Part 8: What the Creation Book Says About the Evolution of Man
The Creation book ignores or misrepresents much of the evidence that bears on human evolution. The following discussion points out where in the seventh chapter this occurs.
Paragraphs 1 and 2 discuss whether the supposed ancestors of man should be called apes or not. Paleontologists use the term "ape" in a technical sense that includes not only today's gibbons, orangutans, chimpanzees and gorillas, but fossil apelike forms as well.
Creation's author considers the point whether the supposed ancestors of man could be called apes to be very important. He realizes that evolutionists generally take pains to say that man evolved from an apelike ancestor, not a modern ape, because the apes of several million years ago were not the apes of today and no one knows for certain what any supposed relationships are. In other words, evolutionists do not say that man evolved from gibbons, orangutans, chimpanzees or gorillas, but that they all have common, but unknown, apelike ancestors. In support of the author's contention, paragraph 2 says:
True, some evolutionists do not feel that these theoretical ancestors of man should rightly be called "apes." Even so, some of their colleagues are not so exacting.2
Which particular colleagues is Creation referring to? Superscript 2 in the quotation refers to the book Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, p. 31, which describes the experiences of Eugene Dubois, who went to Java and in 1891 found the first Homo erectus, which became known as Java Man. The author, Donald Johanson, said:
What Dubois hoped to find was a "missing link." Like many of his contemporaries with a certain amount of scientific curiosity, he had read Darwin but had gotten some of Darwin's ideas wrong. If men were descended from apes, as Darwin and Huxley had suggested, then the way to prove it was to find a creature that stood halfway between the two, something that presumably was a blend of man and orangutan or man and chimpanzee.
The above contains the "not so exacting" statements by some "colleagues" that show that some evolutionists call the theoretical ancestors of man "apes," namely, "if men were descended from apes, as Darwin and Huxley had suggested..." However, Johanson did not mean to say that early human ancestors could be called apes, nor did he specifically say that any nineteenth century scientists said so. Instead, it was Dubois's misunderstanding of what Darwin and Huxley said that led him to believe they had suggested men were descended from apes. This is clearly evident from Johanson's next statement:
Darwin's idea, of course, was quite different. He was not thinking of parallel linkages but of vertical ones, of chains of relationships connected through time. To Darwin, the close affinities of man and ape did not suggest the existence of an in-between type. Rather, they meant that man and ape had a common ancestor to which each was connected by separate links of its own. What that ancestor might have looked like, neither Darwin nor Huxley was prepared to say. Still, the missing-link concept became widely popular, and it was on the strength of it that Dubois, against the urgings of his family and his professional colleagues, gave up his teaching career and went to the Dutch East Indies.
Creation has completely reversed the meaning of what the author of Lucy actually said. Nevertheless, many 19th century scientists did claim that man evolved from apes. Creation's author just doesn't know which ones.
Paragraph 2 quotes Stephen Jay Gould to show that some evolutionists say that man evolved from "apes."
"People... evolved from apelike ancestors."
Note that Gould does not say "apes," he says "ape like ancestors." This does not support Creation's argument.
In support of its contention that man's theoretical ancestors were "apes," paragraph 2 next quotes George Gaylord Simpson, from p. 27 of Lucy:
The common ancestor would certainly be called an ape or a monkey in popular speech by anybody who saw it. Since the terms ape and monkey are defined by popular usage, man's ancestors were apes or monkeys.
However, the full context of Simpson's statement shows that his intent was to get rid of the distinction between the technical and common speech usages of "ape":
Apologists emphasize that man cannot be a descendant of any living ape -- a statement that is obvious to the verge of imbecility -- and go on to state or imply that man is not really descended from any ape or monkey at all, but from an earlier common ancestor. In fact, the common ancestor would certainly be called an ape or a monkey in popular speech by anybody who saw it. Since the terms ape and monkey are defined by popular usage, man's ancestors were apes or monkeys (or successively both). It is pusillanimous if not dishonest for an informed investigator to say otherwise.
So Simpson was talking about semantics. He did not imply that one can say ancient apelike creatures and modern apes are the same thing.
Why is Creation's author concerned about whether man's supposed ancestors can be called apes? Paragraph 3 and succeeding paragraphs show that his intent really is to set up an "argument by definition," i.e., that since apelike ancestors can be called apes by common usage, and man today is clearly separated from apes by a huge gulf, then there must have been a huge gulf between fossil apes and man, which would have been impossible to cross. Then, since all the fossil forms are "apes" by definition, he can "prove" these forms were apes in actuality. Clearly this is to avoid directly addressing the evidence for the relation between fossil apelike creatures and man. An example where this technique of argument is used is found in paragraph 32, which dismisses the australopithecine fossil skeleton called "Lucy" with:
Obviously, it too was simply an "ape."
Paragraph 3 attempts to argue that the lack of living links between man and ape is good evidence against the evolution of man, and therefore evolutionists are forced resort to the fossil record for evidence. It says:
Why is the fossil record so important in the effort to document the existence of ape-like ancestors for humankind? Because today's living world has nothing in it to support the idea.
This is nothing more than what evolutionists have been saying all along. Somehow, Creation's author thinks this is a good argument against evolution, but his posing the question shows his complete lack of understanding of the theory of evolution. The reasoning is like claiming that the authenticity of the miracles recorded in the Bible is diminished by the fact that such miracles do not occur today and Christians are therefore forced into the poor position of having to look into the historical record of the Bible.
Many people believe that evolution is always supposed to be progressive. Biologist Stephen Jay Gould commented:217
No misunderstanding of evolution is more widespread than the assumption that it inevitably leads to a progressive improvement of life.
For a long time evolutionists held the notion that evolution is always progressive, later life forms being of necessity better in an absolute sense than earlier ones. This idea was picked up, grossly exaggerated, and misapplied in a philosophy that became known as Social Darwinism, which was rooted partly in the Victorian notion of the cultural progression of man that culminated with the white European. While the fossil record shows that life has progressed in complexity and sophistication in an overall sense since its beginning, evolutionists for a long time have found that life forms did not always progress linearly up some evolutionary ladder, but that changes of all types occurred. They have begun to realize that ancient creatures were just as suited to their environments as modern ones, and that much of what they call evolutionary change was neutral in terms of fitness, or cannot be interpreted one way or the other. What the theory actually claims is that life evolves toward maximum suitability for a particular environment. Evolutionary development is said to be like a bush, where many branches arise, most die off, and a few are left. At any one time there will be few branches in existence, so that trying to demonstrate relationships through living animals is futile. The direction of evolution on the "bush" is driven partly by random factors and partly by what is most suitable for the current environment. If the environment changes, an organism may become unsuited for it and die off. There are also random factors in extinction.
One book commented along these lines:218
Another important feature of evolutionary expectations is that they do not call for a smoothly graded series of forms, or transitions, leading from the common ancestor to the modern creatures. This expectation is incorrectly attributed to the evolutionary perspective by creationists, who then seek to knock down their straw man with the conviction that this will undermine human evolution as a whole. Paleoanthropologists (and others who share their perspective) have long recognized that evolution often proceeds along erratic lines, now emphasizing one part of the anatomy and now another, so that there are no theoretical grounds for expecting a smoothly graded series of transitional forms in the human fossil record.
Paragraph 4 knows nothing of this, but repeats the popular misconception, saying: "as animals progressed up the evolutionary scale, they became more capable of surviving." It then concludes that there is a contradiction between the fact that "inferior" apes still exist, and supposedly "superior" ape-men do not.
The first sub-section of Creation's chapter seven is titled "How Much Fossil Evidence?" It contains many gross distortions.
Paragraphs 5 and 6 give the impression that Charles Darwin formulated his theory of evolution in order to explain the existence of man. He did nothing of the kind. Darwin's theory had to do with the general problem of evolution, and it presented a great deal of evidence for evolution in plants and animals. Darwin was actually afraid of mentioning his ideas on man's evolution, as explained by Donald Johanson:219
The trouble with old human bones was that at first there weren't any. When the Origin of Species was published in 1859 the human fossil cupboard was empty. This caused problems for Darwin, who had mountains of fossil evidence from plants and animals to shore up his theory, but not one trace of a fossil human. That lack, plus his reluctance to toss humans on the hot fire that he knew his book would ignite, forced him to limit his speculations about mankind to one tepid sentence, and we repeat, "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history." For someone like Darwin, who required evidence, the evidence was not there.
So by juxtaposing quotations from various sources Creation gives the impression that Darwin formulated his theory based on non-existent evidence for human evolution. With this in mind, note what paragraph 5 says:
... surely there must be abundant evidence that humans evolved from apelike creatures. Is this really so? For instance, what fossil evidence was there of this in Darwin's day? Was it such evidence that encouraged him to formulate his theory?
Paragraph 6 then says:
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists informs us: "The early theories of human evolution are really very odd... there were either so few fossils that they exerted no influence on the theory, or there were no fossils at all. So between man's supposed closest relatives and the early human fossils, there was only the imagination of nineteenth century scientists." This scientific publication shows why: "People wanted to believe in evolution, human evolution, and this affected the results of their work.
So the quotation in paragraph 6 actually refers to "nineteenth century scientists" after Darwin had formulated his theory, but paragraph 5 makes it appear that Darwin was included in the description quoted in paragraph 6. While it is true that in the nineteenth century there was no direct evidence for human evolution, this is not in dispute, and Creation is arguing a non-issue. Also, no theory explains everything, nor should one be expected to. If scientists avoided putting out a theory that explained some things very well, just because it did not explain everything, no theories would ever be advanced.
Paragraphs 7 through 9 argue that the fossil evidence for man is extremely small in quantity. That is true of skeletal remains, but note that there is still some evidence and this is quite different from no evidence. It has been observed about these remains:220
Such finds are rare, for men are generally too smart to become fossils. It is, so to speak, the bungler who risks becoming a fossil. He may get caught in quicksand or fall down a pothole; he may come too close to the undercut bank of a river swollen in flood; he may get his head taken off by a rival tribe, his brain eaten and his skull thrown in the refuse heap. This is how men, and the ancestors of men, became fossils -- up to the time when deliberate preservation by burial became a custom. Thus the remains of man-like beings are few, and in general they are also late in geological time.
Creation completely ignores the great amount of evidence from the stone tools that have been found in association with and dated contemporaneous to the skeletal remains. Also, as noted above, 3.6 million year old humanlike footprints have been found, there is the evidence of the molecular clock, and there is much other circumstantial evidence. Creation conveniently leaves out all of this.
Paragraph 10 says that modern-type humans appeared suddenly in the fossil record. One may say this if one is careless about what one calls a modern-type human. Completely modern looking fossils of Homo sapiens do appear in the fossil record between 35,000 and 50,000 years ago, but what have been classified as archaic Homo sapiens appear as much as 500,000 years ago. These fossils have many characteristics of both modern humans and Homo erectus, and so how to best classify them is disputed. Clearly, Creation oversimplifies to the point of absurdity.
The next section of Creation, "Where Are the 'Links'?" is another exercise in obfuscation. The argument rests on the author's nebulous use of "missing link." He never defines what a "missing link" is, but instead relies on his intended audience's misconceptions. The term "missing link" is a technically obsolete term left over from the late nineteenth century, and is today used mostly by the popular press, which is usually badly informed and oversimplifies matters. The idea presupposed that there would be found some creature definitely classifiable as the intermediate between ape and man. Evolutionists today say that since evolutionary history is more like a bush than a linear progression, it would be difficult if not impossible to classify any particular fossil with certainty as an ancestor of man. Careful workers, therefore, draw conclusions like "it is probable this particular creature was man's ancestor or was closely related to man's ancestor." The problem is that for any creature claimed to be an intermediate, someone could well argue that it is not "intermediate enough" to be colloquially called a "missing link." Creation always uses "missing link" so as to be able to make this claim.
The book Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin has some good points to make about general creationist arguments with respect to transitional forms.221 While the Watchtower Society does not endorse some of the beliefs of the "creation scientists" mentioned, it does endorse others, and argues in virtually the same way.
Are there or are there not links between kinds of organisms? Creation 'Scientists' say no; evolutionists say yes. Although the fossil record most definitely does provide evidence of intermediate forms (Chapter 6), Creation 'Scientists' struggle valiantly to convince themselves and others by sophistry that it does not. Their published reasons for discounting known transitional forms as links depend in large part on their redefinitions (or, more commonly, on their refusal to accept current understanding) of critical terms such as 'links' and 'kinds' of organisms. By keeping both of these concepts nebulous, Creation 'Scientists' have built around themselves an almost impregnable fortress of semantics.
