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What about Human Evolution?

[See my related post on whether there was a real Adam or not here and a Noah or not here (and that controversial flood here)]

Recently I had the opportunity to present a scientific critique of human evolution in a university human evolution anthropology class. I recorded the presentation and Q&A which followed and then spliced it into the three videos below. My overall conclusion, referencing in part the textbook and scientific journals, is that the human evolution story is just that – a story – which says more about our society and culture than anything derived from hominin fossil data.

In the first video I discuss how it is our worldview which moves us to interpret data in a certain way, rather than the data forming our worldview. I cite from the textbook used in the course to provide some examples of this. I then look at how the fossil hominin data is to all practical extent removed from investigators. I introduce the Catalogue of Fossil Hominids – a catalogue of discovered fossil hominids up to mid-1970’s – and contend that the fossil data is actually much better than we are usually led to believe – it just does not follow the standard evolutionary story so we do not know about it.


In the second video (a continuation of the same presentation in class). I systematically go through the most ancient hominin candidates that are typically proposed as the first human ancestors that diverged from apes 5-8 million years ago. I analyze Ardipithecus, tchadensis, Tuang skull (an australopithecine), australopithecus afarensis (ie Lucy), australopithecus africanus, Laetoli footprints and homo habilis and argue that all of these do not readily fit within the standard evolutionary story. I look at fossil hominid KP271 which we usually do not hear about since it does not follow the standard story.


In the third video I examine the standard homo specimens: homo erectus, archaic homo sapiens (ie Heidelbergensis) and Neanderthals. I look at 2010 Neanderthal nuclear DNA sequencing data results which show Neanderthals interbred with modern homo sapiens and that therefore all these homo species can be seen as varieties of homo sapiens – this is one conclusion supported in the textbook. Funny thing, the BBC reported the same thing just after.  The video then follows the Q&A time where the class interacted on the material I presented.


40 thoughts on “What about Human Evolution?”

  1. You believe evolution is a ‘story’ and the story of genesis is literal and accurate? How sad. Until layers of rock with humans and trilobites are discovered evolution will far better explain the sorting of the fossils. Creationism long predates evolutionary theory so of anything we expect the bias to be prominent with creationists. The flood as explanation needs no further debunking … It is dead outside biblical literalism. Look at the earliest known interpretations of genesis and you will see that symbolism and allegory were the ways ancients thought.

    1. Hi Bill
      Thanks for your comment. Now I am not sure if you watched the videos or not because there is nothing about the story of Genesis in them. A critique of human evolution is not the same thing as a belief in Genesis. (That discussion is for another day) And this was done in a university anthropology class so it has nothing to do with Genesis and everything to do with a logical analysis of the arguments presented in the university text. So don’t bow to caricatures but engage in the discussion. It is worth it.

    2. Bill, there are actually numerous accounts of a flood of epic proportions – not just in the book of Genesis. There is also substantial evidence to support this event.
      The flood, itself, is not debated amongst scholars, only the minute details are.

  2. Try reading the latest peer reviewed journals my friend. It is so blatantly obvious that your Bias and worldview is biblically based, and as such your whole preposition is that evolution must be wrong and then you go to try and disprove fossil evidence. How sad.

    I am a theoretical geneticist and work with cladistics and phlyogeny on a daily basis. Try going to university. Try reading more…

    1. Hi Mike
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. We probably agree on more than may appear at first blush. For instance I do agree that I am biased. I just think everyone is biased. You probably are too. We cannot but take our biases into this question because bias is a very natural human tendency.

      Now I do not know if you saw the presentation or not, but actually, though I admit my bias, my analysis of the hominid fossil record does not depend on accepting an apriori biblical belief. I simply used the words that eminent anthropologist Bernard Wood (who writes substantively in peer-reviewed journals etc.) used in his text and using some basic reasoning that I learned in Philosophy of logic (at university) to show that the story (the hominid evolution one) is not derived from the fossil data. That data (by Wood’s own admissions) is far too scattered to strongly support that story. On that point you and I may disagree but no one (including you) has shown me where my analysis is wrong.

      I do respect the work in the peer reviewed journals and I do try to stay abreast. But the big problem is one you have already noted in me – bias. The reviewing only happens by peers that have the same overall bias. So then the bias itself is never ferretted out. It is a little bit like saying “Try reading the latest peer reviewed theological papers issued by Vatican theologians. That’ll prove to you that there is a God (and the Catholic one at that)” Those theologians are all committed to the same bias to begin with and those who are outside that bias are not impressed with their circular reinforcements of the same biased beliefs. What is really needed to do a real audit and get a good look at things is get an outsider, not committed to the group bias, to analyze the data and logic used to see if the conclusions really and logically do fall from the premises and data or whether it is just faith speaking. That is why in the corporate world when real audits of company books are done they get outsiders to do it. Outsiders may not know the corporate workings but they understand figures and accounting so they can follow the paper trail. And their different bias allows them to honestly see if things are really on the up-and-up or not. In the same sort of way all I have done here is do a sort of audit on the system. I think the audit shows there is a problem, but anyone who wants to can follow my reasoning and come to their own conclusion.

