Press Goes Ape Over Baby Lucy

first_imgThe news media, especially National Geographic, BBC News, and Associated Press (see Fox News) have new fodder for human-evolution stories and artwork, now that a partial skeleton of Australopithecus afarensis has been reported in Nature.1  The teeth, cranium, shoulder blades, fingers, inner ear, hyoid bone and other well-preserved parts match “typical African ape morphology.”  This is not a new discovery.  The research team has been gently extracting the pieces of bone from cemented sandstone for five years.  They submitted their initial paper in for publication in April, but estimate it will take several more years to extract remaining fragments from the matrix.    Based on tooth morphology, they estimate this specimen to have been a 3-year old female.  Because of the species affinity with “Lucy” (though found some 10 km from Johanson’s famous fossil), some are nicknaming this skeleton “Lucy’s baby” (but the discoverers have nicknamed her Salem, “peace”).  The skeleton from the waist up is very ape-like, indicating a life in the trees, they claim.  Though more complete than previous A. afarensis fossils, it lacks the pelvis; only a foot, pieces of leg bones, kneecaps “as small as a dried pea” provide anatomists with evidence to claim she walked upright – one of the most contentious parts of the debate over the older Lucy fossil.    The authors indicated that several parts of the skeleton have been distorted in the burial process: “The cranium is intact except for parts of the frontal squama and significant parts of both parietals, which have broken away to reveal the complete natural brain endocast (Fig. 1d),” the paper states.  “The back of the calvaria is slightly distorted, pushing the nuchal region forward (Fig. 1f).”  Later, “The articulated postcranial elements in the primary sandstone block include both scapulae and clavicles, the cervical, thoracic and the first two lumbar vertebrae, and many ribs.  They are displaced from their original anatomical positions, and are compressed superiorly under the cranial base and the palate, making preparation difficult (Fig. 1b, c).”  The scientific papers, furthermore, tend to be less dogmatic than the press releases.  The authors only say that this skeleton resembles Lucy, and are tentative about the age, which the popular press state confidently as 3 years old.  Furthermore, the authors understand that interpretations of life habits based on bones is not an exact science:Now that the scapula of this species can be examined in full for the first time, it is unexpected to find the strongest similarities with Gorilla, an animal in which weight-bearing and terrestrial knuckle-walking predominately characterize locomotor use of the forelimbs.  Problematic in the interpretation of these findings is that the diversity of scapula architecture among hominoid species is poorly understood from a functional perspective.Most surprising, this specimen was apparently buried suddenly in a watery flood along with many other animals:This depositional setting, combined with the remarkable preservation of many articulated faunal remains lacking evidence of preburial weathering, most likely indicates that the juvenile hominin was buried as an intact corpse shortly after death during a major flood event.This is echoed by Wynn et al. who, in the same issue of Nature,2 described the geological setting of the fossil:This depositional setting, combined with the remarkable preservation of many articulated faunal remains lacking evidence of preburial weathering, most probably indicates rapid deposition during major flood events, burying many fossils as intact corpses (including the juvenile hominin).In the vicinity of the skeleton were found bones of catfish, mouse, rat, monkey, baboon, mongoose, elephant, extinct horse, rhino, hippo, pig, bushbuck, giraffe, antelope, impala, gazelle, crocodile, coral snake, tortoise, and other animals.    In the same issue of Nature,3 Bernard Wood called Lucy’s baby “a precious little bundle.”  He agrees, “The corpse of the infant was buried more or less intact, and the sediment in flood waters must have swiftly covered it.”  As to this species’ ability to walk upright, Wood is equivocal:There remains a great deal of controversy regarding the posture and locomotion of A. afarensis.  Most researchers accept that it could stand upright and walk on two feet, but whether it could climb up and move through trees is still disputed.  Some suggest that its adaptations to walking on two feet preclude any significant arboreal locomotion, and interpret any limb features that support such locomotion as evolutionary baggage without any useful function.  Others suggest that a primitive limb morphology would not have persisted unless it served a purpose.Wood leaves any complete understanding to the future.  After exploring several questions this fossil opens, he ended, “Whatever the answers to such questions, the Dikika infant has the potential to provide a wealth of information about the growth and development, function and taxonomy of A. afarensis.”  He told Associated Press that this find won’t settle the debate among scientists, which he said “makes the Middle East look like a picnic.”  National Geographic, though, was all ready with artwork, videos and special features about Lucy on the day of the announcement, and Scientific American went all-out with a special feature, including a clickable diagram of each bone fragment.  On the other hand, Carl Wieland, a creationist with Creation Ministries International, considers this good news.  The more complete skeleton confirms what critics have alleged for years, that Lucy was a tree-climbing, knuckle-walking ape that did not walk upright.1Alemseged et al., “A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia,” Nature 443, 296-301(21 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05047; Received 22 April 2006; Accepted 6 July 2006.2Wynn et al., “Geological and palaeontological context of a Pliocene juvenile hominin at Dikika, Ethiopia,” Nature 443, 332-336(21 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05048; Received 24 April 2006; Accepted 6 July 2006.3Bernard Wood, “Palaeoanthropology: A precious little bundle,” Nature 278-281(21 September 2006) | doi:10.1038/443278a; Published online 20 September 2006.When you scrape away the hype and artistic license, most of the details of the actual bones seem to back up criticisms by creationists that this is nothing more than an extinct ape.  The only portions of the skeleton that evolutionists use to claim this creature had something to do with human evolution are the least preserved: the leg and foot bones.  They interpret these to mean it walked upright, as if walking upright is the main human distinctive.  The best-preserved parts of the skeleton, by contrast, are clearly ape-like and argue against this extinct ape being a walker.  Read the articles skeptically, without assuming what the evolutionists assume, and the evidence is profoundly unconvincing for the claims made about it.  Everything from the backbone up is well within the charts for an ape, not a human wannabee.  The paleontologists admitted, also, that the skeleton has been deformed; how does that affect the interpretation, when assessing function from structure is “poorly understood” under the best of conditions?    This fossil also creates other problems for the evolutionists.  Consider, for instance, how the evidence for arboreal (tree-climbing) behavior, based on the fingers and shoulder blades, scrambles the Lucy story: “The foot and other evidence from the lower limb provide clear evidence for bipedal locomotion [sic], but the gorilla-like scapula and long and curved manual phalanges raise new questions about the importance of arboreal behaviour in the A. afarensis locomotor repertoire.”  This means that evolutionists must now either consider the tree-climbing equipment as “evolutionary baggage” or believe that this creature climbed trees half the time and walked upright the other half.  (Only human boys exhibit this behavior today, but they quickly grow out of it.)  If Darwin’s mechanism could produce instant phyla at the Cambrian, why couldn’t it get rid of its baggage just as quickly?  On the other hand, if Baby Lucy was happy in the treetops, why was there evolutionary pressure to make her strut on the ground, when other primates found buried with her did not feel the same pressure?  And how can minorities endure the racism implicit in the artwork (see Yahoo) that always shows these alleged primitives with dark skin?    The Darwin Party baby shower for Salem is, therefore, highly overblown, as is usual for human-evolution celebrations.  They don’t seem to be focusing quite as much on the remarkable collection of animals buried with the little she-ape.  If a sudden flood of this magnitude occurred today, burying this many animals in the same graveyard all at once, wouldn’t it be international news?  This was not a volcanic landslide; it was a watery catastrophe.  Notice how much the media are going out of their way to characterize this ape as a child and a baby when they won’t even afford that dignity to a human embryo.  It is time to get rid of the evolutionary baggage and discover the real Peace Child.(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast November 25, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We have 2 dry days over Ohio before our next frontal complex arrives. Generally speaking, we have 2 well organized systems moving through the region in the next 10 days, and it will be difficult to see any more than about 2 days in between the two. The map at right shows 10 day liquid equivalent precipitation totals.  Thanksgiving looks dry. Here is the breakdown.Today we are dry with milder air and some sunshine. We start similar tomorrow, but we are likely going to see clouds build in the afternoon. Temps tomorrow remain mild.After midnight tomorrow night, we start to see light moisture moving into the western part of Ohio. Action will be rain, as temps stay mild on south flow. Through Wednesday several waves of moisture move through the state, before all action ends. We think we see anywhere from .25″-.6″ of rain over 100% of Ohio out of the entire event.We are dry for Thanksgiving. Expect some sunshine early, but clouds likely start to develop again later in afternoon and overnight.System number 2 comes through for Black Friday through Saturday. That system may start with some snow early on Friday, as temps are still chilly from Thanksgiving. But, as temps rise we see  most action come as rain. Liquid equivalent precipitation totals should end up between .25″-.75″, with coverage at 90%.Significantly colder air comes in behind that system. Temps go well below normal, and we likely see some lake effect snow for later Sunday into Monday. We wont rule out a coating to a couple of inches of accumulations in that period, with coverage at 70%. However, by Monday afternoon, that snow moves out, but clouds stay.Dry and cold to finish the 10 day window for the 3rd and 4th, with clouds and sunshine. Temps will stay well below normal, but will moderate likely on Wednesday the 4th.last_img read more

