The Latest Version of Baseless Evolutionist Scenarios in Scientific American: Nutrition
In the December 2002 edition of Scientific American magazine, an article under the headline "Food for Thought," by William R. Leonard, appeared which spoke of man's being a so-called evolved species of animal and attempted to form a link between his nutritional needs and traditions, on the one hand, and evolution, on the other. By means of this article, which was based solely on the speculation of evolutionist scientists and offered no scientific evidence whatsoever, it was suggested that man is a species of animal that has come about by chance.
This article in Scientific American contains deceptions ill-befitting a serious scientific journal. When we look at the kind of exposition prevailing in the article and the pictures offered alongside the text, the fantastical style employed is striking. In one of the pictures, an ape-man and his family are depicted moving through an area covered in trees. Despite their hairy bodies, the figures are portrayed as having a human posture and appearance, although this is nothing more than a work of imagination. Scientific American is employing a familiar tactic of evolutionist propaganda: filling the gaps left by lack of evidence with pictures.
The article claims that by studying the methods employed by living things to find and use energy we can understand how the evolutionary changes of natural selection came about. It then moves on to such elements of the imaginary evolutionist scenario as the transition to bipedalism, the increasing growth in the size of the brain, and Homo erectus' departure from Africa once he had completed his evolution.
What people need to be aware of is that, contrary to what is maintained in this article, natural selection has no evolutionary effect. This matter has already been explained in detail in the works of Harun Yahya, so we shall not repeat ourselves here. (See Harun Yahya, The Evolution Deceit, Darwinism Refuted, The Collapse of the Theory of Evolution in 20 Questions, at www.harunyahya.com)
The Claim That Nutrition Played an Evolutionary Role is Fictitious
The claim is put forward in the Scientific American article that "our ancestors'" progress in increasing the energy obtained from food and raising its nutritional quality was one of the main features in mankind's evolution and splitting away from the other primates. Yet from the scientific point of view, this claim is totally without foundation. Better-nourished living things may have stronger bodies, and may be healthier and live longer. However, improved nutrition cannot cause them to turn into another species.
That is because there is no connection between nutrition and man's genetic make-up. In order for a "speciation event" to happen, the genetic structure needs to change to a considerable extent and to be redesigned. Such a thing has never, ever been observed in nature, and nutrition cannot affect genetic structure.
We can see this for ourselves: A cheetah community living in an area where prey is plentiful, and which therefore has no need to compete with other predators, may grow stronger because it consumes more meat. Yet it is impossible for these cheetahs to evolve into lions. That is because cheetah DNA and lion DNA are different, and there is no relation between food intake and DNA structure. DNA base pairs are set out in strings in a particular sequence in all living species. That specific sequence gives rise to the living thing's genetic code, which is handed down unchanged from generation to generation. It is therefore impossible for nutrition to have played any role in mankind's so-called evolution. Claiming that nutrition can influence genetics and bring about "evolution" is no less of a superstition than Lamarck's thesis of "the inheritance of acquired traits."
The Transition to Bipedalism is an Imaginary Scenario
The article describes how apes' quadrupedal locomotion supposedly gradually changed into bipedal locomotion, and then considers the conditions that might have caused this so-called change. The best-known of the Australopithecus fossils that were put forward as the first species capable of upright walking were found in 1974 in a 40%-complete skeleton. This was the famous Australopithecus afarensis fossil, known as "Lucy." By looking at some of these bones, evolutionists claim that this species walked on two legs, for which reason it must have been the ancestor of man. The fact is, however, that much research into Australopithecus has revealed that it was a species of ape which did not walk in the same way as man at all:
1. Despite being a supporter of the theory of evolution, Lord Zuckerman arrived at the conclusion that Australopithecus was an ordinary species of ape, one that very definitely did not walk erect.1
2. Another evolutionist anatomist, Charles E. Oxnard, well-known for his studies in this area, arrived at the conclusion that the Australopithecus skeleton resembles those of present-day orangutans.2
Another evolutionist assumption is that in some ape species brachiation (locomotion by hanging from branches with their arms and reaching from hold to hold) has preadapted these animals to bipedal walking. However, research has shown that the evolution of bipedalism never occurred, nor is it possible for it to have done so. Robin Crompton, senior lecturer in anatomy at Liverpool University, showed that a "compound" stride between quadrupedalism and bipedalism is not possible, because it would involve excessive energy consumption.
