Lucy the knuckle walking ape? – Misguided Mondays

Answers in Genesis have “refuted” this post. I offer a counter-refutation here

Answers in Genesis runs the (in)famous Creation Museum, where they expound the Biblical account of how the earth came to be. From what I hear it is a thoroughly disappointing affair, although not because of it’s kooky premise. Apparently it’s real problem is that it lacks substance, focusing on dioramas and retellings of Biblical stories rather than anything with scientific meat to it. But I shan’t criticise the institution for failings I have not seen but rather, for the very obvious failing I have had the misfortune to stumble across: Lucy the knuckle walking ape.

For some background (those familiar with Lucy feel free to skip ahead a paragraph), Lucy or “AL 288-1” is one of the most famous hominin fossils out there. She’s a member of Australopithecus afarensis, part of the human lineage which lived from 3.8-3 million years ago. This species was either an ancestor of humans or a close relative of that ancestor. Either way, the species is important for showing that even millions of years ago hominins were well on the way to becoming human. They were skilled bipedal walkers (although still probably spent some time in the trees), lived and travelled in family groups and had a generally more “human” anatomy.

Now, I’ve heard the claim Lucy was “just an ape” innumerable times (typically supported by focusing on the ape characteristics an ape/human moasic form necessarily contains) but for some reason I always pictured this as a change of label. I didn’t believe creationists would try and manipulate and mutilate her anatomy to portray her as something she is not; in my mind they accepted all of the anatomical and behavioural conclusions about her and just disputed what she should be called. I suppose I was giving too much credit to the creationists, for they went and created this abomination.

What has been seen cannot be unseen

Their justification for producing such a travesty against evolutionary anthropology is that it’s just a matter of interpretation. They often like to claim that their views and science are simply two ways of looking at the evidence, both equally valid. Of course, this forgets that ideas are given more credence when they demonstrate their reliability through hypothesis testing. Whilst science does plenty of that, creationism almost never does; you’ll never see an article with “creationists were surprised by a new finding” because they’re never predicting anything that could be shown to be wrong. As such, science and creationism are far from equally valid ideas.

Totally how it works

Anyhoo, on with the show. Starting at the top we run into our first major problem at the base of the skull. The foramen magnum is the hole the spinal cord comes out of and can be used to work out how an animal walked. A biped will want it at the bottom of the skull so the head can sit atop a vertical body whilst a quadruped will want it further back so their head will still face forwards when placed in front of a body. Stick a biped’s head on a quadruped and it would be looking at the ground, which is not particularly useful for survival.

So, is Lucy’s foramen magnum like that of a quadruped or a biped? Unfortunately we can’t say since it wasn’t preserved. Luckily we do have a couple of Au. afarensis specimens with a preserved foramen magnum. So I made a little graph of their foramen magnum “index” (a measurement of its position) and lo, the position of Au. afarensis foramen magnum falls much closer to that of Homo (including humans) than any quadrupedal ape. However, the angle of that foramen is much more similar to an ape than a human. In other words, the hole is close to the human location but the angle of the hole is more like an ape. Could that mean they were quadrupeds? Well, as the second image shows when the location of the foramen magnum is taken into account as well as the angle, we’re still left with a biped.

A graph of the location of the foramen magnum and a diagram of its orientation (Australopithecus is the middle image)

Au. afarensis spine reconstruction

So, the hole for the spine looks like that of a biped (albeit with the retention of some ape characteristics). The next issue arises with the spine itself. Humans have a curved spine (known as lordosis) which acts as a shock absorber as we walk. Chimps lack this curvature, since they don’t walk like us. What of Au. afarensis? Well, it had that curvature too. And that isn’t the result of bias contained in a reconstruction of the spine, Au. afarensis had the additional lumbar vertebrae which produces lordosis (6 compared to the 4 in chimps; although humans only have 5). You can’t misinterpret the number of vertebrae, that’s an absolute, physical number. And another point in favour of bipedalism.

The next issue is raised by the hand itself. Being used as a limb, knuckle walkers will obviously have a suite of different adaptations to us. Their hand is more robust and sturdy than ours, allowing them to easily walk on it. Naturally, we lack many of these abilities in favour of fine motor control. We can’t support our weight for extended periods of time but we can manipulate things with greater dexterity. And what of Au. afarensis?

