Anthropological items

From: Jay Willingham (
Date: Sun Jul 07 2002 - 17:16:12 EDT

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I in no way wish to offend. Some comments in =
    green below...

    ----- Original Message -----=20
    From: "Glenn Morton" <>
    To: "Jay Willingham" <>; "ASA" <>
    Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2002 1:30 AM
    Subject: RE: Anthropological items

    I just was able to get a copy of the Science article on the new find at
    Dmanisi. The amazing fact is that the authors are just a whisker away =
    saying that these skulls are transitional between H. erectus and H. =
    Indeed they do suggest that the habilines were the first to emigrate =
    Africa. And that would be an amazing feat for mankind 2 million years =
    They say:

    "We suggest that the ancestors of the Dmanisi population dispersed from
    Africa before the emergence of humans identified broadly with the H. =
    grade." Abesalom Veku et al, "A New Skull of Early Homo from Dmanisi,
    Georgia," Science, 297(2002):85-89, p.85


    "The Dmanisi hominids are among the most primitive individuals so far
    attributed to H. erectus or to any species that is indisputably Homo, =
    and it
    can be argued that this population is closely related to Homo habilis =
    stricto) as known from Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Koobi For a in =
    Kenya and possibly Hadar in Ethipoia. The presence at Dmanisi of =
    like D2700 calls into question the view that only hominids with brains
    equivalent in size to those of mid-Pleistocene H. erectus were able to
    migrate from Africa northward through the Levantine corridor into Asia. =
    now seems more likely that the first humans to disperse from the African
    homeland were similar in grade to H. habilis (sensu stricto)." Abesalom =
    et al, "A New Skull of Early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia," Science,
    297(2002):85-89, p. 88.

    Now to Jay's questions:

    Jay wrote:
    >Sent: Saturday, July 06, 2002 11:03 AM

    >I find it difficult to accept taxonomical classification of true =
    >remains as anything other than variations within homo sapiens.

    Fine, then does that mean you believe humanity is over 2.5 million years
    old? That is how old the genus Homo is.

    That begs the debate on dating and whether God created isotopes at =
    various "ages" of decay.

    >It appears to me that most if not all hominid fossils are within
    >or close to
    >the arguable range of physiological variation seen in historical homo

    Documentation please? I would like to ask why the nasion projection is
    different in ancient hominids, why they had flattened rear-protruding =
    with large brow ridges which we don't see today? Are you actually aware =
    the major skull changes between us and them? ARe you aware that these =
    changes don't exist today in any human population? For instance, the H.
    erectus, if looked at from the top, has a skull which is hour-glass =
    No modern human has that shape of a skull so how can you claim that =
    are nothing more than variants within the modern population?

    Look at how many homo e. and other hominid skulls exist in the =
    literature. Also, look at how many people have lived in history and how =
    many skulls we have measured. Reminds me of the old East Indian =
    proverb about the blind men looking at the elephant.=20

    Of course, the arguement that the various hominids were simply animals =
    closest to man in habitat demands and hence were the first creatures we =
    drove to extinction is another potential explanation.

    Of course, the antedeluvian face of man would really have been changed =
    forever if only eight specimens survived a flood.

    >Assumptions about braincase and other skeletal characteristics of the
    >pre-historic hominids are fascinatingly speculative at best.

    No, they are observational. I would ask if you have ever read a =
    journal or book on anthropology? If you are so sure of this, please =

    Observational from a very limited specimen set. Look at the variations =
    in the theories as new evidence is found in the very passages you cite. =
    Lucy really shook things up. So did recent finds in South America. =20

    I in no means wish to denigrate serious good science that keeps the line =
    clear between proven fact and hypothesis or theory.
    >I love scientific inquiry but believe too many scientists tend to make =
    >hypothesis to theory leap prematurely.

    Are you another lawyer who, like Phil Johnson, thinks he doesn't have to
    actually read the subject matter before critiquing it?

    No, I have read some but certainly not all the literature. I have read =
    enough to form my opinion and also to have changed it since I graduated =
    27 years ago. I have enjoyed reading some of the posts and have looked =
    at some of the references.
    >This condition is endemic to patron, tenure and grant systems requiring
    >publication or seeking a certain result.

    I get no grants, have no tenure (indeed am subject to layoff at a =
    notice) and don't seek certain results. In fact I never intended to =
    what I am today. Thus I don't seek certain results.

    Where and what do you teach? You are indeed fortunate to be a teacher =
    with the time and imprimateur to study these issues. We can agree to =
    disagree and you can convince me if you can. =20

    >Abuses also are engendered by a media thirsty for news.

    Agreed, but you paint with a very broad brush. What IN PARTICULAR makes =
    think this applies here?

    What do you mean by here? =20

    If you mean Anthropology in general, Peking Man comes to mind. And =
    Margaret Mead....


    for lots of creation/evolution information
    personal stories of struggle

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On
    >Behalf Of Jay Willingham
    >James Estes Willingham, Jr.
    >Attorney and Counselor at Law
    >2411 Mohawk Trail,
    >Maitland, Florida 32751-4032,
    >phone: 407-645-5454, fax: 407-628-1170,

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