same position and how they try to explain away the other odd features of both the bones and the site.  According to their own timeline, The Tower of Babel incident was 4250 years ago and so if these are human bones from Babel descendants they must be very young. Will Ken Ham predict they have lots of C14 left in their bones?  Stay tuned.

UPDATE IV (Sept 12):  Wow, Ken Ham has called his shot and I guessed right. His organization has proclaimed these bones nothing more than apes.  Here is the primary quote:  “the preponderance of the evidence suggests they were animals, one of the variations that developed among apes.”  More on this in a new post soon.

For further reading:

Here is the National Geographic Story about how these fossils were found and some of the major findings that have been made.

A BBC story with additional images: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34192447

Below are the two original research articles.  These are open access so everyone can view the results and discussion.

Berger et al. 2015. Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.  eLife 4:e09560. and direct link to PDF: http://elifesciences.org/content/elife/4/e09560.full.pdf

Dirks et al. 2015. Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa.  eLife 4:e09561.

Dr. Berger has made some of the fossils more accessible for other researchers around the world to study.  Here is a link to a sight where 3D models of some of the bones have been uploaded.  You should check them out just to see how good the preservation of these bones can be.  Morpho Source: http://morphosource.org/index.php/Search/Index?search=Homo+naledi

Cover photo:  This photo provided by National Geographic from their October 2015 issue shows a composite skeleton of Homo naledi surrounded by some of the hundreds of other fossil elements recovered from the Rising Star cave in South Africa, photographed at the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In an announcement made Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, scientists say the fossils revealed the new member of the human family tree. The expedition team was led by Lee Berger of the university. (Robert Clark/National Geographic, Lee Berger/University of the Witwatersrand via AP) IMAGE MUST INCLUDE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LOGO; CROPPING NOT PERMITTED; MANDATORY CREDIT: “ROBERT CLARK/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, LEE BERGER/UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND” Photo: Robert Clark, AP

Comments

  1. the same way they respond to every hominin find. Keep on talking about Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, and footprints in coal. But this time they might point to debate about whether this is a new species or not, as proof that all evolution is microevolution.

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  2. @aigkenham just tweeted that these finding change nothing. It is wonderful when people of integrity and influence take the time and effort to carefully and thoughtfully consider new data. AIG does the same with the best evangelical Christian biblical scholarship.

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  3. As an old-earth creationist, I think this will either be basically irrelevant (other than the “neet* factor of finding a new species God created) or potentially extra evidence against evolution depending on what the date is (when we get it).

    For instance, I haven’t fully investigated it yet, but i’ve found that hominids do not display a linear progression from “ape” to human. And this may continue to lean towards that. For instance, if such an archaic hominid is dated to 100k years ago, it would shake the paradigme, without creating issue for special creation. If its dated to 2 million years ago + it casts doubt on the timeline previously established by evolutionists.

    As for the burial, I don’t really care. These things (as Fazale Rana commonly points out) are not set in stone. As there are usually multiple explanations for such finds. Like with neanderthals. Though I do lean towards the idea that neanderthals buried their dead (despite it not being conclusive), it changes nothing about their “human” status. Elephants “bury” their dead in leaves and sticks. Its an expression of grief and emotion, not symbolic thought and spirituality.

    If this species did the same, all it proves is that this behavior was also exhibited in another one of God’s extinct creatures. That fact remains (As an *evolutionist* Richard G. Klein points out) that the transition to the upper paleolithic represents an explosive appearance of real human behavior (art, music, advanced tools, spirituality, *ritualized* burial, etc. , clearly distinct from animals. Whereas I see no uniquely human characteristics in neanderthals and other hominids (like this one).

    The beginning of the upper paleolithic (~45,000 years ago) also coincides with the earliest clearly modern human remains.

    That being said, this find still fascinates me, simply because its a cool animal if nothing else.

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    • I am genuinely curious.How do you account for the score or so species that evolutionists describe as intermediate between humans and pre-human apes, and as either our grandparents or our great-uncles? And why is there a general progression towards greater resemblance to modern humans as we go forward in time? Come to think of it, why, from the Old Earth creationist point of view, are there no rabbits in the Devonian? You must have pondered these questions.

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      • I wouldn’t call them intermediates. And there probably aren’t as many species as we used to think. A recent study concluded that homo erectus was simply a species with alot of variation. You know that conga line picture for evolution? The fossil record doesn’t look like that. There’s probably less than 10 hominid species when the variation issue is sorted out.

        Though some progression seems to exist, it can easily be explained by changing environments driving species extinct. Thus, God creates new (similar) species to fill that niche. As the environment progresses, the species in it need to be successively replaced by different ones. God creates all sorts of weird and interesting species, why not vaguely human-looking bipedal apes?

