Re: The Kansas Science Education Standards

From: Cliff Lundberg (cliff@noe.com)
Date: Wed Jan 26 2000 - 23:57:25 EST

  • Next message: John E. Rylander: "RE: Evolution and Rape (was Re: The Kansas Science EducationStandards)"

    Susan Brassfield wrote:
    >>Susan Brassfield wrote:
    >>
    >>>Australopithecus afarensis has a very apelike head but very humanlike hips
    >>>and knee joints. It is clearly transitional between humans and an apelike
    >>>ancestor.
    >
    >Cliff Lundberg:
    >>When are people going to realize that an intermediate form is not
    >>necessarily a transitional form? There were various hominid species,
    >>and it is extremely unlikely that each one evolved from another. It's
    >>the same old error of trying to force known forms into evolutionary
    >>sequences.
    >
    >My answer to this is a pithy "so what?" The hominid family tree was clearly
    >once much bushier than it is now. It really isn't necessary for A.
    >afarensis to be directly ancestral to homo sapiens. It is clearly *between*
    >and that is what must be concealed to preserve the fiction that there are
    >no transitionals.

    If 'pushing' evolution were my major concern, I suppose I would be
    annoyed if some fine example were disallowed because of some
    quibble. But I've accepted evolution, on general principles; now I'm
    interested in knowing how it happened. The subject is so obscure,
    we have to think carefully and logically. An intermediate form can't
    be assumed to be transitional without some argument, some
    evidence other than that the supposed transition fits some general
    model. Simply appearing *between* has no bearing at all on questions
    of direct-descent vs common-ancestry, nor is it even obvious in what
    direction a transitional move proceeded, that is, which form was primitive.
    Evidently you don't care about these questions; problems are to be
    glossed over, lest the creationists make capital out of them.

    Anti-creationism is not science, it's a propaganda program. You can
    be sure that creationists appreciate anti-creationists profoundly for
    implying that there is some controversy here to be debated.

    --
    Cliff Lundberg  ~  San Francisco  ~  cliff@noe.com
    



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