Foley/Milton debate, message 4

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From: (Richard Milton)
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Reply-To: Richard Milton <>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 17:07:33
Subject: Milton's response to Foley (Long)

Jim Foley has recently called on me to retract my criticisms of fossils 
claimed to be those of human ancestors.  Here is my reply.  

> >    Glen [Kuban] is becoming confused again.  FACT: Java "man" was a
> >    gibbon (see any competent authority). 
> >
>>Glen is correct.  *Every* competent authority I'm aware of (Leakey,
>>Johanson, Walker, Trinkaus, Wood, Day, Tattersall, Brace, Campbell, etc)
>>considers Java Man to be a member of Homo erectus.  Richard, which
>>competent authorities do you have in mind?
>   RM
>>> For a clear resume of the real facts see John Reader _Missing Links_,
>>> 1981, [details of discovery of Java Man followed ...]
> JF
> I don't dispute any of his facts about how Java Man was discovered.  But
> does he give any evidence that Java Man is a gibbon?  I'll bet he says, 
> as I do, that Java Man is Homo erectus.

If you consult the reference I gave, you will find that John 
Reader explains how Eugene Dubois' 'discovery' is entirely bogus and 
consists of an ape-like skull cap that was found in a different place and 
at a different time from a human thigh bone.  The whole idea of 'Java man' 
was an artefact produced from the association by Dubois of the two fossils 
-- an association for which there was no evidence or scientific 
justification.  Indeed, as I pointed out last time, other modern human 
remains have since been excavated from the same site as the human femur.

>>> The leg bone was almost certainly that of a modern human.  It is my 
>>> understanding that the skullcap is now regarded as that of an extinct 
>>> gibbon-like creature. 
> JF
> On what is this understanding based?  Do you know of *any* scientists
> qualified in paleoanthropology who believe this?

Dr Rudolph Virchow, Director of the Berlin Society for Anthropology and 
founder of the science of pathology in its modern form, examined Dubois' 
fossils and wrote: "The skull has a deep suture between the low vault and 
the upper edge of the orbits.  Such a suture is found only in apes, not in 
man.  Thus the skull must belong to an ape.  In my opinion this creature 
was an animal, a giant gibbon in fact.  The thigh bone has not the 
slightest connection with the skull." (See H. Wendt, From Ape to Adam, 
1972, pp 167-168).

Virchow's conclusion was supported by many others who examined Dubois' 
fossils at first hand including Marcellin Boule, Director of the Human 
Institute of Paleontology in Paris, who said that the thigh bone was 
"identical to that of a modern human whereas the skullcap resembled that of 
an ape, possibly a large gibbon."  (See M. Boule, Fossil Men: Elements of 
Human Paleontology, 1923).

My final reference is that of Eugene Dubois himself, the discoverer of so-called "Java Man", who eventually dropped his hominid claim and in 1932 
wrote, "_Pithecanthropus_ was not a man, but a gigantic genus allied to the 
gibbons on account of its exceedingly large brain volume and distinguished 
at the same time by its faculty of assuming an erect attitude and gait." 
(Quoted by Stephen Jay Gould in "Eight Little Piggies, 1993, p 135.)  Gould 
quotes this with the bizarre aim of proving that Dubois did _not_ think 
Pithecanthropus was a gibbon!  

>>> But the important fact is not the origin of the fossils but that the
>>> association of the femur and skull cap is not scientifically justified.
>I consider this totally irrelevant.  I think the association to the same
>individual is probably incorrect, and many of the above scientists 
>probably do too.  That has nothing to do with how the skullcap is 

On the contrary. It is the _only_ issue relevant to how the skullcap is 
classified. The only compelling reason for thinking the skullcap anything 
other than an ape is its "association" with the femur of an upright walking 
human.  Once you accept that no such association exists then you are left
with the inescapable conclusion that Dubois' Java "man" _never_ existed 
except in the overworked imaginations of ideological Darwinists like Dubois 

If the ape skullcap is _not_ legitimately associated with any human 
remains, as Jim himself now admits, then perhaps Jim can tell us how the 
skullcap can justifiably be described as 'Java Man' or any other kind of 
man?  What _scientific_ reason is there for thinking it human or ancestral 
to human?

And if it is _not_ associated with any kind of human remains, as Jim now 
admits, what difference does it make what kind of ape it comes from?  
Whether it is a gibbon or a chimpanzee is irrelevant. 

>>> It was in recognition of these facts that the restoration of Java 'man' 
>>> paid for by Ernst Haeckel was removed from the Leiden Museum to its 
>>> basement and in the mid 1980s, the exhibit of Java 'man' was removed 
>>> from public display in the American Museum of Natural History.
>References?  This seems *highly* unlikely, given that Ian Tattersall, head
>of the Dept. of Anthropology at the AMNH, and curator of their human
>evolution exhibit, discusses Java Man prominently in his books "The Human
>Oddyssey" and "The Fossil Trail".  In these books it is clear that both
>Tattersall and the scientific community accept Java Man as Homo erectus.

There is nothing at all inconsistent with Dubois' "Java Man" being proved 
bogus, removed from the AMNH yet Darwinist scientists continuing to speak 
and write as if it were proven true. That is how Darwinism works. 
Its power as a scientific urban myth is so great it transcends factual 
evidence. This is the central point my book makes.

Perhaps Jim will tell us _where precisely_ today in the American Museum of 
Natural History we can see the casts of Eugene Dubois' "Java Man" fossils 
that were on show until the 1980s?

