Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ardi --4.4M years old --upright ancient relative of ours --RIGHT!

O boy, here we go again! Ardi --Ardipithecus --a transitional fossil who might be a distant cousin to homo sapiens --"a remarkable shattered skeleton" pulled together by researchers as "fossils so fragile they had to be excavated with dental picks and porcupine quills." According to the Washington Post.


So, she is 4.4 million years old. NOt 4.3 million or 4.5 million?

Forgive my skepticism, but scientists still can't decide if coffee and eggs, butter, etc. are good for us or not! How hard can THAT be? Yet, we are supposed to believe they can scrape together some pre-historic bone finds in the desert and conclude an age of 4.4 million years and a link to the evolution of humans.

Research teams get paid for publishing research discoveries --saying something new. And the eagerness to support evolution is REALLY hot!

But here we have a 4-foot-tall creature with long arms and short legs and feet that can climb and grab onto vines, etc. ----that sounds very much like some kind of ape to me. Even if it's extinct, I'll bet a steak dinner to anyone that it's just an ape!!! who mostly scurried through the branches using all 4's. and no form of pre-historic ancestor of ours at all. But, of course, scientists insist that we share with the apes a monkey's uncle!




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

34 comments:

AndThenSome said...

Actually, we, that is, Homo sapiens, is classified as a great ape.

So it is not intended as an insult, but merely a statement of fact, when I say you, Barb, are an ape. So am I. And so are all of us.

Barb said...

Of course, I believe we are NOT animals --but humans --and all the other mammals are animals. the difference between us and them is so vast that we couldn't evolve from them to us in trillions of years.

Besides, a resurrecting, miracle-working God, doesn't need evolution. He designs with HIs mind and speaks all things into existance. There is surely a divine design process, whereby we share DNA with the animal kingdom, but i don't think it's the theory of evolution, per se.

Jeanette said...

Barb,

I read an interesting article written by a Christian the other day that points out the sun never appears until the fourth day of creation. Since a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day to God, it could have been thousand year days, but the first day could not have occurred until the sun was formed, making a day.

He speaks of Satan being kicked out of heaven before the Garden, Adam and Eve, and of him destroying the earth.

If that first creation was destroyed by Satan and God made the new earth then science and scripture can co-exist with no problem.

Man was first made when Adam was made, but we cannot deny the pre-historic men.

I'll email the article to you to peruse for yourself.

Barb said...

Thanks, Jeanette.

My quibble is not with the age of the earth or of the fossil --but with scientists who really think they can date accurately a scrap of bone to 4.4million years of age.
Maybe they can--but I'm very skeptical.

I think speculation is what they do --and that hypothesizing about origins is the most speculative of all the sciences.

I also doubt they can tell if the ape could walk upright or not --by their shattered skeleton shards.

We watch CSI and think the bone experts can do anything --but I understand that much of what we see as forensic science is fictionalized for TV.

Christian Apologist said...

first of all the 4.4 million is an approximation based on the date of the volcanic layer they were found in. Probably with a give or take of +/_.1 million years. That is plus or minus 100,000 years which is not terribly precise but still fairly accurate.

Second the first discoveries took place in 1994. It took scientist 14 years of analysis and looking for more fossils before they were willing to say that Ardiphiticus walked upright.

Third what is your burden of proof for determining that Ardiphithecus was more than a monkey in order to win this elusive steak dinner? If you will not accept the statements of the scientist who made the discovery and have actually studied the fossils what hope does anyone else have of convincing you otherwise?

Barb said...

I read about it, too, CA --about the dating by the ash layers, etc.

I think I AM safe on the steak dinner gamble! They can't prove their claims; I can't disprove them.
Just like looking back at the Resurrection of Jesus 2000 years. We take things on faith --and evolutionists do, also. And so do radioactive daters of ash layers, i bet.

You have much more faith in the science of origins than I do.

Whenever you read the articles, the speculation is there. "scientists believe", the Wash. Post said. The creature "could have been ....such and such, so and so." Pshaw! They don't know!!!

