Convoluted human evolution:genetic explosion (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 05, 2017, 18:13 (109 days ago) @ David Turell


David: Our free will is a result of the brain/consciousness we were given. All other organisms simply live, survive and reproduce. Your 'anomalies' are the result of removing God in control. The 'genetic explosion' refers to my comment about all the hominins that appeared as the only advance in evolution, which I would believe was totally under God's control.

An article has just appeared that covers this subject from the atheist science viewpoint:


https://phys.org/news/2017-08-paper-genus-homo-response-environmental.html

"Many scientists have argued that an influx, described as a "pulse," of new animal species appear in the African fossil record between 2.8 and 2.5 million years ago, including our own genus Homo. Experts believe it takes a broad-scale event like global climate change to spark the origination of so many diverse new species. However, W. Andrew Barr, a visiting assistant professor of anthropology, published a report that says it's possible the pulse of new species could have occurred by chance and might not be directly related to climate change.

"It is generally accepted that when major environmental changes occur, some species will go extinct and others will originate, which can create a cluster or pulse of new species in the fossil record. However, there is not a set definition of what is considered a pulse, so experts have disagreed about which clusters constitute meaningful events and which can be explained as random fluctuations.

"Dr. Barr used computer simulation to model what the fossil record might look like over time in the absence of any climate change and found clusters of species originations that were of similar magnitude to the clusters observed in the fossil record. This means random patterns are likely under-credited for their role in speciation fluctuation, he said.

"Dr. Barr's findings mean scientists may need to rethink widely-accepted ideas about why human ancestors became smarter and more sophisticated.

"The idea that our genus originated more than 2.5 million years ago as part of a turnover pulse in direct response to climate change has a deep history in paleonthropology," Dr. Barr said. "My study shows that the magnitude of that pulse could be caused by random fluctuations in speciation rates. One implication is that we may need to broaden our search for why our genus arose at that time and place."

***

"The idea the the origin of Homo is part of a climate-caused turnover pulse doesn't really bear out when you carefully look at the evidence and compare it against other possible explanations," Dr. Barr said.

"This research challenges scientists to be careful about the stories they tell about the history of human adaption, Dr. Barr said. Traits that make humans different from our ancestors, like larger brains and greater technological sophistication, could have arisen for a variety of reasons, he said.

"'We can sit in the present and tell stories of the past that make sense of our modern day adaptations," he said. "But these could have evolved for reasons we don't know.'"

Comment: This article makes a point about the real existence of 'pulses' which are sudden jumps or speeding up of a slower evolutionary process. The author suggests why without mentioning God. With my view of God always being in control, I can understand that He might slow down or speed up the process at times. Knowing that it took 3.6-8 billion years or so to reach the point when humans appeared, God was obviously willing to work slowly (by our standards) and perhaps speeded things up when the preparation for that 'pulse' was complete. At any rate the sudden pulse of hominins was the only major step in evolution in the past 6-8 million years as far as we know.


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