Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Friday, August 24, 2007

    Skeptical of "Teeth" Speculation

    Isn't it amazing what a handful of ape teeth can be used to prove?

    Fossil find pushes human-ape split back millions of years

    First, we are told...

    "The handful of teeth from the earliest direct ancestors of modern gorillas ever found -- one canine and eight molars -- also leave virtually no doubt, the study's authors and experts said, that both humans and modern apes did indeed originate from Africa".

    Then we are told...

    "We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes".

    Well, which is it???


    jdlongmire said...

    Hey - gotta get that research funded somehow!

    swordbearer said...

    Just look at the inconsistency!!!

    "But the study, published in the British journal Nature, "CONCLUSIVELY demonstrates that the Last Common Ancestor (of both man and ape) was strictly an African phenomenon,..."

    "We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes," the authors of the paper noted."

    "There is BROAD AGREEMENT that chimpanzees were the last of the great apes to split from the evolutionary line leading to man, after gorillas and, even earlier, orangutans."

    "Orangutans are THOUGHT to have parted company with our ancestors 13 to 14 million years ago."

    "IF the new discovery is in the gorilla lineage, ... Halie-Selassie at Kent State told AFP."

    "The scientists leading the team that found the fossils...calculated that the human-orangutan split "COULD easily have been as old as 20 million years."

    "They determined that the teeth belonged to gorilla ancestors based on unique SHARED CHARACTERISTICS of the molars, which had evolved for a diet of fibrous foods such as stems and leaves."

    "The match is NOT EXACT, however, and could prompt some scientists TO CHALLENGE the findings."

    (Capitals, mine, for Emphasis)

    Summary: That's just about as CONCLUSIVE as a weather man who precicts it's going to be sunny all day without first looking out the window to find that it's already raining!

    (BTW: this happened in San Diego when my squadron used to get weather reports over the computer from the weather folks located just a few hangars down from us!)

    Puritan Lad said...

    In other words,

    "There is agreement that man and apes had a common ancestor. We don't know how it happened, and we were millions of years off about when it happened, but our evidence is conclusive."

    I'm reminded of an important quote that shows the presuppostions used in this type of thinking.

    “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” - Richard Lewontin, “Billions and billions of demons,” The New York Review (January 9, 1997), 31.

    So much for their commitment to empiricism.

    swordbearer said...

    ... And then they wonder why Christians are SKEPTICAL.

    ... The sad part is that so many today unthinkingly take their bait, hook-line-and all.

    August said...

    Fossil evidence will always be questionable for this exact reason, there is no way that the arrangement in a lineage can be falsified, it always has to fit in the evolutionary paradigm to begin with. Furthermore, this type of evidence does not prove anything, because it does not show conclusive ancestor/descendant relationships.

    There is only one piece of interesting evidence for common descent of humans and apes, and that is chromosomal fusion. That suffers from it's own set of problems, but seems to be the most valid argument that evo's can present right now.