Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Ten Myths of Evolution Refuted, Part 5

I'll admit, I had no clue what it was AiG was claiming this time around at first. The 6th myth refers to the claim that the reconstructions of ape to human evolution in the media are all false, based on fiction, and that in reality ape fossils, specifically human ancestors, are hard to come by and suffer a lot of bias when being identified. This, to them, is especially evident by the supposed bipedial characteristics of the fossils which are also found in many currently living creatures that are not bipedal. Oh boy.

The media, when they give us diagrams like the famous one showing the progression of man to ape going from left to right, is just giving us the basic idea and detailing one of the predictions made by the theory of evolution. There is no bias in the diagram, as something that is backed by that much evidence cannot possibly be biased (at least on the scale that creationists claim). The real issue with this myth is the idea that human ancestor fossils are hard to come by and that they share characteristics with animals that are not bipedal (which I guess, for them, proves something).

Here's why recent human ancestor fossils are hard to find: fossilization is rare, and there has simply not been enough time or there haven't been the right conditions for those recent ancestors to fossilize. Despite their rarity, the fossils we have now do show clear transitions between ape and man, especially in the development of the cranium, hands, tail, feet, and pelvic girdle. This is even confirmed by dating the fossils: older fossils don't look as much like us as newer ones do.

As for the idea that the supposed bipedal characteristics of fossils are the same as currently living, non-bipedal apes, the answer to this is quite simple. The REAL characteristics that make us bipedal don't exist in any current, non-bipedal apes (S-shaped spine, feet arches, more upright pelvis). All of the apes have A) their pelvis angled slightly more forward, and B) their spines curve more like a "c", rather than an "s". The "c" shape is better adapted to knuckle walking, and this is what makes it so uncomfortable for them to walk on two legs: the weight is not distributed correctly and they fall over. They can do it, don't get me wrong, but it is awkward and they won't do it for long periods of time.

As the list goes on, the claims get easier to disprove. Apes have similar characteristics, yes, but they aren't put together in such a way that allows them to distribute their weight evenly while standing. Humans, and their very recent ancestors, do.

These creationists are cherry picking. They look for what they think are "gaps" in the theory and then interject their "designer". The problem is it that it simply does not work that way. We do not know everything about how evolution works, at least on the molecular level, but we do know that there is overwhelming evidence for common ancestry between apes and humans. Being able to say "you don't have enough fossils" is not enough evidence to both refute ancestry and then immediately claim that it was "designed". Ah, but such is the logic of a creationist.

No comments:

Post a Comment