MacroMicro

Here’s a nice bait-and-switch, courtesy of Frank Sherwin via Your Origins Matter:

Let’s address this issue by first defining our terms. Although many definitions have appeared, science can be described as what we really know to be true mainly through observation. The late G. G. Simpson of Harvard stated in Science magazine that “it is inherent in any definition of science that statements that cannot be checked by observation are not really about anything . . . or at the very least, they are not science.”

But the origins debate centers around macroevolution, and macroevolution has never been observed. One of the architects of neo-Darwinism agrees: “It is manifestly impossible to reproduce in the laboratory the evolution of man from the australopithecine, or of the modern horse from an Eohippus, or of a land vertebrate from a fishlike ancestor. These evolutionary happenings are unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible” (Theodosius Dobzhansky, American Scientist, December 1957).

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Dmanisi Round 2: Fraud?

You no doubt still remember Friday’s post, in which we looked at an article by Brian Thomas and Frank Sherwin called Human-like Fossil Menagerie Stuns Scientists (screenshot) that horribly mangled the science around Dmanisi skull 5 to claim that it showed that all early Homo species were fully human in the modern sense, while Australopithecus and others were just apes. While they correctly noted that many species would have to be “wiped from the textbooks” – quoting from a Guardian article they couldn’t go too far wrong there – they went so far in their enthusiasm as to claim that human evolution itself should be similarly erased. For my part I suggested that the ICR may want some new science writers, as their article went over and above the call of duty when it comes to misrepresenting scientific results for creationist ends. Seriously: I could do much better.

Today, in a spectacular turnaround, Brian Thomas alone has published a second article on the same fossil called New ‘Human’ Fossil Borders on Fraud. Having previously argued that Dmanisi skull 5 was a problem for evolution, he now suggests (while not so much as acknowledging the previous article) that it’s really a fraud in some manner, perpetrated by researchers to prop up evolution. Thomas doesn’t seem to be claiming that the skull itself is a fraud, in the manner of Piltdown Man, but that it’s really just a Australopithecine that anthropologists are calling early Homo for their own ends. Continue reading

Lumping at Dmanisi

Palaeontologists at Dmanisi, an increasingly famous village in Georgia, have made some quite interesting discoveries: a small collection of early Homo skeletons from people living in the same place at the same time that are nevertheless fairly variable in appearance, as exemplified by the recently-described “skull 5.” The usual rules of population dynamics say that you can’t have different species that have the same niche (i.e. they have same shtick – they live in the same way, eat the same food etc) living in the same place – one of them will quickly win out and exclude the others. If this hasn’t happened – and it doesn’t seem to have at Dmanisi – we must conclude that the organisms are or were of the same species. Continue reading

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). Continue reading

Molecular Gears: A Misleading Analogy

DyneinFrank Sherwin provides the Wednesday article, Muscle Motion Discoveries Challenge Evolutionism. The subject – once you get past the talk of bat ears and echolocation – is the protein dynein, which acts as a “molecular motor” and is involved in the function of muscles. We previously encountered dynein in October, in a Brian Thomas article that compared Lis1 (a protein that regulates the activity of dynein) to a “molecular clutch.” Now it seems that dynein also has “gears” – Sherwin says: Continue reading

Acts & Facts – December 2012

The December edition of Acts & Facts was actually a little less Christmas-y than I expected. This was not a very difficult accomplishment, however: if you have already had enough of the season then I suggest you stop reading, as I have already looked at most of the non-Christmas articles and there wont be much else that’s new.

Because it’s still December as I write this, the usual page on the ICR’s website is still current. There’s also a pdf of the magazine here, and all of the relevant links are below. Continue reading

Acts & Facts – October 2012

It is less than a week into the month of October and we have already reached the end of the articles worth analysing in any depth in the latest edition of Acts & Facts. It’s time then to take a look at all of the articles in context. For future reference the pdf of this months newsletter is located here.


Page 3: The Enduring Value of Words (Jayme Durant)

The gist of the editor’s column this month, after you get past the story about her great grandmother going into a retirement home, is that the ICR plans to release two new books this season. One is by Brad Forlow, and will be called Biology and the Bible – my guess is that this will most likely be pamphlet sized, and even that will be pushing it. The other is by John Morris, called The Global Flood: Unlocking Earth’s Geologic History. While most likely just have more of the same kind of stuff found in other young Earth creationist geology-related books, as I haven’t read any of those before it might be interesting to get my hands on. I still need to do Tomkins’ book, however, so it would have to be added to the end of an ever-lengthening queue.

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Something Happened

To research for his October Acts & Facts article, Evolution: It Just Happened, about all Frank Sherwin seems to have done is run a search of the academic literature for the phrase “something happened.” He has compiled a small collection: his first is from the “prestigious secular journal Nature.“*

A recent issue of the secular science journal Nature includes research by molecular palaeobiologist Kevin Peterson in which he questions the traditional evolutionary tree of mammals, stating it is all wrong. The data Peterson uses are based on a molecule called microRNA (miRNA). This is just one of several kinds of ribonucleic acids that control the expression of genes. Peterson’s miRNA interpretation breaks away from the traditional Darwinian view that people are more closely related to cows, dogs, and elephants than to rodents.

Peterson’s conclusions are interesting, I have to say, but not overly compelling. Continue reading

Acts & Facts – August 2012

Owing to the fact that it’s still only mid-August as I write this, for once the index for this months Acts & Facts – the ICR’s monthly newsletter – should still be up at the usual place. If it’s not there when you read this then a pdf can be found here, and you can get the links below. Without further ado, here are the articles: Continue reading

Leakey Evolution

"Atheist Richard Leakey" does not approveFrank Sherwin’s Acts & Facts article, Leakey and ‘Human Evolution’, wastes no time before denigrating that field of research:

Atheist Richard Leakey is an authority regarding the tenuous idea of human evolution, working tirelessly to establish human evolutionary roots in Africa.

“Tenuous” indeed. The Leakey family has had a major role in paleoanthropology over the better part of the last century, beginning with Richard’s father, Louis. While Richard Leakey himself may have been less active in the field in the last decade or so, you may have noticed his wife, Meave, and daughter, Louise, as being the first and last authors respectively on the recent Homo rudolfensis paper – there’s no stopping them. Continue reading