Sunday, 26 August 2018

Hybrid Hominins! An individual with a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father

A letter [1] published 22nd August 2018 in Nature reports on the discovery of a bone fragment from a young female hominin whose mother was Neanderthal and whose father was Denisovan. That hybridisation between hominin species occurred in the past is no longer in question, but this discovery provides evidence of a first-generation cross between two different hominins, something which in itself is remarkable. Studies like this are no longer necessary to falsify creationist assertions about human origins as the evidence against universal human descent from two people living six thousand years ago is overwhelming, but to have evidence of a first-generation cross between two different hominin groups further underscores how human origins is far more amazing and complicated than the special creationist can imagine.

Monday, 13 August 2018

A flat Earth? That's what a literal reading of the Bible reflects...

One common strategy fundamentalists employ is an appeal to a literal reading of the first creation narrative to prove that the universe was really created in six literal consecutive days. [1] Of course, as we've known for quite some time, the universe is nearly 14 billion years old, the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, and the sequence in which life appeared on Earth contradicts the sequence in Genesis 1, so a literal reading is falsified by hard evidence.

Fundamentalists however are determined not to let something as trivial as hard facts get in the way of a literal interpretation of the Bible elevated to the status of dogma, so the usual response is to retreat to hard fideism, and simply ignore the facts. Science is after all merely the 'wisdom of men' and can routinely be ignored when inconvenient. Where things become problematic for the YEC literalist is that they are almost always [2] believers in a spherical earth and a heliocentric cosmology. As has been stated many times, a truly consistent reading of the Biblical references to the nature of the universe would require the fundamentalist to believe in a flat, fixed earth. I have yet to encounter a YEC who is able to defend heliocentrism and a spherical Earth purely from the Bible, which of course means the non-flat earth, non-geocentrist YEC is placing science above the literal word of the Bible. [3]