>I don't know anything about the Leiden reconstruction or why it might have 
>been removed.  Any references on this?

I've already given you the reference to this. See John Reader, 'Missing 
Links', 1981.  If you consult it you will see the photograph of 
"Java Man" standing forlornly in the basement on page 53.

>  >To say that Homo erectus fossils can't be transitional merely because
>  >they're in the genus Homo doesn't follow.  After all, it could be (and 
>  >I would say is) that erectus is more primitive than us and different
>  >enough to be in another species, yet similar enough to be in the same
>  >genus.  Seems to me that to determine if something is transitional or
>  >not, we need to look at it's *anatomy*, not its name.
>   RM
>>> This is a piece of semantic gymnastics.
>>> Pithecus (as in _Australopithecus_) means ape.  Homo means man.  These
>>> are not just semantic niceties which can be changed at will depending 
>>> on how clever a debater you are.  They are a direct reflection of
>>> scientific classification.
> JF
>"human" is sometimes used in both popular and scientific literature to
>refer to all of genus Homo, or hominids, or just Homo sapiens.

Wait for it. <Engages suspicion mode>.

>When I say "human" below, I mean a fully modern human, with no significant
>differences from us.  By this definition, all scientists agree that
>H. erectus and habilis are non-human.

Jim has excelled himself with this one.  He gives us _his_ 
definition of "human", meaning modern humans but not fossil 
humans.  Then, having arbitrarily created the definition, without 
bothering to support it scientifically, he coolly informs us that 
"By this definition all scientists agree ...".  Jim first creates 
am unsupported definition that begs the very question under debate, 
then tells us that "all scientists" agree with him!

When Jim says "All scientists agree that H. erectus and habilis are non-
human", this is simply not true. There are plenty of scientists who do not 
agree with Jim's interpretations.  I belong to an organisation called the 
"Scientific and Medical Network" which has around 2,500 members worldwide 
who are mainly professional scientists and medical people who reject the 
mechanistic reductionist approach typified by neoDarwinism.  I doubt that 
one in ten of them would agree with Jim's extremist viewpoint.  Jim is 
grossly overstating his case.

>   RM
>>> There are cases where overenthusiastic Darwinists have tried to
>>> introduce a new species in order to prove the existence of a missing
>>> link, but where later, scientific accuracy prevails and the 'missing
>>> link' is discredited.
>There are some such cases, such as Louis Leakey's "Zinjanthropus" (now
>known as A. boisei) which you mentioned.  I don't think any other
>scientist ever seriously believed Leakey's claim that Zinj was a human
>ancestor, and it disappeared quickly.
>In other cases, like H. erectus, H. habilis, A. africanus and A.
>afarensis, the current thinking is very close to the claims that were
>originally made for them.  None of these species is considered

On the contrary I have already provided references to two independent 
studies of the fossils of Australopithecus by Darwinists both of which have 
revised the original claims by saying it is not a human ancestor and is an 
extinct ape (Zuckermann, 1954 and Oxnard, 1984). 

There is a useful recent discussion of how Australopithecines, especially 
Lucy, have been misrepresented as human ancestors in _Forbidden 
Archaeology_ (Cremo and Thompson, 1993, p 728-739).  I am quoting from a 
table on page 730:-

"Evidence for arboreality in postcranial anatomy of A. afarensis.

1. General anatomy of Lucy's shoulder blade was characterized as "virtually 
identical to that of a great ape and had a probability less than 0.001 of 
coming from the population represented by our modern human sample"  (Susman 
et al, 1984, pp 120-121).

2. Lucy's shoulder blade has a shoulder joint which points upwards (Oxnard 
1984, p334-i; Stern and Susman 1983, p284)  This would allow "use of the 
upper limb in elevated positions as would be common during climbing 
behavior" (Stern and Susman, 1983, p284).

3. A. afarensis wristbones are apelike.  "Thus we may conclude that A. 
afarensis possessed large and mechanically advantageous wrist flexors, as 
might be useful in an arboreal setting" (Stern and Susman, 1983, p282).

4. A. afarensis metacarpals [the bones in the palm of the hand] "have large 
heads and bases relative to their parallel sided and somewhat curved shafts 
-- an overall pattern shared by chimpanzees". This "might be interpreted as 
evidence of developed grasping capabilities to be used in suspensory 
behaviour" (Stern and Susman 1983, pp 282-3).

5. The finger bones are even more curved than in chimpanzees and are 
morphologically chimpanzeelike. (Stern and Susman 1983, pp 282-4; Susman et 
al 1984 p. 117; Marzke 1983, p 198).

6. A. afarensis humerus (upper arm bone) has features that are "most likely 
related to some form of arboreal locomotion" (Oxnard 1984, p.334-1; see 
also Senut 1981, p.282).

7. One of the long bones in the forearm, the ulna, resembles that of the 
pygmy chimpanzee (Feldsman 1982b, p.187).

8. Vertebrae show points of attachment for shoulder and back muscles 
"massive relative to their size in modern humans" (Cook et al 1983, p.86)  
These would be very useful for arboreal activity (Oxnard 1984, p 334-i).

9.  "Recently Schmid (1983) has reconstructed the A.L. 288-1 rib cage as 
being chimpanzeelike" Susman et al 1984, p 131).

10. Blades of hip oriented as in chimpanzee (Stern and Susman 1983, p.292.) 
Features of afarensis hip therefore  "enable proficient climbing" (Stern 
and Susman 1983, p. 290).

There are similar objections with the cranial anatomy (see below).

