Homo neanderthalensis is an extinct member of the Homo genus and is considered one of our closest relatives. Neanderthals left Africa somewhere between 400,000-800,000 years ago and scattered moderately across Europe. They were very similar to modern humans, although they were actually much stronger. They even created advanced tools and were able to cook to some extent. Neanderthals went extinct approximately 30,000 years ago, which means that when humans (Homo sapiens) left Africa about 80,000 years ago we encountered Neanderthals and even interbred. Genetically we had not diverged enough to prevent breeding, and for that reason all humans of European decent have Neanderthal genes that do not match the current chromosome pattern of modern human DNA.
Humans that live in Africa and who do not have European ancestors do not have any trace of this Neanderthal DNA, because their ancestors did not leave Africa and interbreed.
Dr. Labuda of Oxford University examined the genomes of 6,000 various people across the planet, and came to the astonishing conclusion that there was a very large amount of interbreeding (lots of sex). This fusion of DNA on the chromosome is called a haplotype, and is typically inherited from a divergent ancestor.
Dr. Nick Patterson of MIT confirmed the stunning research:There is little doubt that this haplotype is present because of mating with our ancestors and Neanderthals. This is a very nice result, and further analysis may help determine more details.
Dr. David Reich of Harvard Medical School also echoes the results:Dr. Labuda and his colleagues were the first to identify a genetic variation in non-Africans that was likely to have come from an archaic population. This was done entirely without the Neanderthal genome sequence, but in light of the Neanderthal sequence, it is now clear that they were absolutely right!
Read the article in the Oxford Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Most people have a difficult time imagining that they are related to plants via evolution. It’s a common difficulty that deserves attention. Being humans, we tend to feel supercilious about our state of existence. Animals evolved rather late in the evolutionary time scale. The Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. While life first formed approximately 3.5 billion years ago, animals did not exist until the last 600 million years.
Life began as prokaryotes, which consists of bacteria and archaea of extreme simplicity. They contain no nucleus, no complex cell structures, and have no contained DNA. Everything is openly accessible within the cell, some of which is free-floating. They didn’t even reproduce by self-replication, but rather by horizontal gene transfer. After about 1.5-2 billion years these organisms gave way to eukaryotes which had more complex cells with nuclei.
Plants first evolved as eukaryotic algae, when a single-celled eukaryote managed to form an endosymbiotic relationship with cyanobacterium. That means that the eukaryotes were able to contain prokaryotes living within them, such as cyanobacterium. This new organism would have been the first plant and served as the precursor for the wide range of modern plants we see today.
The ancient eukaryotic algae still exist today, and are a vital part of the marine carbon and oxygen cycles, without which you would not exist. Plants evolved the ability to use photosynthesis from sunlight and air, and rapidly spread across the continents. Wooden trees evolved to increase height and stability, while continuing to reproduce asexually like their bacterium ancestors.
So if you’re feeling the need to worship, give thanks to the real reason you’re here. The ocean bacterium that created plants, the plants that created oxygen, the fish that evolved in the oceans, and the amphibians that left the water to eat the plants, and the animals that now live solely on land and eat the herbivores.
A team of Oxford and Australian geologists have unearthed fossilized specimens that are now tentatively dated to be the oldest organisms ever discovered on the face of the Earth. These 3.4 billion year old single-celled organisms were discovered in sandstone at the base of the Strelley Pool rock formation in Western Australia. While the surprising results await further review, it is not coincidental that the fossils were found in a remote location that was once the beaches of perhaps the first island to emerge above the ocean’s surface.Their assertion, if sustained, confirms the view that life evolved on earth surprisingly soon after the Late Heavy Bombardment, a reign of destruction in which waves of asteroids slammed into the primitive planet, heating the surface to molten rock and boiling the oceans into an incandescent mist. The bombardment, which ended around 3.85 billion years ago, would have sterilized the earth’s surface of any incipient life.
