of the groundbreaking Ardipithecus ramidus, or "Ardi",
skeleton in 2009 was one of the most important scientific discoveries
of its closing decade. The skeleton offered new insight into
path of man. It also provoked a great deal of debate,
both scientific and theological as such a find might be expected
to.Now two commentaries have been published debating the
accuracy of two of the key conclusions of the original study
-- Ardi's place on the evolutionary tree and the habitat that it
lived in.The first study is the less controversial, in that
it merely argues that rather than a forest habitat, as the original
study suggests, that Ardi instead lived in savanna. Thure E.
Cerling, a geochemist at the University of Utah, spearheaded this
work which is published here as
a comment in the journal Science.In
the comment, Cerling writes, "We find the environmental context
of Ar. ramidus at Aramis to be represented by what is commonly
referred to as tree- or bush-savanna, with 25 percent or less woody
canopy cover."Key to Cerling's claim is the fact that
Ardi was found with less woody plant matter than is typically
expected from a dense forest. And historical theory favors
Cerling's claims, as scientists have long argued
that hominids (including
man) evolved in a savanna setting, likely in Africa.White's
team has published a response in Science arguing
against this perspective and defending its original assertions that
Ardi lived in a woody setting. White writes that Cerling's
comment failed to account "the totality of the fossil,
geological and geochemical evidence." Key to White's
argument are other mammal fossils found alongside Ardi that were
creatures which typically lived in denser forest.Esteban E.
Sarmiento of the Human Evolution Foundation in East Brunswick, N.J.,
by contrast, offered up a more controversial challenge. He
claims that Ardi was not a hominid -- a creature in the evolutionary
path that gave rise to modern chimpanzees and man. He claims
Ardi, which lived 4.4 million years ago, "predates the
human/African ape divergence."Sarmiento's criticism is
The claims were promptly refuted by
White's team, which argues that they fail "to recognize as
significant the multiple and independent features of the Ardipithecus
cranium, dentition and skeleton." White's rebuttal also
comments that they use outdated biomolecular evidence and that
current evidence pushes the data of hominid/ape divergence from 3 to
5 million years ago back to 6 million years ago.Such debate
is absolutely business as usual for such a high profile work.
And if there's one common thread between the critics and original
authors, it's that they both agree that the biochemical and fossil
evidence clearly points to evolution giving rise to humans. The
debate is merely on the path that was taken, where the fossil fall on
that path, and what the environment those historical creatures lived
have quickly latched on to this healthy scientific debate as signs of
"flaws" in evolutionary theory. As one critic
commenting on a CBS story
on Ardi comments,
"[Well], just more evidence for the growing stack of evidence
that the theory of evolution is bogus. But of course the
knowledgeable knew that long ago."
quote: if a certain number of articles about evolution are published, then the probability of evolution being real goes up!
quote: The problem with religion vs science is that religion cannot be "disproved" since you can only provide evidence for something's existence.
quote: I find it funny that so many people believe humans are the peak of evolution.
quote: 10% was pulled out of the air around a century ago.
quote: Take a look at the RNC cult followers, they don't use any.
quote: Just FYI, a lack of evidence in favor of something's existence is NOT evidence against its existence.
quote: This is mostly true for Deism but certainly not for Theism. If the Christian god existed he would affect the world in observable ways. These effects are not observed so you can rightly state that he does not exist.
quote: Evolution is only a theory , and it has supporting evidence. It has not been proven. In the same sense, you cannot completely discredit an idea because someone has no proof, it is, again, just a theory .
quote: I was NOT talking about religion or evolution.
quote: Note 2: I told you that wikipedia is referenced by outside articles. Did you look at those articles ? No
quote: Note 3: I told you to look for the definition of theory in science using google. Did you do that ? No
quote: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin
quote: you bypass all laws by simply stating you have no reason.
quote: So yes you can win a suit if you can reasonably prove discrimination
quote: Laws are only for the little people.
quote: AKA Laws apply to little people and they pay the price
quote: Then go look at how many off shore subsidies Halliburton created
quote: Christian =\= Creationist. "Creationist" is typically used to describe someone that believes every word of the Bible is literally true, down to the assertion that Pi is equal to exactly 3.
quote: That's exactly the sad part about religion. Religion doesn't except other ideas.
quote: It's undeniable that religion brought more evil upon us than any other idea of mankind.
quote: If religion is an idea and it can change and evolve why then do none of my Christians friend accept anything other than what they are fed? I'm referring to 0 here.
quote: Or did my comprehension escape me and you meant to say that it can evolve, just not to any others ideas?
quote: I'm quite certain you've just answered your own question
quote: So you're saying religion changes...with whomever chooses to accept what is and what is not?
quote: It is NOT the belief that God created life perhaps billions of years ago and life "evolved". That's intelligent design... a theory, frankly, that tries to inject faith into an otherwise objective scientific theory. Now intelligent design at LEAST accepts observable facts and figures and just happens to inject a creator in there because the proponents have a difficult time believing that such evolution can occur randomly over many MANY eons.
quote: The age of the Earth is based on a method that has been shown to be fallible.
quote: But who's to say God didn't create the world as it is?
quote: Are you actually saying that you think there was a great flood that covered all land on the planet
quote: and dood built an ark to save 2 of each animal? LOL
quote: Sorry, that isnt me casting stones, that is you being a complete sheep.
quote: I believe in science.
quote: These drawings seem to typically be what the scientists WANT it to be, not based on any actual evidence of what the thing might have looked like.
quote: Great “science” guys! This shouldn’t have even passed peer review.
quote: If the theory of evolution was proven and true by real science (which it’s not) like so many of you on this site claim, then why all the need for the missing link and all the infighting over it??
quote: My problem is that it is pushed as the missing link when all the evidence says otherwise
quote: Why cant evolutionist admit that there theory is unproven
quote: Scientists welcome healthy debate; creationists cheer opportunity to attack discovery
quote: You're more self-contradictory than the Bible itself.
quote: , "[Well], just more evidence for the growing stack of evidence that the theory of AGW is bogus. But of course the knowledgeable knew that long ago."