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Re: Fossil skull fuels debate over human origin, etc

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group Here are my brief excerpts of recent science news articles. My comments are in square brackets. Some of these articles may not have a links and some of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 31, 2002
      Group

      Here are my brief excerpts of recent science news articles. My
      comments are in square brackets.

      Some of these articles may not have a links and some of the
      link may require free registration.

      My last excerpts post is at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/2862

      Steve

      =======================================================================
      http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/03/21/single.ancestor.ap/index.ht
      ml CNN ... Fossil skull fuels debate over human origin March 21, 2002
      ...(AP) -- A million-year-old skull found in Ethiopia confirms the theory
      that modern man evolved from a single pre-human species that developed
      in Africa and migrated throughout much of the world ... Most
      anthropologists believe that Homo erectus -- the species that is said to bear
      the first recognizable human characteristics -- emerged nearly 2 million
      years ago in Africa and spread across several continents to serve as an
      ancestor to modern man, or Homo sapiens. But some scientists maintain
      that another prehuman species known as Homo ergaster emerged in Africa
      about the same time, migrated around the world and evolved into Homo
      erectus. Then, according to this theory, Homo erectus traveled to Africa.
      Researchers ... said this latest skull appears to be Homo erectus. They said
      the find helps prove that Homo erectus originated in Africa and persisted
      there for hundreds of thousands of years, while some of its numbers
      migrated around the world. In fact, they said the differences discovered
      around the world between Homo erectus and specimens considered to be
      Homo ergaster -- primarily variations in facial and skull bones -- are too
      minor to represent different species and that Homo ergaster did not exist as
      a separate species. .... [This just shows how subjective paleoanthropology
      is: "Zuckerman's judgment of the professional standards of physical
      anthropology was not a generous one: he compared it to parapsychology
      and remarked that the record of reckless speculation in human origins "is
      so astonishing that it is legitimate to ask whether much science is yet to be
      found in this field at all." (Zuckerman S., "Beyond the Ivory Tower," 1970,
      in Johnson P.E., "Darwin on Trial," 1993, p.84)]

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2002/03/13/ecnmus13.xml
      Daily Telegraph ... Fundamentalists re-create Eden, with dinosaurs ...
      10/03/2002) AMERICAN scientists are outraged over plans for a multi-
      million-dollar museum dedicated to telling the nation's schoolchildren that
      God made the world in seven days and that Darwin is a fraud. ... Exhibits
      will include re-creations of the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark. A giant
      double helix of DNA will be suspended in the middle of the hall in order to
      argue that living creatures are so complex that they could not have evolved
      by random mutation. ... Ken Ham ... said that the museum was a long
      overdue offensive against the scientific establishment. "This is a cultural
      war," ...' We admit our bias right from the start. "The Bible is not a science
      textbook. But where it touches on science, we can trust it. This is the
      truth." ... A recent survey in the magazine Scientific American reported
      that 45 per cent of Americans believe that God created life some time in the
      past 10,000 years, despite the vast majority of scientists maintaining that
      life in its simplest form first appeared 3.9 billion years ago and has been
      evolving ever since. ... In recent years Christian fundamentalists have been
      accused of targeting small towns and placing supporters onto the local
      boards of education in a campaign for more teaching time to be spent on
      creationism. Two years ago the Kansas Board of Education reversed a
      decision to ban mentions of Darwin in schools after a public revolt voted a
      number of its members out. To the outrage of the state's scientific
      community, Ohio is proposing a similar initiative to forbid teaching of
      scientific evolution. Similar propositions are also to be debated soon in
      New York State and Massachusetts. ... [Ken Ham is IMHO wrong about
      the dating, but he is right about the main issue, i.e. Darwinism is waging a
      "cultural war" on *all* forms of supernatural creation, not just YEC. If he
      is correctly quoted, Ham's concession that "The Bible is not a science
      textbook" is fatal for YEC. Note the absurd claim that "the Kansas Board
      of Education reversed a decision to ban mentions of Darwin in schools".
      There was not even a ban, let alone mention of "Darwin in schools". All the
      KBoE did was propose that *macroevolution* was *not examinable*! But
      that is transformed by the Darwinist propaganda machine into a ban on
      even mentioning Darwin!]