Conditions were very different from those of today. The moon orbited far closer to earth, raising huge tides. The atmosphere was full of methane, since plants had not yet evolved to provide oxygen, and greenhouse warming from the methane had heated the oceans to the temperature of a hot bath.
It was in these conditions, the geologists believe, that organisms resembling today’s bacteria lived in the crevices between the pebbles on the beach. Examining thin slices of rock under the microscope, they have found structures that look like living cells, some in clusters that seem to show cell division. — New York Times
It seems that these nascent organisms fed off of sulfur much like the thermophilic bacterium that still thrive today. Rocks older than 3.5 billion years have been so thoroughly cooked as to destroy all cellular structures, but chemical traces of life can still be detected. Chemicals indicative of life have been reported in rocks 3.5 billion years old in the Dresser Formation of Western Australia and, with less certainty, in rocks 3.8 billion years old in Greenland.
Read the article published in Nature Geoscience here.
Just because you can’t imagine and don’t know how something can be true does not automatically make that thing false. It merely says that you lack imagination and the will to gain knowledge. Ignorance is never something to be proud of.
This post reeks of arrogance. I am sorry but that is how it comes across. Simply because we don’t believe in evolution means we “lack imagination and the will to gain knowledge”? Who now is the close-minded one.
No one thinks that something is false because they can’t understand it. No one says, “I haven’t taken the time to understand and study evolution, therefore it’s false.”
So your statement “just because you can’t imagine and don’t know how something can be true does not automatically make that thing false” is redundant.
I for example hold a disbelief in evolution because it is biologically and mathematically impossible. The odds are too far against it. And don’t reply by saying “your worldview isn’t any better,” that does nothing but shift the blame. We’re talking about evolution here.
You hold a very tunnel-visioned view of theists, good sir, which is why you think that all Christians reject evolution simply because they don’t study or understand it. I believe that a true understanding of evolution is precisely what drives one to a disbelief in it.
You know, with all the “we can be moral without God” talk recently in atheist circles, you atheists would do good to be an example. Have some respect.
Sorry, my bullshit alarm went off way too hard to just ignore this.
Mathematically impossible? I would understand claim that it was mathematically impossible if we had to use imaginary or complex number within biological calculations regarding evolution, but we don’t. We work specifically within the realm of real numbers and we get real results to the calculations.
How is that mathematically impossible?
It’s not. You’re bullshitting your way by pulling bullshit excuses out of your ass.
Anybody with basic knowledge in statistics, mathematics, and biology would and will tell you, it’s mathematically improbable, not impossible. Yes there is a large difference and anybody who is literate in the three topics I mentioned prior would know this and also know that to claim it is impossible is utter bullshit.
But you want to talk about mathematical improbabilities and evolution? Let’s examine the ERV placements in the genome of a human and a chimpanzee. ERVs are about 300 base pair long viruses which insert themselves into the genome of the host. If the ERVs reach a gamete, then the offsprings, and their offsprings, and their offsprings would have these same ERVs, in the same placement in the genome. Keep this in mind.
Both the human and chimpanzee genome is about 3 billion base pairs long. So if there was one pair of identical ERVs in the same placement in both the human and chimpanzee genome, the probability of that without a common ancestor to pass on these ERVs would be (1/3000000000)*(1/3000000000), or (1/9000000000000000000), or (1/(9*10^18)). The human genome is about 10% ERV, LINE, and SINEs, most commonly the Alu sequence. Out of that 10% of ERVs, 40% of the humans’ and chimpanzees’ match up both in base pair sequence and in placement. So let’s calculate the probability of both species obtaining said ERVs without a common ancestor
This is equal to the following.
That’s a 1 divided by a 1 with 7581697 0s after it (I would type it out, but that’s equal to about 2432 pages of 0s on single-spaced, font size 10, times new roman with no commas or spaces in between the 0s). That’s a mathematical improbability so great that it is pretty much conclusive in falsifying the claim that humans and chimpanzees cannot have a common ancestor. Ergo, humans and chimpanzees had a common ancestor. This validates evolution.
