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Creation Vs. Evolution: Paleontology

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Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

If it were not so serious, the situation would be comical. Every few months a media blitz raves about a new “half-and-half” creature that is unlike anything ever seen. Supposedly, tiny features about this novel beast give modern humans cutting-edge insights into how primate ancestors evolved into us. The incisors are larger or smaller than most apes, the cranium has a bigger (or smaller) capacity, the tiny toe bone fragments offer amazing information about how the creature walked on all fours most of the time, except when it was being chased by a specific kind of predator on Tuesdays in the Fall, the small scraps of finger bones tell us that the creature swung from branches for the majority of its life, except for brief periods of time when it descended to the ground to walk upright for elaborate mating rituals that occurred once every 10 years during the Summer equinox, etc. And we know all this from bone fragments that are supposedly millions of years old.

The troubling thing about this whole scenario is that no matter how many times creationists prove it to be false, and no matter how many times specific “creatures” like Piltdown Man, Lucy, or Ida are discredited, people continue to be shaken in their belief in the Bible by every “latest” find. With each new creature, frantic readers contact their favorite Christian apologists and demand that this new find must be answered within two days, or the Genesis account of creation is going to be jeopardized and its validity seriously compromised. It is as if the history of the numerous evolutionary foibles is forgotten by the masses every time the media adopts another evolutionary poster child.

The remedy to this is simple. Let us all stop, take a deep breath, and systematically go through a few of the reasons why the “latest find” is nothing more or less than all the other evolutionary “breakthroughs” that have gone before it. First, the entire concept of any life arising from non-living chemicals through random, evolutionary processes has been proven to be scientifically impossible (Thompson, 1989). Every legitimate experiment that has been done for the entirety of human history that has any bearing on the subject has shown that in the natural Universe, life comes only from previously existing life of its own kind. No research team has ever found an evolutionary link between humans and lower animals for the simple, yet profound reason, that evolution is impossible and humans could not evolve from lower life forms. Furthermore, specific human traits, such as consciousness, sexual reproduction, varying blood types, spoken language, and the complexity of the human brain, pose insurmountable barriers to the false theory of human evolution (see Harrub and Thompson, 2003).

Second, the dating methods that are used to render “accurate” dates of millions of years are fraught with irreconcilable difficulties that prove them to be useless (see DeYoung, 2005; Snelling, n.d.; Morris, 1994). In truth, the evolutionary community concocts whatever dates it wants, jettisons any that do not match its preconceived notions, and massages dates arbitrarily. Numerous fossil finds have supposedly added hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary time, even though the rejected time frame was “known” to be accurate (see Butt, 2005; Butt, 2006; Butt, 2008a). When an article begins with a statement like, “4.4 million years ago...,” it might as well be saying, “Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away....” Accurate dating methods that render dates in the millions do not exist.

Third, how many alleged human ancestors must be debunked before the world views these false evolutionary claims with appropriate incredulity. Chapters one and two of the Apologetics Press book The Truth About Human Origins deals definitively with Aegyptopithecus Zeuxis, Dryopithicus africanus, Ramapithesu brevirostris, Orrorin tugenensis, Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithicus anamensis, Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba, Kenyanthropus platyops, Lucy, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man, Java Man, and Rhodesian Man (2003). In addition, Hobbit Man has been debunked (see Harrub, 2004; Harrub, 2005) and “Lucy’s Baby” is no longer viable (see Harrub, 2006).

In more recent news, a lemur fossil named Ida was hailed as not just “a discovery of great significance” (“The Link,” 2009), but the “most significant scientific discovery of recent times” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Some scientists claimed that it would “finally confirm irrefutably Sir Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Leonard, emp. added). Dr. Jens Lorenz Franzen of Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world” (as quoted in Scally, 2009), and confidently proclaimed: “When our results are published, it will be just like an asteroid hitting the Earth” (“The Link”). Google was so enamored with the find that on May 20, 2009 the search engine mogul incorporated an illustration of the animal into its logo. So what was all the hoopla about? “Our earliest ancestor,” of course (“The Link”). At least, that is what some evolutionists and their friends in the media were telling everyone, until these claims were reduced to ashes by opponents within the evolutionary camp (see Lyons and Butt, 2009; Lyons, 2009b; Butt, 2009).

Enter the most recent newcomer to the long list of evolutionary losers—Ardi. Just five months after Ida—“the most significant scientific discovery of recent times, the eighth wonder of the world, our earliest ancestor”—we are introduced to Ardi—“the closest we have ever come” to the common ancestor we allegedly share with chimps (see Schmid, 2009). Ardi supposedly takes human evolution back to 4.4 million years ago. It is hyped as so significant that the journal Science contains 11 papers on it in the October, 2009 edition. David Pilbeam boldly stated: “This is one of the most important discoveries for the study of human evolution” (as quoted in Schmid, 2009, emp. added). Sounds remarkably like the announcement of Ida. Sample said “experts have described the find as the most important regarding human evolution in the past century” (2009). Amazing how quickly the “eighth wonder of the world” was replaced by Ardi.

