Jean O’Micks – Further Evidence That Homo naledi Is Not a Member of the Human Holobaramin Based on Measurements of Vertebrae and Ribs

Introduction

In the wake of a detailed discussion within creationist circles about the baraminic status of Homo naledi (McLain 2017; O’Micks 2016a, b, c 2017; Wood 2016a, b 2017), more evidence has accumulated that H. naledi indeed is a member of the Australopithecus baramin, and is not human. These previous analyses of measurements on H. naledi’s cranium (Berger et al. 2015; Laird et al. 2017), foot (Harcourt-Smith et al. 2015), hand (Kivell et al. 2015), upper limb (Feuerriegel et al. 2017), and thigh (Marchi et al. 2017) show that H. naledi either shows continuity with members of the Australopithecus baramin, or that it is not continuous with members of the human holobaramin. Despite the initial conclusion that H. naledi was likely to be a member of the human holobaramin based on craniodental characteristics alone (O’Micks 2016a; Wood 2016a), the addition of post-cranial characters cast this conclusion into doubt (O’Micks 2016b).

The vertebral column is a major characteristic of vertebrates in general, and especially in hominoid primates. It is responsible for upright posture and bipedal locomotion. Non-human primates are stiff-backed, whereas hominoid primates have a more mobile lower back, adapted to lordosis and erect posture, required for bipedalism (Williams et al. 2016). African great apes have funnel-shaped thoraces, which are narrow at the top, and are wide or flaring at the bottom, with a relatively short lumbar column. On the other hand, humans have a barrel-shaped thorax with a wider upper ribcage, with a narrow waist, atop a relatively longer lumbar vertebral column. The ribcage of H. naledi is distally wide, like what we see in Australopithecus species (Berger 2015). Humans also have elongated hind limbs, which make bipedalism possible (Williams et al. 2017). In humans, the first seven ribs are true ribs, ribs eight to ten are false ribs, and eleven and twelve are floating ribs. The number of lumbar vertebrae also vary in primates between four and nine (Gebo 2014).

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Lita Cosner – Would Christ Create Through Evolution?

In an April 2017 contribution to the BioLogos website,1 NT Wright argued that “If creation is through Christ, evolution is what you would expect”. However, the argumentation is fatally flawed by the assumption of evolution imported onto the text of Scripture.

Wright asserts, “We must somehow start with what we know of Jesus’ own vision of truth and the kingdom and power and ask what that might mean for creation itself.” One consequence, he suggests, is that “if creation comes through the kingdom bringing Jesus, we ought to expect it to be like a seed growing secretly.” He argues that even though most evolutionist scientists are motivated by a non-Christian worldview, they “nonetheless come up with a picture of Origins that looks remarkably like Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom: some seeds go to waste, others bear remarkable fruit; some projects start tiny and take forever, but ultimately produce a great crop; some false starts are wonderfully rescued, others are forgotten. Chaos is astonishingly overcome.”

However, Wright makes an elementary error when he goes to soteriological texts to inform his doctrine of creation, and uses those soteriological texts to override the plain meaning of the cosmological texts! I agree with Wright that our doctrine of Christ is important for our doctrine of creation—the key Christian contribution to the doctrine of creation is the assertion that Jesus is the agent of creation. However, understanding Christ as the Creator did not lead anyone in the church to suddenly take the timescale and mode of creation outlined in Genesis non-literally until after uniformitarian geologists and Darwinian biologists began to challenge the biblical view.

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson and Jeffrey P. Tomkins – Did Humanity Arise from a Large Population or a Pair of Individuals?

II. How Many: A Population or a Pair?

For many years, the discussion of the number of individuals that spawned the modern human race was not accessible to science. Fossils don’t record population sizes, and the antiquity and geography of our ancestors offer little in the way of direct data on the number of individuals alive on the planet at the dawn of Homo sapiens. Only with the advent of modern genetics have scientists been able to more directly explore this question.

However, the raw genetic data say nothing about ancestral population sizes. The evolutionary conclusion that humanity arose from a large population1 rather than a pair of individuals is a consequence of the arbitrary constraints that evolutionists bring to bear on the question. Implicit in the evolutionary claims is the assumption that DNA differences can arise only via the process of copying errors (mutations) that we discussed in the previous section. In other words, under the evolutionary model, the immediate reason why you are genetically different from your parents is that you inherited DNA from each parent. However, according to evolutionary reasoning, the ultimate reason why genetic differences exist at all in the human population is mutations in the distant past.

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Dr. Tommy Mitchell and Dr. Monty White – Is Evolution a Religion?