The concept of 'kind' among Creation 'Scientists' has steadily evolved in a transparent effort to ensure that no evidence from the real world can threaten the literal word of Genesis (Awbrey, 1981; Cracraft, 1983; Ruse, 1982). Most Creation 'Scientists' will 'allow' post-Creation week development (they dislike the term evolution) within created 'kinds'. They know, by faith in the literal truth of the Genesis account, that none of the created 'kinds' could have arisen from any other because they were created as fully formed 'kinds'. To Creation 'Scientists', there cannot be links between the Biblical 'kinds' of organisms because the literal word of the Bible is infallible...
What Creation 'Scientists' are attempting to achieve here is a definition so broad that any demonstration from the fossil record of structurally intermediate forms as evidence for evolution can be dismissed. This is because they can declare the intermediate to be either an indication that the two otherwise dissimilar linked forms are in fact one previously unrecognised created 'kind' or a member of one of the two previously recognised 'kinds' which it appears to link. Either way, the newly discovered intermediate comes to serve merely as a demonstration of 'variation within a single kind'.
An example of this is the way Creation 'Scientists' treat the rich fossil record of hominines. This is a particularly critical example because all Creation 'Scientists' believe that God created human beings. So what do they do with the transitional sequences in time (see Figure 6.10) from Australopithecus to Homo sapiens?
[Creationist author Duane] Gish simply declares the species of Australopithecus and Homo habilis and H. erectus to be apes (Gish, 1979: 104-146). The only significant contribution Gish permits the fossil record to make to the early history of Homo sapiens is neanderthal man which no modern biologist or anthropologist considers represents anything other than an isolated early population of H. sapiens. To the committed Creation 'Scientist', the rich fossil record of man-like primates can be no threat to Biblical Creation because, as biochemist Gish points out to anthropologists, it contains just peculiar apes and modern man; there are no transitional forms linking modern humans to any other kind of creature. Obviously, no matter how clear the fossil record is for evolutionary transitions, Creation 'Scientists' cannot accept it because they must preserve the infallibility of the Book of Genesis as they understand it...
As long as Creationists refuse to be specific as to what are (or to give any guidelines for determining what are) different 'kinds' of organisms, a 'kind' can be anything a Creationist says it is. This is how they can exorcise embarrassments such as Homo erectus. They make it impossible to demonstrate evolution because, by playing fast and loose with the facts, any such demonstration is promptly declared an example of variation within a created 'kind'...
Using yet another semantic barricade, Creation 'Scientists' have ensured that it is still impossible to test their concept. This semantic obstacle is their refusal to define 'link' or 'transitional form' (Cracraft, 1983).
Failure to indicate precisely what it is that constitutes a 'link' between 'kinds' of organisms enables Creation 'Scientists' to declare that there are no such things. Gish (1979: 49) even says: 'As a matter of fact, the discovery of only five or six of the transitional forms scattered through time would be sufficient to document evolution.' Despite Gish's own awareness of transitional forms between reptiles and birds and between reptiles and mammals (Gish, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1985), he can make this statement because he knows that without defining what would constitute a 'link' he will not have to recognise any of the many intermediate fossil forms as 'links'.
What sort of organism or group of organisms should qualify as transitional forms or links? The Macquarie Dictionary defines link as: '1, one of the rings or separate pieces of which a chain is composed...anything serving to connect one part or thing with another...'. In an evolutionary sense, a link would be any organism or group of organisms that demonstrates structurally intermediate or transitional conditions between two other dissimilar organisms or groups of organisms.
Creation 'Scientists' dismiss all organisms that demonstrate intermediate structural conditions as merely unrecognised variation within one of the two 'kinds' they appear to link. In this way they reassure themselves that the gaps between created 'kinds' are impossible, by definition, to fill and that, therefore, there are no such things as 'links'.
There is a further problem with the concept of 'links' which often leaves evolutionists in a no-win situation. 'Links', by their nature, fit in gaps between 'kinds'. Creation 'Scientists' make as much of these gaps as they do of the supposed lack of transitional forms which define them. As a result, it is an ironic fact that each time a transitional form is discovered, no matter how its significance is dismissed by Creation 'Scientists', it automatically means recognition of two albeit smaller gaps where previously there was just one!
If we cut through the semantic armour used by Creation 'Scientists' to protect their beliefs, the fossil record presents unmistakable evidence for evolutionary transition between organisms at almost all taxonomic levels (see Chapter 6). From intermediates between the species in our own subfamily to intermediates between the classes of vertebrates, such as between reptiles and birds and between reptiles and mammals, the fossil record provides excellent support for the concepts and predictions of evolution. Conversely, it provides no support for the Creation 'Scientists'' hypothesis that all 'kinds' of organisms were made out of nothing 6000 to 20 000 years ago because the record does contain transitional forms between kinds of organisms which range from a few thousand to many millions of years in age.
There is no doubt that the field of human evolution is not solidly established in all its details, at least in the sense that many other fields of science are, but that does not show that all conclusions from the field must be thrown out. It merely means that the science is in its infancy, so that some conclusions must often change, and many conclusions must be taken with a large grain of salt. However, there are some conclusions that are extremely well established, and the evidence for them will not go away, even if publications like Creation persist in ignoring it.
The field of evolutionary knowledge is rapidly changing. The theory of punctuated equilibrium, advanced by Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge in 1972, was at first rejected by many evolutionists because they thought that evolution had to be gradual. But more paleontologists are coming to see that the history of life was indeed "jumpy," and Gould and Eldredge's theory is gaining wide acceptance. Other scientists have proposed similar theories. The major point of difficulty with "punctuation" type theories is the lack of a satisfactory mechanism to drive the rapid development of novel features, but Creation discusses none of this.
Paragraph 13 makes much of the lack of a "missing link," but as discussed earlier, any creature whatsoever that someone might advance to fill that role would be said by creationists to be a full fledged creature in its own right, and not a "missing link" at all. Then they would ask, Where are the "missing links" before it and after it?
The next section of Creation discusses "Man's 'Family Tree'." Without informing the reader that it has not defined "missing link," the section marshals quotations that guaranteed "missing links" have not been identified, and melds them into the idea that no linking creatures ever existed. This again misrepresents the evidence and the statements of paleontologists, as shown below.
Paragraphs 14 and 15 make much of the fact that many "links" have eventually been shown not to be such, and that details of the theory of evolution have often had to be revised. But no reputable scientist claims these theories are cast in stone. As new knowledge becomes available, theories based on incomplete knowledge (and what theory isn't?) must be revised. The Watchtower Society has, in fact, institutionalized revision of its doctrines by using a Bible verse that says "the light gets brighter and brighter," even while claiming to be the "channel of communication between God and men." Revision of understanding should be acceptable to Creation's author if he wants to be fair.
Paragraph 16 quotes from a review of the book The Myths of Human Evolution:
"Eldredge and Tattersall insist that man searches for his ancestry in vain... If the evidence were there, they contend, 'one could confidently expect that as more hominid fossils were found the story of human evolution would become clearer. Whereas, if anything, the opposite has occurred.'"
Had Creation's author read the book and not just its review, he would have found that Eldredge and Tattersall were not saying that there never were any ancestors, but that because evolution works in a punctuated manner, is very bushy, and the fossil record is poor, the likelihood of finding ancestors is so remote as to be in vain. Paragraph 17's quotation from Discover makes a similar error.
Paragraph 18 claims that
the fossil record reveals a distinct, separate origin for apes and for humans. That is why fossil evidence of man's link to apelike beasts is nonexistent. The links really have never been there.
For the same reason that no one can "prove" the existence of true transitional forms in the fossil record, the above statement is false. The fossil record reveals evidence that is consistent with either evolution or special creation. Creation's author is unaware of this.
The section "What Did They Look Like?" discusses the irrelevant issue that no one can be sure exactly what fossil men looked like, so that attempts to draw them are bound to be wrong. The same can be said of drawings of dinosaurs, but so what? Some drawings are quite good and make Neanderthals look dignified -- see for example Time-Life's Ice Ages, pages 25-27. It is true that drawings may be unfairly biased to gain popular support for evolution, but this has nothing to do with the underlying evidence for the theory.
Paragraph 20 quotes from the book Lucy222 as follows: "'No one can be sure just what any extinct hominid looked like.'" The quotation stands as if the full sentence was cited, but this is misleading, because Lucy actually said: "'No one can be sure just what any extinct hominid looked like with its skin and hair on,'" which means something very different. Creation here is merely trying to set the stage for the main point of its argument, which is covered below in the discussion of paragraph 23.
This section also trots out the two most famous fiascos in the history of human evolutionary thought, the fraudulent Piltdown Man and the mistaken Nebraska Man, to serve as object lessons and cast doubt on the whole of evolutionary thought. But Creation fails to point out that these were uncovered by evolutionists themselves because they did not fit with other evidence. In fact, the supposed fossil tooth of Nebraska Man was found to be mistaken within five years because more evidence became available to the paleontologist who presented it in the first place. All this really says is that evolutionary scientists are human and make mistakes, especially when they have some preconceived notions. As paleontologist Donald Johanson said:223
The story of human evolution has been told by finding bones. It's been a long hard trip because the bones have been so scarce. We've made some horrible mistakes along the way. We'll make many more.
Anthropologist Loren Eiseley summed up the Piltdown situation thus:224
The amount of subjective speculation indulged in for years over the Piltdown "fossil," and to which many leading authorities contributed, can now be viewed historically as a remarkable case history in self-deception. It should serve as an everlasting warning to science that it is not the theologian alone who may exhibit irrational bias or give allegiance to theories with only the most tenuous basis in fact. That scientists in the early years of a new discipline should have been easily deceived is not nearly so embarrassing as the rapidity with which they embraced the specimen solely because it fell in with preconceived wishes and could be used to support all manner of convenient hypotheses. The enormous bibliography in several languages which grew up around the skull is an ample indication, also, of how much breath can be expended fruitlessly upon ambiguous or dubious materials.
What these things show is that many evolutionary scientists were too eager too accept something that supported their preconceived ideas, and in making their interpretations threw caution to the wind. The Watchtower Society has experience with this, too. It predicted the end of the world for 1914 and 1925, and all but did so for 1975. When these predictions failed to materialize, the Society justified them with the excuse that, in their eagerness to promote God's word, some writers may have gone a little overboard. Why does the Society not openly admit its major mistakes, as did Eiseley and many other evolutionists?
Donald Johanson also makes a point about the "maturing" of the science of paleoanthropology.225 Writing in 1989, he said:
In the last decade especially, paleoanthropology has hardened itself as a science, developing ever-more-precise methods and greatly expanding the mass of evidence that lies at its roots. In the process, a rigorous skepticism has put into shadow the liberally subjective methods that once epitomized the field. The more we know about our origins, the more we must question assumptions long regarded as fact. This critical caution has sometimes been misinterpreted by the so-called "creation scientists" to be a sign of weakening of conviction among paleoanthropologists in the conclusions of evolution science. Just the opposite is the case. It is a sign that paleoanthropology is at last coming of age.
Creation's next major section, "What Were They?", discusses just two creatures in the fossil lineup of primate ancestors, although the title would suggest that much more would be discussed. Again using the poorly defined notion of "missing link," the section claims that no links have ever been found. By omitting discussion of the complete evidence it again misrepresents what scientists have said.
Paragraph 23 is downright deceptive, and shows why Creation's author tried to establish in the previous section why drawings of "ape-men" were important to his argument. It first asks:
If "ape-man" reconstructions are not valid, then what were those ancient creatures whose fossil bones have been found? One of these earliest mammals claimed to be in the line of man is a small, rodentlike animal said to have lived about 70 million years ago.
Creation attempts to use the fact that one cannot be certain that artist's conceptions of ape-men (showing flesh, hair, skin color, form of features, aspect of the face, etc.) are correct, to show that general "reconstructions" of all supposed ancestors must be incorrect -- even those that were never claimed to be in the hominid line. It deceives the reader by generalizing the concept of "drawing" into the concept of "reconstruction."
Paragraph 23 also claims that no transitional stages have ever linked the earliest supposed ancestors with later animals. It says:
One of these earliest mammals claimed to be in the line of man is a small, rodentlike animal said to have lived about 70 million years ago. In their book Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey wrote: "They were insect-eating quadrupeds about the size and shape of squirrels." Richard Leakey called the mammal a "rat-like primate." But is there any solid evidence that these tiny animals were the ancestors of humans? No, instead only wishful speculation. No transitional stages have ever linked them with anything except what they were: small, rodentlike mammals.
