Evidence of Evolution and Extremes of Denial

By | October 14, 2009

PHOTO Ardipithecus ramidus also known as But despite the excitement from the paleontology community, another group of researchers, many of them with advanced degrees in science, are unimpressed by Ardi, who they believe is just another ape — an ape of indeterminate age, they add, and an ape who cannot be an ancestor of modern man for a range of reasons, including one of singular importance: God created man in one day, and evolution is a fallacy.

“What creationists believe about human origins we get from the Bible,” said David Menton an acclaimed anatomist and also a creationist. “The creation of the world takes place on page one of the Bible. If you throw out the first page of the Bible you might as well throw out the whole thing. If you can’t live with the first page then pitch out the remaining thousand pages.” …

Menton, an anatomy professor for 20 years at Washington University School of Medicine, is a researcher in residence at Answers in Genesis and has made a new career out of picking apart evolutionary discoveries.

The scientists who have spent the past decade pouring over Ardi’s fragmented skeleton believe she walked upright and that her teeth resemble modern human teeth more closely than they do those of a chimpanzee.

Though they do not believe Ardi is a direct ancestor of humans or the long-sought “missing link,” paleontologists say she helps show that both human beings and apes evolved from a common ancestor about 6 million years ago, that did not look much like either. …

Ardi, paleontologists say, was capable of grasping, something chimps need in order to climb in trees, but likely did not swing from branches the way modern chimps do.

For Menton, all the fragments indicate is that Ardi is an ape, plain and simple — and not anywhere nearly as old as scientists would have you believe.

Menton believes scientists sat on the Ardi discovery for over a decade just to roll it out during the Darwin anniversary. He questions the ability to accurately date any fossils more than a few thousand years old, let alone millions, and he said the condition of the skeleton was so incomplete and fragile that serious research was almost impossible.

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Menton said Ardi’s skull and feet are exactly the kind of skull and feet you would expect an ape to have and have none of the features of modern humans.

“Evolutionists want to call Ardi ‘ape-like.’ This creature is ape-like, because she is an ape. Just call it an ape,” he said.

The biggest problem Menton has with Ardi is her estimated age. The Earth, he says, is no more around 5,000 years old, a number creationists have estimated by counting the generations of man named in the Bible from Adam to Jesus.

“Evolution is supposedly based on science, but the science does not prove what they want it to. Creationism is not based on scientific observation but on God’s word. God created everything in six days, and that’s it.”

via Creationists Say Science and Bible Disprove Ardi Fossil Is Evidence of Evolution – ABC News.

In order to disbelieve evolution, you have to deny a staggering amount  physical evidence collected and examined by thousands of people over the last 150+ years: transitional fossils, anatomical homologies, DNA and RNA code, endogenous retroviral insertions, pseudogenes, embryology, chromosome fusion, and convergence.

Joyce Arthur, in 1995 wrote this about Menton:

The need for a loving father figure and an ultimate purpose in life, then, is what drives the creationist engine. Emotional needs and wishful thinking take precedence over the facts of evolutionary science. Within the creationist mind, perfectly at home, is the paranoid, irrational idea that the theory of evolution poisons society and turns people into selfish animals. Resurrecting long-dead ideas from 19th century social Darwinism, Dr. Menton closed by protesting that the poor and the weak are not just steps on the evolutionary ladder of progress. Our real reason for being on this earth, he revealed, is to receive God’s love. – “God Loves Me, So Evolution Can’t Be True”

Menton’s arguments are shown to be flawed here as well:

… The probability of a specific protein arising all at once is indeed astronomically small. But proteins, and living things, do not arise all at once. Menton used as an analogy the pulling of Scrabble tiles to form the phrase “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION”. Of course, the probability of this happening is very, very small, if all the letters are pulled one time. But evolution is not as purely random as Menton claims. Natural selection guides it. Say that we apply selection to Menton’s Scrabble model. Imagine that we pull out twenty tiles, and discard the ones that don’t fit. Now imagine we replace the discarded tiles with new ones, compare those to the target phrase, discard and replace the incorrect ones, etc., until the phrase is produced error-free. Using this process, the eventual production of the phrase “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION” is effectively inevitable, because of cumulative selection. No evolutionist claims that complex structures arise at once; rather, they arise by a series of gradual steps, and only those which are successful survive. …

With regard to flawed arguments, see my early work on defense against faulty logic.

Physical evidence alone from over around forty different  radiometric dating techniques researched by many different scientists around the world for more than fifty years and also from helioseismic dating show that the Earth is over 4.5 billion years old.  If you want to spend the time, you can read the debate on the validity of radiometric dating.

Keep in mind that scientists get famous by showing other scientists are wrong.

4 thoughts on “Evidence of Evolution and Extremes of Denial

  1. Cole

    NOTE: I moved this comment from the Ardi post to here so it is more accessible and you didn’t get a chance to see it because it moved off the Recent Comments tab too quickly.

    In response to Xeno saying this:
    “I don’t think of it as a difficult road. I relish the hunt for the truth. I really enjoy finding out when I’m wrong about something and updating my views.”

    I said:

    True. And sometimes even views on views can change.

    Atheism can easily be defined as religion. There are many ways to define religion, but this one sums up every possibility: “A religion is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner’s experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities, or ultimate truth.” Ultimate truth, there’s the keyword. An ultimate truth is a truth that applies to all existence. So, if there’s no deity or supreme being, then obviously that applies everywhere. So, atheism is, by definition, a religion.

    However, definitions are not always absolute. What you said earlier about faith being defined as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof is a prime example. Obviously, if this was how Christians, or any other religion for that matter, defined this, why would they believe it? Religions obviously believe they have proof of their beliefs, and yet they still call it faith. Therefore, faith has multiple definitions. And obviously, atheists don’t define themselves as a religion.

    The question is, how can a universal definition be written for these things? Perhaps the most-common usage? In which case, faith would be defined in a religious sense, because that is how most people use it, and not the technical definition we have now, that you provided. Also, if defined by most-common usage, atheism would not be considered a religion. And yet, ultimately it is, because it still must maintain the original religion definition I mentioned earlier, because it is impossible for there to be a single definition for anything, at all. By the same logic, faith could not maintain it’s religious meaning without also maintaining it’s technical definition. No one definition can exist, because as long as one person calls uses any word in a way it is not normally used, it becomes a valid definition. By this reasoning, I could easily pick up my “cellphone” and start clipping my toenails.

    So, atheism both is and isn’t a religion, just as faith both is and isn’t as you defined it. The only problem with atheism being a religion is that I’m not sure if I want to be writing it with a capital “A.” 😉

    1. Xeno Post author

      Thanks Cole, I did see your comment but ran out of time to reply. FYI for all, I get an email in my Yahoo account for every comment that people leave. When I have time I can read them (but not reply) by reading my Yahoo email on my cell phone.

      Good comment. You point out a hugely important point: our language is incomplete. This causes us so many problems. We sometimes have one word that is supposed to cover 50 different things and we wonder why we have trouble communicating. 😉

  2. Stephaine Carter

    There are two stories of creation in the bible and I agree with both … the creation of humans male and female prototypes and the creation of Adam and Eve… perfection or is it ?

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