You are also ignoring the fact that a number of scientists have 
questioned whether H. habilis is a real creature at all and not merely an 
artefact of the "Java Man" kind.  Here is a quote from John Reader (1981):-

"The advent of _Homo habilis_ marked the first time that an assortment of 
fossil bones was used to define a new hominid species.  Most, if not all, 
species until then were founded on evidence of skulls or teeth demonstrably 
belonging to just one individual.  The mandible from FLK NN held a full set 
of teeth, but Leakey and his co-authors Napier and Tobias decided that its 
evidence ought to be augmented by including the skull and hand bones in 
their definition, even though this implied that the remains had all 
belonged to one individual -- an implication that could never be verified 
and must, therefore, remain open to doubt."

A little later he says;

"Since publication, _Homo habilis_ has been subjected to frequent 
reassessment. It has been suggested that one of the hand bones is a 
vertebral fragment, two may have belonged to an arboreal monkey, and six 
came from some unspecified hominid."

Reader goes on to say that he believes the evidence remains valid, and I am 
not myself challenging it, but I think alternative views like these show 
that it would be wiser for Jim to tone down his claims regarding finds such 
as H. habilis instead of trying to shoehorn them into serving as evidence 
for 'missing links' with such unquestioning certitude.

>>> Of course it is true that we must look at the anatomy of the fossils
>>> themselves.  But it is dangerous to allow Darwinists like the Leakeys 
>>> to construct 'missing link' theories on their estimate of the fossils:
>>> safer to trust the type description which is usually done by 
>>> specialists on the basis of comparative measurement and in the calm of 
>>> the lab, not in the headlines of National Geographic.
>Indeed.  And when we look at the definitive studies of some of the Homo
>habilis fossils,
>  Tobias P.V. (1991): Olduvai gorge, volume 4: the skulls, endocasts and
>  teeth of Homo habilis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
>  Wood B.A. (1991): Koobi Fora research project, volume 4: hominid
>  cranial remains. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
>we find that the differences from modern humans are clearly described.

The differences between H. habilis and modern humans are principally those 
that I have already outlined here myself: they were of small stature, only 
around four feet tall and with a cranial capacity only around half that of 
modern humans.  But I have already pointed out that although this is 
different from the norm of modern Europeans it is still within the range of 
people who are alive and kicking today and who live in the same place that 
H. habilis lived [see below for further details].

>>> Is Jim saying that he knows of cases where names are not an accurate 
>>> guide because fossils described as _Homo_ are in fact apes, or cases 
>>> where fossils described as ape are in fact human?
>I do not claim that any Homo fossils are apes, or that any
>Australopithecus fossils are human.  That would be to fall into the trap
>of assuming a priori that every fossil is either ape or human, and that
>it is only necessary to decide which category is most appropriate.
>Instead, I claim that there are Homo fossils which are different from
>and more primitive than modern humans, and Australopithecus fossils
>which are more human-like than any ape.

This is a much more damaging admission than it might appear. Jim (and most 
other modern Darwinists) are here trying to square a circle that has so far 
defied them.  The first attempts to identify a missing link or intermediate 
form between ape and human involved what seemed at the time a logical step: 
the creation of a hypothetical new genus, _Pithecanthropus_ or ape-man.  
Darwinists quickly ran into trouble here because no-one could agree what 
characteristics this creature should have and the fossils ascribed to it 
were later reassigned, either as apes or as humans (Homo.)  To get round 
this problem, modern Darwinists have pulled a gypsy switch on us.  They 
ignore the need for an intermediate genus as such but claim instead that 
the imperfect fossil record shows us merely highlights from a gradual 

When you re-examine Jim's claim above in this light, you can see that, by 
making this claim, he (and other Darwinists) cannot any longer be 
scientifically contradicted _whatever_ the evidence.  No matter what 
fossils are found, they can be claimed as "transitional" either because 
they are claimed to look a little bit more human that the usual apes or a 
little bit more ape-like than the usual humans.

What makes this approach scientific nonsense is that all known ape fossils 
are within the range of modern or extinct apes while all known human 
fossils have been scientifically accepted as Homo, not ape.  So what 
_scientific_ reason is there for regarding them as having any kind of 
intermediate status (if you exclude an ideological commitment to a 
Darwinist viewpoint)?

>  >So you are saying that all the Homo habilis fossils are human?
>   RM
>>> I'm saying there is nothing to distinguish them from modern humans.
>>> _Homo habilis_  was discovered by the Leakeys at Olduvai in 1964.
>>> The habilines are calculated to have had a small brain: perhaps only 
>>> half the size of the average modern human's.  But the habilines were 
>>> also small in stature, so their brain was not small in relation to 
>>> their body size, rather like modern pygmies.
>  JF
>I say there is plenty to distinguish Homo habilis from modern humans.  The
>following quotes all refer to the famous habilis skull ER 1470, discovered
>by Richard Leakey in Kenya in 1972:
>     "The endocranial capacity and the morphology of the calvaria
>     [braincase] are characters that suggest inclusion within the genus
>     Homo, but the maxilla [upper jaw] and facial region are unlike
>     those of any known form of hominid." (Leakey 1973, Nature, 242:447-
>      50)
>     "From the size of the palate and the expansion of the area
>     allotted to molar roots, it would appear that ER 1470 retained a
>     fully Australopithecus-sized face and dentition." (Brace et al.
>     1979, Atlas of human evolution)
>     "KNM-ER 1470, like other early Homo specimens, shows many
>     morphological characteristics in common with gracile
>     australopithecines that are not shared with later specimens of the
>     genus Homo" (Cronin et al. 1981, Nature, 292:113-22)
>     "There is no evidence that this cranium particularly resembles H.
>     sapiens or H. erectus according to either phenetic or cladistic
>     evidence. Phenetically, KNM-ER 1470 is closest to the remains from
>     Olduvai [considered apes by creationists] referred to H. habilis.
>     (Wood 1991, Koobi Fora research project, volume 4: hominid cranial
>     remains)
>     "Ignoring cranial capacity, the overall shape of the specimen and
>     that huge face grafted onto the braincase were undeniably
>     australopithecine." (Walker and Shipman 1996, The wisdom of the 
>     bones)