      The fact that you work with phylogeny through cladistics rather than fossils is, I admit, part of a growing trend. But the reason for that may be different than what you think. Fossils really do not support the neo-darwinian evolutionary story. This is true with hominid fossils but even more so with fossils in the wider animal kingdom. Fossils are not backing up the story like Darwin predicted they would. So instead many researchers, yourself by your own admission, have turned to cladistics to develop an evolutionary phylogeny. But cladistics suffers from the same problem that you and I both agree that I have – bias. But the bias here is on a whole other level. Bias usually means (and this is how I took it when you referred to my bias) that one is more critical of one interpretation and accepting of another than the data may warrant. But cladistics is nothing like that. It just simply assumes evolution is true and with that start point builds a scenario to show the pathway. Assuming the belief you want to prove takes bias to a whole new level. So why would I say that about cladistics? Apart from studying the thinking and methodology behind it, there are eminent scientists who have said as much. Take Bernard Wood. In my presentation above I reference what Wood says about cladistics. He wrote “Cladistics analysis works on the assumption that if members of two taxa share the same morphology, they must have inherited it from the same recent common ancestor. This assumption is often justified but not always” Human Evolution p66-67. If something works on the assumption of a common ancestor that just means it assumes evolution is true as its starting point. But he is not alone. In my invertebrate zoology text it says “In fact, many cladistic and phenetic taxonomists will argue that the process of constructing a cladogram is one of pattern analysis alone – although the pattern is presumed to be the product of the evolutionary process” Richard C. Brusca & Gary J. Brusca. Invertebrates 1990. p38 Hmm … sounds like that same bias to me. And then there is in this peer reviewed journal

      “But anatomy and the fossil record cannot be relied on for defining evolutionary lineages. Yet palaeontologists persist in doing just this. They rally under the banner of a methodology called cladistics, in which family trees of living and fossil primates are constructed on the basis of ‘primitive’ and ‘derived’ traits (mostly of teeth and bones), which are either shared or not shared. Shared primitive characteristics are shared because they come from a common ancestor, unshared derived characteristics reveal separate evolutionary paths. The subjective element in this approach to building evolutionary trees, which many palaeontologists advocate with almost religious fervour, is demonstrated by the outcome: there is no single family tree on which they agree. On the contrary, almost every conceivable combination and permutation of living and extinct hominoids has been proposed by one cladist or another.”

      Loewenstein, Jerald M., and Adrienne L. Zihlman, “The Invisible Ape,” New Scientist, vol. 120 (December 3, 1988), p58

      So what to conclude? I think we are all biased and the best way to arrive at the truth is to humbly accept that one may be wrong, hear what others say and the reasons that they give in support of their position, and to present different models of our origins. When you see and hear other models what it does is increase the likelihood of seeing one’s own bias. I am all in favor of hearing the evolutionary view-point. Goodness knows I have read enough in it. What’s the fear of hearing another viewpoint? Isn’t that what education should be about?

      Anyways we probably will not solve the problem of human bias in this exchange. But thanks again for moving us all to think about bias.

      1. Human evolution is just as evolution of all other living things in this world which has its own system . One can not understand the truth /meaning of life or this whole universe unless you are pushed through various birth cycle . Human being is the only living being created by god who can acknowledge the truth around this universe and live life accordingly to attend the next phase above this cycle of birth and death .

    1. I read and go through your work,it is good but some thing missing i.e more explanation on the whole of your story!

      1. Hi George
        Thanks for your comment. I have (in this presentation) mostly critiqued the standard story of human evolution. Now, I have not really advanced a replacement for that rather hollow story. Given that I am writing on a broad range of topics in this site I have not gotten around to do much more than critique the standard model. I plan to do that in the months ahead, though just when I am not sure yet. Is this what you mean by ‘more explanation of your story’? Or do you mean something else?

  3. A flood of large proportions must have happened,considering the fact that Europe was covered with a massive ice sheet,thickness ranging up to km,about 10.000 years ago.So we’ve got a large enough source of water for it to be recorded as a major event,passed down from generation to generation,ending up as the story of the flood in the Bible.So,while it has some basis in reality,the proportions of the disaster is exaggerated,because there wasn’t enough ice to melt and cover the entire planet.

    1. Hi Robert
      Thanks for your comment. I would agree with your assessment that ice sheets on Europe could not supply enough water to be a ‘global’ flood. In-depth treatments of such a flood (which this presentation did not cover) would look at alternate explanations. In fact, in such a model the ice age would be understood to be a post-flood event that did cause much geological and surface abrasions, with significantly-sized ‘breached dam’ floods, though they would not be the global flood.

