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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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Again, a blanket statement.

No, what are left with are recorded writings which mostly appear to be first person subjective statements. None of these statements align with modern observable knowledge

Prove that they were "subjective statements." Take Saul. A hard core Pharisee who learned under the greatest teachers of his time. Who enjoyed Roman citizenship. Who was bent on destroying the early believes of Christ as heretics. Explain why this man would throw everything away he had, and exchange it for a life of hardship and persecution. You cannot write off as being merely subjective--He was a witness of a supernatural experience that changed his life.

Let's talk about prophecies. The Bible prophecies given years before the events happened have been validated by history. The Assyrian and Babylonian captivity of the Israel. The failure of the alliance between Israel and Egypt, the scattering of the house of Israel. The Messianic prophecies. The Savior's prediction of the future destruction of Israel and Solomon by the Romans validated by the objective historian Josephus.

As far as the "magic" disappearing, it had to do with the apostasy that followed the death of the original apostles. It was predicted that such a falling away would occur prior to the return of the Savior.

Let me be clear. I am not making this a contest between choosing either science OR belief in a divine being. But I find it ironic that those who continuity disparage those of faith as lacking in "rational thought" seem to forget just how "rational" it was for
Nazi doctors in death camps to employ their medical talents to experiment on helpless human beings. How Einstein, Oppenheimer, and some of the greatest minds ever assembled forgo their consciences(and many regretted later) in making the Atom bomb.

How secular and "rational" communist governments removed religion in their nations and treated their own people as disposable human inventory to be molded, shaped, exploited, and eliminated for the sake of creating the perfect society.

So please spare me the righteous morally that supposedly is exclusive to those of a "rational" scientific minds. That such minds never are capable of being "subjective" to their own pride to write off the existence of a supernatural superior being just because they can't find proof.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

It's up to you and the whole

It's up to you and the whole of Christendom to provide proof. There isn't any. There are writings and a religion that has verifiably taken from a multitude of religious beliefs to create a series of contradictory stories... stories that are often misinterpreted by Americans due to the older form of English used in the translation.

I cannot provide proof

Other than my own personal spiritual experiences, which testify to me that the scriptures, however flawed by the interpretation of men, to truly bear witness of a living God and his divine Son, whom he sent on our behalf.

To know what I know, first-hand, would require a open mind and heart to seek a personal spiritual inquiry, to test the truthfulness by scripture reading, mediation, personal practice of the tenets, and most importantly, prayer. You cannot acquire a witness of spiritual things by only logic alone--note that I did NOT say you shouldn't employ logic--- because the mind of man cannot comprehend all that God is. The Spirit gives understanding, where the letter of logic alone killeth.

If you believe that man is merely a by-product of evolution, with no spirit, whose entire personality is solely based on genetic hard-wired instincts, then there is no way for you to know the divinity of God.

But if in the deepest part of your consciousnesses, you suspect that you are more, much more than just organic material existing for the moment, soon to be recycled back into the dust of the earth, then you have just realized that you have a distinct spark of God's divinity within you. And with that spark you can commune with the God testified in the scriptures, and be provided a peace beyond understanding--If you wish to seek it.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

That it has been wholly up to

That it has been wholly up to humankind to impart this mystical "knowledge" to others ensures that it is flawed.

People filter reality through their own values and self-interest and religions do not escape this fundamental fact. Your experiences are your own values and self-interests interpreting someone else's values and self-interests. Things that cannot be independently verified (as required by science) should be scrutinized with a far more skeptical gaze.

I am not trying to "impart" anything to you.

I cannot convince you of divinity. No one can. If I could, that would just make me a successful salesman. Its the message, not the messenger, that you need to test.

But I can challenge you. I give you a reproducible experiment to find out for yourself. Read, meditate, practice and pray. See if you make a personal spiritual connection. What do you have got to lose? If you make an honest, sincere effort, I know you will make that connection.

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

I've already been down that

I've already been down that route and found it to be a dead end. IMO, religion can be a mechanism for control, but it is essentially a framework for viewing the world that will "make sense" the more one buys into the story. If you can believe in miracles, it can be explained with "God works in mysterious ways", and on and on it goes. "Suspension of disbelief" is essential for religions to exist.

