What’s the story behind the newest fossil find?

What do you think of the newest human fossil discovery reported in the news this week?

I think this statement I read on a T-shirt once seems to sum it up: "Have you every seen the Energizer Bunny?  You know, it keeps going and going and going…  The same is true for missing links; they keep missing and missing and missing…"

To best understand discoveries such as this one of "Kenyanthropus platyops" it is necessary to understand the underlying model used to interpret the fossil.  Scientifically, the best way to reconstruct the unobserved past is to build a model.  Evolution and creation are best described as "models" to explain origin.  A model is defined as a scientific framework of ideas used to help organize and understand facts in a meaningful way.  Thus, the model that explains the greatest number of facts with the fewest number of modifications is the one most likely to be true.  That is, a model will make certain predictions about what the evidence will show.  If the evolution model of human origin were true, for example, we would predict that the fossil evidence would show some transitional forms between modern humans and their "common ancestor."  In other words, what would be expected and thus predicted from the evolution model is a clear-cut missing link.  However, discoveries such as Kenyantropus illustrate the overwhelming fallibility of the evolution model.  It must bend and twist to accommodate every new discovery.   Instead of confirming conclusions made by evolutionists this discovery has them in a quandary.  For example, Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Museum on Natural History was quoted in USA Today saying, "What is clear is that human evolution is much more complicated than we thought."

This is not unusual.  Supposed human ancestors have made a habit of mischievously showing up in the wrong place for evolutionists.  An entire category of human/ape fossils called Homo habilis is a great example.  These fossils were widely publicized as a bridge to the gap between humans and apes.  Over the years, however, it became evidence that this group was a mixture of apes and humans.  Most of the fossils in this group were simply varieties of apes.  However, to add respectability fossils such as KNM-ER 1470 and 1590 were included.  (KNM stands for Kenya National Museum and ER stands for East Rudolf where the fossils were found.)  Later studies revealed these were simply human fossils with brain capacities well within the range of modern humans.  Richard Leakey, (father of Meave Leakey who found Kenyanthropus) who discovered KNM-ER 1470 said, "Either we toss out this skull or we toss out our theories of early man.  It simply fits no previous models of human beginnings."  Instead of abandoning the grouping, this group is still promoted as an in-between group between the Australopithecines and Homo erectus.

Professor Marvin Lubenow in his book Bones of Contention points out the problem with claiming that such fossils support evolution: "Just for the fun of it, let's grant the evolutionist his point.  Let's assume that there is something very bad about telling a student that the oldest human fossil ever discovered supports Special Creation.  As bad as that might be, I can think of something even worse.  To tell a student that the oldest human fossil ever discovered supports evolution.  Because that would be a lie."

As difficult a job as it might be there comes a time when every child should be told there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.  Likewise, as difficult as it might be for evolutionists, the time has come for us to be told the truth about these fossils.  Fairy tales such as evolution must be abandoned in the name of science and logic.  The truth of a special creation by an intelligent designer is the only reasonable model that can defend the evidence.

The Kenyanthropus find is no surprise to the creation model.  This flat-faced, small-toothed fossil creature with a brain the size of a chimpanzee was probably some variety of an ape.  But, for now, evolutionists have the job of convincing the public otherwise.  Attempts over the last few years to convince us that Lucy was our great, great, great….. grandmother have failed.  Kenyanthropus gives them another opportunity for salesmanship until another candidate is found.  I have had many questions about Lucy and I will answer those in later columns.  This will shed additional light on your question about new discoveries such as this.

3/31/01
Page 60

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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen