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New fossil skull from Africa reveals tangled roots at base of the human family tree

New fossil skull from Africa reveals tangled roots at base of the human family tree

By Brian Vastag, Wednesday, August 8, 10:39 AM

A two million-year-old flat-faced skull pulled from the sandstones of east Africa has shored up claims that at least three species of early humans once co-existed in an “evolutionary experiment” that saw an explosive increase in brain size paired with radically different faces, teeth, and jaws.

While the new partial skull and two newly found jawbones look radically different from modern humans, they match an enigmatic, nearly complete skull found 40 years ago that paleoanthropologists have long struggled to fit into the human family tree.

Together, the new finds and the puzzling skull describe a species of early humans clearly distinct from two others known from fossils from the same period, said Meave Leakey, the 70-year-old paleoanthropologist who led the team that discovered the fossils.

The “base of the human lineage was indeed diverse,” Leakey said from her longtime home at the Turkana Basin Institute in northern Kenya. Her colleagues made the finds near there.

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I

complied with your request but because you don't like it you will now become A LIAR! I was polite and now you call me a "complete ignorant" thank you for showing all at the DP that you say one thing and do something else? kinda reminds me of Romney! If you don't have the time why even bother unless you get off on such things?

Label Jars, Not People!

frzngds, you have mentioned

frzngds, you have mentioned natural selection on several occasions within this thread. You point out that it is easily observable, stating here that you "see natural selection everyday in every living thing." I have no doubt that you do, as do the 'creationist'. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard a self proclaimed creationist deny that natural selection occurs... which, if I'm to be fair, is part of your point. What I have heard denied is that natural selection contains any creative power whatsoever. That is a denial I can agree with, without reservation. Of course my denial hinges on what is meant by the term 'natural selection'.

Given its commonly understood meaning, natural selection doesn't create anything, nor can it. It simply selects (in a mindless and boringly obvious way) from already existing features. It either preserves or deletes from the pool of things already present. Where does all this raw material come from for the selection process? I'm just curious about how you would answer. Sorry if this is a simpleton's question.

The problem you have, I'm

The problem you have, I'm guessing, is you think everything is static. I see variations in every living thing. Every life form is unique. No two life forms are exactly the same. The life forms that adapt to their environment are more successful and they will pass those adaptations to the next generation more successfully then those that don't. This is easily observable in life forms that have a very short lifespan. It doesn't take much to extrapolate that out over millions of years to understand the evolutionary process.

What on the creationist side seems more plausible? I'm very open to looking at their evidence.

I understand creationist have questions about how exactly evolution works on every minute detail, heck so do I. I'm sure they can find questions that scientists don't know the answers to, but none of that shows any evidence of a creator. Until a creationist can show me some evidence to why they are a creationist in the first place I'll just keep thinking they believe it because it feels better to them(like a childs security blankee), not caring what the evidence shows.

Smile

That question again, since I don't really see an answer, is 'What provides the raw material for the selection process?' Perhaps if I put it this way: "Is there an observable, natural mechanism(s) that provides the variation for natural selection to work through?" gene combinations in new ways? Random mutation? Replication errors within the DNA sequencing? All the above? None of the above?

But I do not want to spoil your fun, so....

"The problem you have, I'm guessing, is you think everything is static."
Well, not really... actually, not at all. Where did you get this from? I merely pointed out that natural selection (as defined in science textbooks) cannot create anything. It simply either deletes or temporarily preserves already existing traits, however minute. Is there something wrong with this statement? (Ah-O, there's another question - questions have a "?" at the end)

"What on the creationist side seems more plausible? I'm very open to looking at their evidence."

For me, this debate (if you want to call slap-stick 'debate') is not about evidence, but how we interpret the evidence. My observations would no doubt be similar to yours. My interpretation of what we may both observe is no doubt very different to yours. And this flows from someplace deeper. It flows from our presuppositions, which are very different - thus, the differing interpretations of the same evidence and what is or isn't plausible.

But you want evidence.. okay, here it goes, in no particular order...

An oak tree growing up from an acorn using only what it finds in the air and soil. The conveyer that moves wax down my ear canal. A woman's neck. A babies cry. Laughter (perhaps called "diaphragm spasms" by a philosophical naturalist). Storms, the kind with lightening. The laws of logic. Moral absolutes. Love. Personal identity over time. Elasticity. Carbon 14. The placenta. Ron Paul. The Holocaust.
A righteous man, naked and bleeding, hanging on a Roman cross.

There, what ya think? Impressed? I didn't think you would be.

