Quibble quibble quibble. Mark, Nobody--me or Randy or anyone
else--ever made ANY claims as to what hominid or population of hominids was the
specific progenitor to Homo Sapiens, and you are fully aware of this FACT (used
as an absolute truth). You want to quibble, when you say "it" is not a
fact, to what do you refer as being "it"? Evolution in general? human
evolution? the existence of a human lineage? Humans sharing a common ancestor
with other apes? With other mammals?
Every time I or Randy used the word "fact" we used it provisionally. And we
both are fully aware of the gaps in time and fossils regarding specific human
lineage. Indirect evidence might or might not convict a murderer, but in
this case it is more than enough to draw a number of strong conclusions.
A book I might recommend is FROM LUCY TO LANGUAGE--name of author eludes me
and I am nowhere near my library. Lots of pictures.
In a message dated 1/23/2013 4:31:25 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
[address removed] writes:
"Surely you have a belief in
one or the other, however weakly held."
No, I really don't,
postmodernism describes my philosophical
I do not have a problem with evolution. My quibble
beginning was specific to the use of the word fact as it related
to the evidence available to the specific progenitor that Homo
advanced from. Until that is established it is not fact.
is your field, if you have information to a direct link from
Sapiens to ... I would very much like to see it.
Using your link
as a quick example (not specific to my point):
However, the authors argued that the overall body plan was
australopithecine, and hence put it in
that genus. This seems to be the
conservative and safest plan; even if they are right in their
about sediba, the fossils do not seem out of place in
Australopithecus, whereas putting them in
Homo would have run the risk of
needing to reclassify them later if they did not turn out to
closely related to Homo. It would also, as Chris
Stringer pointed out in an interview, require "a major
the genus Homo.
In summary, it's an important discovery
even though we don't yet know exactly how it fits into the
tree and what it means for human origins. Refreshingly, the discoverers
have been fairly
restrained in their claims about the fossil, and are
keeping other options in mind.
The family tree looks more
like a bush than a tree.
11:26, Glen wrote:
Mark, I'm puzzled by your comments:
"My problem still lies with the use of the word: fact...
The evidence, relative to homo sapiens is anecdotal, theory, modeling, and scenario. If you have seen something to the contrary I would very
much like to see it and be happy to be corrected."
You've had it corrected before, yet you seem less than eager to accept it. I am not sure exactly how you are using the words "modeling" and "scenario," but our scientific understanding of human evolution is based on a lot more than weak or dubious evidence as your remarks suggest, but on lots of hard evidence from fossils and DNA studies. There's really no excuse for not being familiar with it, since there are countless books, articles, and web sites describing it.
I'm also puzzled when Mark writes:
"So does evolution happen? Yes. Did we evolve from a sub-
species? Probably, maybe, kinda, sorta. Is it a fact? No."
What are you suggesting, that all other creatures evolved, put maybe humans did not - even tho we have many hominid fossils with intermediate traits? Do you think maybe evolution was the way all other creatures originated, including hominids, but that God suddenly and directly created modern humans? Does that make sense to you? Please be clear on exactly what you are suggesting, if not that. Bottom line: while the details of evolution are continually being refined, that we evolved is well supported and accepted among scientists, and most do not hesitate to call it a fact.
Let me close by asking, do you have any other reason for questioning human evolution other than the perceived weakness of the scientific evidence? I only ask because I've run into quite a few people who, regardless of the scientific evidence, have a lot of trouble accepting human evolution for personal and/or religious reasons. Some admit they are fine with evolution for other life forms, but just can't buy it for humans, even tho some can't explain why. I'm not saying you are one (for you, is it just a scientific issue?) but some people just have a need to see humans s very "special" and inherently different than other life forms. Frankly, I'm not ashamed to be a "monkey's uncle."
On 2013-01-22 06:26, Chris K wrote:
I believe you are being a bit of an obscurantist to say,
" I do
not know, as one may notexclude the
in reply to my
"Do you believe in a divine creation of life on earth or do you
believe the theory of evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of
Surely you have a belief in one or the other, however
First off, thank you Mike, for giving me
what I asked for
in the first place, the use of the word fact.
Now that you
all seem to agree to its use I see that certainty is not
the context. We all agree.
Next, Chris to answer
"Do you believe in a divine creation of
life on earth or do you believe the theory of evolution
is the best
explanation for the diversity of life?" I do not know, as one
exclude the other.
"Do you think there
really is some controversy or conspiratorial cover-up going on within the
ranks of science to suppress the teaching of ideas like ID in school?"
It is not something
that has concerned me, as of this
moment I do not have enough information to answer,
other than to say
that at this moment I do not know. I will say there does seem
some controversy. I do not know, nor have I heard of a
To Chris and Glen:
think that denying certain scientific ideas based on nothing but personal
conviction is a good quality for a scientist to
"So, anyone who believes in a flat earth and
geocentrism cannot be a legitimate scientist?"
It depends on
whether or not they are in conflict. If a young Earth-er is probing
of the sun I do not see a conflict. If a scientist,
regardless of religion carries a bias to a
predetermined conclusion I think that is not a good quality to
To Glen and Randy:
"...if humans did
not evolve, what do you make of all the hominid fossils?"
"To refer to the evidence for human evolution as "anecdotal,
theory, modeling, and
scenario" reveals a serious lack of
understanding of both evolution in general and
human evolution in
I never said that humans did not evolve. What I
said was: After 200,000 I
words "somehow related", "experts cannot agree on",
scenarios", "various models", "probably",
These phrases relate to our, homo sapien,
progenitors. There are many theories to this
specific point that cross
many disciplines. It's kind of like
the Unification theory in particle physics.
The holy grail is to unify
them into one theory.
To Chris: "A study published
as recently as last fall has shown that the similarities in
modern human and neandertal DNA could be due exclusively
to shared ancestry. "
Would you send me a link to that
To Randy: Anecdotal: based on personal
reported observations unverified by controlled
Isn't that where science starts?
Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to
everyone on this mailing list ([address removed])
message was sent by Mark R. Orel ([address removed]) from The Cleveland
To learn more about Mark R. Orel, visit his/her member
Set my mailing list to email me As they
are sent | In one
daily email | Don't
send me mailing list messages
Meetup, POB 4668 #37895 NY NY USA
10163 | [address removed]