Friday, November 29, 2013

Dr Alice Roberts - sensible Origins of Us

Dr Alice Roberts with a Chimpanzee in Uganda
image BBC Nature
BBC HD was showing Dr Alice Roberts' documentary Origins of Us (BBC Nature 2011). This was episode 3/3 filmed in the East African Rift Valley and with emphasis on the evolution of brain capacity and volume from 400 cm3 some seven million years ago to our own average 1,400 cm3.

This very interesting documentary so charmingly presented by Roberts contained many other intriguing aspects about the origins of humanity and why we are then only human species surviving. I was particularly grateful of seeing in the BBC documentary the Gibraltar cave considered the last known site of the now extinct Neanderthal man and dated some 22.000 years ago.

Somewhat disturbed by her explanation of the evolution of the agile human hand in The Incredible Human Journey (2009-10) I was waiting for similar lines of argumentation. Something like this (which she did not say) "the human eye is unique among all animals in that also the white of the eyeball is visible giving the look clear directions. Humans evolved this physical characteristic in order to be able to convey messages just through the movement of eyes."  

But no such nonsense this time!

No evolutionary magic sand was thrown to the eyes of the viewers. Instead of the usual hammer of evolutionism "natural selection is key to everything" she presented iteresting and challenging facts inviting us all to learn more about our earliest origins.

The third part of the Origins of Us documentary was a factual introduction to significant traits in humans that may have contributed to our survival and eventually to our colonization of the entire Earth and the subjugation of all other living things to our rule.

According to the command given by the God of Israel (religious point which Dr Alice Roberts also did not mention in the documentary about humanity).
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Genesis 1:26-28 NIV

This is what God claims - that He alone has made humans, made us man and woman and made us capable of fulfilling his command.

Science studies nature and reveals to the believing eye what and how God did what He said.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dr Alice Roberts - Incredible claim in The Incredible Human Journey

Alice Roberts
Professor of Public Engagement, Birmingham
image Forest Avon Trust

The Incredible Human Journey (2009-2010) is an excellent BBC science documentary; it is today available as a DVD.

Usually you wait to hear a pleasant voice and to see interesting footage but in this case it is a pleasure also to watch the narrator. The captivating way now Professor Alice Roberts shares her own enthusiasm on the subject and the elegance of her presence greatly help in making the difficult scientific subjects understandable to the viewer.

For example, she is walking and running in a treadmill in a laboratory as gracefully as in the midday heat of African savanna to explain the significance of the skeletal structure and the Turkana boy.

Evolution of human hand - total nonsense!
I think that future History of Science will consider the 20th century evolutionism as something comparable to ether of the 19th century.

Ether was a widely accepted theory, an attempt to explain something that evolving science did not really understand. It was a kind of "Dark energy" of modern Cosmology with the exception that scientists did not acknowledge its darkness, our lack of knowledge.

Roberts explains in the excellent science documentary how human hand evolved as the result of using tools. She underlines the significance of the contribution of revolutionary human innovation - tool making - in the evolution of the anatomy of hand. Support for this view she brings from Washington University scholars doing experimental work on the physiology of human hand.

It was quite incredible to watch this and other similar explanations of "evolutionary ether", view of evolution in action that totally lacks scientific backing. Her narration of current views reminded me of the early 20th century controversy of the inheritance of acquired traits.
In 1928, Trofim Lysenko, a previously unknown agronomist, claimed to have developed an agricultural technique, termed vernalization, which tripled or quadrupled crop yield by exposing wheat seed to high humidity and low temperature. While cold and moisture exposure are a normal part of the life cycle of fall-seeded winter cereals, the vernalization technique claimed to increase yields by increasing the intensity of exposure, in some cases planting soaked seeds directly into the snow cover of frozen fields. In reality, the technique was neither new (it had been known since 1854, and was extensively studied during the previous twenty years), nor did it produce the yields he promised, although some increase in production did occur.
Lysenkoism wikipedia
As Alice Roberts rightly says in the Incredible Human Journey, sweating gives advantage to running humans over lions that can only pant and must rest during the day. She correctly underlines the magnificence of human hand, the counter grip of thumb and the other four fingers, the flexibility of fingers in comparison to apes and so on.

But to claim that sweating evolved as a result of humans running?

But to claim that the exceptional fine mechanics of human hand is a result of using flint knives?

Incredible claims of evolutionism in action presented in a concise, clear and interesting manner!

Update December 17, 2013
Evolution of human hand - the Kaitio bone
Styloid bone - Acheulian burial site Kaitio, Western Turkana, Kenya
Image BBC News Health

Michelle Roberts
BBC News Health
The discovery of an ancient bone at a burial site in Kenya puts the origin of human hand dexterity more than half a million years earlier than previously thought.

In all ways, the bone - a well-preserved metacarpal that connects to the index finger - resembles that of modern man, PNAS journal reports.

It is the earliest fossilised evidence of when humans developed a strong enough grip to start using tools.

Apes lack the same anatomical features.
Read the entire article BBC News Health

Monday, November 25, 2013


Another remarkable piece of excellent journalism: Vladimir Hernandez  Mexorcism
BBC News Magazine 26.11. 2013

Mexico's exorcists say there is unprecedented demand for their services.

Some are even not taking new cases, as they are having to exorcise demons almost every day.

"This didn't happen before", says Father Francisco Bautista, another exorcist in Mexico City.

Most of the cases, he explains, require a lesser form of exorcism, called liberation prayers - effective when a person still controls part of his or her mind and body.

Only rarely does the Devil possess someone completely, he says, but when that happens, the bishop of the diocese must intervene.

In Bautista's view, the rising demand for exorcism is partly explained by the large numbers of Mexicans joining the cult of Saint Death, or Santa Muerte.

It is estimated that the cult, whose followers worship a skull in a wedding dress carrying a scythe, has some eight million followers in Mexico - and more among Mexican migrants in Central America, the US and Canada.

"It has also been adopted by the drug traffickers who ask her for help to avoid arrest and to make money," Bautista says. "In exchange they offer human sacrifices. And this has increased the violence in Mexico."
Read the entire article here BBC