      http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/03/22/dinosaur.reut/index.html
      CNN ... Pint-size triceratops sheds light on evolution March 22, 2002 ...
      WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) -- A pint-sized dinosaur dug out of
      140 million-year-old deposits in China may be the earliest ancestor of a
      triceratops, the frilled dinosaur much beloved by children .... The little
      creature, about the size of a small dog, had horns under its eyes and a small
      frill similar to those seen on the giant triceratops that evolved later ... It
      would have grazed on plants, and its horns were almost certainly no good
      for defending itself. ... Its distinctive neck frill may have been a anchor for
      powerful jaw muscles, rather than a display feature meant to attract or
      intimidate other liaoceratops, researchers said. ... [This is another example
      of what Mivart called "`The Incompetency of Natural Selection to Account
      for the Incipient Stages of Useful Structures.' .... how do you get from
      nothing to such an elaborate something if evolution must proceed through
      a long sequence of intermediate stages, each favored by natural selection?
      You can't ... gain much protection from an iota's similarity with a
      potentially concealing piece of vegetation. How, in other words, can
      natural selection explain the incipient stages of structures that can only be
      used in much more elaborated form?" (Gould S.J., "Bully for Brontosaurus,"
      1992, pp.140-141). But the Darwinists can always get over this problem by
      spinning another series of `just-so' stories!]

      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&u=/nm/20020301
      /sc_nm/space_mars_dc_3 Yahoo! ... Odyssey Spacecraft Sees Possible
      Water Ice on Mars Fri Mar 1, 4:34 ... PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - The
      Mars Odyssey spacecraft has identified what appear to be large areas of ice
      on the red planet's surface, a discovery that could prove key to the search
      for life there ... Boynton said scientists were excited about the discovery
      because the presence of water ice suggests water, and water suggests life
      on Mars. ... [Again NASA's `just add water' theory of the origin of life. If it
      is that simple, why bother going to Mars to find it? They should be able to
      create life in a laboratory!]

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1892000/1892869.stm ...
      BBC ... 25 March, 2002 ... Ancient supercontinent proposed ... An ancient
      supercontinent, far older than anything proposed before, has been pieced
      together by an international team of geologists. The giant landmass, which
      has been dubbed Columbia, would have spread across the face of the Earth
      more than one and a half billion years ago. The theory is that it then
      fragmented into smaller pieces before reassembling into another
      supercontinent called Rodinia; and, later still, a huge landmass scientists
      now refer to as Pangea. ... [Check out the graphic. Also the USGS link,
      e.g. http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/historical.html%5d

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2002/2002/03/06/ecfnurs06.xml
      Daily Telegraph ... Which one do you trust? ... 06/03/2002... Nobel prize-
      winner Sir Paul Nurse about the ... public's perception of scientists
      `SCIENCE is by its nature, doubting and tentative. ... Sir Paul Nurse leans
      back in his chair and grins. "That's quite the opposite to what people think,
      which is that scientists are very dogmatic. The actual scientists on the
      ground are often not in the least bit dogmatic because they know that often
      they can be wrong." ... [One of Broad & Wade's main themes is that many
      scientists have so internalised the ideal of what science *should* be like
      that they think that is what it *is* like. The public *know* from the
      evidence of their own eyes and ears that leading spokesmen for science like
      Dawkins are about as dogmatic as one could get, so they will probably regard
      Nurse as just another out-of-touch boffin.]

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=/connected/2002/2002/03/06//ecnsci06.xml
      Daily Telegraph ... 50pc believe big business runs science ... 06/03/2002 ...
      ONE in two people believes that scientists are in the pockets of big
      business and that scientific research has become too commercialised.
      According to a poll to be released today by the Royal Society the same
      proportion of people want more influence over the type of research carried
      out. ... Prof Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel Prize winner and joint head of
      Cancer Research UK, said: "There is a need for scientists to explain more
      clearly how science is funded." The survey found that the biggest scientific
      concern was biological weapons. ... [Part of that explaining more clearly how
      science is funded should also include how much taxpayers' money goes into
      funding `research' aimed at confirming scientists' own personal philosophy?]

