Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Paleoanthropology Breaks a Finger Nail...Cordova Claims a Mortal Wound

In a mind-numbing display of intellectually vapid arrogance, Sal Cordova, who couldn't identify a fossil hominid if it bit him on the ass, has the audacity to accuse Richard Leakey of deliberately reconstructing the 1470 skull to appear more human-like. All of this is derived from reports of Tim Bromage's recent reconstruction of the skull based on computer modeling, which makes its face more protruding and brain size somewhat smaller than Leakey originally reconstructed. The immediate implication of this is that all fossil reconstructions must be hiding something (including I'm sure, the fossils that aren't actually reconstructions) and intelligent design is somehow vindicated. It is absolutely amazing the extent to which Intelligent Design proponents really need to cling to every change in scientific thinking and publicly decry it as a failure in order to prop up their own failed methods. Assuming for the moment that Tim Bromage's reconstruction actually holds up (which may or may not happen - it was presented as a poster at a conference and my bet is the full range of the method and data have not been presented, or more importantly, formally reviewed by other experts in the field), what we have here is another case of scientists continually asking questions, formulating hypothesis and testing them against new methods of analysis or new theoretical approaches in order to find more parsimonious explanations of the world around them. Just what does Cordova think he has? The death nell of early hominid evolution? Geez, Sal...wake up from your ID dilusion and have an honest gander at the voluminous (and annually mounting) evidence of the fact that humans and chimps share a common ancestor and were not specialy designed. Since intelligent design proponents don't actually work with data, theoretical perspective or hypothesis testing I suppose I can understand how these concepts are foreign to you, but even you and your band of driveling Ovis can't possibly think a single modified reconstruction is a mortal blow to fact that we have a ton of early hominid ancestors, all at various stages of transition between apes and humans. I mean, you have readers who think Piltdown is still a valid argument against evolution, for Christ sake!

Jonathan Wells is not vindicated by this issue, Sal (he can't even acurately discuss the early hominid evidence). If this holds true, it actually clarifies some issues in paleoanthropology. So keep bailing water out of that sinking ID ship , Sal...

4 comments:

jimbobboy said...

A splendid post; thank you.
It may be obvious that Cordova and the rest of the boobs over at UD are a joke in bad taste, but someone needs to point it out for the record.
In the nit-picking department:
s/"death nell"/"death knell"/

Christopher O'Brien said...

Thanks! Afarensis dug into some of the details on this issue here: http://scienceblogs.com/afarensis/2007/03/29/the_problem_with_1470/.

Thanks also for pointing out the spelling error - I didn't think it looked right, but spellchecker was giving me alternatives that didn't look right, either...

afarensis said...

Hawks has an interesting point about the reconstruction by Bromage...

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