Barb said...

People look at procreation today --and see that we all still procreate, each after our own kind, as the Bible describes--despite interracial marriage and past attempts to declare some races more highly evolved than others --despite what we do know about the reality of genetic variety, mutation, natural selection, adaptation, --and so on. We keep producing offspring like the parents --and have for millennia -and have never seen anything other than this sort of re-production--despite our tinkering and the wonderful "varieties" within kinds of creatures that we can manipulate. To assume that millions of years will cause these changes without intelligent design --or the miraculous WORD of God --that's what the evolutionist does. Theistic evolutionists like you just say God must have done it that way--but there is still no observeable ongoing evidence. Fossils don't prove transition!! just design and the existance of extinct varieties of life.

I do know you believe in design, so you needn't explain that. What you might explain is why the Creator in Christ needed evolution as a means when He speaks healings and resurrection into being with a touch or a Word in an instant. You DO believe that happened just 2000 years ago. Surely, we don't believe that God evolved to do something with a Word in Jesus' day --that He in the past needed eons to accomplish over millions of years.

However, the time element isn't the issue --it's the "naturalness" without the supernatural designer accounted for in Darwin's theory that is at issue.

More and more, people who believe in evolution do not also believe in God. I know that you think that it is rigidity on the part of Christians like me that drives the wedge between the evolution believers and the Christians. In fact, I believe it is the implications of Darwinism that alienates the most people from faith and morality. Because Darwin's conclusion just makes us into animals --who choose their moral code on pragmatic bases --and can't seem to come up with the same conclusions in every people group --thus our views result in perpetual discord--explained as sin in the Christian worldview.

The human race has not "evolved" one iota in their ability to live at peace --with the exception of REAL Christian community. And even the Christians are challenged to resist the pull of sin!

Barb said...

I want to add that Christians also are pushed to recognize biological instinctual forces as inevitable determinants for our behaviors--as when you read articles proclaiming that man was intended to be promiscuous --that monogamy is unnatural --that nature produces variants in sexual orientation --that age should be no factor in sexual proclivities.

Masoni said...

Funny that you question evolution due to lack of evidence, but when more concrete evidence presents itself you reject it.

It's little wonder you're Christian.

As for AndThenSome: we're not apes, we share a common ancestor with apes.

Barb said...

This evidence, in fact, is not more concrete evidence to support common ancestry for apes and humans. I didn't really even see them make that CLAIM exactly. In fact, there was something about their conclusions that didn't fit their preconceived expectations--but I didn't quite get what that was technically speaking.

What they think they've found is some really old bones of an ape-like creature. Maybe they did --and so what?

steve said...

Science marches on relentlessly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.. the petri dishes are filled, the DNA spliced, the angstrom microscopes click off the exact working of protein synthesis.. It marches on like an unstoppable juggernaut. I would estimate that in this century, science will be able to recreate life, one molecule at a time, will be able to make synthetic beings, will be able to stop the aging process and grant "ever lasting life". Science will be able to recreate the neuronetwork of the brain in digital form so that you can download your consciousness onto a computer.. beam your 0's and 1's across space and time and 30 minutes later you're recreated on Saturn's moon Titan. So to stand in the way of Science is foolhardy. Does it really matter if God's way of creation is via evolution? Look around you, we are imprecise flawed beings living in an imprecise flawed universe.

I think religious folks are afraid to find out that humans really aren't that special in the scheme of things. I think this "anti science" attitude has nothing to do with God, but everything to do with man's position in God's universe.

I've often wondered why symbolism and metaphor are accepted in many parts of the bible, but not in the Genesis account. And I think it simply comes down to people not wanting to accept that maybe we did come from apes. Maybe that's Gods way of insuring our harmonious rise with the tides and rhythms of the Universe, the Super Nova's, the Gamma Ray Bursts, the Wobble in the earths rotation and transit around the sun. It's like a swiss time piece where every piece has to work harmoniously with the whole. Maybe God didn't want to just say poof.. their you go, maybe it would be more interesting for God to see how things unfold in an unpredictable system.. Like a scientist dropping a dye into a flask of fluid.

