Human Origin Older, Discoveroids Boggled

You’ve probably heard the news about some interesting fossils found in Morocco. PhysOrg has an article about it: Moroccan fossil find rearranges Homo sapiens family tree. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This week’s unveiling of the oldest-known Homo sapiens remains has painted an excitingly chaotic picture of what Earth was like 300,000 years ago — bustling with hominin species that included a very early version of our own, experts say. The story of human evolution, this shows, does not follow a straight line from monkey to ape-man to architect. Rather than emerging from a single “Garden of Eden” 200,000 years ago before spreading throughout Africa and the world, early modern humans were already scattered across the Mother Continent a hundred millennia earlier.

We’ve been around 100,000 years longer than we thought? Okay. Then PhysOrg says:

Africa, at the time, would have resembled “a kind of human zoo”, said Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who led the research on five human fossils from Jebel Irhoud in Morocco. “We are moving further and further away from this linear vision of human evolution with a succession of species, one replacing the other,” he said. “There were probably several groups of hominins existing, overlapping in time… and having, I would say, complex relationships.”

It seems that we have some re-thinking to do. Here’s more:

Two studies published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, extended our species’ recorded existence by a third, from 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, and torpedoed the long-held theory that we emerged from an East African “cradle of humankind.”

Here’s one of those Nature articles, which you can read on-line without a subscription: Scientists discover the oldest Homo sapiens fossils at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco.

Another excerpt from PhysOrg:

For Lawrence Barham of the University of Liverpool, the dating of the Moroccan site helps us to see our species more clearly in time and in space. The previous oldest Homo sapiens remains ever found, in Ethiopia, were 195,000 years old. “An earlier date of 300,000 years is significant from the perspective of human evolution in Africa itself, where Homo sapiens may have co-existed with at least two other species — Homo heidelbergensis and Homo naledi,” Barham commented.

Here’s how the article ends:

According to the research team, the discovery means that Homo sapiens — not members of a rival or ancestor species — were the ones who left behind Middle Stone Age hand tools that have since been unearthed all over Africa. As our species was previously thought to be much younger, it was not considered plausible that they could have made these implements. For Barham, the new dates will revive a theory that Neanderthals learnt tool-making from Homo sapiens, not the other way round.

At this point you’re all wondering: What will be the creationist reaction? Hambo and the other young-earth creationists won’t like the idea of pushing our origin back another 100,000 years. They’re going to stick with divine creation 6,000 years ago, so they’ll dismiss this. But what about the Discoveroids? How will they respond?

We have the answer from Klinghoffer at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. He just posted Another Day, Another “Rewrite” on Human Origins. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In the mainstream science venues I don’t see any direct acknowledgment of the challenge that, given conventional assumptions about human ancestry, that means considerably less time, 100,000 years less, for unguided evolutionary processes to accomplish the transition to us.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! If someone found a Sapiens fossil from 100 million years ago, that would be a problem. But Klinghoffer is serious about the “problem” of this 100,000 year revision. Not enough time for evolution. Only the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — could have created us so early. He says:

Pushing origins back in time – whether of our species, whales, or life itself – is rarely good news for evolution. The hive mind of science journalism tends not to notice such things.

Now that is lame. Then he quotes something from Discoveroid Jonathan Wells. If you don’t know who he is, see The Genius of Jonathan Wells. We’ll skip the Wells quote. Klinghoffer ends his post with this:

The more that experts on human evolution know about our origins, the less they seem to actually understand. Given evolutionary presuppositions, the direction of research and learning is not from lesser to greater clarity, but just the opposite. The result is, as Scientific American more candidly puts it, a “mess” [link omitted]. If that is the case, maybe the problem is with the presuppositions.

Presuppositions? Evolutionary presupposition? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer sounds like ol’ Hambo. Can anyone figure out what he’s saying?

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12 responses to “Human Origin Older, Discoveroids Boggled

  1. Of course, whatever is discovered, Intelligent Designers could design that. At least, as long as no one specifies what an Intelligent Designer is, what they do, can do or would do. As long as no one specifies what a design is, the rules that design follows, what the goals of design are, etc.

  2. Richard Bond

    “An earlier date of 300,000 years…”

    the discovery means that Homo sapiens — not members of a rival or ancestor species — were the ones who left behind Middle Stone Age hand tools that have since been unearthed all over Africa.