Small stature in humans is known to produce abnormal anatomical 
characteristics which resemble ape-like characteristics, such as the jaw 
and dentition (because the individuals have the same number of teeth as us 
in a much more confined space) and the length of the arms.  That is why 
many pygmy's faces look different to ours (often showing prognathous teeth 
and jaws).

Here is Francis Huxley: "In both types [of pygmy] the eyes tend to bulge, 
the upper jaw juts out, and the arms are longer than the legs."  [Peoples 
of the World, 1971].  Here is David Davies [A Dictionary of Anthroplogy, 
1972] "There are two types [of prognathism] alveolar prognathism, which is 
restricted to the tooth region, and facial prognathism, which affects a 
much larger area of the face causing it to jut out, so increasing the 
facial area.  A small chin is characteristic of both conditions. 
Prognathism is considered a primitive feature, particularly as it is most 
commonly found in apes and ancient primitive men.  The Andamanese [pygmies] 
have pronounced prognathism."

These descriptions are uncannily like the so-called Australopithecine 
characteristics described above ("From the size of the palate and the area 
allotted to the molar roots ...." ".... the maxilla [upper jaw] and facial 
region are unlike those of any known form of hominid ....." etc etc.)  
Exactly the same mistake was made about the Australian aborigine by Huxley 
and Darwin who regarded them as "primitive" because they, too, have 
prognathism of the jaws.

>Note that 1470, at 750-775 cc, is the largest of the Homo habilis
>skulls.  The other skulls (OH 7, OH 13, OH 16, OH 24, ER 1813), range
>from about 510 cc to 680 cc.  These are smaller than even the most
>extreme figure for minimum human brain size (Lubenow's 700 cc).  However
>even 1470 is below what most people consider the human minimum
>(somewhere in the 800-900 range; see
> for details).

Even if we use the FAQ as our source as you suggest (and I 
regard this as biased towards the Darwinist viewpoint rather than 
scientifically objective) we find several references to very small modern 
human brains.

One of the most distinguished living palaeoanthropologists, Philip Tobias 
(1970), quotes the discoverer of Australopithecus, Raymond Dart, as saying 
that "apparently normal human beings have existed with brain-sizes in the 
700s and 800s" and that the smallest cranial capacity ever documented is 
790cc. Stephen Molnar in _Races, Types and Ethnic Groups_ says there are 
"many persons with 700 to 800 cubic centimetres."  I am prepared to accept 
provisionally the FAQ claim that Molnar does not provide references for 
this and I intend to check his sources myself.  But even if we ignore 
Molnar completely, you still cannot dismiss the fact that humans have lived 
in modern times with cranial capacities that are very close to or even 
smaller than 1470, so you have no really sound scientific grounds for 
ruling out H. habilis as human on the basis of cranial capacity.  
Scientifically, you are using the weakest form of objection: a speculation 
based on an assumption (eg, "Humankind will never fly because the steam 
engine is too heavy.")

>No scientist considers ER 1470 human.  Some creationists think it is 
>human, some an ape.  Of the other habilis fossils, *no-one*, creationist 
>or evolutionist, considers them human.  Richard is the first person I have 
> ever seen suggest that these are human.

The first person to suggest they are human was their discoverer 
Louis Leakey.  The thing that first caused Leakey to search in Olduvai 
Gorge for fossils other than apes (Australopithecines) was the existence of 
a working floor littered with stone tools.  Apes do not make flaked stone 
tools: humans do.  It was the maker of these tools that the Leakeys were 
looking for.  The habilines are the people that they believe made the tools 
and this is the most important diagnostic criterion that caused Leakey to 
identify them as human rather than ape or some intermediate genus (Homo 
rather than Australopithecine or Pithecanthropus).

Jim can't have it both ways.  Either the habilines are tool-
making humans or they are not.  If they are toolmaking humans, 
then Jim is wrong.  If they are not human, Jim needs to tell us who made 
the flaked stone tools at Olduvai Gorge -- and produce evidence to back up 
this new theory of human evolution.

>Richard, what is your support for your claim that there is nothing to
>distinguish these Homo habilis skulls from modern humans?

I didn't say (or didn't intend to say) that H. habilis is indistinguishable 
from _you and me_.  I said that there are modern humans that are comparable 
with H. habilis in stature, brain capacity and way of life.  I have cited 
one example of modern humans (the Mbuti people of Zaire) who resemble the 
habilines in the most important physical characteristics (their so-called 
"intermediate" stature and brain capacity) and in minor features such as 
prognathous teeth and upper jaw, and relatively long arms.