Although knuckle-walking cannot be excluded, there is no evidence in the hand of the interlocking surfaces which characterize the hand of African apes and provide stability during knuckle-walking, in the carpometacarpal region and the radiocarpal, midcarpal, and metacarpophalangeal joints (Marze, 1986)

Although some might try and use the fact knuckle walking “cannot be excluded” as a way to weasel out of the fact there’s no evidence they knuckle walked, the fact remains there is no evidence they knuckle walked. Not being able to exclude it is kind of moot when we have no reason to include it in the first place. As such, I’d go further than the paper itself and simply state there’s no evidence of knuckle walking.

Finally we arrive at the hip. In a video associated with their ridiculous reconstruction they try and argue that the gluteus medius of Au. afarensis would not have been able to function properly given the orientation of their hips. Yet numerous computer models of Au. afarensis have shown that their gluteus medius can and does function during bipedal locomotion. Although it has to work a bit harder in Lucy et al. than in us because their hip is not as efficiently built as ours, there is no fundamental difference in the manner by which they move.

Ok, so their reasoning might be wrong. But maybe their observation that Lucy’s hip is like that of a chimp is valid? Well this should be reasonably easy to figure out since human and chimp hips are very distinct. Ours is shaped like a bowl so that our vertical torso can “sit” in it and receive support whilst a chimp hip is a lot taller and flatter to keep their back rigid with minimal effort. I shan’t tell you which one it most looks like, because that would just be my interpretation shining through!

But I will show you a picture

Almost every bit of Lucy’s anatomy points towards bipedalism. Her hip is 3D to support a vertical trunk, her foramen magnum is located on the bottom of the skull to enable her head to sit atop a vertical body. Her hands show know evidence for knuckle walking whilst her spine is curved to best function in a bipedal body. Creationists might cry out about interpretation and bias, but the fact of the matter is that their reconstruction is simply wrong on every major point.

Also, note how in most characteristics she is very similar to a human but not quite human. Many of her attributes also show a significant affinity with chimps such  asthe angle of the foramen magnum and her hip not being quite as efficient as ours. It’s almost like Au. afarensis is some half ape/half man form. Like she’s some kind of…intermediate, transitional stage. Funny that.

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41 thoughts on “Lucy the knuckle walking ape? – Misguided Mondays

  1. Yes AIG did, and they show how your information is error-filled and totally biased! You should really have researched more before spouting off and making yourself look quite unlearned. At the very least, you could have actually visited the place you were deriding. God created Lucy as an ape just like He created all animals after their kinds!

    • Living on a student budget makes spontenous trips to American museums somewhat unfeasible. Luckily we have this thing called “the internet” which helps convey information around the world at a much faster and cheaper rate.

  2. On 13 August I emailed AiG (and others) as follows:

    “Why are AiG panicking about scientific research?
    After all, any vocalisations by ‘Lucy’ are likely to have been mostly
    grunts and barks. Aren’t they? Because the species was ‘some sort of
    knuckle-walking gorilla’. According to creation science. According to
    the Creation Museum.

    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2012/08/12/we-now-know-

    that-lucy-said-duh-duh-duh/?
    utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+KenHam+%
    28Around+the+World+with+Ken+Ham%29

    http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jul-aug/21-big-idea-bring-ancient-

    voices-back-to-life/?searchterm=lucy

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2011/11/28/what-did-

    australopithecines-sound-like-more-duh-than-ugg/

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228404.400-our-ancestors-speak-

    out-after-3-million-years.html#sounds

    According to Bart de Boer in the Discover magazine feature, Lucy had
    air sacs and “Air sacs make sounds louder and lower-pitched, just the
    way a musical instrument sounds lower and louder when it’s bigger”. So
    Lucy (which YECs insist went extinct only quite ‘recently’) would not
    have sounded like we do with our hyoid bone supporting the tongue
    muscles and enabling a wide range of vocalizations. It seems Lucy may
    have made loud, deep, ‘duh’ ‘duh’ sounds. This assumption does not
    appear to prove evolution.

    So why is Mr Ham drawing attention to the story? Does anybody know?

    “The evolutionists are at it again!” He cannot conceal his ANTI-
    scientific bias. “But one thing we know for sure – Lucy was not a
    supposed ape-like ancestor of humans.” NO. We DON’T know that. Mr Ham
    believes, by faith, that that is not the case.