3. In 1994, Fred Spoor of Liverpool University and his team carried out a wide-ranging study to arrive at a definitive conclusion regarding the Australopithecus skeleton. The study was based upon an organ known as the "cochlea," which determines the position of the skeleton relative to the ground. Spoor's conclusion was that Australopithecus' mode of walking did not resemble that of man.3
4. In 2000, a study by the scientists B.G. Richmond and D.S. Strait published in the journal Nature, looked at Australopithecus' forearms. Comparative anatomical analyses showed that the species had just the same forearm anatomy as modern apes that walk on all four legs.4
These researches reveal that Australopithecus, which evolutionists put forward as an intermediate species, is actually an extinct species of ape.
Lucy, from Ethiopia, is the most complete skeleton of Australopithecus discovered so far. By looking at some of these bones unearthed, evolutionists claimed that Australopithecus walked on two legs, for which reason it must have been the ancestor of man. Based on this claim, they produced many drawings falsely presenting Australopithecus as an intermediate species between ape and man. The fact is, however, that much research into Australopithecus has revealed that it was a species of ape which did not walk in the same way as man at all.
Chimpanzees Which Walk on Two Legs Invalidate the Evolutionists' Claims
As well as this research into Australopithecus, there is another discovery which has overturned the claim that walking on two legs was an evolutionary phase. Certain apes in our own time are capable of walking upright. According to a study by Dr. Robin Crompton of Liverpool University, published in The Scotsman under the title "Chimps on two legs run through Darwin's theory," chimpanzees living in the Bwindi region of Uganda also possess the ability to stand on two legs. The article states that this opposes the evolutionists' assumptions:
This means that the accepted idea of apes on the ground gradually evolving to an upright stance from a crouched position is wrong.5
Bipedalism and Other Humanoid Characteristics: A Morass of Prejudice and Speculation
Scientific American contains considerable speculation regarding the advantages that an adaptation such as walking on two legs might have brought with it. Yet, for some reason, this claim consists of speculation rather than hard evidence. The paleontologist Pat Shipman has this to say on the matter in a paper published in the journal American Scientist:
There is no shortage of ideas about the essential nature of the human species and the basic adaptations of our kind. Some say hominids are fundamentally thinkers; others favor tool-makers or talkers; still others argue that hunting, scavenging or bipedal walking made hominids special. Knowing what the First Hominid looked like would add some meat to a soup flavored with speculation and prejudice.6
A Deceptive Illustration
In one of the photographs published by Scientific American, skulls belonging to Homo erectus and the species Australopithecus boisei are compared. The anatomical differences between the two are then put down to nutritional habits.
The Australopithecus boisei skull shown on the left of the picture can clearly be seen to bear a close similarity to present-day chimpanzee skulls. The sagittal crest, which holds the former's powerful chewing muscles, and is alleged to have evolved from eating tough, fibrous plants, is also found in modern apes. The fossil shown as Homo erectus is actually human, and it is therefore natural that it should not possess a sagittal crest and a powerful jaw structure. What has been done here is to put two skulls, one ape and one human, side by side and then engage in pro-evolutionist speculation on the basis of the differences between them. Those who lack sufficient information in this area may well be taken in by these claims made by evolutionists on the basis of no other authority than their academic positions and careers.
The fossil order and the scenarios regarding the transition to bipedalism that appeared in Scientific American are totally fictitious. Modern scientific discoveries are piling blow on blow on Darwinism. That is why scenarios regarding the evolution of man are no longer tenable. This article in Scientific American is nothing more than a new version, decorated with new illustrations, of the outdated claims designed to keep the theory of evolution on its feet.
1. Solly Zuckerman, Beyond The Ivory Tower, New York: Toplinger Publications, 1970, p. 75-94
2. Charles E. Oxnard, "The Place of Australopithecines in Human Evolution: Grounds for Doubt," Nature, vol. 258, p. 389
3. Fred Spoor, Bernard Wood, Frans Zonneveld, "Implication of Early Hominid Labryntine Morphology for Evolution of Human Bipedal Locomotion," Nature, vol. 369, June 23, 1994, pp. 645-648.
4. Richmond, B.G. and Strait, D.S., "Evidence that humans evolved from a knuckle-walking ancestor," Nature 404(6776): 382, 2000.
5. Richard Sadler, "Chimps on Two Legs Run Through Darwin's Theory," The Scotsman, September 13, 2002
6. "Hunting the First Hominid," Pat Shipman, American Scientist, January-February 2002, p. 25