“evolution is mathematically impossible”, but let’s just ignore the parts where pure math and probability itself validate evolution.
As for biologically impossible? Most of the laws and advancements in modern biology stem from evolution or work centered in evolution and in which evolution is a key component. Evolution is not in violation in any biological, chemical, or physical law, so I ask, why do you lay out even more bullshit reasoning trying to defend your factually incorrect stance? Oh wait, it’s factually incorrect.
But go on, ignore all the evidence. Scientists have already empirically caused macroevolution in experiments in labs, but by ignoring those advancements and achievements just so you can maintain your claim that some supernatural being waved his hands and everything just appeared, that isn’t being closed minded or lacking the will to gain knowledge at all. I mean, it’s only disregarding evidence accumulated for decades, if not centuries to advocate a stance which has no factual backing, that’s not intellectually dishonest at all.
As for respect, I don’t have to respect you when you go around perpetrating lies. Evolution is a fact, but you claim a stance that has no factual basing and is, by all evidence we have today, most probably false.
If I may, would you please refer to the Eighth Commandment? I believe it translate to Thou. Shalt. Not. Lie, or at least bear false witness in which advocating creationism is.
ALL HAIL ARCEUS
Here’s a list of Counter-creationist resources from the blog AnswersInGenesisBusted. They cover a large range of topics for geology to the flood to supporting evidence for evolution, so if you are ever arguing with a creationist, these should be helpful no matter which way the conversation turns.
Genesis Vs. Geology by Stephen Jay Gould
Gould explains why creationism isn’t science, and why the fossil record has falsified it.
The Polar Bear Disproves Creationism
Ron Rayborne explains how the Polar Bear completely falsifies the claims of creationism.
Six Flood Arguments Creationists Can’t Answer
An absolutely excellent article which uses multiple lines of evidence to falsify the Global Flood Myth.
Glenn Morton’s Anti-Creationism Page - Very well written articles from a former young earth creationist turned Geologist.
No Answers in Genesis - Great site with a lot of articles.
American Atheists on Evolution - Frank Zindler writes a variety of excellent articles on evolution and creationism, in a way that is easy to understand. My favorites:
The Kiwi Question - Shows how Biogeography disproves Creationism
Rock of Ages - Why Geology reveals the Earth to be very, very old.
Half a Wing and No Prayer - Discusses the Evolution of the Wing and Eye.
Evolution: 24 Myths and Misconceptions - Highly recommended for those still learning!
Evolution/Creation NCSE Archives
Creationism: Scientists Respond
Internet Infidels on Creationism
Talk Origins on Creationism
Ken Miller’s Intelligent Design Page
Lenny Flank’s “Creationism Debunked” Page
DefCon’s Top 10 Reasons the Universe is NOT Six Thousand Years Old
Creationism and Intelligent Design Watch
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
Don Lindsay’s Creationism Page - Goes through Many Specific Issues.
Major Problems with the Flood Story
ERV Blog - An Graduate Student With a Talent for Debunking IDers
Panda’s Thumb - All the Latest News on ID and Creationism.
These are some of my favorite youtubers who regularly create videos debunking creationism:
“Actually…” Dedicated to Making Creationists look Foolish
CDK007 - He explains the Evolution of the Flagellum, and constantly debunks IDists/Creationists.