      1. It most certainly WAS a Global Flood! There was plenty of water then, and all the water is still here with us today! Look how big the Oceans are, still covering 3/4 of the planet. And the depth of the oceans in the deepest part is over 7 MILES, and on average the depth of the oceans is about 1 Mile. And we know that the mountains were very much lower back then, about 4000 years ago.
        So, there was and is still plenty of water in the oceans to flood the whole Earth.
        And also to be considered is the fact that a mere 50 feet of water covering the Earth was plenty to kill every land creature on the face of the earth and birds in the sky. The ice age came after the Flood. God said it was a global flood, and it was! The evidence is there, it is just ignored because of the bias you were mentioning earlier in this post. And speaking of Bias, I freely and unashamedly admit that I AM Biased towards Creation, God, and His Word- The Bible! And I believe in a Young Earth, about 6,000 y/o.

        There is ZERO real, hard scientific evidence for evolution, but the “scientists” fabricate false “evidence” because they need it , just like they need billions of years to sell their evolutionary lies. Because the alternative is unthinkable to them. They will never admit that there IS a God and the Bible is True, because then they would have to stand before God in judgement one day, and that is unacceptable, because they love their sins!
        And as for those “peer reviewed papers” you are correct, they are only “reviewed” by like minded people, because they must all be in agreement with each other, and squelch all opposing viewpoints. Then when the “peer reviewed papers” are circulated enough, they become the “evidence” for evolution! And in reality, those papers are nothing but 1% Science and 99% the Figment of someone’s imagination!!!
        This world, and our bodies are far too complex and orderly to just happened to randomly evolve by chance, or whatever story of the week is about how we got here. Just look HONESTLY at a single cell or strand of DNA. That is so complex and perfectly designed, there is just no way it could have evolved! Our bodies are by far the most sophisticated and complex machines on Earth! And for those that may disagree, I challenge you to create a better one! And you must start from Nothing, and make your own blueprints and building materials. And you must beat God’s Time!!! He did it in a few minutes on the sixth day of Creation, and it all must be in place and functioning perfectly,right from the start! When you think of it like that, you will see the lies and B.S. that evolution really is –
        Evolution Truly IS a Science Fiction Fairy Tale for those that can’t handle the truth that “In The Beginning, God Created the Heavens and Earth!!!

  4. but ,their is no proof where human really had came… just time has changed with the development to have their own many views and running on cyclic globe … thank u, 🙂

  5. Thank you for your presentation, I enjoyed it thoroughly. Other scientists have talked about scientists themselves being bias to certain hypothesis, even for generations, until new data/interpretation eventually replaces the old one. I am talking specifically about Dr Bruce Lipton and his long work regarding genes. So hopefully, the new thinking that you explained very well here, will replace the old dogma of evolution. About a decade back, I heard from a geologist that a fossil of an archaic elephant found in Egypt had to be totally ignored because it defied the idea of evolution. Unfortunately I do not have the species name to give you here.BTW, I am Muslim so I am for sure biased to creationism.

  6. I read very interestingly the comments and logical points. I had been thinking and asking many questions to myself without any answer neither within myself or from any other. If there is god and if every creatures comes from god, if god is in everywhere and in me and in you all, what is he? Where do we come from and where do we go? Religions teach us “we came from god and we will return to god”. Why are there differences of people, their social status like rich and poor, bad people and good people, sinners and pious people? If god had made us all with free will, why he should punish and/or reward people with hell and heaven? When we cannot see the soul of a human person, like any other creature after they die, how can that invisible “being” can enjoy or suffer in heaven or in hell? Religions also teach “last day” and what does it mean? When a person dies, that is his/her last day, I feel.
    Any creature becomes a being through an evolution in the womb (either human or any other creature) and if we notice, there are various forms of that being from its inception. So is science far from religion?

  7. The evolutionary details may very about origin of Human species. But surely we can accept the evolutionary trajectory of Big Bang origin of Universe to Energy particle evolution to Chemical evolution at certain locations to Bio-evolution to Human phenomena to material artificial Extroversion.

    If the imagination of existence of all powerful God is true then why did it take Him billions of years to create a Human being?

    1. Interesting question, thank you. I am not sure if I have an answer though but I’ve got a suggestion. Billions of years is our perception of time. Time for the Creator of time could be very different. Sometimes a day to God is 1000 years, at other times it could reach 50,000 years as expressed in the Holy Qur’an. A day in the terrestial plantes of the solar system is different from a day in the gaseous huge planets in our solar system as well. Time we experience in dreams is different from time we experience in the waking state, it is really mind boggling. So for God, it did not really take him billions of years to create a human being, but much less in His perception. Also God created everything in stages, there is no hurry in creation. I think He created us in the right time for us. Blessings.