One of the ironies surrounding Ardi’s heralded success is that if the evolutionary community was right in 2001, then our newest Ardi is much less significant than an earlier Ardi. You see, in the July 23, 2001 issue of Time, staff writers Michael Lemonick and Andrea Dorman introduced their readers to Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba. Supposedly, “Ardi” kadabba lived between 5.2 and 5.8 million years ago, more than a million years before the current reigning media champion. Furthermore, kadabba allegedly evolved “very close to the time when humans and chimps first went their separate ways” (see Harrub and Thompson, 2003, pp. 29-33). In addition, kadabba “almost certainly walked upright” according to the evolutionists who wrote about the find. We still have the bones of kadabba that were displayed in Time. So why are we not still hearing about this unprecedented evolutionary victory? For the simple reason that it is not the “Johnny-come-lately” that can generate media hype.

The latest reports of the 4.4 million-year-old Ardi are standard, run-of-the-mill, evolutionary propaganda that lack scientific integrity and, more basically, a foundation of truth. Already, we are being treated to “qualifying” statements such as, “it may take years to confirm exactly where Ardi fits in the history of human evolution” (Sample, 2009). Yale paleontologist Andrew Hill said: “We thought Lucy was the find of the century but, in retrospect, it isn’t” (as quoted in Sample). Would that we could fast-forward a few years (or a few weeks as in Ida’s case) and see what discrediting remarks Ardi will elicit “in retrospect.” In addition, the stories being spun are already contradictory. For instance, Schmid says that Ardi’s anatomy shows that “the development of their arms and legs indicates that they didn’t spend much time in the trees” (2009, emp. added). While, on the other hand, Sample stated: “Though Ardi would have spent much of her time in the trees, her pelvis was adapted to walking upright...” (2009, emp. added).

In other places, we have documented admissions from evolutionists, showing examples of the fabrication and exaggeration so prevalent in the field of evolutionary paleontology (see Butt, 2008b; Lyons, 2009a). And a close look at paleontological efforts to find “human ancestors” offers some keen insight into why we are treated to a new “relative” every few months. After all, Ardi was discovered in 1992. Following the original find, “a total of 47 researchers then spent a further 15 years removing, preparing and studying each of the fragments” (Sample, 2009). Somehow the paleontological world must justify spending 705 man-years of research on Ardi. So instead of calling it what it truly is, an ape, they are forced to justify their prodigal, vain years of research by claiming that they have stumbled upon the latest, greatest “wonder of the world.” Oh, that thinking people would have the wisdom to view Ardi, and all similar outlandish evolutionary claims, in light of real scientific facts. How many Lucys, Hobbits, Piltdowns, Nebraskas, and Idas will it take for people to see what is happening here? Add Ardi to the ever-growing heap of dead-ends piled high in the mass grave of alleged human evolution.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2005), “Reconsideration of Many Long-standing Assumptions,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2769.

Butt, Kyle (2006), “One Little Beaver Demolishes a Hundred Million Years,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2878.

Butt, Kyle (2008a), “Complex Jellies Jump 200 Million Years,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3580.

Butt, Kyle (2008b), “‘So We Make Up Stories’ About Human Evolution,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3641.

Butt, Kyle (2009), “Following Up on a Messy, and Still Missing, Link,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240171.

DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Harrub, Brad (2004), “Hobbit Heresy,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2641.

Harrub, Brad (2005), “Hobbit Hubbub,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/703.

Harrub, Brad (2006), “Lucy’s Baby?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3104.

Leonard, Tom (2009), “Scientists Unveil Stunning Fossil,” Telegraph, [On-line], URL: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5351315/Scientists-unveil-stunning-fossil.html.

“The Link” (2009), [On-line], URL: http://www.revealingthelink.com/.

Lyons, Eric (2009a), “Confessed Conjectures and Contradictions of Paleoartists,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240213.

Lyons, Eric (2009b), “Ida, One More Time,” [On-line]: URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240233.

Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2009), “Ida—A Missing Link?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240160.

Morris, John D. (1994), The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

Sample, Ian (2009), “Fossil Ardi Reveals the First Steps of the Human Race,” The Guardian, [On-line], URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/01/fossil-ardi-human-race.

Scally, Derek (2009), “Fossil Ida a Crucial Finding for the Understanding of Early Human Evolution,” Irish Times, May 21, [On-line], URL: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0521/1224247034331.html.

Schmid, Randolf (2009), “Before Lucy Came Ardi, New Earliest Hominid Found,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/ap_on_sc/us_sci_before_lucy.

Snelling, Andrew (no date), “The Fallacies of Radioactive Dating of Rocks: Basalt Lava Flows in Grand Canyon,” [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n1/radioactive-dating.

Thompson, Bert (1989), “The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2004.




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