I could also point out that there are plenty of modern humans who, because 
of genetic disorder, also have a stature and cranial capacity that is 
similar to (even less than) that of the habilines.  One famous example is 
Charles Stratton ('Colonel Tom Thumb') who toured with Barnum and who, 
because of growth hormone deficiency grew into his teens only twenty five 
inches tall, later reaching an adult height of only 40 inches.  The 
importance of such cases is that Mr Stratton's cranial capacity was also 
significantly reduced but intellectually he was a modern human in every way 
with no obvious reduction in intellectual function.  In other words, as far 
as cranial capacity is concerned, H. habilis could have read the daily 
papers, played the horses, smoked cigars, discussed politics in Washington 
and entertained ladies to dinner at Maxim's, just as Colonel Tom Thumb did.

>  >
>  >..............  Creationists are horribly confused, and can't
>  >work out whether fossils like Java Man, Peking Man and ER 1470 are
>  >humans or apes.  (If anyone doesn't believe this, ask me for examples)
>   RM
>>> I am unable to say whether creationist are confused on this issue or 
>>> not as I'm not a creationist.  I, however, am not confused.  For the 
>>> reasons given above, those scientists describing the type specimens 
>>> have assigned them to Homo if they are human and Australopithecus if 
>>> they are apes.
>Who did these type descriptions which assigned Homo habilis and erectus to
>humans, and A. africanus and afarensis were apes?

I don't understand your question. The names of the individuals is a matter 
of record.  The nomenclature they chose is a matter of record. What's your 
point?  Are you challenging their type descriptions?

>  >That seems odd to me.  After all, no living human skull would be
>  >mistaken for an ape, and no living ape skull would be mistaken for a
>  >human, even by a creationist.  And yet there are a number of fossil
>  >skulls which some creationists claim are human, and some say are apes.
>  >
>  >Doesn't it necessarily follow that these skulls must be more apelike
>  >than any human, and more humanlike than any ape?  And isn't that the
>  >sort of thing we would expect to see if humans evolved from apes?
>   RM
>>> The scientists who described the type specimens and assigned their 
>>> zoological status were not confused.  They were perfectly clear.
>This does not answer the questions that I asked.

Yes it does.  It answers it emphatically "no".  It does not _necessarily_ 
follow from initial confusion over identification that the skulls are 
missing links.  An alternative and far more probable explanation is that 
the confusion was caused by Darwinist ideologues like Leakey wrongly 
attempting to claim 'missing link' status, but being dismissed by calmer 
more rational consideration as in the example I provided.  As I said, the 
scientists whose nomenclature eventually _prevailed_ were not confused -- 
only the original Darwinist claims.

>I agree, the scientists were not confused.  They have always clearly
>recognized that the Homo erectus and Homo habilis fossils are not modern
>humans.  That is why they classify them in different species from Homo

There is only one empirical test of species status in zoology and that is 
the bearing of fertile offspring between the individuals concerned.  It is 
a matter of regret that this test cannot be applied to human (or other) 
fossils, but the fact remains that it cannot and that the assignment of one 
fossil to one "species" of human and a second fossil to another "species" 
of human must remain a subjective value judgment.  That these judgments can 
and do break down over time because of scientific prejudice is nicely 
illustrated by "Neanderthal Man".

When he described H. neanderthalis in 1875, Hermann Schaffhausen
depicted him as a shambling brute, dragging his knuckles along the ground 
and unquestionably an ape-man. After half a century of revision, Cave and 
Strauss were able to announce in the _The Quarterly Review of Biology_ 
(1957) that Neanderthals sewed clothes from animal skins, used fire for 
cooking, built shelters and gave their dead a ritual interment which 
included placing flowers in the grave.  Finally they observed that if he 
were given a bath, a collar and tie, Neanderthal Man would pass unnoticed 
in the New York subway.  Today Neanderthals are recognised as Homo sapiens 
-- a virtually complete u-turn on the original identification.

>In fact, Dubois, who described Java Man, did give it a name describing its
>zoological status: Pithecanthropus, or "Ape-man".  The only reason it was
>changed was because it was judged to be not different enough from Homo
>sapiens to merit belonging to a different genus.  Scientists agree that
>Dubois' interpretation was basically correct: he had discovered a 
>primitive human.

Dubois discovered nothing whatever.  He associated a human femur with an 
ape-like skull cap that were found in two different locations a year apart 
by non-geologists. (He  himself originally identified the skull cap as that 
of a chimpanzee until the leg-bone came along and then eventually changed 
his identification to that of a gibbon).

>  >I object also to the idea that something is "known" if you can find one
>  >or two studies to support it.  To me, "known" implies that something
>  >that is accepted by all or almost all workers in the field, otherwise
>  >we can have the absurdity that a claim and its negation can both be
>  >"known" to be true.
>  >
>  >By my definition, it is *not* "known" that australopithecines are
>  >extinct apes unrelated to humans.  Quite the opposite.  That opinion is
>  >in a distinct minority.

Yours is a remarkable view of scientific knowledge. You define 'known' as a 
matter of acceptance by a majority ("all or almost all workers in the 
field".) I regard science as being essentialy about proof and my definition 
of "known" is not that most workers agree, but that the scientific evidence 
leads inescapably to unambiguous conclusions -- regardless of how many are 
willing to accept those conclusions.

It is the evidence (cited above and later) that leads to the conclusion 
that Australopithecines are extinct apes, not the number of scientists who 
can be found to agree or disagree.