Ruckus in Haryana Assembly

first_imgThe Haryana Assembly Monday witnessed an hour-long ruckus during the Zero Hour when Speaker Kanwar Pal disallowed INLD’s adjournment motion on the SYL canal issue, following which the opposition members staged a symbolic walkout from the House. As soon as the Zero Hour began, INLD’s senior leader Abhay Singh Chautala, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, sought to know from the Speaker the fate of his party’s adjournment motion moved over non-completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link canal. However, the Speaker disallowed the motion, saying “the matter is sub-judice and therefore, cannot be taken up in the Assembly for debate.” Dissatisfied with his reply, Mr. Chautala said, “There is no issue concerning SYL which is pending before courts.” Congress’ Karan Singh Dalal said, “Employees of various departments are protesting on the streets, but the government has invoked ESMA to crush their democratic right to protest.” Mr. Chautala also made a mention of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), saying “it has been invoked to create fear among employees so that they do not raise their voice in the future”. “How can this (SYL) be disallowed…there is nothing pending before court. Is SYL issue not important? Should it not be discussed in the House. First and foremost, this issue should be taken up,” Mr. Chautala said.Slogans against govt. Later, the Indian National Lok Dal members raised slogans against government. The Congress MLAs raised slogans and dubbed the government as “anti-farmers, anti-traders and anti-employees“. As the ruckus in the House continued, the INLD members staged a symbolic walkout to protest their adjournment motion on SYL being disallowed.last_img read more

HP govt orders probe into womans death who was wrongly diagnosed as

first_imgShimla: In a shocking case, a married woman died at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) Shimla—a leading government health institution on Tuesday after she had slipped into coma following her wrong diagnosis at a private clinic as being “HIV positive” case.Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday ordered a high level prove into the incident admitting that it’s shocking and distressing to know about such a loss of young life, apparently she had been passing through a mental agony about wrong HIV test. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM'”I have asked Director of the health services to look into the incident and submit a report within a fortnight. Strict action will be taken against the guilty. We will also try to help the family,” he declared in the state Assembly. The issue was raised by Rohru Congress MLA Mohan Lal Brakta, who pointed out that the woman, who was married only some months back was in shock and distress when she learnt about her HIV test. He demanded strict legal action against the private clinic and grant of appropriate compensation to the family. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThe woman, as par her family, was rushed to a private clinic at Rohru on August 21 when her condition became critical. She was some months pregnant. “Doctors at the private hospital initially asked the family to arrange some blood but soon took a decision to refer her Shimla’s government hospital, 110 km from Rohru,” recalls her brother Des Raj. On reaching Shimla, she was taken to Kamla Nehru Hospital (KNH), where the doctors performed a surgery. Her condition was stable till August 22. “It was only when her husband Harish Kumar was briefed about her being a HIV positive case, and advised to undergone his screening, she overheard it. Thereafter she went into coma and never recovered,” brother says. Later, referred to Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) hospital, she was again subjected to a fresh HIV test at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) of National Aids Control Organisation (NACO). Her blood samples were tested negative. “But it was too late for her to know that she is not a HIV positive, as declared by the private clinic of Roohru. We lost her in error of judgement or negligence by doctors, who were supposed to save her life,” says Des Raj, who also works at IGMC Shimla.last_img read more

INDIGENOUS FASHION WEEK TORONTO KICKS OFF WITH NEW MOON

first_img Login/Register With: Sage Paul is a fashion designer and co-founder of Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator. (Westend Studios) Paul, who identifies as an Urban Dene woman, is the artistic director and founder of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. Advertisement The inaugural Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto kicked off Thursday evening, showcasing new and upcoming designers.The entire event will take place over four days, each day culminating with a runway showcase inspired by the traditional phases of the moon. Thursday was dubbed New Moon.“This is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was in college,” said Sage Paul. Facebook Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Lesley Hampton is a First Nations fashion designer based in Toronto who is showing her Fall/Winter 18 collection, ‘Lithium,’ at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. (Rhiannon Johnson/CBC)last_img read more