All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

10/21/2013

Doubt


Science is or at least should be a endeavor that is comfortable with the idea of doubt.  A theory is an idea that is proposed based on a combination of presuppositions,  evidence, observations, etc.  To doubt something is to question it.  Over the last 100 years science as an endeavor has changed from a process of accepting, working with, challenging and disproving doubt, to a semi-ridged faith based belief system.

Darwinian Evolution (as opposed to other evolutionary theories) started with the openly stated presupposition (and goal if you will) of establishing a frame work to explain existence apart form the history recorded in the book of Genesis.  This should be considered the prime directive (PD) of Darwinian Evolution.  From about 1859 onwards to our current time that view has become the norm in Western world. Those wishing to be taken seriously in the scientific community express doubt in the Darwinian system at their own peril.

Prior to 1859 (and for sometime there after) most educated people in the West accepted, what can be loosely called a biblical view of history.  Generally speaking, the biblical view produced an age of the earth as less than 10,000 (less than 6,000 for the picky).  After 1859 the idea that human history pre-dated the 10,000 year mark became the accepted norm.  In 1859 the estimated age of the earth, by the Darwinian crowd was 100,000 years, give or take.  Since 1859 the Darwin Evolutionist (DE) has expanded his time line.  Today the DE believes that the earth is 4.55 billion years and that man has been on earth for 4 to 6 million years.

The reason for the DE age date belief springs from several factors.  Of course there is the DE prime directive, but there are many other reasons apart from that.  DE has developed dating techniques and methodologies for establishing timelines.  For the most part, these methodologies rely on mathematical modeling based on radioactive half-life estimates of various isotopes.  Originally the dating methodologies produced results that were consistent with the PD.   

So what happens when evidence contradicts the established DE time table?

Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray

The spectacular fossilised skull of an ancient human ancestor that died nearly two million years ago has forced scientists to rethink the story of early human evolution.
Anthropologists unearthed the skull at a site in Dmanisi, a small town in southern Georgia, where other remains of human ancestors, simple stone tools and long-extinct animals have been dated to 1.8m years old.
Experts believe the skull is one of the most important fossil finds to date, but it has proved as controversial as it is stunning. Analysis of the skull and other remains at Dmanisi suggests that scientists have been too ready to name separate species of human ancestors in Africa. Many of those species may now have to be wiped from the textbooks.
The scientists went on to compare the Dmanisi remains with those of supposedly different species of human ancestor that lived in Africa at the time. They concluded that the variation among them was no greater than that seen at Dmanisi. Rather than being separate species, the human ancestors found in Africa from the same period may simply be normal variants of H erectus.
"Everything that lived at the time of the Dmanisi was probably just Homo erectus," said Prof Zollikofer. "We are not saying that palaeoanthropologists did things wrong in Africa, but they didn't have the reference we have. Part of the community will like it, but for another part it will be shocking news."
A couple of quick points here:
  1. The researchers are all DE.
  2. The researchers are using accepted DE dating methods.
  3. They are using accepted DE fossil evaluation methods.
  4. Assuming the above, at best this new evidence cuts the DE timetable from 4 to 6 million years to 1 to 1.8 million years for the existence of man.
  5. This data (as complied and interpreted via DE) does not disprove DE, it only shortens the time frame. 
  6. Most damningly this data proves a number of DE researchers wrong about their timetable estimates.
If the purpose of science is to discover the truth, then this discovery should be a greeted with great enthusiasm, even though it shortens the DE time frame.

15 comments:

  1. I'm not getting that.

    Just because that one sample was 2 million doesn't negate that other samples of the same type were 4-6 million.

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  2. Oh. Unless you are a Darwinian and believe things MUST change over that much time.

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  3. WaterBoy9:37 AM

    From the article:

    "What all this screams out for is more and better specimens. We need skeletons, more complete material, so we can look at them from head to toe," he added. "Any time a scientist says 'we've got this figured out' they are probably wrong. It's not the end of the story."

    That includes any scientist who concludes absolutely, based on this evidence alone, that it shortens the DE timeframe.

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  4. At issue is the fact that this most recent discovery is the most complete set of fossilized remains from several different humans. Including 5 intact skulls. None of the earlier finds had this much intact material or as many skulls. It's one of the best finds anyone has come up with.

    Some of the earlier finds that were dated 4 to 6 million were fragments that were used to extrapolate a theoretical time frame.

    A better quality discovery with a more recent date of humans that are more "advanced" in terms of skull development opens up doubt into the rest of the established DE time line.

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  5. WaterBoy1:27 PM

    Res Ipsa: "A better quality discovery with a more recent date of humans that are more "advanced" in terms of skull development opens up doubt into the rest of the established DE time line."

    The only thing this opens up doubt into is their placement on the timeline relative to other discoveries. The fact that previous Homo fragments have been dated to 2.3 million years ago (not 4-6 million, as you wrote) means that the timeline itself still goes back 2.3 million years. That is, if you lend any credence to the validity of radiometric dating (which you have to, if you also accept that these new skulls are 1.8 million years old).

