The Bibliobloggers Carnival of Ardi.

The 4.4 million year old fossil hominid “Ardi” is forcing some rethinking about human evolution.

No video, just music, so turn it on and keep reading.

When I saw the Associated Press story in the Lethbridge Herald this morning I was very pleased. I haven’t written a letter to the editor for ages, and a news story that calmly asserts that the world is older than 6000 years is bound to bring out the loonies. Good letter writin’ ahead for Dr. Jim, folks!

The Mail Online has a great story on the subject, with a lot of images and whatnot.

article-1217400-06A911FF000005DC-146_306x658From the Mail Online (link above).

The Ardipithecus ramidus fossil implies that existing theories about a common ancestor for humans and chimpanzees are wrong, that ancestor needs to be a million years older at least. The chart below is also from the Mail Online story.

article-1217400-06AC610D000005DC-65_634x784

Now, there is a lot of sciency stuff to talk about here, and how well the media reported on it, but I’m not the right blogger to do that. PZ Myers over at Phyrangula has a few opinions on the subject and his blog would be a good start with that.

What I’m interested in is the reaction to all of this. Anytime “science” has to change its mind about things because of new evidence is usually cause of much rejoicing in the creationist camp because “once again science got it wrong”.

Again, nothin’ to see but you can listen to some great funky Troglodyte grooves!

What motivated this post was my perusal of the TOP 50 Bibliobloggers list, since I’m now on it (!), and the discovery on that list of some other bloggers who have mentioned Ardi already.  So here they are, Ardi according to some Bibliobloggers.

cavefolk

The Blog clan. Grampa Og Blog, Jim West’s great great great (well, not that great) granddaddy, is on the far right with a prehistoric prototype of the  now infamous Dilettante whapper.

A Carnival (of sorts)
Cue requisite carnival picture!

Are a few of them Poes?

Stolen from the BBC

Stolen from the BBC

Well, what did you expect? Some 9/10 nikkid lady dancer?

The Number One Biblioblogger, Jim West, has posted “Evolutionists Meet Your Granny” and suggested that Ardi is the grandmother of Richard Dawkins, among others assorted hominids, along with a few  Bible bloggers, including yours truly He includes some photos for comparison. He has forgotten to label them. Here is his picture:

red

West is on the left. On the right is the great great great grandson of Ulrich Zwingli, some other unimportant guy.

As for a comment on Dr. West’s post, all I can say is “Ardi, har har…”

~~~~~~~

“Polycarp” (#2 most popular biblioblogger) over at Church of Jesus Christ writes, “Another missing link in evolution found – yes another one” and merely asks how many that is so far. He does give his approval to the following comment by R. Mansfield who writes:

... The problem is that there’s no way to validate something this old as an ancestor to human. Because it’s a primate and we’re technically primates and because it’s old, lots of guesswork is made to link it to us. But if you look at the actual cranial structure, common sense says it’s an extinct ape.

There is no missing link to humans. Modern science has proved that through recent DNA testing. We have neanderthal bones recent enough to show that this species and humans overlapped. But DNA tests reveal that humans and neanderthals are not related. DNA testing proved that not only did we not “evolve” from them; we also never interbred with them.

The next likely candidate is homo erectus, but these have also been proven not to relate to humans.

Ardi is now being called our ancestor, but there’s nothing to connect her to us other than assumption and speculation. The evidence points to special creation of homosapians sapians, but they continue to look for some other explanation denying what is right in front of their noses.

Um, ok, “common sense” interpretations of photos trumps detailed analysis of the real thing by experts. Right.