    2. Abhaykumar,
      I am not sure whether you have actually taken the time to read how the Bible tells the story of “man” being created because it talk about only taking him 6 days to do so, not “billions of years.”

    3. Tilak, it is the evolutionists who claim it took billions of years for humans to get to our present form, not the Bible or the Koran or any religious source. If the theory of evolution is bogus, then believe also that everything they say is bogus. the Big Bang never happened. If you believe one falsehood from them, you’re likely to believe every falsehood they put out.

  8. i don’t believe on evolution, if evolution had taken place during the earlier centuries the why is it not going on at the present time it is a teaching for them who have shallow reasoning, where is the current evolving creatures?

    1. Hi daniel
      Thanks for your comments. I do agree with you but those who do believe in evolution would point to the changes that we do see in organisms as the ‘current evolving creatures’. The question is whether these changes are ‘evolution’ in the sense of a step on the journey from molecules to man. What critics of evolutionary theory point out is that these changes are not those with increasing information or increasing function. An example I talk about is the ‘evolution’ of soapberry bugs

    1. I sincerely believe that whoever believes in evolution is stupid. it is so clear that evolution is total nonsense, yet great scientists continues to uphold it. This shows clearly that acquisition of knowledge does not necessarily endow a person with natural wisdom.

      1. I sincerely support your view, if there was evolution then there should be no bugs, bees and ET all but all humans that evolved in the brain of Darwin and all his theorists. yup it was created by a divine architect in the time frames that were conducive to the lives and sustenance from primitive plants through the age of the reptiles and finally the supreme mammal.

  9. Hello Dear,
    I am a geneticist. the various evidences from different sources seem to be true when I teach evolution. but I am now getting difficulty on deciphering the real thing because there is several reasons putting my knowledge in doubt. How such a complex system of living system developed through rigidly or less rigidly programmed or evolution? I think scientists are only trying to conduct experiment in such a way that their argument seems/proved to be true. They are insisting on their scientific reasoning (but most of the theories of evolution are extremely difficult to be proved by experiment) not to lose the battle.

  10. I agree with most what you’ve said. But evolutionists would say:” Well evolution is the best we’ve got.” They know the theory still have faults. Especially when we know that none of the chimps fossils were found except for few teeth. Whenever I ask an evolutionist about them, I get no reply. At last, I think the claim of evolution of man got its power from the weakness and errors found in the Bible.

    1. Hi Saif
      Thanks for your insightful comment. I would agree that the holding power of the evolutionary model is that the alternative is not palatable to many for a variety of reasons. I think it is just good to be honest and upfront about that. I would not disagree with anyone who said “The evolutionary model is built on a few teeth and therefore is pretty wobbly but I prefer it for this and that reason”. But that is not how the theory is portrayed in our culture.

    2. Micro evolution where lets say an insect or small animal adapts to protect itself or hunts better is there for all to see. However on a Macro level where humans were supposed to have developed from apes ie complete species arising from lesser species
      (Darwinism) there is not one single piece of evidence that scientifically proves this. The current understanding of evolution is completely flawed.

  11. but the question is arises that the place in which this whole universe is made is made by only some supernatural power only…why?

    1. I am not totally sure what your question is. I think you are asking why has some supernatural power only made beings (i.e. people) on earth and not on other parts of the universe? I guess there is nothing directly contradicting the idea of created beings (ie extraterrestial ‘people’) in other parts of the universe. If there is evidence that we are ‘made’ then perhaps other beings are ‘made’ as well.

  12. this an interesting topic so real sense it as god who made everything, the genesis account explained in details every of god’s creation in a way that leads to illustrate: a mam went into a thick forest, he saw an already made house that was covered with grasses and empty,would the man just conclude it was by chance that it he saw the house over there? he wouldn’t do such a thing..therefore is needless believing such lies from people whose aims is to blaspheme their creator..considering our stand in this issue is very important.

    commented by IZUAKOLAM

  13. We didnt come from no damn apes. If so why hvnt the others changed.
    They’re looking at us like, just wait til I change.

  14. The Old Testament is filled with gaps involving human evolution, consider Adam and Eve and their three sons, but who were the others when Cain was hiding. Plus, the gaps may suggest incest breeding among family and with Noah’s family. It will take science and history to try to piece the truth.

  15. Ok, so maybe we are a product of incest since the old testament has so many gaps of detail. Considering that Torah was written by Moses, but he didn’t live at the time of Adam or Eve so he didn’t know. He couldn’t of written all five books of Torah cause he died before the remain events in the old testament……?????????

    1. Good question. There are many ideas about this. The simplest is that the writings that are in Genesis were written by the people in the narrative and these writings were passed down and then compiled by Moses into Genesis.

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