"Until a creationist can show me some evidence to why they are a creationist in the first place I'll just keep thinking they believe it because it feels better to them(like a childs security blankee), not caring what the evidence shows."

Given your premises, is there something wrong with these variations in the religious by which they find comfort in a myth? Could this trait have some sort of selective advantage? What is the causation in naturalistic terms of these religious traits? Can a trait bestowed by nature be immoral? Can a trait be bestowed outside of nature?

We look forward to your answers, if you actually answer direct questions. It doesn't seem very promising so far.

I guess I don't get your question...

What raw materials are you talking about?

"Is there an observable, natural mechanism(s) that provides the variation for natural selection to work through?"

Yes life forms trying to survive. Since no life forms are identical, the life forms that best adapt to their environment will be the ones that have the most offspring. (I'm not going to go any deeper scientifically than that because I know you will not use any scientific evidence to back up your claims so I'm not going to spend a ton of time on this)

On the 'static' thing, I got it from watching that video that was posted by Bill Avoider. Seemed a common argument from that video that everything is static.

"I merely pointed out that natural selection (as defined in science textbooks) cannot create anything. It simply either deletes or temporarily preserves already existing traits, however minute. Is there something wrong with this statement?"

I guess I would need your definition of creating something. If I have a bunch of dogs and breed only the tallest ones for a few generation I'll have a much taller pack of dogs. Did I create something that wasn't there before?

"An oak tree growing up from an acorn using only what it finds in the air and soil. The conveyer that moves wax down my ear canal. A woman's neck. A babies cry. Laughter (perhaps called "diaphragm spasms" by a philosophical naturalist). Storms, the kind with lightening. The laws of logic. Moral absolutes. Love. Personal identity over time. Elasticity. Carbon 14. The placenta. Ron Paul. The Holocaust.
A righteous man, naked and bleeding, hanging on a Roman cross."

I don't really understand what you're getting at here. Many of these examples can be easily explained by science. Even if I was completely ignorant of the science involved it would not lead me to just 'believe' in a creator. I would need to know how this so-called creator operates. Something I could test and repeat.

"Given your premises, is there something wrong with these variations in the religious by which they find comfort in a myth? Could this trait have some sort of selective advantage? What is the causation in naturalistic terms of these religious traits? Can a trait bestowed by nature be immoral? Can a trait be bestowed outside of nature?"

I actually don't care what anyone believes or what they find comfort in. My biggest problem I see is the huge logical fallacy that because something is complex means God did it. It seems creationist don't search for answers they just pick whatever answer they're most comfortable with and stick with it never questioning.

Sure belief in a myth can have selective advantage. If a group of people who believe one way go out and kill everyone who doesn't believe it then the belief group will survive with more offspring.

I know of nothing outside of nature.

"We look forward to your answers, if you actually answer direct questions. It doesn't seem very promising so far."

Who is this 'we' you're talking about? You got a mouse in your pocket?

Can you show me any micro evidence of a creator? I look forward to your answer but it doesn't seem promising so far....

"Yes life forms trying to

"Yes life forms trying to survive. Since no life forms are identical, the life forms that best adapt to their environment will be the ones that have the most offspring."

There are types and classes of living things, correct? Certain types share certain like characteristics with others of their type, correct? And even within the same category or types there are somewhat differing characteristics that are acted upon by natural selection, right? Now then, where do the characteristics come from? Natural selection doesn't create them, it only preserves or deletes them. What mechanism provides the initial characteristics themselves? Is that any clearer? Or I might ask, what is it that is passed along to offspring? You say that no two life forms are alike.. but certainly something alike does transfer. It is the origin of this likeness, passed along or deleted in the process of selection, that I am asking about. Somewhere along the line novel things arose in genetic patterns. Natural selection does not write genetic code. It may delete aspects or pass along aspects... but it does not produce novel information at the genetic level. What does? Am I any closer to helping you comprehend the question?

"I would need to know how this so-called creator operates. Something I could test and repeat."

Doubtless you believe in all kinds of things that you can neither directly observe nor test and repeat.

"I actually don't care what anyone believes or what they find comfort in."
Then immediately after...
"My biggest problem I see is the huge logical fallacy that because something is complex means God did it."

This logic you speak of, is there a universal law that is being violated when people make this error?