    “So we can conclude that Lucy is either totally ape or totally human!”
    So HOW do you decide WHICH Mr Ham?

    “Our ‘starting points’ make a difference in how we interpret
    evidence…”. So you ARE interested in EVIDENCE?

    Here’s some:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/07/1004527107.abstract

    “These characteristics further establish that bipedality in
    Australopithecus was highly evolved and that thoracic form differed
    substantially from that of either extant African ape.”

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6018/750.abstract

    “These features show that the A. afarensis foot was functionally like
    that of modern humans and support the hypothesis that this species was
    a committed terrestrial biped”.

    DOESN’T LOOK MUCH LIKE A GORILLA TO ME.

    EXCEPT – PERHAPS – HOW IT VOCALISED!

    I’m beginning to understand the apparent panic at AiG.

    “How do they think they can accurately reconstruct Lucy’s vocal cords?
    All they can do is guess, based on their faulty starting point that
    Lucy is an ape-like ancestor of humans!”. So – although Lucy probably
    did not sound ‘human’ – Mr Ken Ham STILL WISHES TO INSTIL DOUBTS AND
    IMPLY THAT THIS SCIENCE IS A WASTE OF TIME – EVEN WHEN THE BIBLE IS
    SILENT. Words fail me. Duh.

    I will attempt to send this message direct to AiG too.

    Though it appears you are now BLOCKING any EVIDENCE which I attempt to
    send to you. Presumably because your ‘answers’ only make sense if you
    IGNORE all inconvenient evidence.

    Your Creation Museum is fraudulent when it comes to Lucy.

    AiG are fraudulent, cult-like, Christians (I don’t say you aren’t
    Christians).

    It would appear that all you have left is the mockery you chide many
    of your numerous opponents, from many different standpoints, for.”

    AiG ignore my emails…

    I will examine Adam’s blog of 13 August, and the AiG article of 24 October, a bit later.

  3. My message just now to AiG:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v7/n1/lucy-abomination

    Lying is evil.

    Does your signage include:
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/ … 7.abstract

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6018/750.abstract

    If not, WHY not.
    I note that you DO rely on a dated Nature paper from 2000 to try and support your ‘case’ (footnote 23).

    I have written to you many many times about your Lucy fraud.

    I have just attempted to comment about your deliberately deceitful behaviour under Mr Benton’s blog.

    “…the community of evolutionary scientists is not quite as committed to the belief that Lucy was not a knuckle-walker as our undergraduate critic believes”.
    COMPLETELY UNTRUE

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nlzsh

    This thorough programme did discuss the Laetoli footprints.

    Creation science (the young Earth versions specifically) is NOT genuine science because it is not evidence-based. It is a form of dogma and apologetics. It is also parasitical upon real science that it doesn’t like.

    “They realize that any model describing life’s origins or earth’s history must be consistent with that biblical account to even have a possibility of representing reality.” Well, you have confirmed what I just said about DOGMA. You hunt for evidence and conjectures to back up the BIBLE – even though the Bible never ever discusses fossils.

    Your ‘refutation’ of Mr Benton includes as footnote 18 the 2012 paper cited by Mr Benton as saying that the ‘Lucy’ species had six lumbar vertebrae (which I cannot read): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar … 8412000218
    You say of this paper: “A recent biomechanical study confirmed that overall function, when six lumbar vertebrae are present, is the same.” Humans, whether with the normal five, or with six, are bipedal (I assume you are mainly referring to humans). So what is your point?

    “Lucy’s anatomy may suggest a gait that differed somewhat from that of the chimp, but on its best day it was not actually bipedal.” Were you there?

    Maybe Mr Benton doesn’t know the mind of all creationists. He does however know that you are perpetrating a high-profile fraud at the Creation Museum while your depiction of ‘Lucy’ as an extinct ‘gorilla’.”

    See here if some of the links do not come through: http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3104&start=90

    PS WHEN WILL MY POSTS BE MODERATED, PLEASE?

  4. You are famous dude! You are the subject of an article on AiG! How many people can say that? That ought to make you feel good – like you are someone special I the Who’s Who world of evolutionists! Now you can write a rebuttal and put them in their place!