You are confusing religon

with a personal search of the divine.

Did I recommend any particular brand of Christianity to follow, or to attend meetings? No, I did not.

You are deflecting the issue with concerns over issues dealing with people in churches trying to control you. I can appreciate that.

So have you, on your own, in solitude, examined the scriptures, meditated upon them, practice them and sought in prayer to know God?
Really put in sincere personal effort in privacy, so as not to be influenced by anyone or any church?

Conscience does not exist if not exercised

"No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up!
---Lily Tomlin

Very nice wording..

Explains a whole lot about how I feel in a nice little nut shell. It isn't the fact that people disagree that's hard for me to handle. It is the way people who go into science feel that they are somehow superior to those with faith. I look at their actions throughout history and their fruits are no better than mine, and their faith is strong yet they won't admit it. They must have very strong faith to take admitted and accepted THEORY and live as if it is proven FACT. We simply have faith in two different things and the faithful accept that we are living by faith alone.

Thank you, SemperFi

You stated the case very well for me, too.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

You mean

Like the MAGIC of the big bang .. where did everything come from .. this singularity BS is laughable

The Big Bang

GOD "spoke" and nothing became everything. I have an easier time believing THAT than I have believing these "theories" from those who would take the Bible literally, word for word, AND from those who make science an end all and be all god.

(Please note I have placed the word spoke in quotes to mean I do not take the meaning of that word literally in that statement. It just means that whatever action God did, caused everything else in whatever way it happened.)

Let the down voting begin again!

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox

"I have an easier time

"I have an easier time believing THAT than I have believing these "theories"..."

You are completely entitled to an uncritical view of reality. Science is stuck with doing all the grunt work.

Isn't the burden of proof upon the shoulders of the one stating

the hypothesis?

You say that the existence of a god is not prohibited or placed into question by science. But if you presuppose the existence of a god are you not violating the principles of science which require that a hypothesis or theory is not acceptable unless it can be validated. What is your validation?

I think there is much more proof that man created god than god created man. The attempt to attribute evolution to a plan of a god is simply unsupportable.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

I'm a scientist...

I don't happen to belong to any religion. I don't find it necessary. I find I get better results depending on myself rather than praying for solutions. That's beside the point, however.

Science does not say that unproven principles or the existence of a god are forbidden.

I could have presupposed the existence of a field of physics superior to that of Newtonian Mechanics, and for the greater part of history, I would have been labeled a fool. Presupposing the existence of quantum mechanics before it was discovered would not have been a violation of the principles of science. For much of history, we haven't had the ability to validate much of modern scientific principles. No one could have fathomed how to detect a neutrino - for instance - which laid strong foundations for the validity of Special Relativity.

No one today could fathom how to prove the existence of a god. I can't. I don't imagine there is a way. I'm 99.9999% confident there is no way prove there is a god.

But, as a scientist, I can't rule it out.


for some reason I wrote neutrino.

It is likely that there are many, many undiscovered "truths".

And some portion of what we now accept as "truth" will eventually be shown to be invalid; maybe a much higher percentage than some would like to think.

But the burden of proof is always on he who puts forth a theory or hypothesis. The burden to rule out the theory or hypothesis of someone else does not shift just because people widely accept an idea on faith. I don't think it is part of the scientific method to say that because you can't rule something out that it should or can be accepted even tentatively. The fact that science often advances and discovers new things is hardly an argument that we will one day discover proof of a god.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

That's why science...

doesn't deal with issues of faith.

It's beyond the reach of science to question such principles - in a practical way - because with high degree of certainty there exists no experiment to demonstrate one way or the other the existence of a god.

I never argued for or against the existence of a god. This is a much bigger issue for religious people than it is for scientists. Out of the people I have met over the years in science, some believe in a god, and some don't.

Lothar Schafer is a well respected physical chemist that I sought help from on questions of symmetry and group theory. He's an excellent scientist. He believes in some type of divinity. He even went as far as to demonstrate its compatibility with quantum mechanics (and is in good company with people like Charles Townes who has a Nobel in Physics) -




I haven't read his book - Quantum Chemistry and the Search for Divine Reality. All of my encounters with Dr. Schafer have been entirely academic; I've never discussed this subject with him.