No evidence whatsoever has been presented up to this point to support these conclusions. As far as linking forms go, earlier paragraphs referred to links between apes and man, but not to the early primates. So Creation again makes claims it has not substantiated.
What evidence in the fossil record bears on the question brought up in paragraph 23? For a much more detailed description, let us again refer to Science and Earth History.226 Here are presented some excerpts showing that Creation left out much evidence from possible consideration by its readers.
On the question of what the earliest primates were like, Strahler quotes paleontologist Edwin H. Colbert:
A glimpse of the most ancient primates can be obtained by looking at the modern tree shrews, Tupaia, Ptilocerus, and their relatives, that live in the Orient. These interesting mammals have been the subject of much study, and their relationships have been a matter of debate for many years. They are now commonly regarded as insectivores, but many authorities have believed that they more properly should be included among the primates. Morphologically the tree shrews are so close to the line of demarcation between insectivores and primates that, even if they are included in the former mammalian order, they, nevertheless, give us some insight into the adaptations that were leading from primate eutherian (placental) mammals toward the first primates...
[Colbert observed] that, as in the primates, the thumb and great toe of the tree shrews are set somewhat apart from the other toes...
As to the fossil record linking the insectivores with primates, remains of primitive forms of the latter are by no means lacking from strata of Paleocene and early Eocene age. Colbert has something to say on this subject, and although rather technical in places, it should be entered here:
Turning now to the fossil record, we find in the Paleocene deposits of North America and Europe three groups of eutherians (placental mammals) that can be regarded as very primitive primates -- namely, the paromomyids, the carpolestids, and the plesiadapids... These fossils, most of which are very fragmentary indeed, show us some very small primates... they appear to have been on a lateral rather than on the direct line of evolution to the later lemurs and tarsier.
The groups referred to above can be regarded as "cousins" to the early Cenozoic lemurs, as groups sharing a common ancestor among the insectivores. In this sense, they are true intermediates, even though not in the direct line of descent...
In recent years, attention has focused on the early Eocene primate Cantius [trigonodus] as a candidate for ancestry of all modern primates... A fossil foot of this primitive primate shows it to have had a strong grasping toe, suited to tree climbing, and eyes facing forward for close-range stereoscopic vision. [Paleontologist Robert T.] Bakker considers the acquisition of this tree-climbing facility to be the major evolutionary advance in early primate evolution... An interesting feature of C. trigonodus is that its teeth were very primitive and had not adapted to a diet of tree fruits. In other words, we have here an excellent example of mosaic evolution, making C. trigonodus a true intermediate between ground-dwelling placental mammals and the prosimian primates...
Another intermediate form that fills the gap between the Paleocene primates and the later Lemuroidea (lemurs) is an Eocene lemur, Notharctus... Complete skeletons of this genus have been found in Western North America... Notharctus was well adapted to tree climbing; the digits of the hands and feet... were long and slender, with thumb and first toe shortened and angled out from the other digits.
Gingerich also made a study of the evolution of Notharctus, which traced the rise of that genus from an older genus, Pelycodus (1976). His raw data consisted of fossils of 255 individuals distributed through a total thickness of some 500 m of early Eocene strata in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. His completed study provides a small window of information showing how forms closely related to the insectivores gradually evolved into forms definitely of primate affinity.
C. Loring Brace, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and an authority on human evolution comments on this transition:
The spectrum of living primates runs from that most modified and aberrant species, Homo sapiens, to prosimian forms that are so little different from non-primate insectivores that scientists have been arguing for a century about their correct classification... The important thing, in reality, is not the "correct" pigeonhole but the fact that they represent a condition intermediate between the two orders and suggest to us the kind of evolutionary change by which primates could have diverged from the generalized mammalian stem.
Brace also adds:227
The fossil record confirms this since the earliest primates to appear are prosimians only (Clark 1960; Simons 1972). The gradual change through time and identifiable diversification has been shown with admirable clarity by Gingerich whose plot of molar [tooth] dimensions is reproduced in figure 1 (1976, p. 16). Whether the rate of change through time follows the fits-and-starts expectations of the proposers of the "punctuated equilibria" model of evolutionary change (Eldredge and Gould 1972; Gould and Eldredge 1977) or the path of "evolutionary gradualism" (Gingerich 1976) or a combination of the two (Brace 1981), the demonstrable steps show how microevolutionary changes accumulate to produce macroevolutionary results.
The book Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin presents the same figure Brace did, and describes what it means:228
When samples of particular species, such as those belonging to the genus Cantius, were measured and the results plotted against stratigraphic position a distinct pattern emerged (Figure 6.1) that strongly suggests progressive phyletic evolution through time. For example, C. mckennai clearly merges, through small changes in size and shape, into C. trigonodus, the next species represented higher in the stratigraphic sequence. Similar transitions occur further up the succession. Towards the top of the sequence there is indication of a separation where ancestral populations descended from C. abditus underwent sufficient change to be recognised as species of a different genus, Pelycodus. This in turn appears to have been the ancestral stock that evolved into the species of the yet younger genus Notharctus.
The importance of this stratigraphic sequence is that, without a detailed knowledge of the fossil record, the named forms shown at the right of Figure 6.1 would appear to have been distinct species, lacking intermediate forms to demonstrate their origins. With a detailed knowledge of the fossil record, however, it becomes clear that populations intermediate in morphology occupy intermediate stratigraphic positions between the named forms. It is precisely the sort of example that Darwin predicted the fossil record would reveal, one in which species boundaries in time could only be defined by use of arbitrary distinctions.
Now back to Science and Earth History:
Perhaps from among the early Eocene fossils, found as recently as 1984 in the Wind River Basin of Wyoming..., new evidence on the ancestry of the primates will come forth. The new report of these fossil finds makes mention of an important find in the form of "the partial skull of a monkey-like creature, known as shoshonius, that may have been the ancestor of the tarsier, a primate now living in southeast Asia. Five other skulls belong to ancient primate relatives of living monkeys, lemurs, and tarsiers"... Far from being broken by great information gaps, as the creationists claim, the existing record of evolution of the primates already displays abundant fossil evidence of transitions from insectivores to prosimians.
The close evolutionary connections between prosimians, monkeys, and anthropoids are supported by studies in molecular biology. A phylogeny of the globin genes based on the estimated numbers of nucleotide replacements locates the human adjacent or very close to Old World monkeys and the slow loris, all much closer to the human than the mouse, dog, and other placental mammals...
As to the question of how many early primates have been identified in the fossil record, the Encyclopedia Britannica Macropaedia said, under the subject "Evolution, Human":229
During the Paleocene epoch... there were many primates in existence; 60 genera have been recognized and grouped into eight families.
It is evident that Creation ignores much fossil evidence.
Paragraph 24 discusses the next fossil in the hominoid line:
Next on the generally accepted list, with an admitted gap of about 40 million years, are fossils found in Egypt and named Aegyptopithecus -- Egypt ape. This creature is said to have lived about 30 million years ago... But where are the links between it and the rodent before it? Where are the links to what is placed after it in the evolutionary lineup? None have been found.
The above information shows that there were indeed fossil animals that could be termed "links." Although Creation's author never defines what a "link" is, he knows that whatever paleontologists claim is a link, is not a link. Also note that Aegyptopithecus is not the only fossil of its type, but merely the best documented.230 As to what Aegyptopithecus was and what is placed after it in the evolutionary lineup, again here are some excerpts from Science and Earth History:231
Evolution of the hominoids began in Oligocene time with the appearance of Aegyptopithecus... An important difference from the Eocene primates we have already described is seen in the dentition of Aegyptopithecus:
Molar tooth crowns, unlike the earlier Paleocene and Eocene primates, were low and rounded like those of recent fruit-eating primates. All of this is completely monkeylike, but when one looks at the patterns of cusp arrangement on the molar teeth, they are quite different from those of modern monkeys but absolutely indistinguishable from those of modern anthropoid apes -- and human beings. (Brace, pp. 246-48)
... the existence of a true intermediate is put strongly on the record by Brace, who states that although the teeth of Aegyptopithecus are those of an ape, its body plan was that of a monkey: i.e., "it was an orthodox arboreal quadruped"... And finally, this significant conclusion by Brace: "All told, it provides a splendid representation of the ancestral condition from which modern apes -- and humans -- descended"... Again, we find a case of mosaic evolution that is the mark of a genuine transitional form...
An earlier member of the [gibbon] family, Pliopithecus, is found in Miocene and Pliocene time; it resembled the living gibbon in cranial structure but had not yet developed the long arms of today's gibbon. A link between Pliopithecus and Aegyptopithecus may exist in a possible intermediate of late Oligocene and early Miocene time called Micropithecus...
Dryopithecus and the closely related African genus Proconsul include early hominoid species generally designated as the common ancestor of all great apes and hominids. They appear in the late Oligocene and extend into the Miocene for a duration of about 10 m.y... By middle Miocene time, Dryopithecus had given rise to three important genera of great apes; the four genera are collectively called dryopithecines (Brace, 1983, p. 249). One genus, Gigantopithecus, was a huge ape... The other two genera, Sivapithecus and Ramapithecus, are so similar that they are often considered as equivalent and representing a single genus. Interpreted as such, we might want to refer to them jointly as Siva/Ramapithecus, but they are commonly referred to simply as "ramamorphs." Ramamorphs were more apelike than Dryopithecus (Proconsul), with longer limbs attached to a relatively shorter body. More importantly, the ramamorphs had large cheek teeth covered by thick enamel and set in a robust jaw; this tooth/jaw characteristic was interpreted as a distinctly hominid feature and led to Ramapithecus being first assigned to the hominids...
Paleontologist Roger Lewin describes some features of Proconsul:232
Proconsul is a curious mixture of monkey and ape characteristics. Its relatively long trunk is monkey-like, so are its arm and hand bones; its shoulder and elbow regions are ape-like. Strikingly ape-like, too, is the head, which is large in relation to the diminutive 11 kg body, and the dentition, which includes small molar teeth and large projecting canines.
Lewin further said:233
Proconsul is a very good example of the 'mosaic' nature of the early apes... This anatomical confection implies a mix of ape and monkey components of locomotion, a combination of quadrupedal running and leaping with vertical climbing and arm swinging. The confection also offers a salutary warning against sweeping interpretation based on limited fossil evidence: if the arm and hand bones were all that was known of Proconsul, then it would be thought to be a monkey; similarly, analysis based only on the foot and lower leg would imply ape, as would the shoulder and elbow.
Science and Earth History further states:
New fossil discoveries announced in 1986 by Richard and Maeve Leakey may have provided intermediates to fill the Miocene gap (Bower, 1986, p. 324). The fossil hominoids, found in the Lake Turkana locality of northern Kenya, are in sediments thought to be in the age-range of 16 to 18 m.y. They are of two distinct genera, named Afropithecus and Turkanopithecus... It looks as if these and similar fossil finds yet to come may successfully fill the void created by discreditation of Ramapithecus as the hominid ancestor of middle Miocene time.
Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction, Second Edition, has a chart on page 62 showing the earlier view and current view of hominoid ancestry, going back to Aegyptopithecus, with the caption:
Changing ideas on hominoid ancestry: Earlier views on hominoid ancestry envisaged ladderlike progressions, with Ramapithecus branching off as the first hominid at least 15 million years ago. A large gap was placed between the hominids and the apes. Hominoid history, like the history of most animal groups, is now seen as a much more intricate bushlike structure. Ramapithecus is no longer thought of as the first hominid, and the gap between hominids and apes, particularly the African apes, has been closed.
Even though this chart shows many gaps between supposed ancestors and descendants, the gaps are gradually being filled.
It is clear from the above descriptions of fossils said to be in the hominoid line that the later in time they occur in the fossil record, the more they show the characteristics of modern apes and humans, and the less they show of monkeys. It is also clear that the fossil record is incomplete, since new fossils are continually being found that shed light on old interpretations or force new ones. Although it can never be possible to pin down for certain a specific ancestor-descendant line, the fossil evidence is suggestive. Creation ignores all of it.
Creation's next section, "The Rise and Fall of 'Ape-Men'," discusses three types of fossils -- Ramapithecus, Australopithecus, and Homo erectus. It first shows that a fossil ape called Ramapithecus was found to be not in man's ancestry, and implies that this throws much doubt on the rest of human evolution. Ramapithecus did indeed turn out to be a false trail, although it was accepted for years as being in the lineage of man as one of the connecting links between the Dryopithecines and the Australopithecines. Today it is widely acknowledged that no fossils from about 5 to 15 million years ago have ever been found connecting them. But this may be because hardly any fossil-bearing deposits of any kind have been found in Africa for that period of time.234 Of course, Creation is silent about this.
