Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
On 17 April 2006 Answers in Genesis reported on the media buzz surrounding new fossils found in Ethiopia that may be viewed as a transitional fossil form between apes and humans.1 Instead of a technical review of this article, I'll only make a few comments.
This article is written by the young earth expert in fossil hominids, Marvin Lubenow, who is also the author of a book titled Bones of Contention. Lubenow points out some issues which appear to be valid criticisms of this fossil find. I must admit that evolutionists will trumpet a fossil find as a transitional fossil, when in fact this is merely only conjecture on their part. In essence, the "see what they want to see." That does not, however, mean that they may not be right. The new fossils may indeed be a transitional fossil.
This proves a point that I have been saying all along. No matter how many fossils become so-called "transitional fossils," they will never be accepted by young earth creationists. For example, one of the evolutionist authors' describes the six million year period as being like 12 frames of a home movie, with eight different human-like fossil species. Even if we discover all 12 frames (fossils), the young earth creationist will want to see the transitional fossils in between these.
For example, if an ape that is 6 million years old (specimin A), and an ape-hominid that is 5.5 million years old (specimin C) are examined, and a new species is found that is 5.75 million years old (specimen B), with features of both, then specimen B would be described as a transitional fossil between A and C. The young earth creationist would then say this is a totally separate species, and want to see the transitional fossils between A and B, and then B and C. If these are found, then he would want to the the transitional fossils between these. In short, we would have to show a fossil from every generation between A and C, which given an average lifespan of 25 years, would represent 20,000 generations. Given the amount of fossil evidence we have, young earth creationists know that we will never be able to discover these 20,000 specimens, therefore they are safe in their attacks upon transitional fossils. Given this degree of evidence required to show that evolution is true, young earth creationists will always think that they are right.
Where does this leave the theistic evolutionist? I would not worry too much. Although we cannot possibly discover the number of fossils that it would take to prove evolution to the young earth creationist, there are enough to formulate a theory about human evolution. It is up to you to examine this evidence, and decide if it is enough for you. If it is, then great! Since you can believe in evolution, and accept the Bible as the inerrant, literal Word of God, there is no harm in accepting evolution...despite the complaints of the young earth creationists and their faulty Biblical interpretation methods.
1 Fact Versus Fiction: The Recent Ethiopian Fossils, published at answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0417ethiopian.asp
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