To me, as a rational person, I don't think science will ever diminish my marvel at the "things unseen" science will never be able to fill that philosophical void of "why are we here.. to what purpose" ect.. But as Science fills in the blanks of the workings of the universe, I have to accept and accommodate new laws and new findings about our origins and our place in the universe.

That's why we need to make a friend of science.. because science is our one tool of discovering God, or learning more about his creation. If you just accept Genesis 1 - 10, and the answers are all there neatly for you, that's like having a father, far away in the war. You find a letter he wrote to your mom when he was 19. From that one letter, you base your entire view of that far away father without ever turning another page to see if there was more to him.

Anyway science can date things 4.4 million years old because of radioactive carbon dating. You can set your watch to nuclear decay.. In fact the most precise clock in the world is an "Atomic clock" that uses the decay of a radioactive isotope as a standard.. same as carbon 14 dating.

Barb said...

And my atomic clock is consistently one hour off --no matter how I re-set it. Drop by and fix it for me! I'm waiting to see what happens when we reset the clocks this fall. I got it for mother so she could maybe figure out what time and day it was.

I don't know what the current science is on the matter --I admit --but my husband says they can not reliably radioactively/carbon date back as far as their claims --they extrapolate --and there is some issue re: daughter and parent atoms that wasn't reconciled when he last explained this to me....

But I am out of my depth here, admittedly.

I don't think they will accomplish via science all that you claim --and I certainly have no enmity toward science per se. But I don't think we should be cloning or killing or using live fetuses for our experiments --in vitro or otherwise. Create life in the lab if you can --and change metal to gold, too, while you are at it --just don't kill people in the process.

I just don't believe the claims of the evolutionists. I've read about many successful, functioning scientists who also do not believe in their claims --and they say why in the jargon shared by scientists.

I also follow closely the claims of the Darwinists on line and their arguments don't prove their claims. No one has proven transition from the animal world to the human --nor proven that humans are mere animals.

Though some do make the case with their behavior, I must admit.

Barb said...

I also have no problem with metaphor in Genesis -- when it comes to the 6 days of creation,e.g. I don't say it has to be 24 hour days -- I have no problem with great ages for those days --nor for literal days as interp either.

If science can PROVE anything, so be it. But their theories and fossils aren't proofs and I'm not tossing in the towel until they are.

Christian Apologist said...

What you might explain is why the Creator in Christ needed evolution as a means when He speaks healings and resurrection into being with a touch or a Word in an instant. You DO believe that happened just 2000 years ago. Surely, we don't believe that God evolved to do something with a Word in Jesus' day --that He in the past needed eons to accomplish over millions of years.

who says anything about need? I never claim God needed to create via evolution. I simply assert that he enjoys it. He probably loves, as a creative being, to watch the universe grow and expand and for life to spring forth, based on the rules he established to govern it.

I reverse the question on you. Why does God need to do quickly what he can do slowly. And more importantly why did God wait ~6000 years after the fall of man to become incarnate and save us from our sins? God does things in his own time according to is own purposes. For who has known the mind of God, or who has been his councilor?

Barb said...

Good response, CA.

("counselor," btw, is the spelling)

I can agree with you about God's enjoyment of HIs creation according to the laws by which He governs --but I just don't believe we have the "how" of origins figured out yet.

AndThenSome said...

I'm sorry, Masoni, but, phylogentically speaking, humans are apes. Apes are any member of superfamily Homonoidae including the "lesser apes" as well as the "great apes" of the family Homonidae, which includes orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Although there is a lot of confusion about and outright avoidance of the term, we are indeed the "fifth ape."

Barb said...

speak for yourself, andthensome.

AndThenSome said...

What's wrong with being an ape, Barb?

Barb said...

Go to the zoo and see for yourself!

Nothing wrong for the ape in being an ape--but I'm betting we don't share a common ancestor --just a common designer.