~~~~~~~

Matt Dobbs at Kingdom Living (#3 on the list) doesn’t comment on Ardi, but provides what he says is a picture of John the Baptist. Jim West, by the way, is a Baptist. You can see why.

baptist2

~~~~~~~~~~

Jeff Oien, the Scripture Zealot, follows the media line and writes that the find means that the “Common understanding of human evolution is reversed”. He includes a photo of one of the scientists, Owen Lovejoy, linked from a Christian Post article (as I’ve done here). Oien writes:

Evolution is a theory that many Christians hold to–some above what Scripture says. Why is this? Evolution is a religion unto itself. The Bible is very clear. God couldn’t have talked with chimps in the garden and they wouldn’t have been embarrassed about being naked.

lovejoy-owen

This is Owen Lovejoy. You can tell he’s really smart because he wears his glasses on top of his head like other scientists do. Or maybe he’s the absent minded professor and puts them there so he won’t forget them. In any case he’s very smart and I don’t doubt his smartness. That’s isn’t everything though.

Well, that certainly settles the matter, doesn’t it? The old argument from glasses on the head added to the standard bullshit line that “evolution is a religion”. Evolution is a religion in the same way that cabbage is the sound of paint fading. And so what if being “smart” isn’t everything. It is hardly all that Prof. Lovejoy has. He has a good education in the relevant sciences and has studied the actual fossils.

Read the Christian Post article, it’s better than Oien’s short blurb, if you can stand accommodationism.


~~~~~~~~~~~

James McGrath (#8) comments on Accepting Darwin’s Theory Without Compromising Faith. He mentions Ardi in passing, writing that it is a pity that it’s  referred to as a “missing link” in some sources since:

Ardi is a link in the chain that interconnects all living things on this planet to those organisms that inhabited it in the past. For each such find there are countless other “missing links” on either side. We are filling in our knowledge of relevant fossils as more discoveries come to light, but as Francisco Ayala has said, there really are no more gaps in our understanding of the interrelatedness of all things, since the study of this subject no longer depends only on fossils. We can now study how all living things on this planet are related, using the same methods that allow us to do paternity and maternity testing.

Ah, someone who makes a bit of sense! Dr. McGrath, you win a non-snarky cartoon! It took me a while to find one that is appropriate. I couldn’t, so you are stuck with this one:

