Revising the revision, again

A Dog Named Flea

Assuredly he lacks the spine
To ascertain the big canine.
Should we encounter in debate
He’ll meet a most odorous fate,
For in taking him down a peg
I have merely to lift my leg
And R. Dawkins will slink away
Wet, and wearing Eau de Day.

It doesn’t matter what the evidence is, evolutionary biologists are happy to change their story to suit. They’ve certainly had enough experience at it:

The story of a critical phase in human evolution may have to be rewritten after the discovery of two remarkable fossils in Kenya that have shed new light on the origins and behaviour of two ancient relatives of Homo sapiens. One of the fossils found near Lake Turkana has shown that two early human species thought to have evolved one from the other actually lived side by side for almost half a million years, redrawing the most widely accepted version of humanity’s family tree.

The discovery means that only one of the two species, known as hominins, can be a direct ancestor of modern human beings, and not both as was previously proposed. While scientists are still confident that Homo erectus, the younger of the two, ultimately gave rise to Homo sapiens, it is now suspected that the older, Homo habilis, was an evolutionary dead end.

Both are likely to have evolved from another, older common ancestor, a missing link that has not yet been found in the fossil record, which lived between two and three million years ago.

It’s probably to be found in the same place as Richard Dawkins’s magic original replicators and the rainbow-maned unicorns of Happy Happy Unicornitopia.

I’ve found the most judicious way to deal with people who ask if I believe in evolution is to respond with a single two-word question: “Which version?” That serves nicely to head off the irrelevant Creationist-ID-God tangent that otherwise tends to pop up, and leads to much more interesting discussions.

“Evolution works like this!”

“I don’t buy it.”

“You ignorant science-hating retard! You probably think the world is flat!”

“No, I just think that your scientific consensus is based on series of false assumptions, unproven postulates and a certain amount of chicanery.”

But 10 out of 10 biologists and geologists agree – hang on – um, okay, actually evolution works like THIS!”

“You do know that a model is only valued based on its predictive abilities… and you’re trying to sell me one that is not only in constant flux but can’t even reliably explain past events, right?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“You’ve never done very well on the stock market, have you.”


“Didn’t think so.”