A New Fairy Tale about the “Evolution of the Brain” and Radikal’s Biased Coverage

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In its 26 March 2004 edition the Turkish daily Radikal carried an article titled “Man, A Genetic Error!” The article concerned a new evolutionist claim put forward by University of Pennsylvania’s Hansell Stedman and his team. The caption to the article read: “The contribution of a ‘genetic error’ to the development of mankind: The jaw shrank and made room for the brain when a gene was subjected to mutation 2.4 million years ago.” According to the Radikal account, it was this mutation that lay behind human beings’ having such a large brain volume.

In its 26 March 2004 edition the Turkish daily Radikal carried an article titled “Man, A Genetic Error!” The article concerned a new evolutionist claim put forward by University of Pennsylvania’s Hansell Stedman and his team. The caption to the article read: “The contribution of a ‘genetic error’ to the development of mankind: The jaw shrank and made room for the brain when a gene was subjected to mutation 2.4 million years ago.” According to the Radikal account, it was this mutation that lay behind human beings’ having such a large brain volume.

However, the claims made in the report consist entirely of speculation based on evolutionist prejudice. The researchers, who had signed up to evolution right from the outset, identified a difference between the nucleotide sequences in the gene that encodes the protein myosin, produced in the muscles of the human jaw, and the gene which encodes the same protein in apes, and treated this difference as a mutation. Evolutionists reject right from the outset the possibility that the nucleotide sequences in apes and human beings could have been separately designed. Neither is that the only assumption underlying the claims in question. After assuming a mutation, the researchers then assume that the jaw muscles are a factor restricting brain volume. Furthermore, that assumption has been the subject of an unequivocal objection, which is ignored in Radikal. In a news commentary written by Elizabeth Pennisi and published in Science magazine, the Columbia University physical anthropologist Ralph Holloway objects to the claims made by Stedman and his team in the words, “To suggest that the brain is constrained by chewing muscles is just rubbish.” 1

An article published by the British scientific magazine Nature news service, which carried the research article, states, “The theory is by no means proven.2 ” However, here too Radikal demonstrates the same scrupulousness as it does in its selection of interpretations which favour evolutionist speculation, and ignores this statement published by the magazine’s news service, the direct source of the report. At the basis of this lies a policy of seeking to portray the theory of evolution as a very solid one.

The assumption that an organ as complex as the brain evolved through random mutation and natural selection, an assumption requiring unlimited powers of imagination, is immediately submitted as a scientific theory, and no space at all is devoted to comments that oppose the theory. Readers are thus deprived of the right to use their critical faculties and are forced to dogmatically accept a claim based totally on imagination. We invite the Radikal management to review the daily’s scientific news service activities accordingly.

Note: This article also constitutes our response to a short report in the 26 March 2004 edition of daily Posta called “Our Jaw Is the Architect of Intelligence!”.

Related article: Evolutionary Tell Tales – 5 - BBC’s Evolution of the Human Brain Error

 

 

 

1. Elizabeth Pennisi, “The Primate Bite: Brawn Versus Brain?” Science, vol. 303, Issue 5666, 1957, 26 March 2004
2. Michael Hopkin, “Jaw-Dropping Theory of Human Evolution,” Nature Science Update, 25 March 2004,
http://www.nature.com/nsu/040322/040322-9.html

2004-03-26 00:00:00

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