Next, the section discusses the australopithecines, but leaves out a great deal of information about these creatures. Paragraph 28 says that when it was first found it
was pictured as walking on two limbs, stooped over, hairy and apish looking.
The generally accepted picture today is that it walked on two limbs, more or less fully erect, as described earlier in this essay. The relevance of early descriptions to today's is difficult to see, except as a reminder that new data brings new conclusions. The Creation book treats the issue by ignoring it.
Paragraphs 30 and 31 of Creation contain another thoroughly misleading set of quotations. Not only on the face of it do most of the quotations not show what the author claims, but he uses them out of context or misleadingly. Paragraph 30 sets up the claim that there is next to no evidence, or that scientists have even resorted to deception when interpreting the evidence, that the australopithecines were ancestors of man, so that many past examples of presumed "ape-men" have come to nought. Paragraph 31 then says:
So, too, with Australopithecus. More research has disclosed that its skull "differed from that of humans in more ways than its smaller brain capacity."
Clearly the quotation says nothing about ancestry. All it says is that Australopithecus was different from humans, which is obvious, and should be the case if it were a transitional form. Evolutionists do not argue that it was human, but that it had characteristics intermediate between apelike creatures and humans. The Creation book persists in arguing that because various hominids were not fully human they could not have been in the line leading to humans. The logic of this is not apparent. The quotation is out of context because its author describes the differences and similarities between Australopithecus and humans specifically to show that it was a transitional form. For example, surrounding the above quote, he says:235
A particularly human aspect of its skeleton was its dentition... The brain capacity... averaged slightly less than 500 cubic centimeters, approximating that of a gorilla... Because a gorilla is a much larger animal... we may infer that Australopithecus africanus may have been smarter... The skull of Australopithecus africanus differed from that of humans in more ways than its smaller brain capacity. The cheek bones of the slender australopithecine projected, flangelike, from the sides of the skull, and its very long face sloped forward to a larger jaw... Australopithecus africanus, like our species, was a fully upright creature. This we can see from various skeletal features, but most especially from its basketlike pelvis -- a pelvis built along human lines to support the body above the legs.
Next, paragraph 31 quotes anatomist Lord Solly Zuckerman:
"When compared with human and simian [ape] skulls, the Australopithecine skull is in appearance overwhelmingly simian -- not human. The contrary proposition could be equated to an assertion that black is white."
Again, this says nothing about ancestry, although Zuckerman did make some relevant comments Creation could have used. Also note that this was written in 1966, before a large number of new fossils were found in Africa, one of which, the famous Lucy skeleton, was far more complete than anything that had been found up to then. Creation also fails to note that Zuckerman's position on human evolution was that humans evolved from an ancestor that had been separated from the apes for 25 million years,236 even though there was even less evidence for that position than for the one he was opposing, so he may have been less than completely objective in making certain statements.
Paragraph 31 next quotes from Zuckerman's 1970 book Beyond the Ivory Tower, that:
"Our findings leave little doubt that... Australopithecus resembles not Homo sapiens but the living monkeys and apes."
The full context of this quotation is:237
Our findings leave little doubt that, in this respect, Australopithecus resembles not Homo sapiens but the living monkeys and apes. [emphasis added]
Zuckerman's immediate discussion was with respect to the structure of the pelvis and of the muscles attached to it and to the legs. It was not in the sense that Creation's use of ellipses distorted it into seeming, although in the same chapter Zuckerman does strongly argue that in other ways, such as skull characteristics, there is more resemblance to apes. Here again Creation edits quotations into saying what they do not.
This distortion of what Zuckerman said is more clearly seen in his further discussion of australopithecine pelvises in the larger context of locomotion:238
These [pelvic] measures are related to the way the weight of the trunk is transmitted to the legs in the bipedal or quadrupedal positions. In some of this group of characters Australopithecus agrees with Homo sapiens and differs from monkeys and apes. In others it falls in a position intermediate between man and the subhuman Primates... In [another] feature, Australopithecus is completely unlike man, and identical with monkeys and apes.
Zuckerman further discusses many measures by which the pelvic features of the australopithecines are similar to man or to apes, different from either or intermediate between them. Like the Creation book, most creationist writings seem to ignore everything Zuckerman said except what supports their position.
Note that Zuckerman's book was published in 1970. In 1974 the "Lucy" skeleton was found, which was later named Australopithecus afarensis, and which had much of the pelvis intact, as well as a complete femur and much of a tibia. See the book Lucy for a photo of the skeleton.239 Then in 1975, several hundred fossils of A. afarensis, comprising at least thirteen individuals, were found in the Hadar region of Ethiopia, and they provided a much larger base for anatomical analysis. These fossils made Zuckerman's analysis obsolete.
There is more to be said about Lord Zuckerman's objections. Another famous English anatomist, Wilfred Le Gros Clark, had a running battle with Zuckerman for many years over the nature of the australopithecines. The book Lucy sheds some interesting light on their arguments. Zuckerman was regularly publishing material about how his biometric studies had shown that australopithecines were fairly close to apes, so that240
Le Gros Clark thought it appropriate to challenge him to produce a full set of chimpanzee teeth that bore any resemblance to a set of australopithecine teeth. Zuckerman could not. He ignored the challenge and continued to fire off statistical salvos until professional statisticians began pointing out that his figures had not been calculated properly...
To give Zuckerman his due, there were resemblances between ape skulls and australopithecine skulls. The brains were approximately the same size, both had prognathous (long, jutting) jaws, and so on. What Zuckerman missed was the importance of some traits that australopithecines had in common with men. Charles A. Reed of the University of Illinois has summarized Zuckerman's misunderstandings neatly in a review of the australopithecine controversy: "No matter that Zuckerman wrote of such characters as being 'often inconspicuous'; the important point was the presence of several such incipient characters in functional combinations. This latter point of view was one which, in my opinion, Zuckerman and his co-workers failed to grasp, even while they stated they did. Their approach ... was extremely static in that they essentially demanded that a fossil, to be considered by them to show any evidence of evolving toward living humans, must have essentially arrived at the latter status before they would regard it as having begun the evolutionary journey." In other words: if it wasn't already substantially human, it could not be considered to be on the way to becoming human.
Is this not what Creation is arguing?
It was that prejudice of Zuckerman's which Le Gros Clark was determined to dispose of with his comparison study. When Zuckerman was finally subdued by questions about the validity of his statistical approach, Le Gros Clark got down to the really important business of his analysis. He checked the australopithecine data against his list of ape-human differences and found that in virtually every respect they resembled the human model and not the ape model.
Zuckerman repeatedly claimed, with good reason, that his biometrical methods of analysis of the australopithecine fossils, using multivariate statistical techniques, were more objective than those used by most other scientists. Concerning this, paleontologist Roger Lewin said:241
A species' morphology is composed of a large suite of anatomical characters: shapes of bones, patterns of muscular attachments, skin color, and so on. Numerical taxonomy proceeds by comparing as wide a range of characters as possible between a group of species, the results of which are known as a multivariate cluster statistics, effectively an average of all the comparisons. The more characters that are included, the more objective the technique is said to be, automatically spitting out a phenetic hierarchy from the assembled cluster statistics. In fact, practitioners frequently have to make choices among several possible patterns, betraying the fact that the method is less objective than is often claimed.
In other words, strict statistical interpretations are impossible and subjective judgments will always be necessary in interpreting fossils.
Roger Lewin points out242 how quickly Zuckerman accepted another fossil find, the partial skull known as KNM-ER 1470 assigned to Homo habilis, when it matched his notions of human evolution. This skull is the most complete habilis skull ever found, and its large cranial volume forced a major rethinking among evolutionists about the course of human evolution. At a 1972 meeting associated with the Royal Zoological Society in London, Richard Leakey presented the skull for the first time, and Lewin said of Zuckerman's reaction:
One of the ironies of this occasion, which is usually little mentioned, was the surprising haste with which Zuckerman was prepared to accept Leakey's presentation. His Lordship's scorn for the level of competence he sees displayed by paleoanthropologists is legendary, exceeded only by the force of his dismissal of the australopithecines as having anything at all to do with human evolution: "They are just bloody apes," he is reputed to have observed on examining the australopithecine remains in South Africa.
Since his emigration to England from South Africa in 1926, Zuckerman had become extremely powerful in British science, being an adviser to the government up to the highest level. During the 1940s and '50s, however, while at Oxford and then Birmingham universities, he had vigorously pursued a metrical and statistical approach to studying the anatomy of fossil hominids. No secure inference could be drawn without such an analytical approach, he urged, and it was on this basis that he underpinned his lifelong rejection of the australopithecines as human ancestors. His reception of 1470, however, was different.
"[Had] today's discovery been reported in this Society when the Australopithecus skull first rested on the speaker's bench in our old meeting room, any amount of time would have been saved," he observed after Leakey's presentation. "People would not have been turning themselves inside out ... in order to establish anatomical conclusions which were nonsensical. You may not have intended to, but you have demolished all that with your skull." To which Leakey replied, "I am quite pleased I have."
Later, during a lecture at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, Zuckerman said, "[Leakey's 1470 skull] shunted the australopithecines to the sidelines, where they have always belonged." About Richard Leakey's interpretation of 1470 as Homo, Zuckerman said, "I accept his statement, although Mr. Leakey is no anatomist." Zuckerman apparently required no metrical analysis to see that Leakey's new fossil supported his view of human origins.
Note that, except in the skull, H. habilis is not very different from the australopithecines, as pointed out elsewhere in this essay. It is clear that Lord Solly Zuckerman had his own ax to grind, that his are only one in a field of many competing opinions, and that he was not as objective as some creationists would like to believe.
For an interesting presentation of Zuckerman's arguments, see Darwin On Trial,243 pages 81-83 and 175-177. This book leaves out important information about the battle between Zuckerman and Le Gros Clark, to bolster its thesis that evolution is unproved, just as Creation does.
Zuckerman's notion that the genus Homo is very ancient is echoed by some other notable evolutionists, such as Richard Leakey and Charles Oxnard. Oxnard was an anatomist at the University of Southern California Medical School. Science and Earth History quotes Oxnard as saying:244
"The genus Homo may, in fact, be so ancient as to parallel entirely the genus Australopithecus thus denying the latter a direct place in the human lineage..."
Science and Earth History further says:
In the part of his Nature paper describing the results of multivariate analysis of bone fragments of australopithecines in comparison with corresponding bones of other primates, including modern humans, Oxnard finds a uniqueness of the australopithecines such that he considers that group most unlikely as being a direct part of the human ancestry... Further analysis that includes australopithecine fossils seems to reinforce the conclusion that modern humans, living apes, and australopithecines are uniquely different from one another in terms of foot bones... Clearly, Oxnard at no point in his writings abandons the generally accepted basic principles of evolution, nor does he throw out the reconstruction of the mosaic evolution of humans from hominoid ancestors. The thrust of his argument is aimed more to a rejection of direct linear evolution using the fossils as links in a single chain. In taking this viewpoint, Oxnard is certainly in good company among mainstream anthropologists and paleontologists.
Another evolutionist, C. Loring Brace, gave his opinions on the relation between the australopithecines A. afarensis and A. africanus:245
Our disagreement is merely a matter of the assignment of names. This is based on judgment of individual scholars and is a trivial matter, but it does point up an issue of fundamental significance. In an evolutionary continuum, change occurs more or less gradually through time. At the early and late ends of such change, everyone agrees that different names are justified, but when one form slowly transforms into another without break, the point where the change of name is to be applied is a completely arbitrary matter imposed by the namers for their convenience only -- it is not something compelled by the data.
Paragraph 31 next quotes Donald Johanson, the finder of the Lucy skeleton, that "Australopithecines ... were not men." No argument here. What Johanson actually said was that "Australopithecines were early hominids that were not men," i.e., they were not modern humans, but they were in the human family, hominids. Johanson then said:246
A couple of million years ago, there were types walking about in Africa that were so primitive and had such queer teeth and such small brains that they could not qualify as humans. The big question was: were they ancestors or cousins?
Johanson could not have made it any clearer. His saying that they were not humans does nothing for Creation's argument that they were not ancestors of humans.
A good summary of modern opinions about the australopithecines in this respect was given in 1983 by C. Loring Brace in the article "Humans in Time and Space."247 This would have been available to Creation's author.