    • I certainly feel special, nobody else has written me a ~6,000 word thesis. Unfortunatley that makes rebutting it a length business, but hopefully I can make time in my evil, amoral evolutionist schedule.

  5. I’m no expert when it comes to evolutionary anthropology (hell, I’m not an expert on anything) so I haven’t read your article or AiG’s response in detail. But I think you’ll find the following tells you all you really need to know about AiG.

    “Evolutionary scientists reject God’s eyewitness account in Genesis. Thus they reject the only reliable eyewitness account of events that are otherwise unobservable. Instead they simply assume evolution must have occurred, that life and all things must have come about through random natural processes, because they cannot permit a “divine foot in the door.”

    In other words, because evolutionary science, like all sciences, contradicts the book of myth and fantasy that is the Bible, no matter what your evidence, no matter how you derive it and put it all together, you’re wrong. At least in the eyes of Ken Ham and his truth-blinded cronies you’re wrong. Which, all things considered, probably makes you right.

    Sorry to piggy-back your site Adam, but somebody at AiG obviously reads your blog, and like Ashley they deliberately either block or ignore my e-mails. Frankly, I think they are scared of properly debating anybody who opposes the spreading of their dangerous brand of stupidity.

    So if they’re reading this: Ken Ham is a liar, a fraud and a cretin who would rather young children grow up ignorant, asking pointless questions like ‘were you there?’ rather than searching, probing, interesting questions that will open up the wonders of the world and the universe to them.

    Best of luck for the future, Adam. The world needs intelligent, forthright people like you. I just hope the idiotic likes of Ken Ham are never able to hinder your progress in this world.

  6. I love how AiG wrote an entirely civil, scientific article in response to this, and everybody is freaking out about their ‘blind, truth-obscuring, mythical dogma,’ which they only passingly reference as their point-of-view. Otherwise, it’s a thoroughly scientific article, which is respectful and entirely backed by sources and (gasp) evidence.

    • AiG have a system whereby they take the truth, twist it around to retrofit it to their ancient fantasy book, then lie and encourage others to do the same. Trust whatever they say at your peril.

      • However, in their article, they didn’t use the Bible at all in their rebuttal, instead relying on scholarly, scientific sources. Curious.

        Also, it’s typically a bad idea to go around calling the Bible an “ancient fantasy book.” It weakens your argument – even in secular academic sources.

        • I call the bible an ‘ancient fantasy book’ because it is a) very old, b), a book and c) fully of stories that are pure fantasy. If you truly believe in talking snakes, sea creatures that have stomachs with no digestive juices, and that rainbows were invented after a global flood that nobody noticed had happened, then your definition of fantasy is completely different from most other people’s.

        • Dave

          Much of what is propounded by young Earth creationism is stuff that they have made up that isn’t even in the Bible eg a ‘post-Flood Ice Age’ (or stuff that twists what the Bible says eg they claim Genesis says that God told animals to ‘reproduce after their kinds’ rather than simply to ‘multiply’).

    • At least, that’s the image they like to cultivate. In reality their point-of-view determines everything they write, having confessed in their statement of faith “no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record.”

      They try to look scientific but they aren’t actually doing science. They don’t evaluate evidence based on its strength but whether it agrees with their preconceptions. For example, that’s why they cite work by a team from Washington in their critique (“Evidence that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor.”). This work was based off incomplete information and soundly refuted by the scientific community, so much so that even the team which originally put it forward have since denounced the research.

      Do AiG make reference to this controversy? Nope, it agrees with them so they accept it, regardless of what the evidence actually says.

  7. Aalenfae

    Being polite does not make AiG scientific in their approach. Rather they seek to hi-jack the scientific method. In their article they clearly stated: “Creation scientists begin with the authoritative eyewitness account of our origins in the Word of God. They realize that any model describing life’s origins or earth’s history must be consistent with that biblical account to even have a possibility of representing reality”.

    In their view a ‘Lucy’ like the bipedal, non-gorilla, one shown on BBC TV might suggest ‘evolution’ – an unbiblical process, so they also suggest that such an animal was ‘unbiblical’. Thus – because their agenda is Genesis propaganda not objective science – they falsely depict ‘Lucy’ as an (extinct) knuckle-walking gorilla. Ignoring the vast amount of evidence for bipedalism and for the creature living around 3 million years ago. Problem ‘solved’!

    Ashley

    • I didn’t mean to suggest that their civility somehow made them scientific.
      What I meant to emphasize was that AiG’s response was both scientific AND civil – something that many of the commenters here are failing to do – relying on name-calling and mudslinging.

      I lament the narrow-mindedness and intolerance of the scientific community these days, though. Just because AiG has a different starting point dosen’t mean they’re somehow barred from using the scientific method, or reaching conclusions scientifically.
      In fact, both parties are using objective science. The question of origins isn’t scientific to begin with, really. Both the Creationist and the Evolutionist camps start with an untestable, unprovable assumption about origins, and then proceed to use scientific processes to reach an understanding about the world that fits into the context of their presuppositions.

      In this sense, both parties are both scientific and unscientific. Give it a rest.

      Lucy being bipedal is not a fact – it’s a conjecture (however well-founded), and it’s utter arrogance to suggest that any other interpretation is a falsehood, or some cultish propaganda.

      AiG was not being “unscientific,” they were merely showing that there are valid reasons to believe that a bipedal Lucy is not the only possible explanation of the evidence.

      • YECs start with a totally unscientific assumption – that the 2,000+ year old Bible is ‘infallible’ history.
        “there are valid reasons to believe that a bipedal Lucy is not the only possible explanation of the evidence”. There aren’t.

        • Ashley,

          Your statement that the YEC’s start with a totally unscientific assumption is an assumption in itself. It may appear that AiG is starting from an assumption that the earth is young and the Bible is true but that is because they and other YEC’s have already addressed elsewhere how we can know with a reasonable certainty that the Bible is true. It would take a book to rehash all those issues just to address Mr. Benton’s blog. Indeed, many books have been written to demonstrate the reasonableness of believing the Bible to be truth. However, the Bible was not written to address science issues but neither can it be proven to contradict science.

          I used to be an evolutionist believer myself and I am now a Creationist believer. What changed my mind? The evidence speaks for itself if you truly investigate both sides for yourself. Men who have set out to disprove the Bible have actually ended up becoming Christians because the Bible cannot objectively be proven false. They were successful, well-educated men. One was a lawyer and the other a journalist. There are respectable scientists that believe in Creationism today and many of our famous scientists of the past were believers in Creation as described in the Bible.

          One thing to note: Mr. Benton has time to respond to all these comments but not the time to refute AiG’s rebuttal. Is it possible he doesn’t have a response to their rebuttal because he doesn’t have the answers he claims to have? Whether he does have the answers or not, I’ll never know unless he posts a reply to their rebuttal. I can’t assume he does know until I see the reply.

          You said in one of your previous posts that Creation Science “is a form of dogma and apologetics”. I agree. Dogma is defined in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma) as “the official system of belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization”. Apologetics is defined (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics) as “the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information”. Based on these two definitions, I would say the same two words apply to Evolutionary Science. We are both defending dogma through the systematic use of information, just from different viewpoints over the same evidence.

          I challenge you to read up on Creationist material to see what their defense is for believing the Bible before you make assumptions that may not be true. What if we are right – the Bible is true and God made the earth? What does that mean for you when you die? If we’re wrong, we’ve lost nothing but if we’re right, you lose everything.

          Are you willing to gamble your eternal destiny based on the assumption that we’re wrong without having examined the whole issue from both sides – thoroughly?

        • In reply to Apologia.

          The tortured logic of young Earth creationism.

          I used to be an evangelical Christian. Never a science denier – though at the time my knowledge of science was limited.

          In recent years I have indeed investigated both sides. Whilst one can infer that the universe looks ‘fine-tuned’ for life (in rare cases or places), and that life is complex, YEC-ism is anti-science.

          To claim that mainstream, ‘naturalistic’, science is some kind of ‘dogma’ is utterly ridiculous.

          YECs are very fond of ‘word games’ and accusations against those who call them on their poor logic and pseudo-scientific arguments.

        • Ashley,

          To quote you: “To claim that mainstream, ‘naturalistic’, science is some kind of ‘dogma’ is utterly ridiculous.”

