Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Objection 2 - Evolution Debate (Part 6)

Objection 2: The Missing Link Is Still Missing

Here's a quote:

The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory

Do you know who said that?

(Darwin, Origin of the Species 1859, p. 292).

Let's take a look at the most famous missing link discoveries:

These turned out to be just plain people, some of whom suffered from bone diseases. In proper attire, they would attract no particular attention today.

Piltdown Man
(Eoanthropus dawsoni) was a deliberate (but not very clever) hoax palmed off as “proof of evolution” to students for more than two generations. It turned out to be a bit of ape jaw and human skull artificially aged. In November 1953, Time published evidence gathered variously by Kenneth Page Oakley, Sir Wilfrid Edward Le Gros Clark and Joseph Weiner proving that the Piltdown Man was a forgery.

Nebraska Man
(Hesperopithecus) was reconstructed, family and all, from a tooth — a tooth that later was found to belong to an extinct pig! Further field work on the site in 1925 revealed that the tooth was incorrectly identified. Other parts of the skeleton were also found. According to these newly discovered pieces, the tooth belonged neither to a man nor to an ape, but to a fossil of an extinct genus of peccary called Prosthennops, and its identification as an ape was retracted in the journal Science in 1927.

A partial jawbone, consisting of two parts, was discovered by G.E. Lewis in India in the 1930s. Based on these two jaw bone fragments, claimed to be 14 million years old, evolutionists reconstructed Ramapithecus’s family and supposed natural habitat (at side). For fifty years, the fossil was portrayed as an ancestor of Man but following the results of a 1981 anatomical comparison with a baboon skeleton, evolutionists were forced to quietly set it aside.

The dethroning of Ramapithecus — from putative [supposed] first human in 1961 to extinct relative of the orangutan in 1982 — is one of the most fascinating, and bitter, sagas in the search for human origins. (Lewin, Bones of Contention, p. 86)

This fossil, discovered in Africa in 1974, was widely esteemed by evolutionists and was the subject of some of the most intensive speculation. Recently however, it has been revealed that Lucy (A. afarensis) had an anatomy ideally suited to climbing trees and was no different from other apes we are familiar with. The French scientific journal Science et Vie covered the story in 1999 under the headline “Adieu, Lucy.” One study, performed in 2000, discovered a locking system in Lucy’s forearms enabling it to walk using the knuckles, in the same way as modern-day chimps. In the face of all these findings, many evolutionist experts declared that Lucy could not have been a forerunner of man.

The Archaeoraptor Fossil
This was introduced in 1999 and hailed as the missing evolutionary link between carnivorous dinosaurs and modern birds. It was fairly quickly exposed as bogus, a composite containing the head and body of a primitive bird and the tail and hind limbs of a dromaeosaur dinosaur, glued together by a Chinese farmer. Hillary Mayell for National Geographic News November 20, 2002

Now remember that true empirical science is measurable testable repeatable and observable. What we have seen here is the result of wild and wishful speculation - pathetic attempts at removing God from the equation. Next week we will look at some of the absolutely laughable modern claims in the name of "science".

Go On To Part 7
Go Back To Part 5
Go Back To Part 1


René Vester said...

Wauw two whole days have gone without a response from Kristoffer Haldrup on your critic against evolution. Thats impressing, maybe he didn´t have any argument against these hoaxes.
Anyway they look as if evolutionism is some kind of circus with a freakshow.

Cameron Buettel said...

Hi René! Some heavyweight called Bill Honsberger came on in Part 5 and absolutely hammered Kristoffer. It's worth going back and reading.

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

"Heavyweight"...heh, good one, Cameron;)

Actually I have just been rather busy with real life, preparing for a conference dealing with real science, rather than spending time refuting the crackpot claims made here and in the previous post...actually I hadnt even noticed the new comment there, thanks:)

But no worries, I hope to very soon find the time to post something substantial again:)

Cameron Buettel said...

When did you ever post anything "substantial" Kristoffer? Religious rants are all that I've heard from you. You are the one who said:

"And today, there is less reason to be concerned with the "something from nothing"-notion, as we now know that this is just how the world actually works at the most basic levels -- sometimes something DOES pop into existence out of nowhere (confirmed by many experiments) and some things DO happen without any cause at all, and also this breakdown of causality has been established and confirmed by thousands of experiments."

You are either incompetent or a liar . . . or both!

So what is the sin that you love so much that you will not repent and believe the Gospel?

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

So much anger, so much willingness to call people liars...but you do seem very confident in refuting quantum mechanics in rather an off-hand fashion, so maybe I AM rather ignorant compared to you on this particular subject? We will see, in another thread I think;)

Anyway, it is getting (very) late here in California, but rest assured, I will be back later with more comments, to both this post and one of the previous ones:)

Cameron Buettel said...

