Turkana Boy Hurts Evolutionary Narratives

first_imgTurkana Boy Debate ContinuesScientists cannot conclude even basic information from the most complete human skeleton ever foundby Jerry Bergman, PhDThe Turkana Boy or ‘Nariokotome Boy’ discovery was recently mentioned by Tomkins[1] and a popular website that deals with human evolution.[2] Called a “nearly complete” skeleton and well preserved (though missing most all of the hand and foot bones), it is actually only 40 percent complete based on the assumption that bones from one side of the body can accurately determine the traits of the bones on the other side. They thus can be used to construct some missing bones. Actually, aside from Lucy, Turkana Boy is the most complete evolutionary pre-human skeleton ever discovered. Most claimed early-man fossils consist of a few teeth, plus broken skull and other bone fragments. From these, entire species and populations are concocted by Darwinians.Consequently, finding a 40-percent-complete skeleton is a significant discovery.  The bone count of Turkana Boy is 108 bones out of an average of 206 for modern humans, but the count may include some broken bones. From this lone skeleton an entire race of people has evolved, at least in the stories told by others, such as Professors Alan Walker and his wife Pat Shipman.[3] The possibility that Turkana Boy was an unusual looking child in his culture was rarely considered. Instead, he is portrayed as typical of his people – just one of many unwarranted assumptions in the Turkana Boy story.This, one of the most complete so-called ancient man skeletons ever found, reveals that this ancient man is close to identical to modern men, actually within the range of modern humans.[4] As usual, even in this case, much disagreement exists about his scientific classification. Some paleontologists label him an Homo erectus  and others regard him as distinctive enough to be regarded as a separate species, which they call Homo ergaster.[5] Professor Walker went further and even called him the “proverbial missing link between apes and humans.”[6] This exaggerated claim is a good example of confirmational bias, meaning that one sees what one wants to see in the evidence. Comparisons of the bones with modern human bones show that claim is manifestly untrue except possibly for the skull, which will be discussed shortly. If only a few fossil bone fragments are discovered (as is the norm), usually even more controversy erupts about the status of the fragments. Controversy about early man fossils is the norm.The public press on Turkana Boy has been minuscule compared to that of Lucy, likely because this find was claimed to be 1.4 million years old by some experts and as old as 1.9 million Darwin years by others.[7] By implication, little or no human evolution has occurred in 1.9 million years. This is a major blow to classical evolution. As far as we can tell, the only difference between Turkana Boy and modern humans is some Neanderthal traits in the skull. We now know, however, that Neanderthals are simply another human variation within Homo: i.e., another people group. The date of Turkana Boy illustrates that some of the other putative evolutionary ancestors cannot be our ancestors because they were close to contemporary with some modern humans such as Turkana Boy!In spite of its completeness, much debate still exists even on basic data, such as its age, the cause of death, and even its sex. For example, it was postulated that Turkana Boy suffered from some congenital disorder, either dwarfism or scoliosis because the rib bones appeared asymmetrical to the spine due to what appeared to be skeletal dysplasia.[8] From this observation, the conclusion was his vertebrae were diseased, causing a subtle curvature and probably slow movement which may have contributed to his death. A 2013 study shows that, if the rib bones were more carefully arranged, the rib bones were actually symmetrical to the spine, disproving the skeletal dysplasia claim.[9] Who’s right? Is the specimen normal, or disabled?Background of the Find and ControversyTurkana Boy was discovered by Kamoya Kimeu in West Turkana, Kenya, in 1984. The skeleton’s completeness has allowed scientists to learn a lot about body size, body shape, and growth rates of people of its time, though much of it still debated.[10] Pelvis evaluation shows he was possibly male, but due to damage on the hip bones, the inference is not firm. Because his second molars had erupted, but not the third molars called wisdom teeth, he was determined to be a pre-adolescent. Microscopic teeth analysis indicates he was eight or nine years old, but other experts put his age at 11–12 years old based on known rates of bone maturity.[11] He was about 5 feet 3 or 5 feet 5 inches tall and likely weighed 106 pounds.Turkana Boy’s cranial capacity was estimated as small as 700 cc by some, to as large as 900 cubic centimeters by others. It would probably have reached well over 900 to 1,100 cubic centimeters if he had grown into an adult. By comparison, modern humans living today have an average brain size of about 1,350 cubic centimeters and Neanderthals 1,500 cubic centimeters.[12] Of course, there is very little relationship between cranial capacity of normal adult humans and human intelligence, so attempts to prove missing-link status by brain size are questionable.His disability, if it existed,  could have hindered his movement. He had long legs and narrow shoulders, typical of humans living in hot, dry climates. His bones indicate he did not die from a predator attack because his skeleton shows no damage from either predators or scavengers. His jaw indicates that he had a diseased gum in the location where a deciduous molar, a baby tooth, was shed. An infection could have set in and he may have died of septicemia (blood poisoning), but others dispute this conclusion.Turkana Boy likely made and used stone tools including both stone cores and flakes and even large cutting tools such as hand axes. The term “Ergaster” is derived from the Greek word for “workman,” in reference to the comparatively advanced Acheulean technology this group developed. From this observation, a novel was completed by a French author claiming that Turkana Boy was on the brink of modern human evolution.[13]Racism Continues in Evolutionary AnthropologyArtwork of Turkana Boy, as illustrated below, shows him with exaggerated African traits. This shows racism, because traits like skin color and nose shape are not preserved in fossils. Thus, the racial inference is due to artistic license. The artwork continues a long Darwinian tradition that assumes blacks are less evolved than whites, as believed by racists and the Ku Klux Klan for the last century. The main so-called ‘primitive’ traits include low sloping forehead, strong brow ridges, and the absence of a chin – traits typical of Neanderthals.This image may not be used in any context outside of mainstream science without the express permission of Atelier Daynes. Permission must be cleared for use by museums, in exhibitions, private use and front covers. No use in articles about Elisabeth Daynes or the Atelier Daynes.Turkana Boy model. Reconstruction of Turkana Boy, a specimen of the hominin Homo ergaster. Also known as Nariokotome Boy, this specimen is catalogued as KNM-WT 15000. It consists of an almost complete fossil skeleton, and dates from around 1.5 million years ago. It was found in 1984 near Lake Turkana in Kenya. This specimen is sometimes classified as Homo erectus. Reconstruction by Elisabeth Daynes of the Daynes Studio, Paris, France. Wikimedia CommonsSummaryEven when a largely complete, well-preserved skeleton of a claimed ancient man is located, much debate still arises about even the basic facts about the human that possessed it. One must remember that a skeleton is only 15 percent of the human body, and because most human fossils consist of only small fragments, it is much more difficult to extrapolate facts from the fragments.[14] Consequently, 85 percent of the body cannot be evaluated, and interpretations and extrapolation must be made from the 15 percent available for study.References[1] Jeffrey Tomkins. “Homo Erectus: The Ape Man that Wasn’t.” Impact, October 2019,pp. 11-13.[2] Factsanddetails.com[3] Walker, Alan  and Pat Shipman. 1996. The Wisdom of the Bones: In Search of Human Origins. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.[4] Tomkins, p. 11.[5] Maina Kiarie. “Homo Ergaster & Homo Erectus.” http://www.enzimuseum.org/the-stone-age/stone-age-ancestors/homo-ergaster.[6] Walker, Alan and Pat Shipman.1996. Book jacket.[7] Homo ergaster. 2018. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/homo_ergaster.htm.[8] MacLarnon, Ann M. 1993. “The vertebrate canal,” in: Alan Walker, Richard Leakey (Eds.). The Nariokotome Homo Erectus Skeleton. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 359–390.[9] Schiess, R., and M. Haeusler. 2013. “No Skeletal Dysplasia in the Nariokotome Boy KNM-WT 15000 (Homo erectus)—A Reassessment of Congenital Pathologies of the Vertebral Column.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 150 (3): 365–374.[10] Brown, F. J. Harris, R. Leakey and A. Walker. 1985. Early Homo erectus skeleton from west Lake Turkana, Kenya. Nature, 316(6031):788–792.[11] Walker, Alan; and Richard Leakey. 1993. The Nariokotome Homo erectus Skeleton. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Nature Group, p. 235.[12] Clinton, Keely. 2015. “Average Cranium/ Brain Size of Homo neanderthalensis vs. Homo sapiens.” https://www.cobbresearchlab.com/issue-2-1/2015/12/24/average-cranium-brain-size-of-homo-neanderthalensis-vs-homo-sapiens.[13] Beauchemin, Jean-François and Jessica Moore. 2012. Turkana Boy. New York, NY: Talonbooks, p. 62.[14] Dilthey, Max Roman. 2018. “What Percentage of Body Mass is Bone?” https://www.livestrong.com/article/368497-percentage-of-body-mass-bone/.Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology at several colleges and universities including for over 40 years at Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored, are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.(Visited 720 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

De Beers to mine Atlantic waters

first_img30 April 2007Diamond mining giant De Beers has launched the deep-water mining vessel, the Peace in Africa, to operate off the Namaqualand coast in the Northern Cape, where it will remain for two years.The Business Report stated on Sunday that the R1.2-billion vessel could be the key to new wealth for the mining company, which told them the project offers the prospect of “good quality and profitable” diamond production, making a vital contribution to the South African economy.According to the paper, the Orange River discharges an estimated 60.4-million tons of sediment annually and De Beers hopes to track down the diamonds that have been flowing into the sea with the Peace in Africa.Mining starts in June and the vessel is expected to have an operating lifespan of 30 years, producing about 240 000 carats of diamonds per year. According to the paper, the ship has a crew of 60 carrying out 12-hour shifts, staying at sea for 28 days then taking 28 days leave.“Should results from this marine mining operation exceed expectations, we will certainly be considering additional vessels,” De Beers’s managing director David Noko told Business Report.The vessel is equipped with a large remote-operated undersea crawler and has on-board diamond recovery treatment, enabling it to reach areas where divers cannot operate safely.The drill and the sea crawler loosen the seabed sediments, which are then airlifted or pumped to the vessel for processing.Project manager Glenn Black told Moneyweb that the launching of the vessel was a landmark achievement for De Beers, which was already using similar crawling technology to mine for diamonds off the coast of Namibia.Moneyweb states the exploration site is exceptional in that 95% of the diamonds being found are expected to be of gem quality.He added that the company was excited that it was contributing to socio-economic improvement and boosting employment in the impoverished Richtersveld are of the Northern Cape.“It is a significant achievement for De Beers as it took us a number of years to build confidence on the project,” he said.Mining Weekly further reported last week that the company is to turn Port Nolloth into a marine mining hub servicing the area, by spending some R6-million on replacing the jetty crane, repairing the jetty surface and pedestrian walkways and providing additional security.De Beers’s supply chain general manager Wim van Vliet said that the facility service and support De Beers Marine’s vessels in Namibia and South Africa.Northern Cape Premier Dipuo Peters told Mining Weekly that need to develop engineering, technological and project management skills to take full advantage of the province’s natural resources.“This is an opportunity to turn around the fortunes and image through diamonds in the Northern Cape,” she said.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Cover crops webinar

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Growers who plant cover crops instead of tilling their soil will save money upfront and have healthier soils and better yields long-term, says a soil health and cover crops expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.Farmers who add cover crops to their fields — such as oilseed radish, cereal rye, Austrian winter pea and crimson clover, among others — can also expect to reduce soil erosion, cut down on nutrient losses, cut input costs and improve water quality, said Jim Hoorman, an Ohio State University Extension educator and an assistant professor studying cover crops, soil health and water quality issues.Hoorman will discuss “Economics of Planting Cover Crops” during a Nov. 20 webinar from 1 to 2 p.m. The webinar is offered in conjunction with the Midwest Cover Crops Council and Michigan State University Extension. The Cover Crops Council includes researchers and educators from several universities, including Ohio State, Hoorman said.The webinar will include information on getting started planting cover crops and will help those who want to expand their knowledge on the benefits of cover crops, he said.“The cost of adding cover crops is about $25 to $30 per acre, which is about more or less about the cost of multiple tillage rotations,” Hoorman said. “The advantage of cover crops and no-till working together in a crop rotation is that it helps feed soil microbes, which more efficiently utilize and retain soil nutrients.“Soil microbes are like soluble bags of fertilizer, so keeping the soil microbes healthy improves plant production. Tillage operations, on the other hand, can cause soil compaction as well as cause soils to become harder and denser. Tillage also causes you to lose carbon from the soil, which is what stores soil nutrients. ”Adding cover crops to field crop production can also benefit the environment, increase water quality and lower production costs, Hoorman said.“Cover crop roots improve water infiltration and reduce nutrient and water runoff,” he said. “Growers who plant cover crops and vegetative systems in agriculture will also find that it can tie up phosphorus in a more stable organic-phosphorus form that may remain in the soil longer, which may increase phosphorus use efficiency.”The registration cost for the webinar is $10. For more information, contact Hoorman at 419-523-6294 or hoorman.1@osu.edu. Registration for the webinar can be found at msue.anr.msu.edu/events/cover_crop_and_soil_health_webinar.last_img read more

U.P. madrasas asked to videograph Independence Day celebrations

first_imgUttar Pradesh’s madrasas have been asked to photograph and videograph Independence Day celebrations this year.While madrasas have criticised the order, calling it an attempt to test the patriotism of Muslims, government officials claimed that the move was only to document the best programmes held in madrasas on August 15. The controversy was triggered by a circular issued by the Madrasa Shiksha Parishad (MSP), the board that deals with examinations in madrasas, on August 3. The document laid out elaborate directions on how Independence Day celebrations should be conducted in madrasas.The circular was issued to the deputy directors (minority welfare) and district minority welfare officers, who would then ensure the implementation of the order. In directing madrasas to conduct “photography and videography” of the programmes, the MSP has argued that it was to identify the “best programmes” so that they could be “replicated”.Madrasas have accused the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government of attempting to test the patriotism of Muslims. Mahtab Amrohi, manager of the Mehraj-ul-Uloom madrasa in Amroha, said the government’s monitoring was aimed at “creating suspicion” about Muslims. Not only did madrasas have a tradition of singing the national anthem on August 15, even on other days of the year, daily proceedings at his institution began only after the singing of the anthem, he said. Heads of madrasas also questioned why the government had not issued similar orders to other institutions run by the State, and to other religious communities.Suhebur Rehman, the Allahabad-based convener of the All-India United Ulema Forum, said the BJP government was “targeting Muslims” by asking them to produce “proof” of their patriotism.”Have they sent a similar notice to Sanskrit schools, municipalities, schools, colleges and other institutions? Why are they examining the patriotism only of Muslims,” asked Mr. Rehman.Government officials defended the circular. “The order was issued with a good intention. It clearly says that the videography is for the purpose of promoting good programmes,” said Rahul Gupta, registrar, Madrasa Shiksha Parishad, who issued the order.He dismissed the idea that the circular was to test patriotism in madrasas. “Not at all. We have defined each and every step. In fact, we don’t mind if there are anomalies or discrepancies in following the directions,” Mr. Gupta said.last_img read more

More support for Amarinder as tension simmers with Sidhu

first_imgPunjab Minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot on Monday asked Navjot Singh Sidhu to resign from the State Cabinet if he cannot work with Amarinder Singh, a day after the Chief Minister accused the cricketer-turned-politician of “damaging” the Congress just before polls. As the tension between Amarinder Singh and his Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu continues to simmer, more Ministers have come out in support of the Chief Minister. Amarinder Singh had on Sunday lashed out at the Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister for his comments against him and the Congress leadership in the State claiming that Mr. Sidhu was perhaps “ambitious” and “wants to be the Chief Minister.” Following State Health Minister Brahm Mohindra backing the Chief minister, Forest Minister Dharamsot told reporters here on Monday that Mr. Sidhu’s recent remarks were “against party discipline” and one that could “harm the party”. “Sidhu’s remarks came at a time when entire Congress was unitedly fighting to ensure that the party wins all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. The party high command should take notice of his comments. If Sidhu thinks he cannot work with Capt. Amarinder ji, then he should resign immediately,” Mr. Dharamsot said.‘High ambitions’ “I think his ambitions are very high and he remains dis-satisfied wherever he goes. When he was in the BJP, he was not satisfied there. Today, he may be eyeing the Chief Minister’s post, tomorrow even Prime Minister’s chair may not satisfy him. So, wherever he goes, he has problems,” he added. Mr. Dharamsot said the Congress gave more to Mr. Sidhu than he deserved and that he should not hanker for posts and berths.last_img read more

1975: The Cup is born

first_imgIt was an altogether different world in which One-day cricket took its first baby steps. Not many teams took the format too seriously.West Indies captain Clive Lloyd holds the trophy after his team won the final in the 1975 Prudential World Cup as the then MCC president Prince Philip looks on.White clothing, red ball and prize money (4,000 for the winners), which was a tiny fraction of that at stake these days, bear testament to the fact that ODIs had not evolved fully as a separate format in itself. In fact, there were just 18 ODIs played worldwide before the first World Cup in 1975.Sixty overs an innings meant that most sides went with Test match field placements and innovative stroke-play, such an integral part of the game today, was rare.England, where limited overs cricket was an integral part of the domestic season, were supposed to cash in on the home advantage. Other powerhouses such as the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan were also fancied due to their all-star lineups, many of whom played on the county circuit.The men from the Caribbean, led by Clive Lloyd, who beat the Aussies by 17 runs in the inaugural final at Lord’s on June 21, the longest day of the year, stamped their superiority on the nascent format.The summit clash, till this day regarded as one of the most exciting ODIs ever played, made sure that One-day cricket and the World Cup was here to stay.There were altogether eight teams in the fray, with the six Test- playing nations joined by East Africa and Sri Lanka. They were divided into two groups with the top two advancing to the semi- finals. There were only 15 games in total, a far cry from these days when the tournament seems to go on and on.advertisementEngland and New Zealand advanced from Group A while Australia and West Indies made it from the other group. Both semi- finals were played on the same day – something which would be inconceivable now.There were few close games in the 1975 World Cup, but ironically, eventual champions West Indies needed a 64- run 10th wicket stand between Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts to seal a one- wicket win over Pakistan.Once there, the team from the Caribbean made short work of the Kiwis with a five- wicket win at The Oval to seal their place in the final.The other semi- final pitted traditional rivals England and Australia and Gary Gilmour did the star turn for Ian Chappell’s side on a seaming Headingley track to take six wickets for 14 as the hosts were bundled for 93.Even that seemed enough at one stage when the Aussies were reduced to 39 for six. It was left to Gilmour himself and Doug Walters to do the repair job and take the team home.The final will be remembered as much for Lloyd’s 102 off 85 balls after the West Indies had lost three quick wickets, as for Viv Richards effecting three of the five runouts, including those of the Chappell brothers.Chasing 292 for victory, Australia were reduced to 233 for nine before Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee gave them hope with a 41- run stand. The game ended when Thomson was run- out while taking a bye to wicketkeeper Murray in the penultimate over. As far as individual performances went, New Zealand’s Glenn Turner was the highest run- getter with 333 runs in four matches, including two hundreds. Gilmour was the most successful bowler with 11 wickets from just two games.The Indian angleThe abiding memory for India from the 1975 World Cup would be Sunil Gavaskar batting 60 overs to score 36 not out against England in the inaugural match.Chasing 335 for victory, Gavaskar took 174 balls himself which shows that at that point in his career, he did not pay too much regard to the upstart format.After a 202- run defeat, India coasted to a 10- wicket win over minnows East Africa. They needed to beat New Zealand to seal a semi- final spot, but Turner came up with a hundred as the Kiwis chased down 231.Highlights of 1975 CupEngland and New Zealand advanced from Group A while Australia and West Indies made it from the other group. Both semifinals were played on the same day.Named the Prudential Cricket World Cup, there was no Man of the Tournament for the event.The abiding memory for India would be Sunil Gavaskar batting 60 overs to score 36 not out against England in the inaugural match.Australia were chasing 292 runs in the final against the West Indies and fell short by 17 runs.advertisementlast_img read more