Actually, I think you are not digging very deep into what many creationist have to say about complexity. They are not saying that just because 'something is complex, God did it'. They are talking about a particular kind of complexity which carries functionality and specificity. A pile of scrabble letters dumped on the floor is complex - meaning the exact arrangement of the parts has a low random probability. But such an accident will not carry the specificity of aligning with a recognizable pattern. It is this combination of complexity and specificity that carries with it the hallmark of intelligent arrangement. Thus, when I look at living thing, I see the hallmarks of intelligent design. I cannot prove 'God did it' from such a meager example. I can only say it seems like common sense to say intelligence was involved, and certainly not looney like you make it out to be.

This recognition of specified complexity as being a hallmark of intelligent composition is nothing new. Science uses the same criteria in numerous fields. SETI, or the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is a fine example. With radio telescopes pointed to the stars, scientist listen to radio signals emanating from distant star systems and galaxies hoping to discover other civilizations. Most of what they pick up is random noise and static. This 'noise' is actually very complex in the same sense as the scrabble letters spilled on the floor. Each burst of such noise has a low random probability, thus complex. But they do not deduce intelligent composition from mere complexity (nor do creationist). On occasions they have picked up specified signals from distant stars, almost like a pulsating beacon. When first discovered, scientist speculated that perhaps it was a navigation beacon of some distant and perhaps extinct civilization. It had specificity, but lacked complexity. There was a recognizable pattern, but a very simple and repetitive one. It didn't take long before they discovered it was merely a pulsar emanating a consistent but simple blast of radio wave energy. In the movie Contact, the SETI researches strike it lucky when they receive a signal carrying a long cycle of prime numbers. The signal is not only complex (having a low random probability) but is also specific, with a readily recognizable pattern. They deduce intelligent composition immediately. So why should the same common sense not apply when viewing the world of living organisms?

"It seems creationist don't search for answers they just pick whatever answer they're most comfortable with and stick with it never questioning."

A little advise... if you are going to have any hope of educating others (and I do hope you educate me) I suggest that insulting their intelligence and courage is not likely to help you much in the long run. So could you put away the cardboard rhetoric and discuss this like an adult (even if it seems like you are talking to a child at times)?

"I know of nothing outside of nature."

Would that include the laws of logic? Are they dependent on nature for existence, or is nature dependent on them? Neither? Just curious.

"Can you show me any micro evidence of a creator? I look forward to your answer but it doesn't seem promising so far...."

I have listed evidences already. But all evidence is filtered through the lenses of our presuppositions (our worldviews). I do not believe that you and I have a common standard between us for interpreting evidence. That being the case, what good is offering evidence to either one of us? Instead, lets see if we can't discuss our conflicting worldviews to see if there are any inherent internal contradictions with our stated conclusions. I do not prove God by offering evidence to a person whose worldview makes it impossible for him to see the obvious. Convincing an atheist that God exists is more like curing a mad man than arguing with a philosopher. Atheists and agnostics are always in the habit of pulling the rug out from underneath themselves. They assume things that their unbelief destroys. And it is this conflict that was essential in my own conversion. I abandoned atheism because it was impossible to be a consistent atheist and remain a sane human being.

"I merely pointed out that

"I merely pointed out that natural selection (as defined in science textbooks) cannot create anything. It simply either deletes or temporarily preserves already existing traits, however minute. Is there something wrong with this statement?"

I think they're making a common mistake. People often confuse evolution/natural selection with abiogenesis.

Sorry, but I am not asking

Sorry, but I am not asking about the origins of the first self replicating forms, but the subsequent evolution of the various forms. To be frank, I am amazed at apparently scientifically literate individuals inability to comprehend so simple a question. Usually, when i ask this of friends in science, they give me clear answers (though not always the same answer). Perhaps they offer random variation (what some might call dumb luck) as a class of things from which selection takes place. Or random genetic mutations or gene shuffling during reproduction... but they offer something(s) that produces variation that can then be acted upon by natural selection.

This is mind boggling - and a bit funny.

God is good

Big bang and evolution and creation- a miracle. Let us give thanks.

I can't believe people argue

I can't believe people argue with evolution. At least argue with something that we have no substantial proof of! Like the big bang. Where did the fossils come from? Why do bacteria evolve?
No evolution isn't the answer, god made us out of dust and then everything was good.

"Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear." - Benjamin Franklin

FIRST......

Understand, "There IS DESIGN in EVERYTHING".

A big bang could never CREATE design, only random chaos.

DESIGN can only be CREATED from INTELLIGENCE.

From the eye to a blade of grass, DESIGN.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

The universe is in complete

The universe is in complete chaos. This "design" that you see is only temporary. Life on this planet will cease to exist eventually. When the Earth moves too far from the sun or when the moon moves too far from the Earth. Life on this planet is only temporary.
P.S. I love the quote in your signature. The one from that fellow Atheist, Mark Twain.

