August 31, 2007
Cavemen are popular once again.
No, I'm not talking about those successful Geico commercials that won their own series on ABC starting October 2.
I'm talking about the two discoveries that came out in August that should force all those "man evolved from apes" evolution charts in schoolbooks to be redrawn. You know the ones. You've got the knuckle-dragging, club-wielding ape on the left hand side and a businessman carrying a briefcase on the right hand side, with all the hypothetical evolutionary links filled in between (as in this one).
What's been discovered is a 10.5 million year old gorilla and that two of our "ape men" ancestors actually lived together.
Let me explain.
See, the problem is-these two discoveries render all previous human evolution charts wrong.
But, the bigger problem is-unless you're a scientist-you've likely never have heard about it outside of this column or at least until you'd see the trailer for Ben Stein's movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" coming out in February 2008.
As Stein exposes, there's been a virtual Inquisition by Darwinian fundamentalists against anyone who dares challenge The Book-Darwin's infamous 1859 "Origin of the Species." No longer about following the bread crumbs of inquiry in pursuit of truth, Big Science is now all about enforcing doctrinaire dogmatism.
Dare question the problems with naturalistic evolution, as I do here, and be guilty of blasphemy.
Ask for explanations about the still missing "missing links," the absence of transitional forms, the sudden Cambrian Explosion, or the gaping gaps in the fossil record, and be branded an unbeliever-one who must repent of their sins, recant and do penance or be damned to academic hell for all time.
As I learned long ago, if you can believe the first sentence of the Bible, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth," you won't have much trouble with the rest of the 66 books.
Make no mistake. Fundamentalists are those who censure skeptics and prohibit inquiry. Today's fundamentalists are not the Christians who, like me, are eager to examine the scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution, but those who deny that opportunity from ever happening.
The real fundamentalists are those who chair the various science departments at our major universities-those unwilling to allow dissent.
Nonetheless, they're losing. Their program to indoctrinate students into scientism is failing.
According to a recent USA Today/Gallup Poll , 66 percent of Americans believe man is the product of creation, not evolution.
"Evolution" is a term that can be so broad so as to mean simply "change through time," which no one disputes. Or, it can be so narrowly construed so as to mean "all life originated from a single living cell," and "man evolved from apes," which Americans reject by a margin of two to one.
No. We are no closer today proving those last two theses than we were in Darwin's day, a century and a half ago. In fact, we're actually farther away.
So, what were these two important recent discoveries?
First, as reported on August 9, two alleged ancestors of man, Homo Erectus and Homo Habilis, were found to be living together about 1.5 million years ago (MYA). This is a big deal because Erectus was supposed to have evolved from Habilis before later evolving into Sapiens (us).
Think of it as finding out dad and grandpa were actually brothers, not father and son.
This chart on Early Human Phylogeny at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, will have to be revised-again. The mythical evolutionary tree of life with man's ascent from ape is looking more like a patch of thousands of blades of grass with the passing of each generation. Sapiens ends up all by himself-an evolutionary orphan-almost as though he just appeared in the fossil record fully formed-as though he were created and placed here. Imagine that.
The second discovery, reported here, pushed the hypothetical human-ape split back another 10 million years, to now around 20 MYA. How so? The traditional theory is that man evolved from chimps about 6 MYA, chimps evolved from gorillas about 8 MYA, and gorillas evolved from orangutans about 14 MYA. But, with the discovery of a 10.5 million year old gorilla in Africa, this pushes the human-ape split back to at least 20 MYA.
But between 15-20 MYA, there were dozens of primate species in Africa, and the hominid trail goes completely cold after 7 MYA. It looks like a dead end-or to the true believer, at least a serious detour over uncharted territory.
Bottom line, not only do we find that dad and grandpa were brothers, but now we find out that we were adopted-or created.
As the authors of the report on all this in the British journal Nature noted, "We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes."
Frank Pastore is host of "The Frank Pastore Show," recognized by the National Religious Broadcasters as Talk Show Host of the Year in 2006. His program is heard on KKLA in Los Angeles 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact Frank at [email protected]