published Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Lucy’s kin carved up a meaty meal, scientists say


c.2010 New York Times News Service

As early as 3.4 million years ago, some individuals with a taste for meat and marrow — presumably members of the species best known for the skeleton called Lucy — apparently butchered with sharp and heavy stones two large animals on the shore of a shallow lake in what is now Ethiopia.

Scientists who made the discovery could not have been more surprised. They said the cut marks on a fossilized rib and thighbone were unambiguous evidence that human ancestors were using stone tools and sometimes consuming meat at least 800,000 years earlier than previously established. The oldest confirmed stone tools are less than 2.6 million years old, perhaps from only a little before the emergence of the genus Homo.

Some prominent researchers of early human evolution were skeptical, saying the reported evidence did not support such claims.

If true, though, the new find reveals unsuspected behavior and dietary habits of the Lucy species, Australopithecus afarensis. Though no hominid fossils were found near the butchered bones, A. afarensis is thought to be the only species living in this region at the time. The species’ large teeth with thick enamel indicated it subsisted mainly on tubers and other vegetation.

So the international team of paleoanthropologists, archaeologists and geologists concluded that it had found the first evidence that kin of the 3.2-million-year-old Lucy had used some form of stone tools and would not pass up a chance to feast on a cut of meat and nutritious bone marrow.

Pending new discoveries, the team wrote in a report being published Thursday in the journal Nature, A. afarensis is the only hominid group “to which we can associate the tool use.” Whether these individuals made the tools or only selected naturally sharpened pieces of stone, the scientists added, was not yet determined. Nor is it known whether they were hunters or, more likely, scavengers of a lion’s leftovers.

The leader of the research project, at Dikika, Ethiopia, was Zeresenay Alemseged, an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The lead author of the Nature paper was Shannon P. McPherron, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

“Now, when we imagine Lucy walking around the East African landscape looking for food, we can for the first time imagine her with a stone tool in hand and looking for meat,” McPherron said in a statement issued by the Leipzig institute.

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CowWhisperer said...

Lucy was not a hominid but has been shown to have been a tree-dwelling ape. Even the discoverer of Lucy has admitted that he was ruled by bias and she has been "dethroned." See link for more:

August 12, 2010 at 12:45 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Cow, you have MUCH to learn about human evolution. Try using websites that are not religious (like apologeticspress), as they have an agenda, and they quotemine and lie to further that agenda. Lucy was a hominid; she may have not been on the direct evolutionary lines with modern humans, but she was not an ape.

August 12, 2010 at 1:20 p.m.

From the History Channel (May/2010) Astro biologists speculate on human origins and extraterrestrial impregnation of humans and the mysteries surrounding the script or text written on the DNA (genome) molecule-unique to the human species only. Scientists have only been able to read approx. 5% of the 'script', the other 95% they classify as "junk", while admitting it may contain much hidden important information. They state that IF we could imagine 500,000 years of evolutionary change, mere chance could not create the human DNA genome. It would be just as likely as a hurricane travelling through a junkyard and creating a jumbo jet out of the mess/chaos.

From "The Poison of Meaninglessness" by Heather Ziegler

Genius in Biology "Since Darwin's day, biology has been infused with the idea that everything from bacteria to human beings has sprung from the result of random, purposeless, natural causes. But nature seems to show the fingerprints of the creative genius of our creator, God. Can we see those signs in biology? 'A Meaningful World' describes harmony within biology at length. Let's take a look at the cell.

The cell contains many parts: the mitochondria, the nucleus, and DNA. Each of these parts has its particular job to do. And, in addition, each part has a job that is related to all of the other parts of the cell. Think of the cell like a car engine and mitochondria as the carburetor. A carburetor has a specific job in the engine. You cannot talk about what a carburetor is without explaining how it works within the engine. Its job is related to all of the other parts. This is harmony, one of our elements of genius. But what about elegance, depth, and clarity? It seems that these are also apparent in biology. The elegance of the cell is how it functions as one intricate machine, like our car engine. The cell is a biological engine; actually it is a very efficient, self-sustaining, self-replicating engine. What about depth in biology? Let's go back to the cell. Cells get their energy through metabolism. We used to think that this was a simple path with many useless byproducts. Upon closer inspection, one sees that those byproducts have functions within the cell that are necessary for its survival. As we continue to study the cell, we find more and more depth to its function.