Also your contention that if minority views prevailed "a claim and its 
negation can both be "known" to be true" is quite wrong.  In the sixteenth 
century only Galileo and a minority of others knew that Jupiter possesses 
moons and that the solar system is heliocentric. The majority of others 
(his scientific colleagues as well as churchmen) rejected this view.  This 
did not make Galileo wrong.  And it did not lead to the absurdity you 
describe.  You can't change scientific facts by voting on them. The 
majority were blindly mistaken then and the majority are blindly mistaken 

>   RM
>>> Then why were they named Australopithecus (= Southern ape) by the 
>>> specialists who described their type specimens?  The fact that there is 
>>> a long queue of Darwinists desperate to find a 'missing link' and 
>>> willing to shoehorn each new discovery to fit does not alter the 
>>> anatomical facts.
> JF
>To say that australopithecines can't be missing links because they have
>"-pithecus" (= ape) in their name is wrong for any number of reasons:

This is a misrepresentation.  I did not say as you claim that 
"australopithecines can't be missing links because they have "-pithecus" 
(= ape) in their name".  I said that the scientists who ascribed their 
zoological status and hence their names to them were in no doubt whether 
they were apes or humans and named them accordingly.  We are not here 
discussing words, we are discussing the sciences of paleoanthropology and 
taxonomy. Had they believed a new genus (eg Pithecanthropus or similar 
formation) was justified by the anatomy, they were free to coin such a 
genus.  They chose not to.

>1. By the same reasoning, Basilosaurus must be a reptile, instead of a
>   fossil whale, because it has "-saurus" in its name.

Come off it, Jim. You know this is not a comparable case.  Basilosaurus was 
mis-named at a time when not enough was known to guide the type-species 
author to a taxonomically consistent name.  The naming of all fossil apes 
and fossil humans has happened relatively recently and both types of fossil 
have been described against a relatively well-known taxonomic background 
(apes, humans and the hypothetical possibility of an intermediate type 

>2. They were named "Australopithecus" by Raymond Dart, the same man who
>   first claimed that they were human ancestors.  Dart (Nature 1925,
>   184:491) referred to it as a "man-like ape", and "an extinct race of
>   apes _intermediate between living anthropoids and man_" (his italics).

But he specifically _did not_ name the fossils as ape-man 
(pithecanthropus or any comparable word formation) but he named them 
'southern ape'.  Why did he not name them as ape-man?  Because 
scientifically, he was not sure whether they were or were not human 
ancestors.  The mere fact that something is a man-like ape does not mean it 
shares a common ancestry with humans. The term "man-like ape" (anthropoid 
ape) has been in common use for a century and is still applied today to 
apes like the gorilla and orang utan.  Nobody imagines that this term 
implies common ancestry with humans, merely that there are anatomical 

>3. Even if the name was inconsistent with being a human ancestor, modern
>   scientists aren't responsible for a name assigned 70 years ago.  And
>   even if they wanted to, the rules of nomenclature forbid them changing
>   Australopithecus to another name.

What are you saying here, Jim?  Are you claiming that Dart's nomenclature 
is wrong and deserves to be changed?  If so, what scientific evidence do 
you have for such a claim? And what new taxonomic category do you propose 
Australopithicines should be placed in? Homo?  Pithecantropus?  And if you 
don't believe that, then what the heck are you saying?

As I said above, Dart chose his nomenclature with care because he could see 
the pitfall that Darwinists are rushing headlong into in their eagerness to 
make Australopithecus a human ancestor.

>4. It is a demonstrable fact that many scientists consider 
>   a human ancestor.  For example, see Wood (Nature 355:783 1992) which
>   shows 6 different diagrams of hominid phylogeny suggested by various
>   workers.  "The First Humans (ed. Burenhult) has 4 diagrams.  All ten of
>   these diagrams have either one or both of A. africanus and A. afarensis
>   as human ancestors.
>So tell us again how it can be "known" that australopithecines are
>unrelated to humans, when a large majority of paleoanthropologists
>obviously disagree with that statement?

You don't need to explain to me that many scientists are neoDarwinists who 
think this way for purely ideological reasons.  Indeed, you could have gone 
further and added that _all_ the articles on paleoanthropology published in 
_Nature_ show diagrams of how humans have descended from apes.  That is not 
because there is strong, direct evidence of such descent but because the 
ruling ideology of the life sciences is neoDarwinism and hence most 
scientists conform to that interpretation while shunning contradictory 
views.  My point is that it is merely an interpretation, that it is not the 
only interpretation and that at least two distinguished anatomists who I 
quoted reject the interpretation, not because of ideology but because of 
anatomical facts.  

>  > JIM FOLEY -
>  > Again, "known" by whom?  Not by scientists studying the fossils.
>  > In the case of Homo habilis in particular, there are a number
>  > of features that distinguish them from modern humans.
>  >
>  > Are you saying, then, that habilines like ER 1470, OH 7, OH 13 are all
>  > modern humans?  
>   RM
>>> I'm saying that there are modern humans, living only a few miles from
>>> the place where these fossils were found, who have comparable stature
>>> and brain capacity to habilines (the Mbuti pygmies of Zaire).
> JF
>Is there any evidence for this?  If so, where?
>I say this claim is totally false.  For example, 

You seem to have forgotten that a moment ago you cited the 
FAQ yourself, which, as we've already seen, contains references to Philip 
Tobias (1970) quoting Raymond Dart as saying that "apparently normal human 
beings have existed with brain-sizes in the 700s and 800s". You need to 
read your own "bible" more carefully.

