The Left/Right Brain Dichotomy in Paleontology
Recent news regarding the “discovery” of some old bones (or were they fossils?) is stirring up a cloud of Smug in the ramshackle slum of the human intellect that is the evolutionary theory party. Basic left brain science can tell much about these specimens. The size, weight, color, exact shape, textures, material composition are some of these easy-to-determine objective criteria. But, trying to get beyond that, and the creativity of the right brain gets called upon. Some quotes from major news media outlets:
“Australopithecus sediba appears to present a mosaic of features demonstrating an animal comfortable in both worlds.” Lee R. Berger of South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand.
Mr Berger provides the perfect illustration of taking the jump from objectivity to subjectivity. Objectively the bones/fossils have shapes, textures, composition and for current species of apes and humans some of these ‘features’ are designed to interact with tissues and organs and other bones. It is a subjective step to assume that these similar features on this newly unearthed bone/fossil performed the same functions. And, with the few scraps of material uncovered so far to assumptions regarding something as simple as to the rest of the skeleton looked like are even bigger assumptions. Ultimately, the biggest assumptions come from the age. I’d love to interview the scientists here in detail about their scientific methodology for age-dating. The whole dating construct is based on one major flawed assumption: “What you see now has always been.” From the rate of radioactive decay or rate mineral leaching to the environment of the fossil remains ‘scientists’ typically assume the environment has been constant. Detailed scientific discussions of the flaws of the dating tools employed in paleontology are easy to find, here’s one: http://biblicalgeology.net/blog/archives/92/comment-page-1
Finally, a bonus quote:
“There will always be gaps of some size in that imperfect fossil record. The existence of those gaps does not mean we are desperately in need of the discovery of a new fossil that will link humans and earlier hominids and thus permit us to believe that Darwin was correct.”
This statement is correct, it is a religious act to “believe that Darwin was correct” that is not to be confused with scientific proof of natural selection/evolution. And yes, until at least one gap is filled in (and none are) there is no proof of any evolution. In actuality, gaps should be hard to find, in the alleged two million years since these poor creatures expired there should have been over 67,000 generations. In a minimum sustainable population of 5000 creatures that would leave 335,000,000 skeletal remains to dispose of. Looks to me like gaps should be hard to find, not impossible to fill.