      http://www.latimes.com/news/science/wire/sns-ap-tree-rings0321mar21.story?coll=sns-ap-science-headlines
      LA Times ... March 21, 2002 ... WASHINGTON -- An unusually warm
      period a millennium ago may have been part of a natural planetary cycle,
      researchers say in a study of tree rings that scrutinizes the link between
      human activity and climate change. The study ... analyzed ancient tree rings
      from 14 sites on three continents in the northern hemisphere and concluded
      that temperatures in an era known as the Medieval Warm Period some 800
      to 1,000 years ago closely matched the warming trend of the 20th century.
      ... "We don't use this as a refutation of greenhouse warming," said Cook.
      "But it does show that there are processes within the Earth's natural climate
      system that produce large changes that might be viewed as comparable to
      what we have seen in the 20th century." ... "Greenhouse gases were not a
      factor back in the Medieval Warm Period," said Cook. ... [While CO2 generated
      by human activity is no doubt a factor in global warming, how much a factor
      it is compared with climate changes that would happen anyway?]
      =======================================================================

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      "There really is no point nowadays in continuing to collect and to study
      fossils simply to determine whether or not evolution is a fact. The question
      has been decisively answered in the affirmative. There are still those who
      deny this, of course - there are still some who deny that the earth is round.
      It is no use gathering more evidence to persuade these doubters, because
      the evidence already in hand has convinced everyone who ever really
      studied it. Anyone who cannot or will not accept or attempt to understand
      this evidence is not likely to have the will or the ability to evaluate new
      facts of the same sort." (Simpson G.G., "Horses: The Story of the Horse
      Family in the Modern World and through Sixty Million Years of History,"
      [1951], The Natural History Library, Doubleday & Co: Garden City NY,
      1961, reprint, pp.224-225)
      Stephen E. Jones sejones@... http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
      Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • SirRobPeel@aol.com
      In a message dated 4/1/2002 4:12:40 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... I believe it is estimated that during the 20th century, the global temp climbed by roughly
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 1, 2002
        In a message dated 4/1/2002 4:12:40 AM Pacific Standard Time,
        sejones@... writes:


        > While CO2 generated
        > by human activity is no doubt a factor in global warming, how much a factor
        > it is compared with climate changes that would happen anyway?]

        I believe it is estimated that during the 20th century, the global temp
        climbed by roughly 0.5 degrees C. Current temps are still lower than they
        were during the Medieval Climate Optimum. From the M.C.O. to the Little Ice
        Age (a few hundred years or so ago) the temp declined markedly, a
        comparatively low global average that we are still "recovering" from. The
        point is, the climate changes with or without our direct involvement (or
        permission). The sooner we accept this and forget about ridiculous treaties
        like Kyoto, the better.

        In many ways, the global warming debate is very similar to the evolution
        debate. The global warming skeptics make up the minority, and their
        supporters can be ridiculed just as creationists can be.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • SirRobPeel@aol.com
        In a message dated 4/1/2002 4:12:40 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Ken Ham may have been referring to the hypothetical notion of using the Bible as a scientific
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 1, 2002
          In a message dated 4/1/2002 4:12:40 AM Pacific Standard Time,
          sejones@... writes:


          > [Ken Ham is IMHO wrong about
          > the dating, but he is right about the main issue, i.e. Darwinism is waging
          > a
          > "cultural war" on *all* forms of supernatural creation, not just YEC. If he
          >
          > is correctly quoted, Ham's concession that "The Bible is not a science
          > textbook" is fatal for YEC. Note the absurd claim that "the Kansas Board
          > of Education reversed a decision to ban mentions of Darwin in schools".
          > There was not even a ban, let alone mention of "Darwin in schools". All the
          >
          > KBoE did was propose that *macroevolution* was *not examinable*! But
          > that is transformed by the Darwinist propaganda machine into a ban on
          > even mentioning Darwin!]

          Ken Ham may have been referring to the hypothetical notion of using the Bible
          as a scientific textbook. I don't know, but I agree with him.

          And it's not just the Darwinist propaganda machine. Most supporters of ID
          would probably tend to be conservatives, which would explain their
          affiliation with the Discovery Institute. Since the liberals pretty much
          control public education, conservative advances in their institutions must be
          crushed.

          Do I think there's a group of cigarette-smoking liberals sitting around in
          murky gentlemen's clubs, planning and implementing their agenda? No...BUT the
          X-Files is one of my favorite shows.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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