>  > JIM FOLEY -
>  >
>  > I have one final question for Richard. What *would* be an acceptable
>  > example of an ape/human intermediate, since he doesn't like any of  
>  >the claimed specimens?
>   RM
>>> There are three criteria that distinguish humans from apes 
>>> They are:-
>>> 1.  The way the skull is joined to the spine, balanced upright in  
>>> humans, sloping in apes.
> JF
>And as is well known, australopithecines are quite humanlike in this
>respect.  See, for example,
>, taken from "Humankind
>Emerging" by Bernard Campbell

Now you are doing what you accuse me of.  It is not 'well known' at all.  
Some Darwinists such as Solly Zuckermann (1954) specifically reject that 
Australopithecine heads were balanced upright.  He said; 

                                     . . .  the evidence 
  is also clear that the skull of the Australopithecinae 
  was balanced on the vertebral column as in apes rather 
  than as in man.

And Zuckermann concludes that; 

  The safest overall inference that can be drawn from the 
  facts which have been discussed here is that the 
  Australopithecinae were predominantly ape-like, and not 
  man-like creatures.

>>> 2.  Human feet are flat for walking upright.  Ape feet are long and 
>>> curved for grasping branches.

Yes.  And?  Where are the fossil feet intermediate between apes and humans?  
Or the apes with human-like feet, adapted for bipedal movement?

>>> 3. Ape teeth are characteristically different from human teeth.
>See "Lucy", Johanson and Edey, 1981, pages 260-279, has a long discussion
>about australopithecine teeth.  Ape teeth are indeed different from human
>teeth.  Guess which A. africanus most resembles?  Yes, humans.  See
>, again taken from 
>Campbell's book.
>The earlier A. afarensis is much more apelike than africanus, but has some
>human characterics.

I don't need to "guess which"  because I have read Johanson and Edey in 
more detail that you apparently have. Johanson, as Lucy's discoverer, has 
been consistently over optimistic about Lucy's "humanlike" characteristics.  
He originally thought the A. afarensis jaws were human and assigned them to 
Homo.  Later he changed this to "distinct from apes and from any of the 
later hominids" (Johanson and Edey 1981, p 271). There can be no serious 
doubt, however, that they are ape.

Here is Cremo and Thompson (1993 pp. 729-731) "In humans, the teeth in the 
jaw are arrayed in a parabolic curve,  In the Hadar jaws, such as AL200, 
the teeth on either side of the jaw are set in straight parallel rows, as 
in the apes, although the rearmost molars are sometimes slightly displaced 
(Johanson and Edey 1981, pp 267-268).  Both in apes and in the Hadar 
fossils the palate is flat (Johanson and Edey 1981, p 270).  In humans it 
is arched.  As in the apes, the canines of the Hadar jaws were conical.  In 
humans, the inner surface of the canine is flattened.  In order to 
accommodate the projecting lower canine of A. afarensis, the upper jaw has 
a noticeable gap between the incisor and the canine.  This gap, called a 
diastema, is also present in apes but not in humans. Departures from the 
ape condition were minor.  In an ape, the first premolar has a single cusp.  
In humans the first premolar has a prominent second cusp.  In all of the 
Hadar specimens except Lucy, the first premolar has a slightly developed 
second cusp (Johanson and Edey 1981, p 270)."  

"All in all, the apelike condition of the Hadar jaws is so pronounced that 
even Johanson admitted: 'If David Pilbeam were to find any of them in 
Miocene deposits without any associated long bones, he would surely say it 
was an ape.' (Johanson and Edey 1981, p 376)."  

>>> These are the important criteria.  Darwinist sometimes try to confuse 
>>> the issue by introducing matters like cranial capacity or pelvic 
>>> construction, but this is largely smoke and mirrors. 
>I fail to see why.  Both of these characteristics are quite different in
>humans and apes and hence are as good diagnostic features as your first
>three points.
>4. Brain size.  Few humans are smaller than 900 cc.  Chimps have a max of
>500 cc, gorillas are about 700 cc max but they are far larger than any
>hominids and have grossly apelike skulls.  Homo habilis skulls fit in the
>gap beautifully, being intermediate in both brain size and anatomy.  Some
>of the smaller H. erectus skulls are also in the 750-900 cc range, with
>significant anatomical differences from modern humans in addition to their
>exceptionally small size.

See my earlier remarks about brain size.  There is scientifically no basis 
in evidence for suggesting that intellectual capacity is correlated with 
brain size in the gross way that Darwinists sometimes suggest and there is 
evidence which indicates such a view must be mistaken (the systematic 
differential between human male and female brain capacity which is not 
reflected in the IQ of the sexes).

>5. Pelvic construction.  While certainly not a human pelvis, Lucy's pelvis
>resembles a human more than a chimp.  The pelvis is a good indicator of
>locomotion, and Lucy's indicates that she was bipedal when on the ground
>(which was probably not all the time).  The australopithecine pelvis Sts 
>14 also belonged to a bipedal creature.

Darwinists have latched onto Lucy's pelvic construction as being the sole 
anatomical characteristic that _could_ be consistent with an erect or semi-
erect posture, and it is this that they harp on at every opportunity (for 
instance it is the central plank in the Lucy exhibit in the London Natural 
History Museum.)  I say it _could_ be consistent because it is abundantly 
clear to any open minded observer who takes the trouble to investigate the 
matter that Lucy's feet, hands, arms, body and musculature are those of an 
arboreal ape, that her feet are even longer and more curved than a 
chimpanzee's and hence the best bipedal gait that Lucy could manage would 
be worse than the worst chimpanzee you have ever seen.  Perhaps Jim can 
tell us how can such poor adaptation can be taken as evidence of human 
ancestry?  Indeed, if you are going to accept this as evidence, you might 
as well claim that chimpanzees are ancestral to humans, since their feet 
and hands are _better_ adapted than Lucy's to humanlike behaviour.

