Meet Frank Sherwin

Frank SherwinThe second in the series of YOM interviews with ICR employees has been posted. This one is of Frank Sherwin, talking about human evolution, and is quite a bit shorter than the previous one with Nathaniel Jeanson. Because it’s so short I’ve been able to reproduce a full transcript below, interspersed with commentary.

The interview is broken into three parts, separated by title cards (bolded).

Frank Sherwin: Human Evolution?

My name is Frank Sherwin, I’m the Zoologist with the Institute for Creation Research since 1996. I have my master’s degree in Zoology from the University of Northern Colorado, where I did some research and got it published in a [sic] peer-reviewed Journal of Parasitology. I discovered a new species of parasite in a bird that’s found in the higher altitudes of Northern Colorado, and named it Acuaria coloradensis. It’s a nematode.

Sherwin gives most of the details there, but if you want to read his amazing peer-reviewed parasite paper it’s called “Helminths of Swallows of the Mountains of Colorado including Acuaria coloradensis n. sp. (Nematoda Spirurata)” and was published in 1988 – though you’ll probably need a subscription if you want to read beyond the first page (which is most of the article).

I do wonder if, over the years, opponents of creationism have been too quick to point out that creationists have great difficulty passing peer review instead of taking the time to explain in more detail how ideas are proposed and discussed in science. Regardless, the result is that Sherwin is very quick to point out that he has, in fact, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal – 25 years ago, on a subject irrelevant to creationism. It’s better than nothing, I suppose, but it does miss the point.

Do scientists have a clear understanding of our origin?

In the 30 May 2013 issue of Nature magazine – and by the way, Nature magazine is the premier science journal in the world today – the author, William Kimbel (K-i-m-b-e-l) said, and I quote, on page 573:

The evolutionary events that led to the origin of the Homo lineage are an enduring puzzle in palaeoanthropology, chiefly because the fossil record from between 3 and 2 million years ago is frustratingly sparse, especially in eastern Africa.

End quote. I would add to the quote by William Kimbel in the latest issue of Nature magazine that the paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood who said in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, and I quote, “the origin of our own genus remains frustratingly unclear.”

Quotes! Each quote comes from the first line of their respective articles. But what were those articles about? Kimbel was talking about Australopithecus sediba: “A series of reports published in Science sheds light on the morphology of A. sediba but, in my view, does little to elucidate its role in later human evolution.” Was A. sediba our anscestor our direct anscestor, the Australopith from which all members of the genus Homo are descended? Or is it an offshoot, an oddity? That is what Kimbel is “frustrated” about.

Similarly, Wood was discussing the issue of exactly where Homo evolved:

… Although many of my colleagues are agreed regarding the “what” with respect to Homo, there is no consensus as to the “how” and “when” questions. Until relatively recently, most paleoanthropologists (including the writer) assumed Africa was the answer to the “where” question, but in a little more than a decade discoveries at two sites beyond Africa, one at Dmanisi in Georgia and the other at Liang Bua on the island of Flores, have called this assumption into question.

Sherwin makes it sound like there is disagreement and “frustration” over whether or not human evolution actually occurred – this is not so. There is a consensus on that (unless you’re a creationist) but scientists have moved on from that to new controversies (and frustrations).

Give us a quick comparison of the two models.

So, the creation model, which says without apology that we have been created in God’s image is in opposition to the evolutionary model which says we have evolved from some sub-human primate ancestor, allegedly millions of years ago. So we have our faith in one who was there in the beginning who created us in his image versus the “frustrating” evolutionary scenario – using those words by Kimbel and Bernard Wood to discuss their problems with so-called “human evolution.”

Yes, those silly scientists, dealing with evidence and theory when they could just shout whatever they liked from the rooftops and avoid the frustration of doing real research.

Speaking of videos, a new That’s a Fact is out today. Also, during the week Brian Thomas did a talk about dinosaurs which, while I’m yet to find a video for it, I may also do a post on later.


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