My Youtube Channel
Neanderthals and mtDNA
The Age of Our World Made Easy
Bacteria: The Link You’ve Been Waiting For
Ray Comfort’s Banana Challenge
Intelligent Design Section
Scientists Defend PBS Evolution Series
Jonathan Wells Debunked
”The Vise Strategy Undone” by Barbara Forrest
Nick Matzke’s Review of the Edge of Evolution
Nick Matzke’s Response to Behe
NOVA: Judgement Day Part 1
The Flagellum Unspun
Design On the Defensive
How Intelligent Design Works
Ken Miller’s Evolution Page
Failed Intelligent Design Prediction
One of Behe’s Mistakes in ‘The Edge’
The Discovery Institute’s Youtube Propaganda
The Discovery Institute’s Youtube Propaganda 2
Creationist Deception / Creationism Exposed - These are specific examples not listed in the “Files AiG Doesn’t Want you to Read”
Creationists Cannot Agree Whether Fossils Are Ape or Human
The Lucy Fossil
David Menton Lies About Tiktaalik
Kent Hovind Vs. Molecular Geneticist
AiG Gets it All Wrong on Genetic Algorithms
CreationWiki and Lies
Patterson Misquoted: A Tale of Two Cites
A Creationist Exposed
Frank Zindler Debates John Morris
Frank Zindler Debates Duane Gish
Maculate Deception: The Science of Creationism
ICR Gets Owned!! Experiments that Verify Evolution
This skull belonged to Australopithecus sediba, a new hominin species recently discovered in South Africa. The two million year old fossils are some of the most complete ever discovered, and they could rewrite our evolutionary family tree.
Professor Lee Berger of Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand explains the find:The fossils demonstrate a surprisingly advanced but small brain, a very evolved hand with a long thumb like a humans, a very modern pelvis, but a foot and ankle shape never seen in any hominin species that combines features of both apes and humans in one anatomical package. The many very advanced features found in the brain and body, and the earlier date make it possibly the best candidate ancestor for our genus, the genus Homo, more so than previous discoveries such as Homo habilis.
Even better, these might just be the most accurately dated bones in the entire hominin fossil record. Analysis of the surrounding rocks indicate that they date back to a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, which we know occurred between precisely 1.977 and 1.98 million years ago. That means we can date these fossils to within just 3,000 years, which is practically unheard of for such an ancient find.
At just under two million years old, these specimens predate the emergence of Homo erectus by about 200,000 years, and it’s also about 100,000 years older than the oldest known Homo habilis fossil. It’s harder to establish concrete dates for when Homo habilis evolved versus Australopithecus sediba - both could have evolved anywhere between about 2.5 and 2 million years ago, and that’s a pretty massive span of time.
A key reason for sediba’s suddenly privileged position is its hands. Although they were probably primarily used for moving swiftly through the trees - a distinctly non-Homo behavior - the hands also appear capable of the precision grip, which means they were capable of making tools. We know that these particular fossils postdate the first recorded evidence of tools.
The sediba hands are the most complete in the fossil record until the time of the Neanderthals, more than a million years later, which allows for remarkably fine-grained analysis. It appears that Australopithecus sediba actually had a hand better adapted for tool-making than did Homo habilis, including the original 1.75 million year old find that defined Homo habilis - literally “handy man” - in the first place.
Samples of amber in western Canada containing feathers from dinosaurs and birds have yielded the most complete story of feather evolution ever seen.
This is awesome.
Holy shit!! Preserved dinosaur feathers! That’s so fucking awesome!!!
Macroevolution is like reaching a mountain’s top. Only after the accumulation of thousands upon thousands of smaller steps are you able to take the final step and stab the flag into the ground.
The creationist logic and state of mind is somewhat similar to believing that there is no mountain top unless you can reach the top in one step.
Literal Young Earth Creationism goes a step further (notice the deliberate word choice and pun) and says you know what? Because I can’t see the mountain top and I can’t reach it in one step, there is no mountain. What stands before me is not a mountain, merely a pile of rocks and dirt God placed there to test my faith.
Intelligent Design is saying that this mountain was made for us to climb to the top (which is absolutely absurd) because there is a trail, while they dismiss the notion that the trail could have developed naturally, and therefore someone must have placed it here. Because someone placed it here, the mountain top is not really a mountain top, just a thinly veiled shrine to worship whoever placed the mountain there, in other words,God.