Finally, how does biology demonstrate clarity? Were we meant to find the handiwork of a designer? Most biologists would agree that biology is the study of things that have the appearance of design. If it appears designed perhaps it was, and perhaps we were meant to discover that. The genius behind biology is clear enough that God says that we are without excuse.{3}

Hopefully, you can see that creation is a masterful work of a divine genius. As the book 'A Meaningful World' has shown us, nature bears the hallmark of design that has us, its students, in mind".

August 14, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.

8/12/2010 by Heather Zeiger The Poison of Meaninglessness

"We have been drinking a poison that first infects our heads, then slowly moves to our hearts. It is the poison of meaninglessness. Many people assume that science says the universe is without purpose and everything is a result of random, meaningless events. A recently released book, 'A Meaningful World by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt', seeks to be the antidote to this poison by looking at science and how certain features of the universe do not fit within the materialistic worldview. This book will be our guide as we consider the question, How does science reveal meaning in the universe? But first, we need to understand the poison before we can discuss its antidote.

Within the scientific community, the assumption of meaninglessness is a result of its members' worldview. Most scientists hold to a materialistic worldview where everything is explained by physical or material causes, which are purposeless, random, natural events. Furthermore, a materialist reduces everything to its basic parts and claims that ultimate meaning lies in these parts. For example, when people say that we are a product of our genes, they are reducing humans to their chemical parts. By this definition, people do not have a soul, and the illusion of human genius or creativity is explained as neurons firing in the brain or animal instinct.

So if that is the poison, what is the antidote? The antidote comes from Christians who break the materialist spell by showing that the world is full of meaning and purpose because it has a Creator. This can be done by looking at scientific evidence for a meaningful world. A good place to begin is with the idea of genius. Why study genius? Because the most poisonous effect of materialism is the way it skews our self-understanding or our worldview. In a materialistic world without a purpose, there would be no signs of creativity and genius in nature.

Before Darwin's time, the evidences of creativity and beautiful design in nature were some of the best arguments against materialism. However, the theory of evolution through random, natural causes denied the masterful work of design.

First, we will learn how to recognize some common elements found in a work of genius by looking at one of the most well-known geniuses of all time, William Shakespeare. Then, we will see if those same elements show up in nature.

How Do We Know It's Genius? The Example of Shakespeare

'A Meaningful World' describes four elements that will show up in a work of genius: depth, clarity, harmony, and elegance. If the world is designed by an ingenious designer, then we should see these four elements of genius in nature.

How do we detect genius in nature? Let's take a look at the work of a well-known playwright, William Shakespeare, as our model for describing the elements of genius..."

August 14, 2010 at 2:50 p.m.

Excerpt from Dr. G. Thomas Sharp's "Evolutionary Natural Selection Explains Nothing":

"Darwin had this very same problem with the origin of the human eye. He wrote in his Origin of Species:

"To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the corrections of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree".

It doesn’t just “seem absurd,” it is absurd! And to make matters much worse for the proponents that believe natural selection is the driving mechanism of evolution, this same problem continues for every unique organ and organ system of every organism whether plant, insect, animal, or man.

For natural selection to work in an evolutionary fashion, it must do more than cull out the weak among the species, it must explain how transforming information can be imported into any species from the outside. It must explain how that information is inculcated into a species’ genome. It must explain how this process can explain “goo to you” evolutionary change.

To the evolutionist, natural selection is the mechanism that answers all questions about simple to complex progression. But there is a big problem because the opposite is actually observed in the real world. This is not to say that any aspect of God’s creation is “simple”! However, the so-called higher animals in the story of evolutionary progression are, by and large, more inclined to extinction. They actually seem less fit for survival..."

