Evolution and humans (Evolution)

by dhw, Sunday, May 17, 2015, 12:53 (1042 days ago)

I am transferring this discussion to a new thread for reasons which will become apparent at the end of my post.

Tony: Q: How do you know it was unused?
A: We don't, but we assume it wasn't used because to assume otherwise is contrary to the theory of evolution, and our perception of early humanoids as knuckle dragging howling monkey men
David: Once again, it was assumed it was used. McCrone describes how he thinks H. habilis and H. erectus had some speech.

TONY: Yes, but it was assumed it was used as grunts and groans, not the eloquent speech we have today. That assumption is squarely based on the assumption that they were knuckle-dragging cave-dwellers, which in turn is squarely based on the theory of evolution's blueprint of common decent from apes.
It is a form of mental gymnastics used to show that we are superior to our ancestors despite the evidence. And I say despite the evidence because, when that evolutionary view is removed, the picture that is painted by the evidence is quite different than the story we tell ourselves today.


What a fascinating article. Many thanks! I am also highly sceptical as regards David's elevation of homo sapiens as the ultimate goal of evolution. Until recently, “Neanderthal” has actually been used as a term of abuse, whereas now we are discovering more and more evidence of their intelligence. (I have just read the equally fascinating article on Neanderthals that you posted earlier. Thank you again.) As for the idea that anatomical changes took place long before they were used, as if in preparation for later usage, it seems to me to run counter to the principles of evolution, and there cannot possibly be one shred of evidence to support the claim that the changes were not used for exactly the same purpose as today - namely to make intelligible sounds enabling communication.

However, I cannot see how the intelligence of our ancestors “is contrary to the theory of evolution”. Yes, it is contrary to stupid, knuckle-dragging monkey men, but the theory proposes a progression from not-so-bright monkey men to intelligent human men, and as regards HOW intelligent those early humans were, our only clue is whatever relics we find. (Note to David: as you well know, we will NEVER find relics relating to how they used their vocal apparatus for language.) The article suggests that just like the Neanderthals, the Denisovans were far more advanced than homo sapiens would like to think they were. That's it. Not that this somehow invalidates evolution.

David has asked how you explain the existence of the four groups if evolution did not happen. His own insistence that humans are “different in kind” from all other species begs the question of how he explains their existence if evolution did happen. This could be a very interesting discussion!

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum