Top Six Human Evolution Discoveries of 2018

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Thanks for sharing. I was looking at the Neanderthal cave art one and found all kinds of interesting things include dozens of citations for a paper published earlier this year. I saw the authors pushed back defending their dating of the artwork and they stood by this as a ‘smoking gun’ that Neanderthals made art (will put references in this post tomorrow). There were also many more interesting finds including Neanderthals using symbolism closer to 120 kya. The idea of these being unique to Homo sapiens seems to be decreasing quite a bit.

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As an ex-YEC, I well remember the “YEC Golden Age” of the 1960’s when the The Genesis Flood (1962, Henry Morris & John Whitcomb Jr.) and the writings/lectures/debates of Duane Gish had a huge influence, especially in the U.S. Bible Belts, and set the stage for the various origins-ministries of our day (e.g., Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis, The Institute for Creation Research, et al.) When I read an article like Top 6 Human Evolution Discoveries of 2018 I’m struck by the virtual “firehose” of scientific papers describing in great detail the massive evidence for human evolution—and all from a time frame which dwarfs the 6000 year worldview of classical Young Earth Creationism.

In 1961, there was a lot less evidence qualitatively—though still quantitatively massive–for Gish, Morris, and Whitcomb to deny with their simplistic pseudoscience and dismissive statements. Their alternative explanations for that evidence were woefully inadequate (to say the least) but at least there was much less evidence to ignore and they didn’t haven’t to deal with genomic data. Drs. Gish and Morris died some years ago and I no longer have contact with Dr. Whitcomb. But I’ve wondered if he reflects at all on how science has continued to make amazing discoveries concerning human origins while the creation science movement he helped launch has become ever more disengaged from the ever growing torrent of new evidence. And in the half century since that launch, creation science has made zero contributions to scientific discovery and progress.

Whenever I read articles like the aforementioned, I think back to those interesting days of long ago sitting in a church service listening to John Whitcomb explain why paleontologists were deluded. I also reflect on Duane Gish sending me cassette tapes of his “debate victories” because he wanted me to arrange a public debate for him on my university campus.

Science marches on, largely oblivious to the denials of those who struggled (and eventually gave up) on engaging the massive flood of evidence.

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