          How is that ridiculous? You have a set of beliefs that you say are based on the facts. By definition, that is dogma. Regardless of how you arrived at your beliefs, whether based on fact or fantasy, it’s still dogma because evolutionary scientists as a group say Creationist Science is wrong and evolution is correct. It’s the official stance and you are defending it by ridiculing us rather than taking us seriously.

          I am not against science. In fact, I love science. I just don’t agree with evolutionary scientists in their interpretation of the data. Disagreeing with them does not make us worthy of the disdain and disrespect you’ve shown in your comments toward Creationists.

          You implied I was playing word games. How can you say that? I used word definitions from a source that many people respect and that I certainly had no part of creating, a couple of Wikipedia articles.

          Your reply to me borders on appearing full of hysteria and emotional reactions. I’m aware that in writing, it’s hard to convey the exact nuances of how we feel at the time of writing so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t so but think about how your writing comes across. Rather than implying that I’m playing word games, which comes across as a personal attack, why not just give me a better source for the definition of “dogma” and “apologetics”?

          “Poor logic and pseudo-scientific arguments”? Calling them that doesn’t make it so. If I call you a baboon with a big red rear, does that make it so? No. That’s just mudslinging and muddying the waters. Defend your statements with facts if you’re going to make them. Poor logic can only be defeated with sound logic, etc.

          I don’t believe Creationists are anti-science but they are against evolutionary ideas. In the same vein, evolutionary ideas are against Creationist beliefs. Don’t confuse evolution and science as being the same. They’re not. Creationism and science are also not the same thing. Well-qualified people use science all the time and come up with different interpretations, sometimes even the wrong answers. Science itself is neutral when applied correctly but it takes people to look at the data and make a decision as to what it is telling us. Science is the rigorous collection of data and repeatable verification of ideas. Evolution and Creationist beliefs are both attempts to interpret the data the science has collected. Neither side can prove beyond a reasonable doubt because neither one can reproduce the events that define their positions as objective science requires.

          I don’t expect to convince you of the merits of the Creationist side. I’m not sure why I even bothered to reply to your comments. You’ve obviously already made up your mind on the matter, just as I have also. However, I would hope that you and all the other evolutionists on this site would at least have the courtesy to treat us as fellow human beings worthy of respect and discourse, refraining from name-calling and mocking comments. Simply stating the facts and sources should be enough. We can read and research just as well as you can. Give us the benefit of the doubt. If you are right, then no amount of ridiculing and personal attacks will convince me or anyone else of the rightness of your position. However, laying out the facts in a neutral manner would go very far in allowing a proper discussion to take place, on both sides.

        • If you really think you ‘love science’ you are deluded.

          I’m not going to waste further time debating your nonsensical comments.

          YECs like you appear to be deliberately undermine science with dogma. Fact.

          If you want to call me ‘emotional’ – go ahead.

          Your arguments are a longwinded smokescreen. You also falsely accuse me of ‘name-calling’.

          There is fraud at the Creation Museum. You appear to be defending those who run the ‘museum’.

        • The word ‘be’ should have been deleted from my post just now.

          ALL we have had from Apologia in his two lengthy posts is: confirmation that he assumes (in an unscientific manner) the Bible is true including on origins and that most of science must be wrong, remarks about Adam Benton, a challenge to me to investigate both sides (which I have certainly done), an accusation (repeated even though it is ridiculous) that those who reject YEC-ism/accept evolution are relying on ‘dogma’, an implied threat regarding my ‘eternal destiny’, a bogus claim that he ‘loves’ ‘science’, false accusations that my first response contained hysteria, false accusations of ‘name-calling’, irrelevant comments about apologetics as if scientists indulged in apologetics, a false claim that I have slung ‘mud’ and muddied the waters, a claim that I have failed to give any ‘facts’ (you haven’t given any facts!), an empty claim that evolution is not the same thing as science (or part of science), and an assertion that I am not being ‘neutral’.

          This is how YECs ‘debate’.

        • For the benefit of Aalenfae and Apologia:
          The Creation Museum scam is that whilst ignoring the compelling evidence that ‘Lucy’ was bipedal much of the time whenever the species was on the ground, they are now (with Ken Ham’s recent Facebook comments) trying to make a connection between ‘Lucy”s shoulder sockets and how she walked when on the ground. The ‘connection’ is entirely bogus. She spent time in the trees – but also could walk bipedally when on the ground as other fossil evidence reveals. Evidence which Ken Ham and his cronies consistently ignore – for rather obvious reasons. Their flawed ‘reasoning’ is that if the Lucy species was ape-like because of its shoulder sockets, even like a modern ape, then she must have knuckle-walked when on the ground – as shown at the Creation Museum – like modern chimpanzees and gorillas. Utter nonsense – and in fact modern bonobos can walk bipedally some of the time.