        I don’t need to ponder “why are there no rabbits in the devonian”, why would there be rabbits in the devonian. Genesis 1 says God created sea life, reptiles, and birds on day five before creating mammals and humans on day six. God hadn’t created birds yet in the devonian. Day five still persisted. I wouldn’t expect rabbits to ever be found prior to early birds like archeopteryx.

        That being said, animals equally as complex and rabbits have been found in the cambrian, at the time of the first animals. No progression from simple to complex animals. The species and ecosystems in the cambrian appear to be the same as modern ecosystems and species in terms of complexity. Earth changes, God creates different species at different times.

        Only young-earth creationists, who believe nearly all of earth’s geology was formed by Noah’s flood have to face the issue of “why are there no rabbits in the cambrian?”. Indeed they should ponder it, but alas, I am not one.

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  4. Basically, Ken Ham’s stock answer is that no evidence, no matter how compelling, can tell him his superstition is wrong. Ken Ham seems to consider himself to be the ultimate judge of reality, even feeling able to declare everything in the Bible to be factually correct if he agrees with it. I wonder what would happen if he allowed himself even the smallest hint of self-doubt.

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    • I suspect the AiG latest lying that these weren’t any kind of (Homo) human is partly because of their PREVIOUS lying about ‘Lucy’ and the fact that people who willingly swallow AiG propaganda might
      say to them how can naledi possibly be ‘human’ (with a gorilla size brain) if the Australopithecine ‘Lucy’ was (according to them ONLY) some kind of extinct knuckle-walking gorilla ie ape and not remotely having anything in common with ‘humans’/our species.

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    • These 2 quotes sum up christians and their science-denying beautifully . “They won’t listen. Do you know why? Because they have certain fixed notions about the past. Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes, even if it were the truth. They don’t want the truth; they want their traditions”. -Isaac Asimov “Science adjusts it’s views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.” -Tim Minchin

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  5. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:
    Any hominoid fossil is a problem to a creationist!!!!

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  6. A good article highlighting the creationist dilemma (one of a million!) Reblogged it

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  7. How could anyone look at that skull and call it “fully human?” It’s smaller than even Pygmy humans, with a morphology unlike any human population we know of. Why insist transitional fossils haven’t been discovered only to deny their existence when found?

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    • Just because this is a distinct species doesn’t make it transitional. In order for a fossil to qualify and transitional, it has to exist between two known species and display a clear mix of characteristics of them.

      Homo Nadeli has a mosaic of characteristics that do not fit into any current evolutionary tree. Its head is most similar to australopiths and its feet are more human-like than homo-erectus feet. It would be silly to call it a “transition”. Its simply a new species with a unique mosaic of characteristics. No need to create an imaginary line of descent between species.

      The fact is, human evolution is a weak theory and the trees associated with it are extremely speculative.

      In my opinion, all these “homo” species are each uniquely created by God to fill a unique ecological niche. Just as all other animal species are. They do not display a clear progression from an ape-like creature to a human. They display sudden changes and then long periods of stasis before extinction and replacement.

      If biological macroevolution were true, you would expect *Every* fossil to be transitional. As each would represent a unique population along a timeline. Rather, what we see is species existing for millions of years with no change, and then sudden replacement with brand-new species.

      Humans and Neanderthals (with radical developmental, behavioral, and morphological differences) supposedly share a common ancestor just a few hundred thousand years ago.

      Yet, Homo erectus fossils show its existence persisting for nearly 2 million years with no discernable change.

      Yes, the young-earthers are wrong, the earth and universe are very old. But that doesn’t validate the bizarre extrapolation from observed process that natural selection and random mutation can account for all of life’s diversity.

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      • David MacMillan says:

        It’s probably pointless to respond to this, but since there may well be people clicking over from Ken’s post, I might as well explain a couple of the misconceptions here.

        A “transitional form” would most certainly not something “between two known species”. The whole concept of the distinct species is merely a useful fiction, a shorthand for referring to a segregated population of organisms which are largely capable of interbreeding. What we refer to as a “species” often has more to do with geography than biology.

        The most important and yet most oft-missed detail here is that we are talking about populations, not individuals. It is the population which evolves and adapts. It is the population which, when the conditions are right, splits into two different populations, each of which then continue to adapt to their changing environmental niches.

        You’re right: all fossils are transitional, because they are all fossils from populations which are undergoing constant transition.

        When scientists talk about transitional fossils, though, they are talking about certain fossils they are expecting to see. We have reconstructed an excellent branching tree of the changing and dividing populations, but there are still regions of the tree which haven’t been filled in all the way. However, we know what to look for, so we can make predictions about what we’re going to find and where we are going to find it. And those predictions repeatedly come true.

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  8. David MacMillan says:

    A further update from Todd Wood:

    http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2015/09/what-can-we-learn-about-homo-naledi.html

    You’ve gotta love the guy. He’s just so dizzyingly honest, even when it hurts.