August 14, 2010 at 2:58 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You have lied and quote-mined extensively on this topic already, canary. If other readers would like, I'll pick apart these posts too. Otherwise, I'll just say that they are full of just as much dishonesty and ignorance as all your others.

August 14, 2010 at 3:01 p.m.

Darwinism and Truth Date: 8/11/2010 by Kerby Anderson

"Nancy Pearcey writes in her book 'Total Truth' that Christians must counter the effects of our secular culture and mindset by developing a consistent and comprehensive biblical worldview...Earlier in her book she notes that our society has divided truth into two categories. She calls this the sacred/secular split or the private/public split or the fact/value split. They are different ways of saying the same thing. Religion and moral values are subjective and shoved into the upper story where private opinions and values reside. And in the lower story are hard, verifiable facts and scientific knowledge.

There is another key point to this split. The two spheres should not intersect. In other words, it would be bad manners and a violation of logic to allow your personal and private choices and values to intersect with your public life. As the popular saying goes, that would be "shoving your religion down someone's throat."

Darwinists accept this split and have even tried to convince Christians that in this way religion is safe from the claims and conclusions of Darwinian evolution. But a brief glance at the best seller list shows that evolutionists regularly invade this upper story of values with their harsh criticism.

In 'The God Delusion', Richard Dawkins says that religious belief is psychotic, and arguments for the existence of God are nonsense. Sam Harris echoes that sentiment in his bestselling book, 'Letter to a Christian Nation'. Daniel Dennett, in his book 'Breaking the Spell', believes that religion must be subjected to scientific evaluation.

Nancy Pearcey shows that Darwinism leads to naturalism. And this is a naturalistic view of knowledge where "theological dogmas and philosophical absolutes were at worst totally fraudulent and at best merely symbolic of deep human aspirations." In other words, if Darwinian evolution is true, then religion and philosophical absolutes are not true. Truth, honesty, integrity, morality are not true but actually fraudulent concepts and ideas. If we hold to them at all, they were merely symbolic but not really true in any sense.

Daniel Dennett, in his book 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea', says that Darwinism is a "universal acid" which is his allusion to a children's riddle about an acid that is so corrosive that it eats through everything including the flask that holds it. In other words, Darwinism is too corrosive to be contained. It eats through every academic field of study and destroys ethics, morality, truth, and absolutes. When it is finished, Darwinism "eats through just about every traditional concept and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view."

August 14, 2010 at 3:08 p.m.

Darwinism and Naturalism

"Pearcey writes that "Darwinism functions as the scientific support for an overarching naturalistic worldview."

Today scientists usually assume that scientific investigation requires naturalism. But that was not always the case. When the scientific revolution began (and for the next three hundred years), science and Christianity were considered to be compatible with one another. In fact, most scientists had some form of Christian faith, and they perceived the world of diversity and complexity through a theistic framework. Pearcey points out that Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and others sought to understand the world and use their gifts to honor God and serve humanity.

By the nineteenth century, secular trends began to change their perspective. This culminated with the publication of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. His theory of evolution provided the needed foundation for naturalism to explain the world without God. From that point on, social commentators began to talk about the "war between science and religion."

By the twentieth century, G. K. Chesterton was warning that Darwinian evolution and naturalism was becoming the dominant "creed" in education and the other public arenas of Western culture. He said it "began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics." Ultimately, it "is really our established Church."

Today, it is easy to see how scientists believe that naturalism and science are essentially the same thing. They often slip from physics to metaphysics. In other words, they leave the boundaries of science and begin to make philosophical statements about the nature of the universe. While scientists can tell us how the universe operates, they cannot tell us if there is anything outside of the universe. [that didn't stop Stephen Hawking from stating that "aliens mated with primates to create humans" though]

[And] that didn't stop astronomer Carl Sagan in the PBS program "Cosmos." The first words you hear from him are: "The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be." In other words, the universe (or Cosmos) is all there is: no God, no heaven.