  8. Email sent to Ken Ham and friends:

    “On his Facebook page on Friday:

    http://www.facebook.com/aigkenham

    “Well you don’t have read a secular article to know Lucy was an Ape–just come to the Creation Museum where we expose the false evolutionary ideas and teach people the truth about the bones of this creature.
    A news article recently states:
    “It turns out Lucy’s shoulder sockets were similar to those of modern apes.” It’s worth reading the whole article–just so typical of what happens withe the evolutionary belief–it keeps ‘evolving.’
    Read this article:
    http://io9.com/5954898/humanity-never-h … irculation
    I have included a photo of myself standing beside the popular LUCY exhibit at the Creation Museum that was installed this year.”

    I have read the link. Mr Ham is touting this article – but it does NOT help him in his quest to deny huge rafts of established scientific understanding.

    THIS IS WHAT THE AUTHOR WRITES:

    “What this means is that the whole idea of a simple “missing link” between humans and our ape cousins is false. There was no one, single moment when humans leapt from the trees to find a new existence on land. It happened gradually, over millennia, with different individuals from different species testing out what it would mean to live far from the protection of sheltering forests. Instead of thinking of our transition to walking as a “missing link,” it would be more accurate to say the transition was a long chain, in which one kind of life shaded into the other very gradually.”

    “What this new discovery highlights is the degree to which evolutionary changes don’t always have an easy beginning and ending. We’d like to believe there was a simple missing link between ape-like humans and human-like humans – perhaps a single species that provides a nice bright line between us and chimps. But the more we learn, the more we realize there is no species like that. There are species who started the exploration process, taking those first treks across the treeless savannahs, and there are species who continued that process.
    To truly grasp how evolution works, we need to let go of the myth that there were radical distinctions between early human species.”

    The author is NOT suggesting that the new paper shows that humans did not evolve from ape-like creatures. And the idea that the ‘Lucy’ species spent some time in the trees is NOT new.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6106/514.short

    So there is strong evidence that ‘Lucy’ – over 2 million years ago – climbed in the trees like a modern ape. AND that she also walked bipedally when on the ground, unlike most modern apes but like human beings. Interesting!

    Science – a quest for understanding.

    Young Earth Creationism – a bid to spread confusion and misinformation in order to discredit so-called ‘bad’ science.

    I’m adding this reply to Adam Benton’s blog.”

    See also: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/10/26/early-human-lucy-swung-from-trees/

  9. Please will somebody explain why the message below has apparently been rejected for publication:

    “My email last night to Answers in Genesis:

    On his Facebook page on Friday:

    http://www.facebook.com/aigkenham

    “Well you don’t have read a secular article to know Lucy was an Ape–
    just come to the Creation Museum where we expose the false evolutionary
    ideas and teach people the truth about the bones of this creature.
    A news article recently states:
    “It turns out Lucy’s shoulder sockets were similar to those of modern
    apes.” It’s worth reading the whole article–just so typical of what
    happens withe the evolutionary belief–it keeps ‘evolving.’
    Read this article:

    http://io9.com/5954898/humanity-never-had-a-missing-link-to-apes?

    utm_source=jalopnik.
    com&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=recirculation
    I have included a photo of myself standing beside the popular LUCY
    exhibit at the Creation Museum that was installed this year.”

    I have read the link. Mr Ham is touting this article – but it does NOT
    help him in his quest to deny huge rafts of established scientific
    understanding.

    THIS IS WHAT THE AUTHOR WRITES:

    “What this means is that the whole idea of a simple “missing link”
    between humans and our ape cousins is false. There was no one, single
    moment when humans leapt from the trees to find a new existence on
    land. It happened gradually, over millennia, with different individuals
    from different species testing out what it would mean to live far from
    the protection of sheltering forests. Instead of thinking of our
    transition to walking as a “missing link,” it would be more accurate to
    say the transition was a long chain, in which one kind of life shaded
    into the other very gradually.”