AndThenSome said...

As I said, Barb, we are classified as apes. I really don't understand your aversion to admitting you're an ape--perhaps it's the implication that we aren't a special creation.

Our closest cousin, the bonobo, shares 98.4 % of our DNA. As an analogy, if our two genomes were one-hundred page books, the first niney-eight pages and four tenths of page ninety-nine would be exactly the same, down to the last semicolon. There is a lot of difference in that remaining page and a half, admittedly, but it shows how closely related we are to bonobos and the other great apes.

You attribute this similarity to a common designer--let's just call him "God." I wonder what he had in mind when he designed, say, the blind spot in the human eye? Or wisdom teeth? Or the coccyx? Or the birth canal? Or have us breathe and eat through the same passageway? Or combine our sexual organs with our excretory system? Or make us air-breathing, land animals when most of the planet is water? Or wait for billions of years before deciding to design us in the first place?

It seems to point more toward a sadistic monster than a loving God, wouldn't you say?

Barb said...

Not at all, Andthensome.

Why shouldn't we share DNA design with other mammals? It's a 6 foot strand of message within every one of our cells that dictates our characteristics --using only 4 "letters" -- Designed? ABSOLUTELY?

Designed and made In the image of God --not in the image of animals --not just a better animal. That page and a half makes all the difference between animals and humans.

I'm OK with seeing the animals as fore-runners of humans --but I don't think there was anything difficult in the process for our miracle-working God. Nothing random about it --and nothing that He didn't CAUSE to happen --nothing that He didn't DESIGN.

The so-called vestigial organs --no reason to insist on that. They even think the appendix and the tonsils had something to do with immunity. As for the coccyx --what's that supposed to be? Your tail, I know. The spine had to end somewhere! One renowned spine expert said everything about our spines is designed for upright balance --not for going on all 4's as some have interpreted.

Jeanette said...

Barb,

When I hear that we are created in the image of God ~ I think of it as being not bodily like Him, because, except for Jesus, God does not have a body unless He wants to take one on.

I believe it means we have a spirit~ and God is a spirit.

No wild animal has a soul and/or a spirit in the religious sense of the word.

I know it's late and I have insomnia, but maybe I'm making sense.

Barb said...

Yes, it is spiritual for sure --but it COULD be a physical likeness, too. "in His image."

AndThenSome said...

Well, of course, the spine has to end somewhere, but it just happens to form a structure very similar to those of short-tailed mammals. This is precisely what one would expect to see in a vestigial tail. All the other great apes have one,too, by the way.

Furthermore, the human genome contains genes for a tail. This gene is most prominently expressed in the embryonic stage when we grow a prominent tail, but is later destroyed by other genes that direct white blood cells to consume it. On rare occassions, the tail-cropping genes don't work properly, and the person is born with a tail. You can google pictures of them yourself.

Now why do you think God would encode human DNA with genes for a tail and have us grow one, and then design other genes to remove it? This seems inconsistent with an intelligent, benevolent designer, but is entirely consistent with evolutionary theory.

Perhaps later we can address the other examples I listed.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by animals being the forerunners of humans. With a few changes, it could be positively Darwinian: other animals were the ancestors of humans. Perhaps you could expand on this.

And do you really think that humans share physical attributes with God? I do think this is a more honest reading of Genesis, but most modern Christians prefer the more metaphorical, spiritual interpretation to avoid some rather delicate questions about God's anatomy.

Barb said...

The bible says the animals were created before humans. So in that way, evolution or not, humans were the last creation on the 6th day (whether or not the day is metaphorical, I don't pretend to know.)

But why does the tail disappear in the human embryo? By design! You said the GENES direct it to happen. WOW! and WHY! if there is no designer? We are humans from our earliest stage in the womb; all our DNA is there at the beginning of our lives. God didn't want US to have a tail --so he programmed us so we would not. Yet, the building blocks of our DNA are the same building blocks as other creatures' DNA. This proves design and creation at least as much as you think it proves evolution!