Surely, evolution is about the origin and development of life-forms on earth — what has this got to do with religion? Evolution is science, isn’t it?

We are sure that many people will find the question posed as the title of this chapter a little strange. Surely, evolution is about the origin and development of life-forms on earth — what has this got to do with religion? Evolution is science, isn’t it? And we are told that it has got to be separate from religious belief — at least in the classroom! Well, let’s see if evolution fits the bill as a true science as opposed to a religious belief. In order to do so, we must define some terms.

What Is Science?

Creationists are often accused of being unscientific or pseudoscientific, while at the same time those who promote evolution assume the mantle of “real scientist.” But what is science anyway? According to The American Heritage Dictionary, science is “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”1 Or put more simply, science involves observing things in the real world and trying to explain how they work. The key word here is observation.

You see, creationists do, indeed, believe in real “observational science,” sometimes called “operational science.” We enjoy the benefits of observational science every day. Whether flying in an airplane, having our illness cured by the wonders of modern medicine, or writing this book on a space-age laptop computer, we are benefiting from the technology that applies genuine observational science to real-world needs. These triumphs of science exist in the present and can therefore be the subjects of examination and investigation.

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – Does Gill Embryology Show Fish Evolved from a Common Ancestor?

Gill embryology is similar in all sorts of fish, but this does not support the fishy story of our evolutionary past.

Can a landmark discovery about how fish embryos grow their gills connect us firmly to roots under the sea? Cambridge University zoologists J. Andrew Gillis and Olivia R.A. Tidswell think so.

Fish use gills to extract oxygen from water. Evolutionists maintain that vertebrates without gills—like us—have gills “present as vestiges in our own embryology.”1 (More on that below.) But where did gills come from in the first place? Enquiring evolutionists want to know! To find out, they look for similarities in the gills of different sorts of fish embryos. They hope to thereby unveil the gills of the common evolutionary ancestor of all fish and to gain a clue about how very different groups of fish—jawless, bony, and cartilaginous—diverged.

A Fishy Controversy

The skate is a jawed fish with a cartilaginous skeleton. Like all fish, it has gills. Gillis and Tidswell have used modern methods to study the skate’s embryonic gill development. Their surprising discovery has resolved a long-standing controversy and overturned information accepted since the 19th century. The controversy has hinged on the cellular origin of gills within a fish embryo.

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Ken Ham – Was There Death Before Adam Sinned?

Which history of death do you accept?

Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity…Charles [Darwin] now took his stand as an unbeliever.”

When Charles Darwin wrote his famous book On the Origin of Species, he was in essence writing a history concerning death. In the conclusion of the chapter entitled “On the Imperfections of the Geological Record,” Darwin wrote, “Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.”

From his evolutionary perspective on the origin of life, Darwin recognized that death had to be a permanent part of the world. Undoubtedly, he struggled with this issue as he sought to reconcile some sort of belief in God with the death and suffering he observed all around him, and which he believed had gone on for millions of years.

This struggle came to a climax with the death of his daughter Annie — said to be “the final death-knell for his Christianity.”

Belief in evolution and/or millions of years necessitates that death has been a part of history since life first appeared on this planet. The fossil layers (containing billions of dead things) supposedly represent the history of life over millions of years. As Carl Sagan is reported to have said, “The secrets of evolution are time and death.”

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Dr. Andrew Snelling – Five Mass Extinctions or One Cataclysmic Event?

Many scientists claim the fossil record shows many mass extinctions separated by millions of years. Does the Bible give a better explanation?

Imagine relaxing at your dream vacation spot. Do you prefer a tropical forest, lush and humid, where fragrances from exotic flowers overwhelm your senses? Or a sandy coast, where the sun warms your skin and the palm trees sway? Or a secluded old-growth forest, where the only sound for miles around is a trickling brook?

Now add a triceratops splashing in the water, while a duck-billed dinosaur lazily chomps on a tasty conifer tree nearby. Overhead, a pterosaur glides toward its lair in the jagged cliffs.

What an amazing world we live in, and what an amazing world it once was! Fossils indicate that the earth has been covered with a wondrous array of environments in the past.

Then something happened. The earth’s rocks indicate that past catastrophes struck on a scale unlike anything we see today. The earth’s crust split open, belching toxic fumes into the sky and sending rivers of lava that swallowed up forests and everything else in their path.

The original continent also broke apart. The land rose and fell as the broken landmasses slid around and bashed into each other. A deluge of floodwaters battered the shallow seas and coasts, and then moved inland. Terrified animals roared and screamed, seeking safety but finding none.