    “What this new discovery highlights is the degree to which
    evolutionary changes don’t always have an easy beginning and ending.
    We’d like to believe there was a simple missing link between ape-like
    humans and human-like humans – perhaps a single species that provides a
    nice bright line between us and chimps. But the more we learn, the more
    we realize there is no species like that. There are species who started
    the exploration process, taking those first treks across the treeless
    savannahs, and there are species who continued that process.
    To truly grasp how evolution works, we need to let go of the myth that
    there were radical distinctions between early human species.”

    The author is NOT suggesting that the new paper shows that humans did
    not evolve from ape-like creatures. And the idea that the ‘Lucy’
    species spent some time in the trees is NOT new.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6106/514.short

    So there is strong evidence that ‘Lucy’ – over 2 million years ago –
    climbed in the trees like a modern ape. AND that she also walked
    bipedally when on the ground, unlike most modern apes but like human
    beings. Interesting!

    Science – a quest for understanding.

    Young Earth Creationism – a bid to spread confusion and misinformation
    in order to discredit so-called ‘bad’ science.

    I’m adding this reply to Adam Benton’s blog.”

  10. The arrogance and sheer stupidity of the people at AiG is almost beyond belief. I’ll spare you the scriptural garbage, but here is a response to a question about honesty being a sin, and my comeback. I decided to bother saying anything about moral authority – it’s a topic I’m sick of.

    Dave
    From: Correspondence@answersingenesis.org
    To: daveandfiona@live.co.uk
    Subject: RE: Christianity
    Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2012 20:27:57 +0000

    Hello Dave, thank you for contacting Answers in Genesis. It’s not my opinion that matters, nor any man’s opinion for that matter. It is what God has stated in Scripture. All men deep down inside know there is a God, but they willfully suppress that knowledge. I’ve included some passages below for you to examine. Besides, how do you decide what is and isn’t perverted? Is that your opinion? Do you have a moral authority upon which you base that statement? You make statements as if you accept the moral underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian worldview, yet reject the source?

    “All men deep down inside know there is a God…”

    1. Where in scripture does it say this?

    2. Do you have personal testimonies from all 7million + people on this planet that they believe in your god? If not, your claim is either preposterous, or it is a lie. I’m actually prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt, and claim it is a lie. That will allow you to face your god and say “I at least did not commit the sin of honesty.”

    3. What gives you the right to decide what people believe in anyway? What gives you the right to tell me what I believe in?

    4. If honesty is a sin, you have a bigger problem than I have. How can you face your god and tell him, in all honesty, that you love and worship him without committing the sin of honesty?

    5. What does the bible say about honesty? By what right do you claim it to be a sin?

    I repeat, I am an atheist because I am honest when I say that I do not believe in your god, and any other god. By your ‘logic’, that makes my honesty a sin as evil as rape, murder, child abuse, theft, fraud etc.

    Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to answer my questions directly, but I won’t invite you to address them honestly. Just in case…

  11. Dave

    YEC-type Christians use Romans 1 verses 18-20 in particular as a weapon to judge the hearts and minds of unbelievers. The Bible says they are ‘suppressing the truth’ ergo all non-Christians are ‘suppressing the truth’ because the Bible suggests that this is the case.

    There is an intolerant logic and claimed divine authority behind their judgmental pronouncements. Another favourite verse of these literalist apologist fundamentalist Christians is Romans 3 verse 4 – it allows them to claim eg that anybody believing in evolution is a ‘liar’ – full stop.

    • They can claim what they like. I know what goes on in my own head, they don’t. And I’m not going to accept their attempts at mind control.

  12. Pingback: Answers in Genesis v Evoanth #2: The foramen magnum « EvoAnth

  13. Pingback: Answers in Genesis v Evoanth #3: Lumbar lordosis « EvoAnth

  14. Pingback: Answers in Genesis v EvoAnth #4: The wrist « EvoAnth

  15. Pingback: Answers in Genesis v EvoAnth #5: The hip « EvoAnth

  16. Pingback: Lucy the knuckle walker? Answers in Genesis v EvoAnth | EvoAnth

  17. Obvious neurotic behaviour by the followers of the evolutionist religion in response to Apologia’s calm
    reasoned post.

You evolved too. Have a say.

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