Since we are made in the image of God, I figure there is a physical likeness --though he is not sexual as we are, as I understand it. We needed the male and female aspect for procreation--and we are made "male and female --in the image of God."

We can only speculate about God's size or appearance --or whether He is merely "spirit" --and what THAT means! But the Bible says He took the form of a man in Christ Jesus --the Son--through Whom all things are created!

We are "fearfully and wonderfully made," the Bible says.

AndThenSome said...

I don't think you're fully grasping the implications of the human tail.

Here's an analogy: Imagine a automotive assembly line. At one end, near the beginning, workers are directed to assemble and attach a trailer at the rear end of the vehicle. It has wheels, an axle, an enclosed storage space, and numerous other parts. And then, only a few stations later, different workers are directed to disassemble the trailer and melt it down for other parts to be used in the vehicle. Then they are ordered to incorporate the hitch that used to connect the trailer to the end of the vehicle into a safety feature in the rear bumper.

How would you evaluate the designer of this assembly line? Is this a wise use of time and resources? No, it isn't. It is inefficient and unitelligent. No factory owner in his right mind would employ such a designer.

It's the same with the human tail. If God, as you say, didn't want us to have one, why would he have each of us grow one, keep it for 4 weeks, and then destroy it? This is just as inefficient and unintelligent as the hypothetical automotive assembly line.

And what's so "fearfully and wonderfully made" about wisdom teeth? Some individuals don't have them at all, and many that do have them removed because they develop in odd and often dangerous ways. Before dental surgery, many people suffered horribly and even died from infections and other complications resulting from impacted wisdom teeth. Other animals don't have this problem. Why were we singled out?

What's so "fearfully and wonderfully made" about the esophagus? How many thousands of people have choked to death over the millenia because air and food have to travel through the same passageway? Animals like dolphins have separate plumbing for breathing and eating. If we were so intelligently designed, why don't we have this feature?

The list goes on and on.

Barb said...

I can imagine a lot of improvements on human design --but that doesn't take away from the fact that we surely do SEEM to be DESIGNED --marvelously. things that go wrong with us are due to the FALL --our mortality and aging, e.g. disease and pestilence, etc.

yet, cut your arm and it will heal! the cells are intelligently designed and programmed to do certain things in certain conditions. How can anyone look at the complexity of ANY organism and not say that there is some creative, designing intelligence behind the universe and all of life! Especially LIFE. The universe --you can call it the result of big bangs --spinning off planets and stars --but even THAT seems to appear DESIGNED! incredible and amazing. And LIFE --even more so!

Barb said...

You should marvel more that the esophagus handles its dual functions very well most of the time! What? you want a fatter neck with more tubes?

AndThenSome said...

Your admission that you can imagine a lot of improvements on human design makes me wonder why God was lacking in that imagination Himself. You believe He is infinitely more intelligent than you or me or any person who has ever existed, and yet He misses or allows obvious flaws. I mean, it is amazing in many ways, but is the human body really the best the creator of the universe can do? Forgive me if I’m underwhelmed.

You really want to blame disease and pestilence on the Fall? You do understand that all those millions of viruses and bacteria and parasites were designed by God, too, not just flowers and kittens and rainbows and all the other pleasant things believers like to praise Him for. Ebola. Bubonic plague. Malaria. Small pox. Cancer. AIDS. Ticks. Lice. Mosquitos. Leeches. All conceived and willed into existence by your loving God. And for what? Because Adam and Eve disobeyed Him and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. How can this one act of defiance warrant such an extreme response? Imagine what we would think of a parent who refuses to forgive his children for a minor infraction and curses them with pain and suffering and torment. We wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to have such a parent locked up and have his children removed from him forever. And what possible reason would God not want His creation to know the difference between good and evil in the first place? How you or anyone else would want to spend eternity with this sadistic monster is beyond me.

Barb said...

It's rather futile to shake your puny fist at the Almighty, Andthensome.

