Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Why should we believe in a merely natural origin for human life? - Denyse O'Leary

Last time, I mentioned starting a series on what we really know about human evolution, following on what we really know about origin of life and origin of the universe. None of it supports modern materialism or atheism.

Here are the first two installments in the human evolution series:

     Late last year, it was announced that the oldest assumed human sequence then published (400 kya) baffles experts because it belongs to an unknown group, one more like Denisovans (an extinct type of human) than Neanderthals. The DNA results from the “Pit of Bones” site in Spain were described as baffling (Nature), perplexing (BBC), hard to make sense of (The Scientist ), don’t quite know what to make of it (New Scientist), and creating new mysteries (New York Times) instead of neatly clarifying human evolution. October of that year had already brought the news that the human remains found at Dmanisi, Georgia, showed that many “separate species of human ancestors” never really existed and “may now have to be wiped from the textbooks.”

     “Separate species” of human ancestors (that nonetheless interbreed)? There are many definitions of “species,” so the term can be flung around freely, if accompanied by suitable credentials.

     One researcher in a discipline that tries to keep track of the general direction of findings (theoretical anthropogeny) recently found no consensus as to when the human race arose, after he offered colleagues a spread ranging from ~60,000 to ~500,000 years ago. In this context, it hardly seems worth mentioning that no known hominin (assumed human) is clearly an ancestor of both Neanderthals and current humans.
For all practical purposes, today’s humans are orphans, seeking our roots via scraps and artifacts, many of unknown authenticity or significance. If we are convinced that any discovery we make is better than uncertainty, we are in a suitable frame of mind to explore the questions. More.

      The search for our earliest ancestors: signals in the noise. Now and then, a signal rises above the noise. From surprisingly early periods, we encounter special respect for the dead and a sense of the divine. Meanwhile, because we keep finding artifacts and organized activities from earlier periods than “expected,” the half human creature we were originally seeking continues to elude us. More.

     Science-Fictions-square.gif Note:The Science Fictions – cosmology series  is here.  The Science Fictions – origin of life series  is here.

Denyse O’Leary is a Canadian journalist, author, and blogger. She lives in Ottawa and attends Annunciation church.


Tracy Krauss said...

I find this a very interesting debate. I tried, in my own small way, to address some of these inconsistencies in current evolutionary theory in my novel AND THE BEAT GOES ON.

Peter Black said...

Thank you again, Denyse, for providing another compendium of fascinating reading from your prodigious research.
It seems from the material you share that what goes on in the minds of those who strive persistently to ignore the evidence of what is, choosing rather to perpetuate their naturalistic myths without evidence, arises from the condition of the heart. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

. . .showed that many “separate species of human ancestors” never really existed and “may now have to be wiped from the textbooks.”

I shake my head when I read information like this. Why not confuse our children all the more?

You always give us plenty to think about, Denyse. Thanks for always being so passionate about your topic!

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