"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Aug 9, 2007

Apparently Not Very Long

Leakey confirms what Intelligent Design already knew

One (of many) adaptive radiation diagrams of hominid evolution.
From Scientific American, January 2000, “Once We Were Not Alone”, page 60

Yesterday (at 3:19 pm) I posted commentary about the recent finds from Koobi Fora suggesting that Homo habilis and Homo erectus lived during the same period for at least part of their existence (however, see the terrific critique of the study at This put the final nail in the coffin for an idea that had been losing support for thirty years: that human evolution was a linear progression. I ended the post with the question:

How long do think it will take before the Creationist/Intelligent Design crowd jumps on this story to claim they were right all along?

Answer: 22 hours 51 minutes.

The Discovery Institute has now announced that the Nature study only reveals "one of Jonathan Wells' points in chapter 11 in Icons of Evolution." See, they knew all along. Wait, did they say Jonathan Wells? Jonathan Wells was arguing that human evolution occurred through a bushy distribution rather than a linear progression? Jonathan Wells who stated "my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism" was actually a closet supporter of adaptive radiation?

Perhaps I've misjudged the man. Wells does quote the adaptive radiation argument for human evolution presented by Stephen Jay Gould:

“Humans represent just one tiny, largely fortuitous, and late-arising twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life.”

But then he takes great umbrage with the statement. So where exactly did Jonathan Wells predict the recent findings from Koobi Fora? There's quite a lot about the Piltdown Man hoax, however surprisingly little detailed analysis of actual fossils. I'd be very interested to hear the answer to that.

How long do think it will take before the Discovery Institute gets back to me on that question? I'm guessing somewhat longer.

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JKMcKee said...

Right you are about the DI not taking long to blow this into unimaginable realms. As I was packing for vacation, I put out a hastily written but cogent primer, regarding the new discovery. Please have a look under "newsworthy" at my web site, which you can click on at my name.

Paul said...

I've never quite understood how any adult could devote their life to lying. Do you think the folks at the Discovery Institute see lying as a sort of sport?