medlarge894

~~~~~~~~~~~

Claude Mariottini (#35) in “Ardi: The New Human Ancestor” contrasts the scientific claim that Ardi undermines the older theory that there was a “mising link” in the evolutionary chain with the Bible that:

teaches us that there was a time when the beast became human and that time was when God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).

If there was evolution, God was involved in the process. Because Christians believe human beings were created in the image and likeness of God, human beings are different than the animals. And honestly, when I look at the recreation of “Ardi” above, I do not see any family resemblance.

No family resemblance? Well, maybe Ardi doesn’t resemble the Mariottinis specifically, but to someone trained in human and ape anatomy, however, the resemblance may be far more readily apparent. And for what it’s worth, the Bible doesn’t describe the pre-breath-of-life humans as “the beast”, either.

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/cain/projects/ejn/

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sts/cain/projects/ejn/


Well, that’s it. Not many in the Top 50, but then bibliobloggers have many other interests than human evolution and palaeontology. It is interesting that the most sensible comments are by James McGrath and the most fun was had by Jim West. And of course, then there is Dr Jim, who, after yet another cartoon interlude, says:

Cake or Death, great stuff!

EVOLUTION HAPPENED AND IS HAPPENING AND IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAPPEN. GET YER HEADS OUT OF YER BIBLES INTO A SCIENCE BOOK!

Maybe Dawkins’ new tome on the evidence for evolution will suffice.

Click the Cover to go to the Promo Page

Click the Cover to go to the Promo Page

I bought a copy but I haven’t started reading it yet. According to Chris Heard at Higgaion, Dawkins repeats the asinine claim that the Bible is from the bronze age. I do wish he would do some more reading on biblical scholarship before he writes about the bible but alas.

Perhaps we could make a deal. Biblical folk will learn more about evolution and he can learn more about history.

If people want to believe in evolution and God at the same time, I don’t much care, but I don’t see why anyone needs the latter to make the former work. There are evolutionary explanations for morality and group solidarity, and even evolutionary explanations for belief in gods, spirits and cosmic principles.

What Religious Studies really needs is a lot closer cooperation with the folks looking into human evolution and especially the evolutionary reasons for why religion developed in the first place.

So, lets have some more music!

Edited to add: Brian LePort at Near Emmaus: Christ and Text was feeling shunned because I didn’t include his post, Ardi = Eve. I only went through the first 50 on the list, but jeepers, NECT has way over 100 comments on his post. Jumpin’ Kadiddlieboppers!  Anyway, he hardly takes a literal view on Genesis and adds “I must say though that if Eve looks like Ardi it is a miracle that Adam found her so attractive (see 2:22-23)!”

No argument there.  But then, there’s no telling what Adam looked like…

And besides, when Adam and Eve were being thrown out of the garden, Adam wrote the FIRST COUNTRY SONG EVER! (Hence the fall of humanity…)

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19 Responses to “The Bibliobloggers Carnival of Ardi.”

  1. Jim Says:

    hey now steady there! that’s not my photo with the big ears. that’s someone else (chris tilling and mark goodacre!) but shhhhh…. they’ve had reconstructive surgery.

  2. Dan Says:

    “PZ Myers over at Phyrangula has a few opinions on the subject and his blog would be a good start with that.”

    How do I say this without looking like a jerk. Hmmm. PZ Myers’ modest list of scholarly publications does not include much that is relevant to mammals, let alone Homo sapiens and its ancestors. While Myers may have a flair for writing engaging language, and he presents some thoughtful opinions on evolution, wouldn’t it be better to turn to experts for their take on the new fossils? I’m just saying.

  3. Dan Says:

    Also in the news…

    Anyway, score one for documentation of the evolution of humans, and on the others side score one for those who focus their daily decisions on their choice of afterlife. They have finally discovered Hell:

    “Hell planet where rock falls as rain found.
    COROT-7b, an alien planet where a rain of pebbles falls from clouds of rock vapour into lakes of molten lava, has been found by astronomers.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/6250618/Hell-planet-where-rock-falls-as-rain-found.html

    • Yansyah Says:

      , The Selfish Gene was not, to my rellcoection, overtly anti-religion, and so you can feel confident that in reading it you’d walk away simply with more knowledge in your head.I am sure that I would but I would be more inclined to read ‘The God Delusion’ and then point out all of Richard Dawkins ridiculous asssertions about religion and God believing people that can be properly described as crap. . .::Intelligent Design, as a basic concept :I’m going to do something crazy here and go out on a limb and assume that maybe you just don’t really understand what these words actually mean. I think it’s the other way around Nima. Maybe you don’t know what “basic concept” means. . . :“Intelligent Design” is not the concept that there is a God that created everything. ID is the belief that scientists should be using religion as the basis for their conclusions. Wrong. “Intelligent Design” as a “basic concept” is the concept that something, indeed anything. . . has been designed with intelligence. The term “Intelligent Design” can be, and is, commonly applied to the concept that there is a God that designed and created the Universe. Some people have co-opted the term “Intelligent Design”, or redefined it to narrow its meaning, but as a “basic concept” it only means that something had been intelligently designed.:That is why I was very clear in separating philosophy (there is a God) from science (bacteria can be transformed). ID is not science. It can never be proven or disproved. You are quite mistaken (dare I say profoundly wrong?) in asserting that it can never be proven or disproved that God exists, or that the Universe is the product of Intelligent Design. That assertion is a strong agnostic position. :If you believe a magic butterfly created the Universe by farting there is no way to counter that with facts. Sounds a lot like the Big Bang to me. Must have been quite a butterfly fart. . . It seems to me that one could search for residual evidence of the butterfly fart just as scientists seek and find residual evidence of the Big Bang. I suppose one might even be able to search for the magic butterfly itself if it was believed to be immortal or at least capable of living for some billions of years. :You try — prove to me that a magic butterfly didn’t create the Universe by farting. Wouldn’t it be far more scientific to seek evidence that supported your hypothesis that a magic butterfly did create the Universe by farting? Don’t scientists sometimes come up with various hypotheses and then seek evidence as to whether or not a particular hypothesis is valid or not? Why should scientists not be allowed to seek evidence in support of the God hypothesis or Intelligent Design if they chose to do so? Be assured that I have seen evidence of scientists coming up with far more bizarre and inane hypotheses than the fairly reasonable hypothesis that the Universe is the product of an Intelligent Designer aka the Great Architect of the Universe aka God aka Allah or any number of other names. :Explain to me what experiments I’d do. Look for residual evidence of the Big Butterfly Fart just like scientists look for residual evidence of the Big Bang. Look for the magic butterfly itself. BTW Just How big is this magical butterfly you are talking about? :You write up that grant proposal and let me know how that turns out.Why would I write up a grant proposal for something I don’t believe in Nima? I do believe that one could write up a grant proposal for seeking evidence of Intelligent Design and that some respectable foundations might even bestow the grant. I could be mistaken but I have some reason to believe that some such grants have already been bestowed upon individuals or organizations. :The reality is these scientists of faith do not let their beliefs interfere with the deduction of facts, any more than Newton attributed gravity to the force of God’s will.Are you quite sure that he didn’t? Are you quite sure that other scientists of faith have not attributed other scientific facts to God’s will? In any case, assuming what you say is true, why couldn’t scientists of faith (or not. . .) investigate the hypothesis that the Universe is the product of Intelligent Design without letting their beliefs interfere with the deduction of facts? :You might believe gravity is God’s will that we be held to the Earth, but that’s not a scientific statement — it is, and I’m pretty tired of pointing this out — a matter of faith, not fact.Actually, if God exists, it is a matter of fact that it is God’s will that we be held to the Earth by gravity. If it was not God’s will we wouldn’t be held to the Earth by gravity would we? That is one of the points that I have been making. Assuming that God exists, every scientific fact tells us something about the mind of God or will of God.

  4. Dr. Jim Says:

    Well, he knows more than me…

  5. steph Says:

    “Evolution is a religion in the same way that cabbage is the sound of paint fading.” I love that!

    And this: “What Religious Studies really needs is a lot closer cooperation with the folks looking into human evolution and especially the evolutionary reasons for why religion developed in the first place”. The monkeys do the rain dance. There’s some religion in that.

  6. The Ardi Carnival from Jim Linville | The Church of Jesus Christ Says:

    [...] Linville has posted a trip around the blogosphere concerning the new information releases on Ardi. What motivated this post was my perusal of the TOP 50 Bibliobloggers list, since I’m now on it [...]

  7. Dr. Jim Says:

    Glad to be of service, Steph!

    The way I see it, the way people’s brains evolved lead them to anthropomorphize things and to think in ways that makes grand symbolic projections happen. Built up over time, we have culturally transmitted “religions”. I’m just starting to read up on evolution of humans etc., but its becoming really interesting.