The direct evidence, then, gives us a picture of Australopithecus as a terrestrial biped with an ape-sized brain and possessing ape-sized teeth that, however, occlude in a completely human fashion. The locomotor adaptation is so different from that of a typical pongid -- ape -- that the creature is placed in the same family, the Hominidae, with modern human beings, and referred to informally as a hominid. However, this does not make it a human being. With a brain that is only one-third the capacity of the modern human average and teeth that are double the bulk, the Australopithecines warrant separate generic designation -- Australopithecus. The implications of the anatomical, ecological, and archaeological evidence have all been weighed and considered with care [references are given], and despite the differences of opinion among those who have studied the original material, no one doubts the fact that the Australopithecines present that "mosaic of advanced and ancestral characters" that "always" characterizes an evolutionary intermediate (Mayr 1971, p. 50). Within the spectrum of the Australopithecines, then, we find a picture of an intermediate between the pongid and the hominid condition that is just as convincing as that provided by Archaeopteryx of an intermediate between the reptilian and the avian condition.
Brace comments further on how creationists treat the evidence:
Contrast this with the cavalier treatment accorded by creationists, based only on hearsay evidence, secondary sources, and without any firsthand familiarity with the original specimens -- "these creatures were nothing but apes" (Gish 1974, p. 16). The "scientific" creationist account, referring to the same unreliable sources, concludes with unwarranted conviction that Australopithecus was a "long-armed, short-legged, knuckle-walker." Finally, "Australopithecus not only had a brain like an ape, but he also looked like an ape and walked like an ape. He, the same as Ramapithecus, is no doubt simply an extinct ape" (Morris 1974, p. 173).
We have to wonder if the Watchtower Society got its material for the Creation book from some of the scientific creationist sources such as Duane Gish or Henry Morris.
Paragraph 31 finally offers a quotation that refers to ancestors, from Richard Leakey writing in Origins:247a
Similarly Richard Leakey called it "unlikely that our direct ancestors are evolutionary descendants of the australopithecines."
This quotation leaves out a tremendous amount of background material. Richard Leakey, with his father Louis Leakey, believed that the origin of the Homo line went back much further in time than most other paleoanthropologists did. They did so not because of the evidence, but because of a "gut feel," nothing more. This feeling can be traced back at least as far as the early 20th century anatomists who influenced Louis Leakey and taught Lord Zuckerman. Speaking about a Homo habilis skull he discovered in 1972 that became known as KNM-ER 1470, he said:248
This remarkable skull confirmed two things. First, that the human ancestral line, Homo, originated much earlier than most people suspected, earlier perhaps by as much as a million years. Second, because the history of Homo goes back that far, it means that these individuals were living at the same time as some of the earliest australopithecines, making it unlikely that our direct ancestors are evolutionary descendants of the australopithecines -- cousins, yes, but descendants, no.
Leakey believed that this skull was 2.9 million years old, but it was later dated at less than 2.0 million years, which partly negated his argument. He also believed that Ramapithecus was an ancestor of man,249 which was the accepted wisdom when he wrote in 1977, but Ramapithecus was shown not to be such in the early 1980s. Because the Creation book was published in 1985, and the above material is taken from the same sources that Creation used, this should have been evident to its author.
With regard to the question of transitional fossils, Blueprints commented about the similarities of a fossil called the Black Skull (see below) to both the earlier A. afarensis and the later A. boisei:250
It fits right between afarensis and boisei. It shares unique features with each. It's a perfect transitional form. It's what you would expect to find if you were trying to get from one to the other... It's a case of what is called mosaic evolution.
C. Loring Brace made some comments that show how the similarity of Homo habilis to the australopithecines may be interpreted as due to the one gradually evolving into the other:
... the field work conducted by the Leakey family has led to the discovery of hominid fossils in that time span between 2 and 1.5 million years ago. These display just that mosaic of primitive and advanced features that Ernst Mayr has predicted should occur in evolutionary intermediates... Not unexpectedly this has given rise to a cloud of terminological confusion. The first such specimen to be discovered was by the Leakeys, early in the 1960s... the assemblage was given the label of Homo habilis in a burst of somewhat premature enthusiasm... No definitive description of this specimen has yet been published, nor has the required careful morphological and quantitative analysis yet been done, and it would appear that the assignation of the new species name was improperly proposed...
The jaw and its teeth are completely indistinguishable from a typical specimen of A. africanus. The crushed adolescent cranial bones, however, according to several considered efforts at reconstruction, indicate a brain size that was either at the small end of the H. erectus (Holloway 1980) or the large end of the Australopithecine range of variation...
Then, in 1972, at the site of Koobi Fora in the East Turkana region of northern Kenya, Richard Leakey's group discovered a skull and facial skeleton, given the number ER 1470, that has been the center of conflicting claims and controversy ever since... Its discoverers hailed it as proof that "true Homo" existed nearly 3 million years ago (R. E. F. Leakey 1973; Leakey and Lewin 1977) and therefore as proof that Australopithecus and possibly even H. erectus could not have been our ancestors. This was a theme that Louis Leakey had been pursuing since early in the 1930s, long before Olduvai Gorge had begun to yield its fossil treasures..., and it has been hailed with satisfaction by the creationist whose preconceptions lead them to rejoice in anything that would confound the picture of an orderly course of human evolution...
As it happens, there are flaws in the claims concerning both the date and the anatomical significance of the specimen. Elements in the fauna at the Koobi Fora site are present at other well-dated African sites at an age of between 1.6 and 1.8 million years..., and when tuff specimens from Koobi Fora were reanalyzed with the application of proper laboratory procedures, it became clear that the original figure for ER 1470 was incorrect; its true age was also between 1.6 and 1.8 million years... In addition, the "true Homo" status of the skull also was claimed with somewhat more enthusiasm than a careful appraisal of the evidence would support. As it happens, the long, somewhat "dish-shaped" face and the enormous molar root sockets look perfectly Australopithecine. The brain case itself also looks Australopithecine in form, but, at 750+ cc., it is exactly in-between Australopithecus and Homo...
It is taking nothing away from the significance of ER 1470 to say that it does not support the contentions of its finders. It does fit between two major categories -- the creationists would say "kinds" -- of hominid, and it provides a gratifying picture of one of the steps by which Australopithecus became transformed into Homo. Because it shows such a mixture of features, it is not surprising that the authorities who have studied it have been unable to agree on a named pigeonhole for its assignment. According to one respected authority, it is best called Australopithecus habilis (Walker 1980). Another recognized that it really belongs to the Australopithecine grade of organization, but nevertheless assigned it to genus Homo... Nor is ER 1470 alone in its intermediate status. Other specimens such as ER 1813 and OH 16 also show evidence on the one hand of a reduction in tooth size and on the other of an expansion of brain size that make positive categorical assignment an uncertain thing. All of this, however, is just what one would expect at the time when one genus was in the course of developing into another.
The 1986 find of leg and arm bones, in addition to some cranial parts, which were assigned to H. habilis suggests that it was about the size of A. afarensis and A. africanus, and had a skeleton almost identical to them.251, 252 This further supports Brace's argument.
Paragraph 32 says that
if any australopithecines were found alive today, they would be put in zoos with other apes. No one would call them "ape-men."
It may well be true they would be put in zoos, but they would not be classed with apes. They would be in a class by themselves. From the descriptions above it is clear that any creature with a head very like a chimpanzee's but with a body very like a man's would be considered most unusual. This brings up an interesting question: If the theory of evolution is wrong, and these creatures were the products of a creator, what could that creator have had in mind when making them?
It should be noted that Creation makes no mention of Homo habilis.
Paragraph 33 discusses the creature called Homo erectus. The paragraph is distinguished more by what it does not say than by what it does. For example:
Its brain size and shape do fall into the lower range of modern man's.
While true, this statement leaves out a number of significant points. The cranial capacity of H. erectus skulls averaged about three quarters that of modern man. The shape of the skull was very different. The skull was so different that no one would mistake its skull for that of a modern human. The skull bones were much thicker, it had huge brow ridges, the face was much more massive, and the dome of the skull was much smaller. One has only to examine a series of photos of skulls to see this. See for example, National Geographic,253 for a comparison of Australopithecine and Homo skulls. It does not take an expert to see a structural sequence from H. habilis to H. erectus to archaic H. sapiens and Neanderthal to the modern form of skull. See also Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction,254 pages 47, 53, 56, 71, 75-77, and compare the gross differences in skull shape among the above fossils. See also the drawings of skulls in The Myths of Human Evolution,255 on pages 70, 84, 107, 110, 138, 147-149, and 153. Also see any Encyclopedia Britannica after about 1980, under the subjects "Homo erectus" and "Evolution, Human." Creation does not mention the gross differences in skull shape between H. erectus and modern man.
Next, paragraph 33 refers to Encyclopedia Britannica, which said that
"the limb bones thus far discovered have been indistinguishable from those of H[omo] sapiens."
As shown above, this assessment has been superseded by newer information. By comparison with other species, the skeleton is very much like modern man's. But it was much more massive and had far more substantial muscle attachment points. Blueprints256 commented that
these were extremely powerful people, if indeed they were people. They made the brutish Neanderthalers seem positively effete by comparison.
It is interesting to note that Creation used the 1976 Encyclopedia Britannica for the above quotation, rather than the latest edition available before Creation's 1985 publication date. The following parallel quotation from a similar article appearing in the 1984 edition shows why. Note that the 1981 through 1985 edition articles were identical. Under the subject "Homo Erectus" it said:257
the limb bones thus far discovered have been similar to (although more robust than) those of H. sapiens.
Note that the quotation Creation used said the limb bones were indistinguishable from, rather than similar to those of H. sapiens. We were not able to locate a 1976 Britannica, but a 1974 edition257a said the same thing as quoted in Creation. The article was virtually identical to the 1984 article, except for the above quotation. Very little had changed between 1974 and 1984 concerning H. erectus except the assessment of the limb bones, and Creation used a quotation from the edition that happened to be the most advantageous to its argument. Is this not yet another example of selective use of quotations and of arguing as a literary critic to support a preexisting point of view?
The 1992 Britannica said much the same as the 1984 edition. Under the subject "Homo erectus" it said:258
Most of the anatomical differences between H. erectus and H. sapiens concern the skulls and teeth. The limb bones of H. erectus that have been found so far have been similar to H. sapiens, leading to the inference that H. erectus was a creature of medium stature who walked upright.
What did Britannica mean when it said the limb bones were similar? The 1992 edition Macropaedia, Vol. 18, expanded upon this under the subject "Evolution, Human" on pages 827-828:
The form of these [femur] bones resembles that of modern humans, and H. erectus must have walked upright efficiently. On the other hand, the construction of the bones is robust, a condition also seen in other skeletal members. This robusticity suggests that the life-style of Homo erectus was physically demanding... The total pattern of the bodily structure of H. erectus, as preserved in the bones, is rather different from that of H. sapiens. Parts of the postcranial skeleton are robust but otherwise generally comparable to those of modern humans. The brain is relatively small, though not so small as that of Australopithecus and H. habilis. In addition, in this hominid's thick skull bones and extraordinarily developed eyebrow ridges and occipital torus, some investigators say they see unique, specialized features, not characteristic either of its presumed ancestors or of apes and not pointing to H. sapiens as the direction of subsequent evolution...
Britannica then discussed various theories of descent from early hominids through H. erectus to modern man, showing there is much evidence that is difficult to interpret, and there are several possibilities for reasonable explanations, including one that H. erectus was an evolutionary side branch that did not lead to modern man. It comments that much work needs to be done to sort out all the evidence. Finally it says:
In the meantime, another hypothesis that meets most of the available evidence is that H. erectus was in the process of evolving from pre-Homo erectus -- probably Australopithecus and Homo habilis -- to post-Homo erectus; that is, to Homo sapiens. In most details, the bodily structure of H. erectus fulfills what might have been predicted for an intermediate between Australopithecus and H. sapiens.
The Myths of Human Evolution gave an alternative view:259
In sum, during the period that lasted from about 1.6 million to 0.4 or 0.5 million B.P., nonrobust hominids [referring to A. robustus] seem to be represented by a single species which is both geographically and locally variable, but which has an instantly recognizable gestalt. The major cranial characteristics of this species, Homo erectus, have already been enumerated, and postcranially it is clear that Homo erectus was robust but an erect biped in the manner of ourselves. What many have found remarkable is that over this long span of time, well over a million years and perhaps as long as 1.2 million, Homo erectus shows virtually no change; local and geographical variations are at least as striking as differences between older and younger members of the lineage. Some scholars have suggested that brain size does show an increase over time, pointing to the fact that ER-3733 had a brain of under 900 cc., while the largest of the late Choukoutien population had a brain volume of over 1,200 cc. One should point out, however, that after the East Turkana specimens the oldest firmly dated Homo erectus is the Olduvai skullcap, dated at about 1.2 million years and which has a capacity of almost 1,100 cc., larger than all but two of the Choukoutien specimens, which are the best part of a million years younger. Indeed, a recent attempt to quantify variation in Homo erectus over time has failed to show significant trends that would convincingly suggest that the species was undergoing any gradual transformation.