    Well, I have visited Olorgesaillie in Kenya, and actually handled a stone hand axe dated at 780,000 years old. The site was almost certainly occupied by Homo erectus.

  3. My understanding is that the Middle Stone Age refers to the culture in Africa represented by distinctive hand tools and is dated from about 300,000 years ago. This discovery matches in time with the onset of the MSA. So my
    understanding of the quotation is that this gives us reason to assign the MSA to H. sapiens, rather than some precursor.
    I’d like to hear from someone knowledgeable about my interpretation. It sounds like something interesting about the Middle Stone Age.

  4. When I read statements like this from the world of creationists I feel that I’m seeing the responses of a kid walking past a grave yard at night; they’re afraid and they’re whistling in the dark.

  5. “Can anyone figure out what he’s saying?”
    “Evolution Theory is wrong hence a Grand Old Designer”. The arguments don’t matter and a method Klinkleclapper has not.

  6. I thought it was interesting that the face structure represented sapiens but the skull (and brain cavity) was somewhat more archaic, indicating that the brain evolved quite a bit within the sapiens lineage separate from Neanderthal and Denisovans.

    It makes sense that an older version of sapiens would be somewhat different, but of course that runs counter to Kling’s presuppositions, so he omits that fact and claims discovering an older fossil is a problem for evolution.

    Every single “oldest fossil” that we have must represent a species that existed for some time before the poor creature that was fossilized. What would be the odds of actually finding the remains of the very first example of a new species? As our sample size grows with new discoveries, it is inevitable that we will have data covering longer periods of time for most species. It’s certainly not a problem for evolution. It’s more of a problem for the idea that a designer somehow intentionally created such a messy and complicated history of life, in a manner indistinguishable from evolution.

  7. “100,000 years earlier, that’s a problem for evolution!” Of course Klingie would also say 100,000 years later is a problem, in the typical heads-we-win-tails-you-lose manner the Discotute does so well.

  8. It has been pointed out that the Lord has gone through a lot of detail in the design of life to make it look like there has been evolution. The Lord did not have to leave the pattern of descent with modification, except to convince us that that is what has been going on in the world of life. So shouldn’t we go along with his intention, and accept evolution as the ordering principle of life?

  9. I stand corrected by Tomato Addict. Of course Klinkleclapper has a method: “heads-we-win-tails-you-lose”.

    @TomS: that’s of course essentially theistic evolution.

  10. But wait! There’s more!

    Stop the Presses! Human Evolution Falsified!

    Human bones found in Morocco undermine almost everything that has been taught about human evolution since Darwin. But is that news? Happens every year, doesn’t it?

    This news is so hot, we have to get the word out now and wait for a fuller analysis later. Evolutionary paleoanthropology is in big trouble, if a new find in Morocco is as important as the news are making it out to be. Announced in Nature this week, the discoverers are dating bones from five individuals at over 300,000 Darwin Years old – over 100,000 years older than when they thought modern humans first began to emerge. And it was found in northern Africa – not at Olduvai Gorge or in some South African cave where most of the attention has been focused. Added to that, the discoverers found stone tools and chemical evidence of cooking, and are saying these people probably lived all over Africa at the same time!

    A modern human skull this old mangles the evolutionary timetable about the emergence of Homo erectus, Homo naledi, Neanderthals and most of the other pop icons of human evolution, squeezing evolutionists like a vise into an untenable position. …

    More nonsense

  11. Christine Janis

    @ Coyote.

    One of their main arguments is that this means that humans were around for 290,000 million years before evolving civilization. How could this be true? It means that evolutionists must be wrong, humans have always been here in their present form (always being 6000 years, of course).

    So, I would counter with humans have writing for 4500 years, so how come it took 4490 years for them to evolve the iphone? Historists must be wrong, smart phones must have been around for 4500 years.

  12. “Two studies published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, extended our species’ recorded existence by a third, from 200,000 to 300,000 years ago, and torpedoed the long-held theory that we emerged from an East African “cradle of humankind.””

    Shouldn’t that “extension” be by a half, not by a third?

    Since 300,000 is 1.5 times greater than 200,000?

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