I'm not the one refuting quantum mechanics. Have you ever seen an electron? Is it a wave or a particle? Is there a naturalistic explanation for the way it behaves? What empirical experiments have been done to show how things can "pop" into existence out of nowhere. Maybe you would like to explain some of your amazing scientific terminology - words such as "pop".

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

Finally a bit of time to comment on this...and yes, so far as it is possible to see a sub-microscopic object such as an electron, then yes, I have. -Both their wave properties as imaged with scanning tunnel microscopy (Beautiful! -See here for some examples: and also their particle properties, as they jumped on and off the carbon nanotubes I investigated for my Master´s thesis. -In the latter case, this was a very cute example of electrons doing what classical physics say that absolutely nothing can do, "using" their wave-like properties to tunnel through clasically insurmountable barriers and then showing clear particle properties as they "bounced" along the billionth-of-a-meter wide carbon wires. -The quantum world is much, MUCH weirder and much more beautiful than anyone could ever imagine :)

While such experiments unequivocally establish the wave/particle nature of electrons, the ability of subatomic particles to "pop" in and out of existence is demonstrated in experiments such as the (comparatively) easily measurable Casimir effect. -One prediction of some fairly advanced quantum mechanics is that every cubic millimiter of space around us is constantly teeming(*) with particle/anti-particle pairs suddenly appearing and then disappearing again a tiny amount of time later. This is indeed a very, very outlandish notion, but has the measurable consequence that two closely spaced metal particles should be pushed ever-so-slightly together by the effect...and sure enough, this is what one measures when doing this experiment.

So, strange as it sounds, experiments do confirm that particles are spontaneously appearing out of nothing all around us, before disappearing again very, very shortly afterwards. As we physicists like to put it: "you CAN get something for nothing, but limited time only" ;) As I will likely touch upon in another post, this may, or may not, have consequences on a universe-wide scale. But at the very least, clearly demonstrated effects like this and many related experiments make physicists quite comfortable with notions that are very strange in terms of "common sense".

(*) In this context, "popping into existence" and "teeming" can be quantitatively described through the "amazing scientific terminology", as you call it, of second-quantization of the electromagnetic field using the methods of quantum electrodynamics...but I did not think that this far more accurate description, which involves several pages of fairly nasty equations, would bring more to the debate than the phrase "popping into existence" ;)

Kristoffer Haldrup said...

-And then back to the "substance" of your post -- in a certain light, your somehwat disjointed list of examples actually does illustrate the difficlties of piecing together the human (and other) family is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, where all the pieces are very, very worn and just to add insult to injury, some unsavoury individuals fake some pieces every now and again for personal fame, gain or whatever. -In any case, it is NOT an easy job, and every so often the anthropologists either have to start over (worst case, fortunately rare and hasn't happened since the early 1900s!) or they realize that they put some part of the puzzle together in the wrong way. -This is the way science works, you constantly re-evaluate the picture that you have as new evidence comes in, whether the new evidence is the uncovering of a hoax (which are really rare) or the discovery of a new piece of evidence. -Contrast this with religion...

Anyway, a few brief comments to your examples:

Neanderthal: WHAT?? Plain people? -These folks were a genetically fully distinct sub-species of our genus Homo, distinct enough that modern genetics have established that you, me and all other eurasians carry around a few percent genes that we got from these cousins of ours. -Some of yours and mine ancestors at least seem to have had a bit of fun with the neanderthals before they were outcompeted/eradicated/died out/went extinct...

Piltdown Man: A sad example of a hoax, that was rightly questioned by anthropologists right from the start. The hoax was probably motivated by, and at least in part also perpetuated, by that ancient scourge called nationalism.

Nebraska man: Seems like an honest mistake, classifying this fossil as "human, but a mistake which was corrected by new findings within about a decade.

Ramapithecus: A classic example of re-arranging a piece of the human-ancestry jigsaw, as new evidence comes in and new investigations are carried out to check old results.

Lucy: Same thing, but still considered much closer related to modern humans than Ramapithecus. Direct ancestry is still questioned, though, and will have to await further evidence to be confirmed. I never heard of the french journal you "cite", it looks like some popular science journal with only the most tenous relationship hardcore science journals with peer-review and the like.

Archaeoraptor: Never heard of this one, at it seems this hoax never made it into the scientific literature, only the popularized journals like National Geographic...although it DID make an appearance in a couple of real journals as both an example of how to uncover a hoax AND due to the fact that one part of the fake turned out to be a real fossil of significant importance:)