Paragraph 33 next says of H. erectus:
However, it is unclear whether it was human or not.
This is only in the judgment of Creation's author. He leaves it vague only because the Society does not want to commit itself on evidence that so clearly could cause difficulties for the traditional Biblical viewpoint. The Society probably feels the chances of getting burned are too great. Paleontologists judge that it was not a modern human, but was a member of the human family. This is fairly well confirmed by the presence of cultural artifacts, such as tools and the remains of hearths found in association with H. erectus.259a The point is whether H. erectus was a member of the human family, since it is obvious that it was not a modern human. That it was not quite fully human is suggested by the fact that no remains have been found in an obvious burial, in contrast with the later Neanderthals.
As the expression says, a picture is worth a thousand words. National Geographic contains a picture of a skeleton discovered in 1984, of a Homo erectus boy about twelve years old at the time of death 1.6 million years ago.260 It is the most complete H. erectus skeleton ever unearthed. The skeleton is virtually human, but the skull is something else again. The accompanying article comments:
This spectacular find dramatically confirms the antiquity of the human form. In its parts and proportion only the skull of the Lake Turkana boy would look odd to someone untrained in anatomy. The rest of his skeleton, essentially human, differs only subtly from that of a modern boy.
And too, because it is a youth's skeleton and so complete, it offers us a unique glimpse of growth and development in early humans. At five feet four inches tall, the boy from Turkana was surprisingly large compared with modern boys his age; he could well have grown to six feet. Suitably clothed and with a cap to obscure his low forehead and beetle brow, he would probably go unnoticed in a crowd today.
A later report on this find said:261
In 1985 Richard Leakey and his colleagues reported the recovery of the remains of a remarkably complete skeleton of an approximately 12-year-old Homo erectus youth, which revealed some surprising anatomy. For instance, in the cervical and thoracic vertebrae, the hole through which the spinal cord runs is significantly smaller than in modern humans -- presumably indicating a smaller demand for nerve signal traffic. In addition, the spines on all the vertebrae are longer and do not point as far back as in modern humans, the significance of which is puzzling.
The thigh bone is unusual, in that the femoral neck is relatively long while the femoral head -- which is part of the ball-and-socket joint with the pelvis -- is large. This combination is something of a mix between modern human and australopithecine anatomy: modern humans have a short femoral neck attached to a large head, while in australopithecines the neck is long and the head is small.
The pelvis itself indicates that the birth canal was smaller than in modern humans, which implies that infants born to Homo erectus mothers would have needed to continue fetal growth rates after birth. This so-called secondary altricial condition means that a more extended period of child care was inevitable, which might well have had important social consequences.
The Homo erectus youth, which came from 1.6 million-year-old deposits on the west side of Lake Turkana in Kenya, is 'the first [early fossil hominid] in which brain and body size can be measured accurately on the same individual', note Leakey and his colleagues.
After paragraph 33 says that it is unclear whether Homo erectus was human or not, we finally read:
If so, then it was merely a branch of the human family and died off.
This statement is so absurdly obvious as to be disingenuous, since Homo erectus is clearly not alive today. It is reminiscent of a statement made in 1799 by one Charles White, a British physician. He tried to show the gradation of life forms inherent in the "Great Chain of Being" concept popular at the time. In describing this idea Roger Lewin quoted him and said:262
"Ascending the line of gradation, we come at last to the white European; who being most removed from the brute creation, may, on that account, be considered as the most beautiful of the human race," opined Charles White... White concluded a panegyric on the supposedly superior qualities of the European form with the following: "Where, except on the bosom of the European woman, [can one find] two such plump and snow white hemispheres, tipt with vermillian?" Quite so.
The next subtitle in the Creation book is "The Human Family." It first describes the mistakes made initially in identifying and reconstructing Neanderthal man, then judges that they were fully modern humans. Here again, Creation selectively emphasizes the similarities and ignores the differences, because that suits the author's purpose. In contrast, the section describing the australopithecines emphasizes the differences and ignores the similarities.
The section completely leaves out a class of fossils that has long confused the paleontological community, i.e., what have been called archaic Homo sapiens. The fossils are often only partial skulls, and display a mix of features reminiscent of Homo erectus, the Neanderthals and modern humans. Concerning the postulated evolution of H. erectus into H. sapiens the 1992 Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropaedia, Vol. 18, under the subject "Evolution, Human," on pages 827-828, discussed the time span during which H. erectus existed, and said that
there is a group of later specimens that show some features of H. erectus but are commonly regarded as transitional forms or as members of H. sapiens; these include later Middle Pleistocene specimens from Europe (discovered at sites such as Bilzingsleben, Petralona, and Montmaurin), from northwestern Africa (Sale, Sidi 'Abd ar-Rahman, and Rabat), and from Asia (the Ta-li find of 1978). Other later forms suggest that H. erectus had given rise to several regionally distinct forms, or sub-species, of archaic H. sapiens, represented by late Middle Pleistocene or early Late Pleistocene fossils from Africa (Kabwe/Broken Hill, Elandsfontein [Hopefield/Saldanha], Cave of Hearths, Lake Ndutu, Omo, Bodo) and Europe (Swanscombe, Steinheim, Biache, Ehringsdorf, La Chaise). Thus, the problem of recognizing populations as belonging to H. erectus becomes more difficult; the boundaries of the species become blurred. These are the transitional zones in which a predecessor species seems to have been grading imperceptibly into its evolutionary product, H. erectus, and in which H. erectus apparently was undergoing further evolutionary change into its descendant species, H. sapiens, to which modern humans belong.
A similar picture of confusion in attempting to classify many fossils that are now called archaic Homo sapiens is found in The Myths of Human Evolution. After discussing certain problems some paleontologists had in trying to classify some fossils, it said:263
A similar sort of reasoning seems to have applied in studies of the gray area into which we move after leaving behind forms that are clearly recognizable as Homo erectus. Following about 0.4 million B.P. we have a sampling of hominids from many parts of the world that are clearly not Homo erectus but yet do not resemble modern Homo sapiens either. And even though a very solid case can be made for saying that if one had to choose between placing them in Homo erectus or in Homo sapiens the obvious choice for these hominids with their big faces, heavy browridges, and long crania is the former, they are instead conventionally classified as Homo sapiens. In deference to the profound differences between these fossil forms and modern men, however, they are referred to as "archaic Homo sapiens." This is quite evidently not a very helpful or constructive stance to take in any attempt to understand these hominids, but it does have the advantage of eliminating the necessity of figuring out how many species are represented in the overall fossil assemblage, and of what to call them -- no small bonus.
Another book, in discussing the debate about how many species are actually represented in Homo erectus, archaic Homo sapiens, and modern man, had this to say:264
Although there is debate about whether or not more than one species should be recognised among this material, there is agreement that all of these erectus-like populations represent the same grade of hominid, one structurally and temporally intermediate between the older H. habilis and the younger H. sapiens.
In terms of our interest in the capacity of the fossil record to demonstrate links, H. erectus is of particular interest because it was clearly the one that eventually gave rise to our own species, H. sapiens. A recent study of all known H. erectus specimens demonstrates a continuous change in morphology throughout the time span of the species from the more 'classic' erectus-type features of the older African (Turkana) and Indonesian (Sangiran) populations to the more sapiens-like features of the populations from Ngandong (Wolpoff, 1984).
The overall transition from erectus-type morphologies to sapiens-type morphologies is so well documented that some populations intermediate in morphology and age simply cannot be placed definitely in either species. For example, the skulls from deposits along the Solo river at Ngandong, Java, estimated to be about 120 000 years old, represent perfectly intermediate morphologies and appear to represent populations living at the time when the erectus-sapiens transition was taking place (Brace, 1983).
Some anthropologists who have studied the H. erectus and early H. sapiens material suggest that because it demonstrates such a gradual transition, there is no point in even trying to distinguish H. erectus from H. sapiens. They suggest that we should regard them simply as ancestral and descendent phases of one species, H. sapiens. Other anthropologists (e.g. Rightmire, 1985) who have looked at this transitional sequence, suggest that there are a few features that can be used to separate the sequence into two forms. However, all anthropologists who have recently studied this material agree that there can be no other conclusion than that H. sapiens developed from H. erectus, whatever taxonomic distinction is given to the H. erectus material.
Because erectus-type morphology grades into sapiens-type morphology, it is difficult to say precisely when H. sapiens made its first appearance in the fossil record. Among the structurally intermediate populations whose taxonomic position is unclear there are many 'archaic' types of H. sapiens, some as old as about 0.3 million years. Less controversial early sapiens material ranges in age from about 75 000 to 150 000 years.
At this point it should be clear that the picture of fossil man is far more complicated than Creation is willing to admit. Despite this, Creation concludes:
Thus, the evidence is clear that belief in "ape-men" is unfounded. Instead, humans have all the earmarks of being created -- separate and distinct from any animal... Any apelike creatures that lived in the past were just that -- apes, or monkeys -- not humans. And fossils of ancient humans that differ slightly from humans of today simply demonstrated variety within the human family, just as today we have many varieties living side by side.
Creation's conclusion may well be true, but it is not based on any evidence it has presented. Instead, it is based on a set of misrepresentations and half-truths, designed only to "prove" its version of special creation to people ignorant of all the facts. Creation's argument is identical to that of the scientific creationists in claiming that whatever fossils are found are merely varieties of a created kind.
Beginning on page 96, Creation's next section presents an argument that the geological dating methods used to date fossil remains are completely wrong. This material has been covered extensively elsewhere in these essays, but the points related to this discussion will again be presented. While it may well be true that dating methods are not as reliable as some scientists would like to believe, they have certainly been verified far better than creationists would like to admit.
Before considering what Creation said about geological dating, let's note what a prior Watchtower publication said about radioactive dating. The 1967 book Did Man Get Here By Evolution Or By Creation? said on pages 99-100:
What is often ignored, too, is the fact that there was a much greater shielding of the atmosphere from cosmic rays about 4,300 years ago. The Bible explains that prior to that time a vast water canopy was suspended high above the earth, and that its fall caused a global deluge in the days of the man Noah, who wrote an eyewitness account of the event. (Psalm 104:6, 7; Genesis 1:6, 7; 7:11, 12) This water canopy shielded the atmosphere from cosmic rays to a greater extent than is true today, thus reducing the formation of radiocarbon. That is why objects dated from before that time appear older than they really are, for they did not absorb as much C-14 as objects have absorbed since then.
One person who read the book commented:
I am particularly impressed by the number of mistakes squeezed into 4 sentences. Let us count them, no?
1) Variation in carbon influx is accounted for, calibration tables have been made by use of tree rings.
2) The variation is probably not due to shielding but due to variation in the density of interstellar dust.
3) There is no evidence for any severe reduction 4,300 years ago.
4) The bible makes no reference to such a canopy, this has been read into accounts due to the ancient world view that the universe was surrounded by water (not the earth).
5) There is no known mechanism for keeping a mass of water suspended above the earth (friction would bring it down in a matter of months if not days).
6) The fall of a mass of water from space would raise its temperature to well over the boiling point.
7) Noah did not write an eyewitness account of the flood, and no record of anything he wrote still exists.
8) Psalms were written during the time of David and Solomon. While the psalm in question may be based on the event, it was no more written by Noah than "Julius Caesar" was written by Brutus.
9) Even traditionally Genesis was written by Moses, not Noah. A careful analysis suggests it is the combination of the written records of three different types, not a single person.
10) Water of thickness even a few yards would prevent cosmic rays from entering at all, not "reduce" them.
Much research has taken place since 1967, so that the argument has very little weight; so little that Creation doesn't use it. Continuing with the Creation book, in the section "What About the Dates?" on page 96 it said:
Biblical chronology indicates that a period of about 6,000 years has passed since the creation of humans. Why, then, does one often read about far longer periods of time since acknowledged human types of fossils appeared?