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    • Yes, and he is exactly right about peer review. Best to vet your ideas than make quick pronouncements.

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    • David MacMillan, to clear something up, by “two known species” I was refer to two fossil species, not two living species.

      And yes, naturalistic evolution would predict that species are arbitrary, but that isn’t what we see. We see truly distinct species, especially in the fossil record. As I said, evolution would predict that every fossil is transitional. Rather we see many fossils from different sites that are the same (part of a singular species), and another group of fossils that is different. We see a species suddenly appear, and much later go extinct with no change. Being replaced by a new species. The fossil record doesn’t display seamless transition, it displays jagged jumps followed by stasis. The opposite of what Darwin would have predicted.

      I don’t agree that an excellent tree has been created and that predictions made by evolution repeatedly come true. I see a few come true, but many are falsified. It seems to me the majority of fossil finds distort the “tree of life” rather than bridge the gaps.

      When I look at the evolutionary biology community, I see disarray, I see failed predictions, I see constant need for readjustment of models, I see irrational assumptions. Most of all, I see arrogance and sloth of great magnitude. Greater than in any other field of science. I am compelled by creationist (mostly old-earthers) arguments against evolution, I am not compelled by arguments in favor of evolution (like at talk: origins).

      The evidence does not favor a young-earth model where all fossils were deposited by a global flood a few thousand years ago. It does not favor a 144-hour creation of the earth.

      But it certainly doesn’t seem to favor naturalistic evolution either. That is the other extreme, and is untenable in my opinion. To me the so called “evidence” of macroevolution is as weak as the so called “evidence” of a recent global flood. When I look at the fossil record, I see God supernaturally creating many species of life over billions of years. Not random mutation and natural selection creating many species of life over billions of years.

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      • David MacMillan says:

        It’s only natural that if you start with the belief that there are distinct boundaries between “kinds” or “species” or whatever term you want to use, you’ll surely find them. That’s because any discovery can be made to fit into that paradigm. If a discovery is sufficiently similar to a known specimen, then it’s judged a variation or subspecies; if it’s not, then it’s judged a unique created species.

        There is no discovery which could ever challenge this view, and so you can’t really say it’s evidenced because ALL evidence is equally explainable.

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  9. Reblogged this on #POPChrist and commented:
    This blog is an excellent resource for those of us interested in biology and questions of origin. Ken Ham and AiG took aim at this post on Homo naledi.

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    • Something I find quite interesting is that just a few years ago Ken Ham and Dr. Georgia Purdom made a big deal out of their “baraminology institute” or whatever at Answers in Genesis. They were proud of their many “real science PhDs” who allegedly were going to organize all mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians (basically the NEPHESH “kinds” aboard Noah’s ark) into a list of the original “baramins” (“kinds”) God created. In doing so they were going to “prove” that the number of pairs of animals on the ark were quite manageable and that all species on earth today had quickly diversified from the ark’s “founding pairs”.

      According to Ken Ham, there was a hyper-speed burst of evolution–though he doesn’t call it that—within the first two centuries after the flood whereby all that diversification had taken place. Thus, one pair of cat baramin quickly produced descendents which we know as lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, panthers, and house cats! (The fact that neither the Bible nor science provides any evidence of any such process doesn’t phase Ham in the least and visitors to the Creation Museum observe all of the evidence they’ve got: a nice poster showing that diversification.)

      Why am I mentioning all of this in a discussion of Homo naledi? It’s because I am wondering why we aren’t hearing from all of those skilled, so-called baraminologists? Ken Ham has zilch for advanced training in any field of science. Why doesn’t he defer to the “creation scientists” on his own payroll? For that matter, what exactly is Ham getting for his money from all of those “baraminologists”? And seeing how baraminology has been a neglected field of study since… …well… …uh… …always, why haven’t they published any peer-reviewed discoveries in a new field where there should be lots of low hanging fruit that are easy to pick and publish?

      The answer can be found in Ham’s past pronouncements. He and many other YECists have told us that paleontology is “historical science” and not “observational science.” So because scientists can’t travel back in time and observe the live animals doing whatever they did, scientists can know very little. Therefore, YECs tell us “Science can know that a particular animal had sharp teeth but that is all that those teeth tell us. Sharp teeth can’t tell us what they ate nor anything else. So don’t believe those goo-to-you by-the-zoo evolutionists when they pretend to know what are actually just guesses.” So, when Ham’s baraminologists wait for their boss to speak first so that they can know what they are allowed to say and think, they are at least being consistent as to one of the few hard facts that baraminology has produced. I call it The Sergeant Schultz Axiom: We know nothing. We know NOTHIIIINNNNG!