He is not a marshmallow puff God --but one to fear and respect. That He loves also is sure lucky for us! Our planet has harsh aspects --but is also more hospitable to us than anywhere else we've seen in the universe. And beautiful and bountiful --much to thank Him for at Thanksgiving.

So rail away at the idea of damnation and the curse of hardship and pestilence and disease on the earth --hate God for it and call Him a monster if you want, but to what good for you???

Jesus said repent and believe and we shall be saved after this earthly existance --eternally in a good place where there is no more sin, disease, death, sorrow or tears.

I'm banking on the Biblical promises. I think all the good about our bodies and our earth and universe will be redeemed --and there will no longer be anything for us to fear. Will God do the same thing --start life --somewhere else in the universe? Maybe so. Ever creating. Ever seeking to make creatures who will choose Him over evil options.

AndThenSome said...

It would indeed be futile to shake my fist at or hate something like your God since it doesn't exist.

What I've done is pose some very basic logical and moral questions about your beliefs which, in my opinion, have largely been avoided.

Barb said...

Actually, the human body is a perfectly wonderful design --except for genetic mutations, defects, diseases --explained by The Fall.

the way pain signals that we are sitting on a tack --so we can stop doing it! The way our body heals. The stuff that skin is made of --the nails to help protect the ends of our toes and fingers -- The way of conceiving, growing and feeding a baby. The laminem molecule that holds our cells together (shaped like teensy tinesy crosses.) The heart that beats and pumps tirelessly --the brain and all its functions --the pleasure receptors --the emotional capacity

we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and a scientist could tell us better.

And DNA is a 6 foot strand of language made of 4 building blocks or "letters" determining all our characteristics --which strand is found inside every cell of our body

All very awe-inspiring --and very much DESIGNED, not random accidental evolution arising from natural selection--which does occur within "kinds" and is interesting in itself, but cannot account for all the diversity and marvels in life.

Ours is not a perfect earth or perfect physique --because of the fall. But what we have is still VERY good at its best-- as the Creator pronounced it to be. And yes, baby teeth are part of a plan to accommodate growth from infancy to adulthood.

No happenstance to our existance. So whether you think a GOD is behind us or not --some intelligent creative entity surely is. And I think the Bible is a wonderful book accounting for the who and why behind our being.

Barb said...

I can't explain the mysteries to you --the why of evil --death as a punishment from a loving God. But He is perhaps not loving in the sentimental human way except in Christ --He loves Christ and has given charge of us to His Son. We don't know how wide God's grace will extend to unbelievers and sinners--but we are told that the sure way to avail ourselves of this sacrificial love and eternal life is to BELIEVE in the SON and be remorseful for sin.

I just believe with all my being that Jesus Christ rose from the grave after 3 days and promised that He was preparing a place for us --that faith in Him is the gateway --that God sent Him to redeem humanity and give us the immortality that God planned for us in the first place.

I read the story of Paul's conversion and see how he changed. I read the story of the healing of the lame man in Jerusalem --when they went back and confronted the Jews with Jesus' resurrection and their witness of that miracle. The story of the raising of lazarus. I believe it all!!! And it is the best news in the whole world --and it is life-changing news. There is a Baptism of love through the Holy Spirit --a life change the believer can experience.

It's all mysterious --but not foolishness --Biblical Christianity is the best guide for life the world has yet seen. And our ONLY real hope of immortality.

Anonymous said...

Barb,
We have always evolved and are continueing to evolve. Our jaws are becoming smaller and our baby toes are shrinking! All due to evolution. You lose something that you do not need and you gain something that you need. Evolution takes lots of time. ARDI and Lucy are upright walking Bi-pedals. Those scientists did not just throw that out there to mess with Christians. It took 14 years for them to release there findings. They staked there reputations on this. Weather you like it or not we are related to Apes and somewhere probably around 10 milion years was our last common ancestor. Deal with it! God did not create humans in his image (Body) he created our soul/spirits in his image. Earth and taking a physical body temporaily is all part of the plan. Stop hating and start embracing!