Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ray Comfort's lies in Origin of Species, refuted pages 23-

First, let's start by having you open this document and turn immediately to the 23rd page. (Sec1:19). I will be starting this section pretty much where I left off the last one, at the section titled "Transitional Forms." Please feel free to follow along at home so you know I'm not warping Comfort's words, nor am I putting words in his mouth.

For the record, for any and all words copied verbatim from Mr. Comfort's document, I am claiming fair use under section 107 of the US copyright code. Specifically, those provisions which allow for use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In this case, the intent is to offer criticism of a clearly fraudulent document, and thereby falls under even the most stringent definition of the fair use statute.

Comfort continues:

Piltdown was a deliberate fraud, as a paleontologist filed down teeth from an orangutan jaw and included it with pieces from a human skull, treated them with acid to make them appear old, and buried them in a gravel pit.

Now, Comfort is going to proceed to list one fraud, one mistake, and he's going to present Hovind's old "Neanderthal was a human with Rickets" claim as if it hasn't been refuted. Many times. In terms that a dead chipmunk could not possibly have failed to understand.

What Comfort does not say, ever, is why these fossils were exposed as frauds, and who exposed them.

In the case of Piltdown man, it was always viewed as a questionable find since it seemed to have features which could not be reconciled with the evolutionary framework as it stood. It was never considered definitive evidence of human common ancestry with the apes.

It was scientists, the very scientists that Comfort is trying oh-so-hard to indict, applying the scientific method, the method that Comfort is trying oh-so-hard to establish is worthless, who found the Piltdown was a fraud.

But wait, Comfort isn't done yet.

The famed Nebraska Man was derived from a single tooth, which was later found to be from an extinct pig.

Note, there is no footnote whatsoever for this statement.

This is likely due to the fact that if he even remotely searched through the information available, he would have found this statement, made by Osborn, the man who discovered the tooth, upon its discovery:

I have not stated that Hesperopithecus was either an Ape-man or in the direct line of human ancestry, because I consider it quite possible that we may discover anthropoid apes (Simiidae) with teeth closely imitating those of man (Hominidae),

He followed that statement up with this one:

"Until we secure more of the dentition, or parts of the skull or of the skeleton, we cannot be certain whether Hesperopithecus is a member of the Simiidae or of the Hominidae."

What we have here, and what Comfort avoids saying like the plague is that this is a rather beautiful example of science working exactly the way it is supposed to. Osborn presented a finding that he felt was interesting. Scientists, as they should, treated it with skepticism until more data was available. Osborn himself urged caution and presented his findings, in essence asking if anyone had seen similar dentition in a ape-like skull. When more data came forward showing that the tooth was not from the human lineage, a retraction was promptly published.

What Comfort again avoids saying is that this is exactly what is supposed to happen in any science, not just the ones that Comfort personally finds morally reprehensible.

But wait! Comfort's not done yet!

Heidelberg Man came from a jawbone, a large chin section, and a few teeth. Most scientists reject the jawbone because it’s similar to that of modern man.

Now Comfort has shifted from misrepresenting the facts to outright lying.

Here, you can see comparative images (to scale) of Heidelberg Man's jaw and a modern human jaw. The Heidelberg man's jaw can hardly be considered "similar to that of modern man."

And don’t look to Neanderthal Man for any evidence of evolution. He died of exposure—his skull was exposed as being fully human, not ape.

And again, Comfort is lying. Twice, in the same sentence.

First, Neanderthalis is not fully human. It is described as a subspecies of human Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis. It has a number of features which distinguish it from modern man, and from its contemporary subspecies of Homo Sapiens

As was previously explained, there is no such thing as a part human/part ape, any more than there is any such thing as a part vertebrate/part dog, or a part dog/part canine, or a part dog/part mammal. Apes are a whole class of animals which includes the entirety of the chimpanzees, the ourangoutans, the gorillas, and you. You cannot make any list of the shared properties of all apes without your also possessing every last one of those properties.

In short, if the skull is fully human, it is by definition, also fully ape.

Incidentally, I reiterate, the classification of humans in the ape clade was done by a man who was both Christian and creationist, who died three decades before Darwin was born.

Not only was his stooped posture found to be caused by disease,

Neanderthal has a number of properties which are unique to his lineage and which disappeared when it was driven to extinction.

For starters, Neanderthal Man has long bones a full 50% thicker than the modern man's average. Rickets does not cause that, it actually causes the opposite effect.

Rickets causes an outward curvature in the femur. Neanderthal's curves backwards.

There is no disease, or combination of diseases which produces all of the distinct features that Neanderthals possess.

but he also spoke and was artistic and religious.

Again, no citation is given for this claim. No footnotes exist here. As far as I can tell, the evidence for Neanderthalis's religious beliefs exist nowhere outside of Ray Comfort's mind.

Indeed, the Neanderthals were tool-makers, and had a social lifestyle, but the exact same thing is true of absolutely all of the great apes.

Including us.