    In short, the placement of H erectus on the scale may be affected, but the beginning of the scale does not. That's all I was trying to point out.

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  6. I'm leaving out my personal take on radiometric dating. It doesn't apply except in the broader creationism v evolution debate. Which I'm not attempting to take on right now.

    Just to clarify I think I got the 4-6 million from Wikipedia that I linked to.

    You make a good point about the fragments. First they don't really know or even have a good reason to guess on what the creature was based on small fragments. (consider that Pitdown man was a hoax) They never did in the first place, but that's another reason for doubt. This find includes whole human skeletons with intact skulls. Obviously a whole skull is a better specimen than a small fragment.

    Based on the quality of the find and the newer dating conclusion, a couple of things have to be considered:

    1. Shortened DE time frame
    2. Previous finds and dating work may have always been wrong in their conclusions.
    3. This find and its evaluation may be flawed in some way.

    A couple of tangent observations:

    A non-DE evolutionist would probably not be conserved with the shorter time line.

    A open minded DE shouldn't be concerned with it either. The evidence can be interpreted that man's evolution was a faster, more dramatic and more recent in history than previously thought. This POV doesn't discredit DE, it only accepts a revision based on the data.

    What is amusing to me is unwillingness on the part of the DE community to incorporate the data into the theory. It's as if they wish the expedition had "buried it" like they joked about.

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  7. "conserved"

    Auto correct isn't always your friend.

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  8. WaterBoy8:28 AM

    Res Ipsa: "Based on the quality of the find and the newer dating conclusion, a couple of things have to be considered:

    1. Shortened DE time frame
    "


    You see, this is where I disagree with you.

    From the same Wikipedia article to which you linked:

    - "Genetic studies show that primates diverged from other mammals about 85 million years ago"
    - "The family Hominidae diverged from the Hylobatidae (Gibbon) family 15-20 million years ago"
    - "the earliest bipedal Hominin is considered to be either Sahelanthropus or Orrorin, with Ardipithecus, a full bipedal, coming somewhat later. The gorilla and chimpanzee diverged around the same time, about 4-6 million years ago, and either Sahelanthropus or Orrorin may be our last shared ancestor with them."[This is where the 4-6 million figure came from, but it is not yet the genus Homo, which is what we think of when we consider "Man".]
    - "The earliest documented members of the genus Homo are Homo habilis which evolved around 2.3 million years ago"
    - "Homo erectus and Homo ergaster were the first of the hominina to leave Africa, and these species spread through Africa, Asia, and Europe between 1.3 to 1.8 million years ago"
    - "According to the Recent African Ancestry theory, modern humans evolved in Africa possibly from Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis or Homo antecessor and migrated out of the continent some 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, replacing local populations of Homo erectus, Homo denisova, Homo floresiensis and Homo neanderthalensis"
    - "Archaic Homo sapiens, the forerunner of anatomically modern humans, evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago"

    You can see that in DE terms, the history of the evolution of Man extends back much farther than these bones do. When I say that it doesn't shorten the DE timeline, I'm saying that the theory covers the entire timeline back to the earliest mammals -- and even back to fish, if you want to go farther.

    Bottom line, this discovery does not change the other points on that timeline, from the first primates at 85 myo, to the first Hominidae at 15-20 myo, to the first bipedal Hominin at 4-6 myo, to the first Homo (heh) at 2.3 myo.

    Are we just talking past each other at this point? (Not an accusation, just wondering if we're actually looking at the same issue.)

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  9. WaterBoy8:40 AM

    Res Ipsa: "2. Previous finds and dating work may have always been wrong in their conclusions."

    This is true. But it is also true about this most recent find, too. The completeness of the skeleton only helps from the anthropological standpoint; it has no bearing on radiometric dating, which can be done on any find as long as there is sufficient material.

    If you want to introduce reliability of radiometric conclusions as an issue in the other samples, then you must also include it as a possible issue in this find as well. And if that's the case, then exactly nothing at all can be conclusively determined from this find, either.

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  10. WaterBoy8:45 AM

    Res Ipsa: "3. This find and its evaluation may be flawed in some way."

    Also correct, and included in #2 above.

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  11. WaterBoy9:38 AM

    Geez, can't believe I made the same mistake so many times. Replace all "myo" with "mya" (million years ago).

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  12. Are we just talking past each other at this point?

    Maybe.

    #1 Part of the issue is geography the find is in the nation of Georgia.

    #2 Part of the issue is the quality of the find. These fossils are of a much higher quality than previous samples.

    Most of the fossil data collected prior to this find is from Africa, where according to the theory man first evolved in stages.

    The conclusions drawn from previous finds in Africa arrived at a symbology of:

    Proto human a evolved first.

    Proto human b evolved next.

    Proto human c evolved next.

    Semi human d evolved next.