Re: The universe is complete

Thanks for coming back to the point......... kinda....

Design is design, temporarily or not.

P.S.
When your right your right, atheist or not, AND I don't have a problem with that.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Lol, touche. I think you know

Lol, touche. I think you know what I meant though. The temporary design is by chance, not created purposely. But thanks for the humor, I did get a chuckle at your counterpoint. And I also appreciate the civility and appologize for being a smartass toward the end there.

It's cool.....

Stray, thanks for keepin it light.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Tangents.....

Re: FIRST.....

Why are all you atheists playing the "change the subject" card. I
just stated something that was simple to refresh your minds and you all start asking me what is is. But no one stayed on point.

If you all don't want to go there, fine. If you all want to keep believing that the boobtube you're watching with your eyes and they're intricate workings with all it's cones, rods and nerve endings and millions of calculations a day has no design to it, fine.

I'm not here to play whitty word games and try to beguile you to think something. Just stating the obvious. Your free to believe whatever you want.

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Why

did got create hermaphrodites? or children with Autism? or Down syndrome? Not very intelligent designs imo

"I am Troll fighter, number one"

-Ernest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxWb-ViejPg

Those defects are mineral deficiencies, stuff happens.

Rare Earths forbidden cures. Dr. Joel Wallach. The Science is all laid out.

We need to know the truth of our situation. We can't create the truth so we must recognize it and verify it. There's nothing natural about that.

Free includes debt-free!

No, I don't understand...

I see natural selection in every(living)thing. I see zero proof of any intelligent omnipotent creator.

Where can I find this intelligent creator you speak of? I got some questions for it. How did this so called creator come into existence? How does this creator create things out of nothing?

I see micro evolution everywhere so it isn't that tough for me to extrapolate that out to macro evolution. What do creationist see that lets them extrapolate that to thinking there's an intelligent creator designing? What do the creationist see that holds more water?

Natural selection

Where can I find this intelligent creator you speak of? I got some questions for it. How did this so called creator come into existence? How does this creator create things out of nothing?

God is knowable, but incomprehensible to humans. As I said above, if you refuse God, then life came from a rock. There is no other possibility. NONE. So you believe in the rock.

Good luck with that.

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Ben Franklin

Life came from a rock? That's

Life came from a rock? That's news. Where did you come up with that? No scientist I'm familiar with ever made that claim.

As one inspired lump of clay to another.

Was the old story wrong? Who knows how long that took or what the process was? Is man too proud? Dust to dust but what a journey of possibilities.

Free includes debt-free!

Are you not human?

How do you comprehend god? Or how do you 'know' god?

"if you refuse God, then life came from a rock. There is no other possibility. NONE. So you believe in the rock."

ahhh... Sounds like fear is your biggest problem. God created us or we came from rocks are the only options?lol and I'm sure you've done enough research to rule out any other possibility...

What if I don't believe in evolution or creationism? What if I'm just looking for answers.

I can't just turn off logic because I'm scared I might found out a truth I don't agree with.

Design, so simple....

Re: No, I don't understand...

****

I can't make an all nighter out of this, so last comment on it for the night.

-DESIGN-

I have a box of 50 oranges.

I pour the box out.

All the oranges line up in 10 "perfect" rows of 5.

Question: How many times would I have to pour the box out for that to happen?

Answer: Who knows. BUT it'd probably be in the thousands or millions or gazillions.

****

Intelligence could do that at ONCE, on the FIRST try.

-DESIGN-

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

And what created this

And what created this intelligence, if your reason is that everything was created?

"Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear." - Benjamin Franklin

I guess I don't see life as a

I guess I don't see life as a box of oranges dumped out onto the ground.

I see living organisms doing what they can to survive. I see small changes from generation to generation. I see life that adapts itself to its environment the best flourish, and life that doesn't fail.

I guess for me to be on the creationist side I'd need to see something comparable to the observable evolution I see everyday.

SEEING

Re: I guess I don't see....

Seeing without insight is just sight.

Look again.

-DESIGN-

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Then why are species extinct?

If intelligence did it once on the first try?

This has been a test...

..of the emergency salvation system. If you have used your intelligence, then you have failed this test. Return to dust and try again. Next time believe the unbelievable and you will know the unknowable.

We now resume regular programming.

"He loved Big Brother."

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
======================================
West of 89
a novel of another america
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/161155#longdescr

I wish the creator would make a Youtube video

And explain to all of us why it created imperfect organisms that need to adapt. I also would like to know why organisms must obtain energy by killing and consuming each other.