The Ancient Brain

October 16, 2012

One of the major contentions of evolutionary theory is that it explains how organisms become more complex over time. This is a critical aspect because it is unimaginable that complex organisms would spring forth fully formed as the product of natural unguided forces. So evolutionists imagine mutations and natural selection acting in concert to ratchet organisms up the scale of complexity in a step-wise fashion. In this scenario evolution is a tinkerer, not planning, anticipating and directing change but incidentally modifying structures and occasionally stumbling upon beneficial solutions. There are many solid arguments against this idea with more gaining traction all the time, but perhaps the biggest reason to doubt the orthodox evolutionary view is that it simply don’t describe what actually happened in the history of life. There are in fact two realities (amongst others) that weigh against evolution, and they are the evident early complexity of organisms and the enduring stasis of organisms over time. Both are seen in a recent fossil discovery from the Cambrian era:

Complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought, as evidenced by a 520-million-year-old fossilized arthropod with remarkably well-preserved brain structures.

The remarkably well-preserved fossil of an extinct arthropod shows that anatomically complex brains evolved earlier than previously thought and have changed little over the course of evolution. According to University of Arizona neurobiologist Nicholas Strausfeld, who co-authored the study describing the specimen, the fossil is the earliest known to show a brain.

The researchers call their find “a transformative discovery” that could resolve a long-standing debate about how and when complex brains evolved.

“No one expected such an advanced brain would have evolved so early in the history of multicellular animals,” said Strausfeld, a Regents Professor in the UA department of neuroscience.

Of course no who believed brains developed according to ordinary evolutionary theory expected that an advanced brain would have evolved so early in the history of life and persisted for so long, but the reality poses no problem for those who believe life was intentionally designed. Such unexpected findings are found so often now that one becomes surprised when scientists are surprised – but as long as they cling to decrepit ideas about evolution, they will continue to be surprised at how complexity made an early appearance in earth’s history and persisted through the changing eons – which is exactly what one would expect if they had been engineered to live here on earth to begin with.

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Laetoli Footprints Keep on Walking

July 28, 2011

I have written previously about the Laetoli footprints and what they tell us about the history of humanity. Like all good science, there has been further research on the subject that confirms my original contention – that at a time when our ancestors were supposed to be the small, ape-like Australopithecus afarensis, something very like a modern human was walking around. From the article:

Quite remarkably, we found that some healthy humans produce footprints that are more like those of other apes than the Laetoli prints. The foot function represented by the prints is therefore most likely to be similar to patterns seen in modern-humans. This is important because the development of the features of human foot function helped our ancestors to expand further out of Africa.

 “Our work demonstrates that many of these features evolved nearly four million years ago in a species that most consider to be partially tree-dwelling. These findings show support for a previous study at Liverpool that showed upright bipedal walking originally evolved in a tree-living ancestor of living great apes and humans. Australopithecus afarensis, however, was not modern in body proportions of the limbs and torso.

“The characteristic long-legged, short body form of the modern human allows us to walk and run great distances, even when carrying heavy loads. Australopithecus afarensis had the reverse physical build, short legs and a long body, which makes it probable that it could only walk or run effectively over short distances. We now need to determine when our ancestors first became able to walk or run over the very long distances that enabled humans to colonise the world.”

In short, what scientists have long contended to be our primitive ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, can’t have made those footprints, and thus is unlikely to have been our ancestor.

This fact demonstrates a few problems with evolutionary paleontology – the first is that many evolutionary trees are constructed on presumptions about what think our ancestors must have looked like. Australopithecus fit the image of an ape-like intermediary, and so scientists held it up as ‘proof’ of that ancestry. The problem is, absent genetic evidence, such contentions are always guesswork, guesswork that we now know to be wrong in this instance.

It also demonstrates that our paleontological record of human history is still very incomplete. Obviously something else existed at the time of Australopithecus which made those footprints – yet we have no fossil record of such a creature other than these footprints. This tells us that the story of our biological ancestry is still largely unknown, despite assurances from evolutionists.

Obviously, as someone who believes humans are the product of design, I have no problem with an ancient human with the modern ability to walk upright.