Now this is cool… Another subspecies of Homo sapiens added in, one apparently not descended from neandertalis. But it strongly supports the “Out of Africa” theory, rather than the “genetic drift” theory. This pains me not at all, since some of the “genetic drift” theory of multiple origins of modern humans is A) a thinly veiled excuse for racism (we evolved first!) and B) pretty shaky anyway, since we can all interbreed gracefully. So another blow for “Out of Africa.” (See, guys, this is how “theories” work. It has nothing to do with faith. Faith, you can’t prove, and don’t bother to try. A theory, on t’other hand, is based on testing the crap out of a hypothesis, and if it fails, either changing the theory to fit the new data, or finding a new theory. I realize there are people out there who like to dismiss science by saying “Oh, well, they take all kinds of things on faith!” and just once, I’d like an example that isn’t rooted in a fundamental failure to comprehend what science IS.)
I was reading not long ago–alas, I have no links, and I’m not sure of the correctness–that it had been proposed, based on genetic evidence, that the two species of Pan, chimps and bonobos, should actually be included in the genus Homo. Which makes perfect sense to me–zebras and horses are both Equus and they’re way farther apart than chimps and humans. Of course, I can hear the backlash of the great unwashed now…
Reading the reaction to this article over at Slashdot simultaneously shakes and strengthens my faith in humanity. (See, that’s faith. Can’t be proven or disproven. Exists merely because I’d like to have faith in humanity. S’not a science. I don’t go around saying that murders don’t really happen because it’s counter to my faith in humanity.) Fundamentally, I suppose, I still can’t believe that people are willing to argue a notion like creationism–it’s…just…so…dumb. My mind, it boggles, not so much at the argument, but at the fact that we’re even HAVING the argument. I mean, why not argue for the statistical power of bad luck and mirror breaking? There’s not one scrap of evidence that isn’t based on psuedoscience so shoddy as to make grade-school earth science classes balk, and yet plenty of people who appear to be perfectly intelligent are working so hard to skew facts to fit a creation myth that was written by primitive tribal sheep-herders half the world away thousands of years ago. This is not SANE, people! If I threw years of my life and thousands of dollars trying to prove that, oh, the Kayapo legend that after death, a man’s shadow becomes a deer and his breath becomes butterflies was really factual, you’d think I was nuts. And rightly so! It’s a beautiful legend, it has wonderful poetic truth to it, it makes me feel loads better about dying, but fundamentally, deer arise when a mommy and daddy deer feel a certain way about each other, not when somebody kicks off. And we can prove that in a coupla months (depending on the gestation period of our particular deer.) And if, in the fact of deers making nookie, I still maintained that this was a lie, deers were mating purely because they were filthy little hooved perverts, and more deer appeared spontaneously out of the shadows of dead people and had nothing to do with sex–look, I hope I’ve passed the absurdity threshold here, and you get my point. There are a great number of Judeo-Christians out there who realize this, I understand, and like me and my shadow, have no problem with reconciling a spiritual truth with the solid fact that yup, the earth is billyuns and billyuns of years old. And this is good. S’the other ones that piss me off.
I suppose, what I’m trying to say, is that creationism vs….well, geology, biology, genetics, history, anthropology, and most of the other branches of science…is so idiotic a discussion that I resent the amount of time wasted on it. It’s stupid! It’s unbelievably stupid that we waste so much time on this! I retain the right to resent idiocy!
It’d be as if every time the DNR made a report about deer populations this year, I’d spring in demanding to know when they plan to acknowledge that deer with chronic wasting disease are the shadows of people who died of AIDS or something. I mean, seriously, what the hell?
Ahem. Thank you, I gotta do that about once a year or so, just to shake all the wiggly bits out. As always, this is a production of Ursula, and if you feel obligated to get mad at me, please remember that my thoughts and opinions don’t neccessarily represent those of the scientific community. Innaccuracies, as always, are my own.