    More advanced semi human e evolved after that.

    This process "a" then "b" then "c" taking however many distinct evolutions and however many years they claim (the number of evolutions and the number of years, no matter how great isn't important).

    The Georgia find distinctly shows/proves with fully intact skulls, that there was a greater variety of skull types in evolution f than anyone ever thought before. Because of that, proto human evolutions c, d, e, may not have actually happened. Evolutions c, d, e, may ALL actually be minor variations on evolution f.

    IF TRUE THEN:

    The DE time line is shortened, or compressed, or the evolution occurred faster etc than previously postulated.

    The exact date isn't important because it doesn't matter. What matters is that previous fragments that were used to postulate the various distinct evolution stages, are not adequate evidence to believe in those stages.

    I'm going to anticipate a point that I suspect you'll make. I'll admit that each of the species could have in fact been a "branch" on the evolutionary tree and not a main contributor. HOWEVER that's not the way it has been presented.

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  13. I'm changing my line of thought.

    You know I'm skeptical about radio-dating. I'm even more skeptical about using it in establishing a time line based on fossils whose age was determined prior to inventing the process. Fossil finds from prior to 1907 didn't even have the possibility of using radiometric protocols appropriately. I didn't bring any of that up because it doesn't really apply other than in my general doubting of DE.

    Darwin published in 1859. Radiometric dating was first “discovered” 1907. In that 48 year gap, it would be understandable if the dating methods didn’t agree. I’ll even grant that due to technological advances in equipment, processes etc that any discoveries prior to 1990 should be allowed a bit of wiggle room. The five species brought into question by the work in Georgia are:

    H rudolfensis postulated 1972
    H gautengensis “discovered” 2010
    H ergaster First discovered 1949, renamed in 1975
    H habilis Various dates 1960 to 1970’s
    Australopithecus sediba 2008

    Of the 5 above the best case for a related but non-contributing branch is A. Sediba. Of the remaining 4, some have only small fragment evidence however there are some decent partial skulls assigned to those categories too.

    Since the 1800’s believers in DE have spent a great deal of time looking for the “missing link” in human evolution. Each new find supposedly discovered evidence that cemented the case for DE. Now we learn that perhaps 4 (maybe more, the authors didn’t go that far) direct decent species aren’t in the equation. Taking 4 of the “missing links” out of the DE chain is a blow to the entire theory.

    This doesn’t prove creationism. It does little, if anything to the 4 or 5 other major evolutionary denominations. It does do harm to evolution by natural selection. The Darwinists now have to revise (make something up) their theory to fit the evidence. I notice that the other true believers are reluctant to do that.

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  14. WaterBoy1:40 PM

    I'm going to address one point in your first response above, and then I'm done because I apparently am not making my point clearly enough.

    Res Ipsa: "IF TRUE THEN: The DE time line is shortened, or compressed, or the evolution occurred faster etc than previously postulated."

    THAT POINT OF THE TIMELINE IS ALTERED, YES. I have already agreed with this, though I must also point out that this point could also have occurred earlier and actually lengthened that segment rather than shortened it.

    However, the rest of the timeline before that point is completely unaffected.

    You seem to be trying to take this new evidence of H erectus (as proto-human c), and saying that it also changes when proto-humans a and b evolved, but it doesn't. Therefore, the DE timeline doesn't shorten; only the location of proto-human c upon it changed.

    Does that make logical sense to you, to say that since something changed later, that everything earlier also must change -- especially when the dating of those earlier proto-humans has not changed? If you could go back and change when you ate lunch today, would that have any effect on when you ate breakfast?

    There's a slew of associated components that can easily account for this discovery, but I'm not terribly interested in going into them. Just trying to deal with the idea of a shortened timeline is enough for the moment. :)

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  15. No. You misunderstand.

    In my symbology above H erectus is best understood as letter f. That leaves 4 gaps in the links.

    H rudolfensis
    H gautengensis
    H ergaster
    H habilis

    I am not arguing about skulls of type A or about type F. I'm saying that skulls of types B to E are really type F, which is what the authors are claiming.

    The alleged timing is unimportant as far as the date is concerned.

    DE depends on the idea of gradual change over large periods of time. When you take away examples of species you significantly set back the theory. If examples B to E never happened then the DE has not proven natural selection.

    What DE has is two different species and a guess as to how he got them. Anytime a link is removed from the DE chain of events, it helps falsify the general theory.

    The DE timeline is an arbitrary estimate of when certain events occurred, not an absolute calendar. Even the DE's don't agree about it. When you take species out of the line up, you shorten it.

    I note that evolutionary geneticists hypothesizes what they have termed "adam" and "eve" "persons" (even though they aren't sure if the two figures lived at the same time or mated with each other) and that theory also voids significant portions of DE. I think discovery did a bit on it. If h. erectus is the source of "adam" (not yet proven) it does screw up the actual evolutionary calendar. However I don't think that the technology exists to prove that at this time.

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