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Dr. Andrew Snelling – Determination of the Decay Constants and Half-Lives of Uranium-238 (238U) and Uranium-235 (235U), and the Implications for U-Pb and Pb-Pb Radioisotope Dating Methodologies

Introduction

Radioisotope dating of rocks and meteorites is perhaps the most potent claimed proof for the supposed old age of the earth and the solar system. The absolute ages provided by the radioisotope dating methods provide an apparent aura of certainty to the claimed millions and billions of years for formation of the earth’s rocks. Many in both the scientific community and the general public around the world thus remain convinced of the earth’s claimed great antiquity.

However, accurate radioisotopic age determinations require that the decay constants of the respective parent radionuclides be accurately known and constant in time. Ideally, the uncertainty of the decay constants should be negligible compared to, or at least be commensurate with, the analytical uncertainties of the mass spectrometer measurements entering the radioisotope age calculations (Begemann et al. 2001). Clearly, based on the ongoing discussion in the conventional literature this is still not the case at present. The stunning improvements in the performance of mass spectrometers during the past four or so decades, starting with the landmark paper by Wasserburg et al. (1969), have not been accompanied by any comparable improvement in the accuracy of the decay constants (Begemann et al. 2001; Steiger and Jäger 1977), in spite of ongoing attempts (Miller 2012). The uncertainties associated with direct half-life determinations are, in most cases, still at the 1% level, which is still significantly better than any radioisotope method for determining the ages of rock formations. However, even uncertainties of only 1% in the half-lives lead to very significant discrepancies in the derived radioisotope ages. The recognition of an urgent need to improve the situation is not new (for example, Min et al. 2000; Renne, Karner, and Ludwig 1998). It continues to be mentioned, at one time or another, by every group active in geo- or cosmochronology (Schmitz 2012).

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Thomas Fretwell – ‘Prehistoric’ Preachers: Dinosaurs as “The Gateway Drug to Atheism”: What is Their Real Message?

Dinosaurs have the power to captivate audiences, both young and old. They have fuelled people’s imaginations for generations. The veil of mystery surrounding them only adds to the intrigue. Where did the great beasts come from? Why did they go extinct? Such questions fuel the passion of a million would-be paleontologists still under the age of ten! It is no overstatement to say that almost every child, and adult for that matter, has heard of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. Hollywood has cashed in on the public’s fascination with dinosaurs over the years, producing the Jurassic Park franchise. The most recent instalment, Jurassic World, was released in 2015. In addition to this, multiple documentaries and cartoons exist making use of the best CGI to bring the message of these ‘Prehistoric Preachers’ to a new generation.

Given their popularity, it is important to understand the message being communicated through these fascinating creatures. In an interview for the Huffington Post, David Krentz, the character designer for the 2014 big-budget 3D movie Walking with Dinosaurs, commented that,

“I have always said that dinosaurs are the gateway drug to science for kids.”

The thing about gateway drugs is that they lead to something else, in this case ‘science’. In this context, the term is clearly referring to a naturalistic interpretation of science—concerning events that happened in the past—not the observational science done in laboratories today. One blogger, writing for The Meaning Without God Project, phrases it even more candidly:

“Dinosaurs were my gateway drug to Atheism. And while I was still six or seven years away from reaching the conclusion that God either didn’t care about us or didn’t exist, the Dinosaurs had shared an important secret—that the Bible can be wrong.”

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0

Jean O’Micks – Molecular Structures Shared by Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes Show Signs of Only Analogy and Not Homology

microbiology

Introduction

According to the well-known paradigm, eukaryotes are defined by the presence of a nuclear membrane surrounding their DNA, which is wound up into several pairs of chromosomes, as well as the presence of endocytosis and an endomembrane system, thereby compartmentalizing different cellular processes and separating them from one another inside the cell (de Duve 2007). This molecular characteristic separates them from prokaryotes whose genome is much smaller, and condensed into a single, circular DNA moleculep. The transition from prokaryotes to eukaryotes (PET) counts as a major obstacle for evolutionary theory between these two types of cells (Maynard Smith and Szathmáry 1995).

Until now there have been two basic theories on the evolution of cellular complexity. According to one theory, cellular complexity came about via endocytosis between bacteria and archaea. The problem with this theory is that, in practice, newly made constituents are always inserted into pre-existing membranes (omnis membrane e membrana), which subsequently divide (de Duve 2007). Membrane fusion between archaea and bacteria has never been observed. According to another theory, membrane invagination occurred after the digestion of engulfed material by the cell (Lonhienne et al. 2010). The invaginated membrane grew more and more convoluted, and then more specialized into different compartments, such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi apparatus and lysosomes (de Duve 2007).

Continue Reading

Please follow and like us:
0