Now, Carl Sagan's comment is not a scientific statement. It's a philosophical statement. And it set the ground rules for the rest of the program. Nature is all there is. In many ways it sounds like a creed. It is as if Carl Sagan was attempting to modify the Gloria Patri: "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever will be."

Do those ideas end up in our children's books? Nancy Pearcey tells the story of picking up a science book for her son, The Bears' Nature Guide, which featured the Berenstain Bears. The Bear family goes on a nature walk. Turn a few pages in the book and you will see a sunrise with these words in capital letters: "Nature . . . is all that IS, or WAS, or EVER WILL BE!" Sounds like a heavy dose of Carl Sagan's naturalism packaged for young children courtesy of the Berenstain Bears".

August 14, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

cont'd "...(If you are looking for a resource to counter this Darwinian and naturalistic indoctrination, let me recommend Probe's DVD series on "Redeeming Darwin." It will give you the intellectual ammunition you need).

In Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey discusses many of the so-called "icons of evolution" that Jonathan Wells documents in his book by that title. These examples show up in nearly every high school and college biology textbook. But these examples which are used to "prove" evolution are either fraudulent or fail to prove evolution.

Let's start with a piece of evidence for evolution that was found where Charles Darwin first got his inspiration for his theory of evolution: the Galapagos Islands. The islands can be found off the coast of South America. On those islands are finches, which have come to be known as Darwin's finches. It's hard to find a biology textbook that doesn't tell the story of these finches.

One study found that during a period of drought, the average beak size of these finches increased slightly. The reason cited for this is that during these dry periods, the most available seeds are larger and tougher to crack than at other times. So birds with larger beaks do better in conditions of drought.

I spent an afternoon looking at specimens of Darwin's finches when I was in graduate school at Yale University and should point out that the changes in beak thickness is minimal and thus measured in tens of millimeters (thickness of a thumbnail). Moreover, the changes seem to be cyclical. When the rains returns, the original size seeds appear and the average beak size returns to normal.

This is not evolution. It is an interesting cyclical pattern in natural history. But it's not evolution. Nevertheless, one science writer enthusiastically proclaimed that this is evolution happening "before [our] very eyes."

August 14, 2010 at 3:21 p.m.

"If this is evolution occurring then we should be seeing macro changes that would allow these finches to evolve into another species. But this cyclical pattern shows just the opposite. These minor changes in beak size and thickness actually allow them to remain finches under changing environmental conditions. It does not show them evolving into another species.

So what has been the response from the scientific establishment? The National Academy of Sciences put out a booklet on evolution for teachers. The booklet did not even mention that the average beak size returned to normal after drought. Instead the booklet makes unwarranted speculation about what might happen if these changes were to continue indefinitely for a few hundred years. "If droughts occur about once every ten years on the islands, a new species of finch might arise in only 200 years."

Is this an accurate conclusion based upon the facts of natural history? It seems to be a clear example of misleading teachers (who in turn will unintentionally mislead their students). The booklet teaches that the beak sizes in Darwin's finches are directional and evolutionary rather than cyclical and reversible.

A column in the Wall Street Journal made this point. "When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in jail," Phillip Johnson said, "you know they are in trouble".

Ray Bohlin's review of Jonathan Well's book, Icons of Evolution, provides further detail on some of these examples".

August 14, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Again, a bunch of posts full of misrepresentations, quotemines and lies (that you mention Dennett and Johnson is telling) most of which you probably cut and paste from apologetic websites (as you probably don't understand it your self). Canary, you are full of it.

August 14, 2010 at 3:34 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

For those readers who want a complete rundown of Johnson and his book Darwin on Trail, and of Dennett and his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, check these links. Dennett is a philosopher, Johnson an attorney. Neither are working scientists.

August 14, 2010 at 6:48 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

Evolution explained so that anyone smarter than a preschooler can understand...

August 14, 2010 at 7:08 p.m.
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