A more accurate statement is that Watchtower Society chronology says that 6000 years have passed since the creation of humans. Many Biblical scholars say that there is good reason to question the practice of simply adding up the lifespans Genesis gives for the patriarchs, so it is unwarranted to dogmatically claim that man was created almost exactly 6000 years ago. Next, Creation says:
Before concluding that Bible chronology is in error, consider that radioactive dating methods have come under sharp criticism by some scientists. A scientific journal reported on studies showing that "dates determined by radioactive decay may be off -- not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude." It said: "Man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand."
These statements are extremely misleading on several counts. First, the reference is to Popular Science magazine, which is by no stretch of the imagination a "scientific journal." One might just as well refer to The National Enquirer as a news journal. Referring to Popular Science in this way is an attempt to lend "scientific authority" to a publication that has none. Second, the Popular Science article is mostly about the success of various dating methods, and only in the last few paragraphs is space given to the views of a single physicist, Robert Gentry, who dissents from the usual view. Third, the fact that the dissenter is a young-earth creationist who believes the universe was created in six literal days is not made clear. Statements from six-literal-day creationists regarding the accuracy of radioactive dating ought to be viewed like comments from Richard Nixon that politicians never lie. Fourth, the article's statement that man "may have been around for only a few thousand years" is merely a conclusion the article points out can be drawn from the views of Robert Gentry. It is not a conclusion the magazine itself, using its editorial voice, is making -- but Creation makes it appear it is. The reader gets the impression the article presents much scientific evidence showing radioactive dating is on shaky ground. But simply reading the Popular Science article shows that is not what it's about. Here are some excerpts from the article. Judge for yourself whether Creation gives a correct view to its readers. Better yet, read the article yourself.265
So, today, everything -- human artifacts, animal remains, ancient rocks -- can be dated fairly accurately. The dates may be off a little, but that's mainly a matter of impurities in the sample or need to refine techniques, say the scientists involved.
Yet major mysteries and curious anomalies remain -- the odd speculations advanced by Columbia Union College's Robert Gentry, for instance.
Physicist Gentry believes that all of the dates determined by radioactive decay may be off -- not only by a few years, but by orders of magnitude.
His theory revolves around "halos," tiny, ringlike discolorations found within coalified wood (wood on its way to becoming coal) and mica, often in the proximity of radioactive uranium or thorium. Some halos can be explained in terms of conventional radioactive decay. Others, known as giant halos, cannot. They're simply too big to be caused by alpha particles thrown off by known isotopes, and they don't fit into any accepted theory. If the theory of radioactive decay is weak in one spot, says Gentry, doubt is cast on whatever answers isotopes give you.
Further, when Gentry studies halos in coalified wood, he finds that the uranium/lead ratios are often not at all what they should be. "Since the coalified wood was obtained from deposits supposedly at least tens of millions of years old," he says, "the ratio between uranium-238 and lead-206 should be low." They're not. They're so high, in fact, that "presently accepted ages may be too high by a factor of thousands." And man, instead of having walked the earth for 3.6 million years, may have been around for only a few thousand. "The possibility of reducing the 4.5-billion-year history of earth by a factor of a thousand," he says with some ire, "has not yet been seriously considered."
Most scientists simply dismiss the idea. As one physicist told me, "You can believe it or not; I don't."
"I realize it's difficult to believe," counters Gentry. "It would invalidate the whole underlying principle of radioactive dating: that the rates of decay are forever unvarying -- an untestable assumption."
Some research on Robert Gentry turned up the following:266
Mr. Gentry's findings were published almost ten years ago and have been the subject of some discussion in the scientific community. The discoveries have not, however, led to the formulation of any scientific hypothesis or theory which would explain a relatively recent inception of the earth or a worldwide flood. Gentry's discovery has been treated as a minor mystery which will eventually be explained. It may deserve further investigation, but the National Science Foundation has not deemed it to be of sufficient import to support further funding.
Here are some other comments, from physicist and professor of science history, Stephen G. Brush, concerning a number of points of scientific creationist criticism, including Robert Gentry's, of radioactive dating:267
7. The existence of primordial polonium 218 halos in minerals indicates that the earth was not formed gradually over a long period of time but was created in a few hours "by Fiat nearly 6 millenia ago" (see Gentry 1979).
According to Gentry, the halos he has observed in certain minerals were produced by the decay of primordial polonium 218, an isotope with a half life of only three minutes. If his interpretation were correct, it would imply that the earth was created in a few minutes, but Gentry presents no basis for a quantitative estimate of when this event occurred. While he has attempted to cast doubt on the long time scale based on radioactive dating, I have not found in any of his publications a criticism specific enough to call for a reply. There are alternative explanations for the halos that he attributes to primordial polonium (York 1979). In particular, Hashemi-Nezhad et al. (1979) showed experimentally that the diffusion of lead in mica can be rapid enough to explain the anomalous polonium halos. According to one of the experimenters in this group, "the haloes are inconsistent with creation less than tens to hundreds of millions of years ago unless one invents two easily observable but unobserved lead isomers of quite improbable characteristics" (Fremlin 1981).
Gentry does not claim that his results lead directly to a specific age for the earth, but he argues that the ratios of uranium 238 to lead 206 found in coalified wood from the Colorado Plateau could be explained by an infiltration of uranium a few thousand years ago (Gentry et al. 1976b, and telephone conversation, 16 September 1981). To accept his view that the infiltration event was associated with the creation of the earth would require discarding theories based on a large amount of data from many areas of science in order to explain a single isolated type of observation. It does not seem sensible to throw out well-established principles of science without having alternative principles that could explain at least most of the same observations, and no such alternative exists (Damon 1979; York 1979). This is a good illustration of the fact that no scientific theory can or must explain all observations and that a theory that is able to give satisfactory explanation of most observations will not be replaced unless a better one is available. Gentry's postulate of recent creation of the earth is contradicted by so many other facts that it has gained no support from other scientists who are familiar with this field. (See Dalrymple 1982a for further details on problems in Gentry and other creationists' critiques of radioactive dating.)
It should be evident by now that the Popular Science article's reference to "the odd speculations advanced by... Robert Gentry" means precisely that. The Creation book's quotation misrepresents the article.
To round out the discussion on Robert Gentry, Gentry wrote a book in 1986 entitled Creation's Tiny Mystery, in which he discussed his work on polonium halos. In it he repeated his theory that the granite "basement rocks" of the earth are "the primordial Genesis rocks," from Precambrian times, and were created instantaneously about six thousand years ago, "by divine fiat." This is consistent with his religious view as a 7th-Day Adventist, which religion teaches that the earth was created in six literal 24-hour days. A review of this book268 showed Gentry's gross misunderstanding of geology in general. He misidentified calcite rocks as granites and claimed that metamorphism had not occurred in rock samples that were clearly metamorphic. He claimed that granite intrusions cutting across already existing metamorphic rock, which was originally sedimentary rock that had been itself intruded by gabbro rock, were primordial. The Precambrian Canadian Shield is a complex geological area that has been shown by over one hundred years of geological field work to consist of a very large number of diverse kinds of rock, igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary, most of which has undergone subsequent metamorphism. Some of the sedimentary rock even contained stromatolites -- ancient algal mats that are very rare today. Gentry claimed that the entire mass was created in one day, and God created it to have only the appearance of age, thereby fooling thousands of geologists. It is clear that Gentry will interpret scientific data in whatever way lends support to his preconceived notion of six-literal-day creation. Does this procedure sound familiar?
Based on information presented elsewhere in these essays, it is clear that independent evidence, in the form of ancient coral growth rings and the slowing of the earth's rate of rotation, in the form of ice cores, and in the correlation between paleomagnetic reversals on land and in ocean-bottom sediment cores, confirms the general validity of radioactive dating methods. To convincingly show these dating methods to be invalid, one must show how radioactive dating consistently shows errors, and show how independent methods that point to similar conclusions are also invalid. In particular it must be shown how two or more invalid methods can be consistent with one another. It is not sufficient to argue that "men make mistakes, so all scientific methods may be wrong," as the Watchtower Society invariably does, and has done in Creation's section "What About the Dates?"
As an example of how the correlation of paleomagnetic reversals and ocean-bottom sediment cores shed light on the dating of fossils in Olduvai Gorge, note the following.269 In the 1960s three geologists found that
the indelible magnetic record of the earth fell neatly into four "polarity epochs," punctuated by much shorter periods of reversed polarity, which they called "events." The first one of these quick-shot reversals to come to light is called the Olduvai Event, named after a busy little canyon cut on the edge of the Serengeti Plain. Discovered by Hay and Gromme in 1963, the Olduvai Event is a period of normal, northward polarity [of the earth's magnetic field] in an upside-down time called the Matuyama Epoch. Hay and Gromme found that the reversal in polarity lasted through the whole of Bed I times, on up into the lower part of Bed II. There is nothing intrinsically "datable" about a particular paleomagnetic flip-flop: All you know is that it happened before some flips, and after other flops. But since the order of events is consistent, if you can pin an absolute age on an event at one location by some other means, then you've got a date for that event that applies the world over. In 1972 geologist Neil Opdyke analyzed the magnetic orientation of some deep-sea cores from the ocean bed at several different locations around the world. He found the Olduvai Event clearly and consistently recorded. By comparing the paleomagnetic data with known rates of sedimentation of the sea bottom, Opdyke figured out that the Olduvai Event lasted from approximately 1.85 to roughly 1.7 million years ago, a period of 150,000 years.
That evidence from paleomagnetism fit very nicely with the potassium-argon date of 1.8 million for Olduvai Tuff IB, which is found near the bottom of the Olduvai Event at the Gorge itself. It also gave some muscle to estimates for the rest of Bed I -- including Tuff IF at the top, and IC and ID sandwiched between.
The Society's claim that man has been on earth for only 6000 years has a serious implication with respect to all the fossils that have been unearthed that are definitely in the human family. The fossils have been found in all sorts of geological settings, some of which have undergone a tremendous amount of alteration by geological processes since the fossils were laid down. See, for example, a discussion in Scientific American of the extensive geological changes over the last four million years in the Laetoli region of Tanzania, where many hominid fossils have been found.270 It is simply not possible to compress all that geological activity into just 6000 years. How do all these hominid fossils fit in with the Bible's Flood account? Do we assign all fully modern humans to post-Flood times and everything else to pre-Flood?
The alternative hardly seems better. If we postulate that the human family contains only the Neanderthals and fully modern humans but not Homo erectus or archaic Homo sapiens, the dating problem is much less severe, but we then have the question, What were those ancient creatures? They had skeletons nearly the same as modern humans, their skulls were different enough to be the source of much controversy over classifying them even while having brain capacities identical to modern humans in the case of archaic H. sapiens, stone tools have definitely been found in association with them, etc. They had nearly the same physical form as humans and left cultural remains that are indistinguishable from those of some modern human populations. Where does that leave one who believes that God created man uniquely? Were those "near humans" almost but not quite intelligent? How does this fit in with the Adam and Eve story, with its implications for the doctrine of original sin? Clearly the problems with either view are immense.
Paragraph 40 of Creation says:
Keep in mind that truly reliable evidence of man's activity on earth is given, not in millions of years, but in thousands.
By "reliable evidence," Creation really means "what is written in the Bible as interpreted by the Watchtower Society," although the Society does accept some other written history as valid. By this statement, Creation is claiming that only written history is reliable, and that all non-written historical sciences are invalid. That other means of determining evidence of man's activity are valid can be seen in certain very clear geological discoveries.
For example, deposits of windblown sediment called loess cover extensive parts of the world. These deposits sometimes span many hundreds of thousands of years of deposition, and in them can be seen cycles of climate change corresponding to the roughly 100,000 year glacial cycles of the last couple of million years. See our essay on The Flood for more information. One loess area contains evidence of human activity buried under as much as 200 feet of loess, corresponding to several cycles of glaciation. The excavations are described in Scientific American:271
Recently archaeological sites have been discovered in the Soviet Central Asian republic of Tadzhikistan that are covered by more than 60 meters of windblown loess. Several lines of evidence date these traces of human activity to approximately a quarter of a million years ago, a time that falls in the later Lower Paleolithic. In addition to their archaeological content the loess deposits of Tadzhikistan have revealed much else of interest. They contain evidence of an apparently continuous sequence of warm-to-cold climatic oscillations that span the past two million years -- the entire Pleistocene epoch. The combination of the archaeological and the climatic information stored in the loess provides a glimpse of early human adaptations to a continental, highland environment in Lower Paleolithic times...