      However, AIG speaker and friend, Buddy Davis, did explain that the sharp teeth of the T.rex were great when used like a machete to get through jungle growth and to bite open a coconut in one quick chomp! Of course, there’s no hesitation about claiming that a carnivorous animal could live on coconuts and vegetarian fare before the fall because evolutionist scientists can’t study their teeth to determine their diet. (Confused yet? Yes, “creation scientists” say that scientists can’t know anything about T.rex from studying their teeth but that doesn’t stop AIG “creation scientists” from saying they ate coconuts.)

      So the next time you hear a Young Earth Creationist denier of evolution belittle the latest fossil finds, just remember that AIG employs the world’s most expert baraminologists. Moreover, the fact that they have real, legitimate, bona fide PhDs makes them fully qualified to confirm what the science academy determined long ago: Ken Ham knows nothing about paleontology, taxonomy, and so many other fields of science—and with his own staff of AIG scientists what Ham doesn’t know about science is not-known better than ever before!

      And that’s why the AIG baraminologists have nothing to say.

      Any questions?

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      • You may know this. “Bara min” does not mean, as the baraminologists imagine, “created kind”. It means “he-created a-kind-of”

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      • David MacMillan says:

        RE: Paul Braterman

        And most of the time, when it says “according to their kinds” it is talking about the kinds of creatures which correspond to a particular environment, not about reproduction within a holobaramin.

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  10. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    I’ve been offline for five days so have only just had the chance to catch up with the latest YEC lying caused by REALITY not matching scripture (not even had time to read this blog yet). HOWEVER:
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3703

    PS Joel is incurring the wrath of Ken Ham, who is calling him an ‘evolutionist’ but failing to mention that he is a Christian as well: https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/09/14/classify-fossil/

    Scientific disagreements show that science is challenging. These YEC disagreements virtually PROVE apemen (which are in accordance with the theory of human evolution). If one YEC says “it’s human” and another says “it’s not human but ape” you can be pretty sure it’s TRANSITIONAL (and older than the Bible).

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  11. ashley haworth-roberts says:

    “Evolutionary scientists only believe there were intermediate evolutionary links between an ape-like ancestor and man because they have disregarded God’s Word”. LIAR Ken Ham on 10 Sept. They believe it because of EVIDENCE. Which keeps being found. Scientists (the Christian ones) did not reject scripture first, they found EVIDENCE – and THEN questioned a literal reading of Genesis in consequence. YECs are pathological liars and take their supporters for fools.

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  12. Christ Follower says:

    Answers in genesis website……great site! Dr. Kurt Wise…..thank you for everything you do and for answering God’s call on your life! I tell everybody when it comes to these topics about you and your work. God has had His hand on you for a long time. Amazing and awesome!

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    • Yeah, Answers in Genesis. A site which does NOT allow comments. We all know why – they could not deal with all the criticisms they would receive. (Wise – blogged about by Age of Rocks recently – is not part of AiG anyhow, Mr/Ms Christ Follower.)

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  13. I think the real dilemma for creationists is that they believe in a god that will punish them for all eternity unless they believe the right magic story. Sadly, for them, there is no method for finding truth in their competing apologetics. And no god seems to be stepping in to help them out.

    I find it very sad that religion is keeping some people from celebrating some the coolest discoveries humans have ever made.

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  14. They will respond the way they always do; by trumpeting that it’s another example of ‘evilutionists’ never being able to get their story straight, whereas the infallible bible is unchanging. Standard stuff.

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  15. I have read this with interest, however, I fail to see how this community is not merely doing what they are accusing others of doing. Here you have some evidence and your first instinct is to impose upon that evidence your hypothesis. Isn’t this exactly what you accuse Creationists of doing? If this is in fact a true transitional example of human beings, how do you prove that? Is it even provable? Aren’t we up against two logically exclusive yet unprovable claims here? I mean all such claims are inferences. You have something in your hands and you have inferred something from it. The having of something and the inference are not the same things. The point that Hamm makes about not being able to directly observe genetic change of the kind we are talking about is logically valid. We cannot. If the scientific method is in fact something you hold dear then don’t you need to acknowledge at least that much? I am neither a scientist nor a YEC, but rather a philosopher and I do know when logic is not being utilized correctly. It all seems to me that your merely affirming your bias here as you accuse others of doing the same, which they probably in fact are. How are the unconvinced, like me, supposed to tell the difference?

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Trackbacks

  1. […] read the post on Naturalis Historia about the release of information on H. naledi, I knew it would not be long before Ken Ham and […]

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  2. […] indeling van baramin van Peter Borger, maar beperk mij tot fossielen.) Wat je nu ziet in de discussie rond H. naledi, is dat creationisten zich afvragen of het een aap of een mens is, omdat ze evolutie afwijzen. Ik […]

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