Saturday, May 10, 2008

Michigan State Research on Hyenas --Evolution Speculation Again!

Kay E. Holekamp is studying spotted hyenas in southern Kenya. She sees "profound similarities" with our own human species and concludes --in the words of Zimmer, the New York Times reporter, that "a complex social world has driven the evolution of a big, complex brain." It seems that "primates with a big frontal cortex tend to live in large groups." [Whoopdedo! so this makes animals our ancestors?]

Then notice the speculative verbs in the article: "Primates may be pushed into larger groups thanks to predators or to patchy sources of food like fruit trees. As their numbers grow, natural selection may favor social intelligence. The primates form long-term alliances with each other and compete with rivals. They begin to keep track of a larger and larger social network."

And then, "A boost in social intelligence can lead to an evolutionary edge for primates...." and so on and on.

The good scientist is speculating with an evolutionary bias that STILL doesn't sound like PROOF of anything --except what she can describe --their brains and their activities. Neither of which prove anything about how and when the hyenas came to be the way they are --and no evidence as to which creature was which creatures' genetic grandpa--if any. Most of what they find today is that the lines of the evolutionary "tree" (that is the bio-similarities used as evidence of evolution) aren't proving to be quite what Darwin thought --i.e. the evidence for his genetic lines aren't necessarily there. Of course primates and mammals are similar --they have design features in common because someone designed them to be that way. We have no evidence they were ever anything but socially adept hyenas bearing resemblance to humans in that feature.

Show me the evolution, boys!

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Christian Apologist said...

can you link to the story so we can read it for ourselves?


Barb said...

I read the article on the hyenas in the Blade Peach section, front page , on march 10, 2008. It was written by Carl Ziimmer for the New York Times.
I looked but could not figure out how to find it on Blade archives or keyword search for a link.

Barb said...

ps --you can cross the golfcourse if you want to read my copy!

Suppose you celebrated Mother's day with your family--missed you.