  8. steph Says:

    Absolutely. I read a nice little book by Dudley Young, The Origins of the Sacred, a long time ago, when doing a paper in Primal Religious Experience, and it’s an area I’d like to explore further one day.

  9. Ardi = Eve? « Near Emmaus: Christ and Text Says:

    [...] shunned by the ‘The Biblioblogers Carnival or Ardi” over at Dr. Jim’s blog! See here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)D.W. Congdon on “Christocentric-Missional [...]

  10. Dan Says:

    Apparently this is just worship of roadkill:

  11. Brian LePort Says:

    Thanks Dr. Jim, we at ‘Near Emmaus’ feel much better about our lives and we are appreciative of the song dedication!

  12. The Bibliobloggers Carnival of Ardi | Scripture Zealot Says:

    [...] fossil homid” [sic]) posts, including mine, in the biblioblogosphere, you can go to his Thinking Shop and Tea Room to see [...]

  13. Scripture Zealot Says:

    And so what if being “smart” isn’t everything. It is hardly all that Prof. Lovejoy has. He has a good education in the relevant sciences and has studied the actual fossils.

    I forgot about that part. That changes everything.

    Thanks for including me.
    Jeff

  14. Dan Says:

    “Dawkins repeats the asinine claim that the Bible is from the bronze age.”

    Uffda, with the Dawkin’s Bronze Age complaint again. I don’t think Dawkins said that, unless you are looking at “Bronze Age myth” Dawkins quotations other than the ones that I have read. He was saying that many of the myths in the Bible go back to the Bronze Age, and continue to be used in the Bible but by some people today. Let’s face, some creation myths and world views could be older than that, but lost in human history and motivations (cultural and evolutionary), Iron Age, Stone Age, etc. The point is, the Bronze Age myths were repeated over the centuries and still are, and were and are used as a basis for morality, law, and even “science”. What’s wrong with calling them Bronze Age myths to make the point that they are based on the ignorance of long ago?

    All over the web, you can see people happy with their re-discovered “GOTCHA”:

    http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/not-bronze-age-myths-lets-end-this-misleading-cliche/

    “because they are not Bronze Age at all!”

    Do tell. Hmmm. So, if in the 21th century, someone believes in Medieval myths we have to rename that person’s beliefs “21st-century myths”? Nonsense.

  15. Dan Says:

    Your first clue:

    R. Mansfield:
    “The next likely candidate is homo erectus [...] The evidence points to special creation of homosapians sapians [...]”

    An argument like this is less convincing when the author obviously knows nothing about biology terms and conventions, even at the high school or newspaper level. I’m not expecting him to know all about Cocos nucifera or Turdus migratorius. Homo sapiens is your own species, Mansfield! Learn how to spell it and capitalize it.

    How much would you trust a biblical scholar who wrote something like “I read about jesis in the bibel and also moses in deuteronmy, and I think they are related”? Give me a rough answer. I’m asking.

  16. steph Says:

    I wonder if jeff has a good education in the relevant sciences or has studied the actual fossils. He doesn’t even believe in climate change because “scientists keep changing their minds”. However we do have a Book and that tells us everything we ever need to know. Oh well…

  17. Chris Jensen Romer Says:

    Just to reply to Dan, I seem to recall I said many of my friends on http://www.richarddawkins.net used the phrase, I do not recall saying Richard did? And furthermore if you wish to establish that the material in the Bible reflects Bronze Age material, well sure I am up for a discussion on that – I follow Wenham in believing Genesis does contain much of the third millenium BCE, but we would first have to establish when exactly one considers the Bronze Age to be in terms of the archeology of the Levant. I’ll happily discuss these issues with you if you like on my own blog. (aka Jerome from RD.net and And Sometime’s He’s So Nameless blog)

    cj x

  18. Dan Says:

    When Dawkins says the Bible contains Bronze Age myths, or that some people following Bronze Age myths rather than reason, I don’t think he is saying that the Bible was written in final form in the Bronze Age. I think Dawkins has a feel for centuries and dates. He implies that the ideas come (in part) from the Bronze Age. Don’t they? Where he seems to say it is a “Bronze Age document”, I was influenced by the other places that he says it contains passed-down Bronze Age myths, to mean that it, well, contains Bronze Age myths. If the biblical scholars tell me that none of the stories in the Bible came in part from myths or religions of previous ages, I guess I would leave that up to them to debate.

    Much of US and Canadian Law is based on principles of the Magna Carta, so it would be fair to say that some of the current principles of law are actually 13th century ideas of rights and freedoms, in part. I don’t think this statement means that US and Canadian law was published in the 13th century. No doubt some bloggers will say, AHA! Canada and the US didn’t even exist in the 1200′s, ya knothead!

Comment