>>> Australopithicines like Lucy have their skulls joined to their spines 
>>> like apes, they have long curved hands and feet for grasping branches 
>>> (longer and more curved than a chimpanzee for instance) and their teeth 
>>> are those of an ape.
>>> Show me a fossil that has feet, teeth and skull posture halfway 
>>> between an ape's and a human's and I'll be very interested to see it.

>Teeth: look at A. afarensis, A. africanus, H. habilis, H. erectus.

I have looked at them.  See the commentary by Cremo and Thompson quoted 
above regarding Australopithecine teeth. The species of homo you refer to 
have human teeth for the very good reason that they are human fossils.  

>Skull posture: look at Sts 5
See Zuckermann quote on skull posture above

>Feet: almost none available.  There is OH 8, which seems to be bipedal but 
>isn't a modern human.

You've confirmed my point.  There are no fossils with anything 
other than ape-like feet.  As I said last time, this doesn't mean 
such fossils will never be found, but it does mean the kind of Darwinist 
certitude exhibited here by Jim is completely unsupported in scientific 
evidence -- merely by Darwinist opinion.

>Posture: Lucy and Sts 14 already show bipedality and a pelvis quite 
>similar to those of humans.

Your claim that Lucy 'shows bipedality' is scientifically meaningless.  OK, 
she has two feet.  But they are incapable of supporting an erect posture 
because they are adapted for arboreal life.  The claim about the pelvis is 
possibly correct, but a pelvis capable of an erect posture is no use if you 
have the feet, hands, arms, musculature and body of an arboreal ape, as 
Lucy (and all Australopithecines) have.

>Brain size: we have skulls covering the entire gap between apes and 

This again is the 'small brain equals dumb/primitive, big brain equals 
smart/modern' argument which is completely unsupported by evidence.  The 
modern female brain is 10 percent smaller than the male brain, but women do 
not have IQs 10 per cent smaller than men: they are strictly comparable.  
Just as the IQ's of pygmies are not significantly different from those of 

>Bipedality: the earliest hominid pelvises we have are already bipedal.

This is meaningless.  All the humans we know have always had two feet and 
walked erect.  So what's new?

>>> Show me a sequence of fossils with progressive development of these 
>>> three criteria from a sequence of securely dated rock strata and I'll 
>>> be willing to accept that there is evidence for an ape-human 
>>> transition.
>Since Richard doesn't accept radiometric dating, I don't know what he'd
>accept as proof of "securely dated rock strata".

I don't reject radiometric dating out of hand. I say that it is inherently 
unreliable in ways that are unpredictable.  But I would accept significant 
morphological change in fossils (of any kind) found in rocks that are 
securely associated geologically in sequence, without knowing their 
absolute age.  I'd have to consider each case on its merits -- except, of 
course, that you have failed to provide any cases for me to consider.

I now repeat: where is your sequence of 'missing link' fossils, Jim?

>Richard started this off by saying:
>>RM "Java Man" is now accepted as having been an extinct ape, and
>>    every single claimed "missing link" fossil has been re-assigned
>>    either as an extinct ape or as a human essentially the same as
>>    modern humans. 
>Richard may consider that every single claimed "missing link" fossil is an
>ape or a human.  But to imply, as he does here, that the scientific
>community has reclassified every one (who else would be re-assigning 
>them?) as an ape or a human, is demonstrably and obviously false.

On the contrary it is conclusively demonstrated to be true by the 
indisputable fact that the scientific community (who else would re-assign 
them?) has renamed the claimed missing links either as apes (pithecus) or 
humans (homo).  For instance 'Pithecanthropus erectus' is now Homo erectus: 
Zinjanthropus is now Australopithecus. 'Peking man' is now Homo erectus and 
'Neanderthal man' is now Homo sapiens.  'Java man', 'Western Ape-man' 
(Hesperopithecus) and 'Piltdown man' have all turned out to be bogus. I can 
furnish further examples if required.

This isn't just tidying up the catalogue of species as more information 
becomes available, as Darwinists sometimes strive to depict it.  It is an 
admission of fundamental error in that the original identifications are 
scientifically unsupportable and that the fossil record has not yet yielded 
any missing links between ape-like creatures and humans.

> Not a single scientist I am aware of would call Homo habilis a modern 
> human or an ape.  (I gave 5 quotes above showing differences from modern 
> humans). Not a single scientist says that Java Man is a gibbon, something 
> Richard claims is a "FACT" accepted by any competent authority.  Not a 
> single scientist disputes that Homo erectus is morphologically more 
> primitive than Homo sapiens.  

Here Jim has once again grossly overstated his case when he makes 
statements like 'Not a single scientist ...'  However one can make his 
statement approximately true by a simple change to 'Not a single Darwinist 
scientist...'  when it at once becomes tautologically true and is merely a 
statement about ideological interpretations of ambiguous data.

I have no objection to you surrendering your critical faculties and blindly 
following Darwinist scientific "authorities" if you choose to do so, Jim, 
but don't be so surprised if some of us decline to follow you without 

I am perfectly willing to continue this debate with Jim, but it would be 
conducted more efficiently in future if he would produce some specific, 
strong, direct, concrete evidence to support his belief in a missing link, 
instead of generalisations, opinions and scientific urban myths.


Richard Milton
Tel: +44 1732 353 427     Fax: +44 1732 353 427 

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