However, with all due respect, I respect his opinion on the issue more so than I do yours - as do many other scientists.

In any event - to the limits of my imagination - I can't imagine a way to experimentally test for the existence of a god just as 200 years ago there was no way anyone at that time could demonstrate wave-particle duality.

Science is not about absolutes. It is incompatible with science to declare with 100% certainty that no god exists. People can be as certain as they wish; however, science can take no concrete position on issues that cannot be tested at the current time.

Since I doubt there is any experiment to test for a god, I also doubt that science can ever prove that a god doesn't exist. Until there is an experiment, science as a practical field doesn't take a position one way or the other.

Just as the heliocentric solar system was accepted by religion after some time - so will evolution. The scope of religion will continue to shrink as more and more evidence mounts. It may take a couple of more generations.

I'm also...

99.9999% sure there is no way to prove that a god doesn't exist.

I suppose that depends on the

I suppose that depends on the definition. Einstein felt "God" was in the beauty of mathematics and science.

"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." —Albert Einstein

I always...

enjoyed quotes from Einstein.

One semester when I was teaching an undergraduate general chemistry lab, I gave my students the opportunity to memorize a quote every week for an easy couple of points on the pre-lab quiz. I gave Albert a few plugs.


don't evolve. but that won't stop some from thinking complex things like an eyeball can design and create themselves!

all parts of an eyeball had to be there at THE SAME TIME.

It was designed that way

Label Jars, Not People!

DNA is a chemical

... a chemical that is the basis of evolution.

Eyes have evolved independently a bunch of times. There are a lot of different kinds of eyes, some very good (manta shrimp), some not so great (mammals). The reason we hairless apes have a blind spot is that the optic nerve is on the wrong side! No digital camera designer would put the wires in front of the sensor. So why are our eyes like that? They evolved that way. They did not start out as eyes. Using a computer model, one scientist has demonstrated a way the human eye might have evolved.

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

It's actually kind of funny

It's actually kind of funny you use an example of an eyeball when what we are talking about here is the blindness of both christians and scientists.


"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man" -Jebediah Springfield

They can with a guiding hand.

They can with a guiding hand. I think you miss the point, we are saying that evolution was a GUIDED process. That's why it was called Creation, it is a reference to the creative process.

"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man" -Jebediah Springfield

you mean EXPERIMENTAL HAND right?

because you imply God made evolution because he had no idea what the finished product would look like? he had to make prototypes? God is so weak he needs to make things THAT NEED TO EVOLVE?

Label Jars, Not People!

Oh thou wiser than Solomon

How about you, do you believe the earth is flat? I mean, the Bible states that it has four corners, right? It MUST be flat, otherwise everything that you believe in is a lie, right?

Maybe, just maybe, those "prototypes" you refer to might also be called "variation", like in all the different creatures of CREATION?

It's ok, God will explain everything when you get to heaven.

"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man" -Jebediah Springfield

"Four corners of the earth"

is a metaphor.

Of course it is, that is

Of course it is, that is actually my point. It is the interpretation of the Bible that is at fault, not the Bible itself.

"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man" -Jebediah Springfield

There are people who believe

in Scripture and those who don't. Then there are those like you who don't really believe in Scripture but believe in your own understanding. So you tell people what you "think" or "want" as being truth. Scripture talks about you quite a bit and the warnings are clear. You are the one who creeps into households and deceives by telling people what you think they want to hear. You are worse than a non believer and are in danger of outer darkness.

The fact is that every kind has it's seed that bears it's own kind. This is Scriptural. Evolution is anti Scriptural because it goes against this basic principle, you don't get a man from a monkey or a possum from a pole cat. Since you apparently don't know Scripture I suggest you repent of your lies and ask God for forgiveness. Or just take your place with the non believers.

Or you can show me where Scripture does support evolution and prove me wrong.

Believe me, nobody wants to hear it

Christians reject any scientific proof and scientists (for the most part) don't believe that evolution occurred other than by the process of natural selection. If I told people what they wanted to hear, I wouldn't have all this controversy. Thanks for your support and encouragement.

"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man" -Jebediah Springfield