The age of the deposits is being assessed by the paleomagnetic dating of fine particles of the iron ore magnetite in the loess, by the thermoluminescence dating of particles of quartz (a major constituent of the loess) and by stratigraphic correlation. Archaeologists and paleontologists are also studying the artifacts and fossil remains that have been uncovered...
One immediately apparent feature of the Tadzhikistan loess exposures is the alternation of thick layers of unaltered loess and distinct "horizons" of soil. The soil horizons were formed when the surface of the loess was altered in periods of relatively moist and warm climate. In many places the soil structure is complex, and two or even three horizons overlap, reflecting the dynamic interaction of two simultaneous processes: sedimentation and soil formation. Typically the soils buried in the loess are reddish brown, contrasting with the yellow of the loess; they are three to five meters thick and have a heavy crust of calcium carbonate near the base. The most intense zone of weathering is usually in the 1.5 meters of soil above the crust.
The physical and chemical properties of the buried soils are analogous to the "chestnut" soils... that are formed under semiarid steppe conditions today. The plant pollen and snail species found in the loess, however, indicate that it accumulated when the climate was considerably cooler and drier than it is today. Thus the alternating layers of loess and soil are evidence of major climatic oscillations in the region. It is assumed these oscillations reflect the climatic changes that in more northerly latitudes controlled the advance and retreat of the continental ice sheets throughout the Pleistocene...
Various paleomagnetic events are detectable in the loess of Tadzhikistan, the most important one being the transition some 690,000 years ago between the Matuyama magnetic period, when the earth's magnetic polarity was the opposite of what it is now, and the Brunhes period of today... In the six sections [currently being studied] where the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary has been detected... nine of the soil complexes consistently lie above it. The number of soil complexes above the Matuyama-Brunhes boundary in Tadzhikistan corresponds fairly closely to the number above the boundary in the loess of central Europe. The number of soil complexes is also in agreement with the record of climatic oscillations preserved in deep-sea sediments...
Note the interlocking correspondence of various types of evidence from all over the globe.
The stone tools that demonstrate man's presence in the area are all associated with buried soils that lie above the Matuyama-Brunhes paleomagnetic boundary. Specifically they have been found in the fifth, sixth and seventh soil complexes (counting from the surface down). Their position above the boundary means that the tools are less than 690,000 years old. But how much less? Fortunately another paleomagnetic datum, the Blake event, helps to narrow the possible range. The Blake event, a brief reversal of the Brunhes polarity, occurred about 110,000 years ago; evidence of it is present in the loess above the fifth buried soil complex at three of the 12 soil exposures where tools have been found. Clearly a substantial length of time was needed for the successive accumulations of loess and the development of the soils that lie between the seventh and the fifth buried soil complexes. It therefore seems reasonable, if not conservative, to estimate the age of the three soil complexes where tools are found as being somewhere between the late Middle Pleistocene and the early Upper Pleistocene. In terms of absolute chronology that would be between 250,000 and 130,000 years ago...
Thermoluminescence dating is based on the fact that a number of crystalline solids, such as the quartz particles of the Tadzhikistan loesses, store energy from background ionizing radiation after they are buried and release it in the form of light when they are heated. The intensity of the light they emit is proportional to the length of time they have been buried. Such solids do not store energy while they are exposed to the sun's ultraviolet radiation at the surface; they are therefore set at zero, so to speak, until they are buried...
The thermoluminescence dates relating to the stone tools (that is, the dates indicating the age of loess deposits above or below the buried soils where the tools have been found) range from a minimum of 110,000 ± 13,000 (loess above and therefore younger than Soil No. 5 at the site Khonako II) to a maximum of 280,000 ± 48,000 (loess below and therefore older than Soil No. 7 at Khonako I).
Two of the 12 locations where the buried soils have been found to contain stone tools, Lakhuti I and Karatau, have been excavated... At both of the excavated sites the tools were within a soil horizon; the same is true of the other 10 locations. At the excavated sites they were found mainly in the 1.5-meter zone of most intense weathering that lies above the carbonate horizon. This position indicates that hunter-gatherers occupied the sites only at times of optimum climate, when conditions both of temperature and of precipitation were most favorable for plants and animals. The tools were made out of metamorphic rock that had been worn into pebbles and cobbles in stream beds...
The stone tools found Lakhuti I and at Karatau are very simple; some prehistorians might even describe them as crude or primitive. Their presence in Tadzhikistan some 250,000 years ago, however, is incontrovertible evidence that a simple core-and-flake assemblage of tools was sufficient to meet the adaptive requirements of a demanding habitat.
The last paragraph in chapter seven of Creation quotes English author Malcolm Muggeridge on the lack of evidence for evolution. What Creation fails to point out, as it has in so many other cases, is that Muggeridge was advancing his religious views. He was not a scientist but was an acid-tongued popular journalist and British television personality, and he has no more credentials than any other non-specialist. Muggeridge was, in fact, a zealous convert from atheism to Catholicism, and became one of the foremost Catholic apologists of the last two decades.
By this point it should be evident that the field of human evolution is extremely confusing. It should also be evident that the Society is not interested in seeing that its followers are presented with complete information about the fossil record of man. It is interested only in presenting a slanted view of that record to bolster its claim that the Bible gives the only historical account of man's creation. Many other religious organizations have parallel goals. As C. Loring Brace wrote in 1983, when the scientific creationist movement was succeeding in getting laws passed restricting the teaching of evolution:272
Recently, the proponents of a view that they label "scientific creationism" have argued that "the creation-cataclysm model of earth history fits all the known facts of man's history much better than the evolution model and it recognizes that man's agriculture and other basic technologies are essentially as old as man himself" (Morris 1975, p. 152; Morris 1974, pp. 171-201). Such a view can only be maintained, however, by either ignoring or denying virtually all of the data and their implications accumulated by biologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists as a result of a century and more of increasingly carefully checked and substantiated work.
The creationists have complained that it is unfair for a teacher to present only the scientific evidence for evolution. To do this, they claim, is "a process of indoctrination, and the school degenerates into a hatchery of parrots" (Morris 1974, p. 178). But the scientific evidence for evolution can be examined, questioned, and tested -- as the creationists themselves have been doing for over a century in the effort to discredit it -- which is a splendid demonstration of just how science works. Creation, on the other hand, as its own supporters freely grant, is "inaccessible to the scientific method." No "scientific experiment" can be devised to test it since "the Creator does not create at the whim of a scientist" (Morris 1974, p. 5). It is creation and not evolution, then, that is "indoctrination," and if students are required to spend equal time learning it in the public schools, these institutions would indeed degenerate into "a hatchery of parrots."
The one aspect of science that creationists will allow is the predictions that they claim for their model. But when students of the human prehistoric record produce evidence that shows such things as the gradual transformation of nonhuman to human form and the very late appearance of agriculture in the spectrum of human existence, the creationists either ignore the facts or deny that they can be assessed by the verifiable techniques of current science. Of course, they have every right to do and believe as they wish, but they do not have the right to enforce the teaching of their religiously based convictions in the public schools under the name of science.
While the Watchtower Society does not endorse "scientific creationism" in the sense described above, it uses the same techniques of denying facts, denying scientist's interpretations, and formulating specious arguments as do the scientific creationists. It has quoted from and even plagiarized their material. Its knowledge of the "truth" and its position as "God's channel of communication" to mankind justify such behavior.
In conclusion, a statement by author William Fix seems appropriate. He wrote about many difficulties evolutionists face in defending the theory, and showed how poor the evidence is in many cases for things that are claimed to be rock solid:273
There is one conclusion I would emphasize. To give school-children or anyone else the impression that the only scientific way to explain man is by slow evolution from the animal kingdom is totally unwarranted by the positive facts and a serious abuse of the public trust. It is also a disservice to the scientific enterprise. I hasten to add, if it is not already clear, that I am not promoting a literal reading of the first chapters of Genesis. Indeed, I am convinced that the emergence of man is a far deeper mystery than either creationists or evolutionists contend.
217 Roger Lewin, Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction, Second Edition, p. 15, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Boston, 1989.
218 David B. Wilson, Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?, p. 118, The Iowa State Press, Ames, Iowa, 1983.
219 Maitland A. Edey and Donald C. Johanson, Blueprints, p. 326, Penguin Books, New York, 1989.
220 Bjorn Kurten, Not From the Apes, p. 3, Vintage Books, New York, 1972.
221 D. R. Selkirk and F. J. Burrows, editors, Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin, pp. 118-123, New South Wales University Press, Kensington NSW Australia, 1988.
222 Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, p. 286, Touchstone, New York, 1981.
223 Edey and Johanson, op cit, p. 326.
224 William R. Fix, op cit, p. 13.
225 Johanson & Shreeve, op cit, p. 31.
226 Arthur N. Strahler, Science and Earth History -- The Evolution/Creation Controversy, pp. 474-479, Prometheus Books, Buffalo, New York, 1987.
227 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, p. 246.
228 D. R. Selkirk and F. J. Burrows, eds., op cit, pp. 73-75.
229 Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 18, p. 810, 1992.
230 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, p. 247.
231 Arthur N. Strahler, op cit, pp. 477-478.
232 Roger Lewin, op cit, p. 36, 1984.
233 Roger Lewin, op cit, pp. 58-59, 1989.
234 Steven M. Stanley, The New Evolutionary Timetable, p. 142, 1981.
235 ibid, p. 142.
236 Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, p. 82, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987.
237 Solly Zuckerman, Beyond the Ivory Tower, p. 90, Taplinger Publishing Company, New York, 1970.
238 ibid, p. 90.
239 Donald C. Johanson and Maitland A. Edey, Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind, p. 23, Touchstone, New York, 1981.
240 ibid, pp. 76-77.
241 Roger Lewin, op cit, p. 25, 1989.
242 Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, p. 165, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987.
243 Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin On Trial, Regnery Gateway, Washington, DC, 1991.
244 Arthur N. Strahler, op cit, p. 482.
245 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, pp. 254-255.
246 ibid, p. 38.
247 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, p. 251.
247a Page 86 of 1977 Origins in hardcover, page 77 of 1982 unillustrated paperback.
248 Richard E. Leakey and Roger Lewin, Origins, p. 86 (p. 77 paperback), E. P. Dutton, New York, 1977, 1979, 1982.
249 ibid, p. 108 (p. 99 paperback).
250 Edey and Johanson, op cit, pp. 350-351.
251 Johanson & Shreeve, op cit, p. 208.
252 Roger Lewin, op cit, p. 88, 1989.
253 "The Search for Our Ancestors," National Geographic Magazine, pp. 568-573, Washington, D.C., November, 1985.
254 Roger Lewin, op cit, 1984.
255 Niles Eldredge & Ian Tattersal, The Myths of Human Evolution, Columbia University Press, New York, 1982.
256 Edey and Johanson, op cit, p. 329.
257 Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropaedia, Vol. 8, p. 1032, 1984.
257a Encyclopedia Britannica, 1974, Macropaedia, Vol. 8, p. 1032.
258 Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. 6, p. 27, 1992.
259 Niles Eldredge & Ian Tattersall, op cit, pp. 144-145.
259a Some people have attributed the cultural artifacts to modern men that lived alongside H. erectus and hunted it, but whose fossil remains have never been found. See, for example, The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution, by William Fix, 1984, pp. 117-122 and Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record, by Duane T. Gish, 1985, pp. 180-204. These books must be taken with a large grain of salt because they leave out whatever evidence does not support their ideas.
260 "Homo erectus Unearthed," National Geographic Magazine, p. 629, Washington, D.C., November, 1985.
261 Roger Lewin, op cit, pp. 99-100, 1989.
262 Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, pp. 303-304, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987.
263 Niles Eldredge & Ian Tattersall, op cit, p. 146.
264 D. R. Selkirk and F. J. Burrows, eds., op cit, pp. 97-98.
265 Robert Gannon, "How Old Is It?," Popular Science, p. 81, November, 1979.
266 David B. Wilson, Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?, p. 216, The Iowa State Press, Ames, Iowa, 1983.
267 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, pp. 71-72.
268 Creation/Evolution, vol. 22, Winter 1987-1988, pp. 13-33, National Center for Science Education, Berkeley, California.
269 Johanson & Shreeve, op cit, p. 173.
270 Richard L. Hay and Mary D. Leakey, "The Fossil Footprints of Laetoli," Scientific American, New York, February, 1982.
271 Richard S. Davis, Vadim A. Ranov and Andrey E. Dodonov, "Early Man in Soviet Central Asia," Scientific American, pp. 130-137, New York, December, 1980.
272 Laurie R. Godfrey, op cit, pp. 276-277.
273 William R. Fix, op cit, p. xxvi.