Fugitives from Fundamentalism

The Musings of Adult Missionary Kids (MKs) & Former Born-Again Believers

“Missing links” are not missing anymore

Posted by Paulo on April 8, 2010

BBC News: “South African fossils could be new hominid species”

Yet another missing link has been found. This is the latest one in dozens found within the last few years. How many more “missing links” have to be found before people like Wendy Wright admit they exist?

But people like her will never admit these are in fact missing links. They will just say, “Oh, those aren’t missing links, they are just extinct ape species that somewhat resemble humans more than other apes, but they are not humans.”

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14 Responses to ““Missing links” are not missing anymore”

  1. JN said

    Missing links, by definition, will always be missing. At some point though, people are going to have to ask why these fossils keep showing up. Maybe the best angle to take is to present the issue as a question of why, rather than turn it into a “Ha! I told you so” moment.

    • Missing links will always be missing? Until they are found, do you mean? Just like my missing car keys: they will always be missing by definition, until I find them. Then, they will not be missing keys: they will be found keys. In other words, missing links will become found links. Duh!

      I think a “Ha! I told you so moment” is totally appropriate considering that Evolution-denying Christians have repeatedly and loudly been telling scientists they are wrong for…for like forever. I imagine that if Christians found proof of God they would be like, “Ha! See! God is real! Bow down and worship the Son of Man, ye miserable sinners!”

      • JN said

        I need to use emoticons or something…. What I was saying (somewhat facetiously) is that you will never find THE missing link. If you find one, there’s bound to be another out there. It’s unrealistic to expect to find a complete chain of fossils, especially from a chain that spans millions of years. People will always be able to play the ‘missing link’ game. That’s not to say that you can’t create a convincing chain, or that all these fossils being dug up are meaningless.

        You can shove your dog’s face into a turd all you want, but something tells me it’s never going to dawn on him to stop taking a crap on your carpet.

        • True, there will probably always be gaps in the fossil record. If scientists are to be trusted, then it is true that we are lucky to find the fossils we do have. It takes a perfect combination of variables for animal remains to be preserved that long. Still, those Evolution-deniers probably deserve to hear “I told you so” every single time a new fossil is found. Maybe they will eventually catch on to the realization, “Oh, you mean this is the evidence I’ve been claiming doesn’t exist?”

          • JN said

            Maybe, or they may shut you down and not hear a word you say. It’s easy to block a person out. It might be better to encourage a person to study the domestication of animals or plants, or at least bite sized pieces to chew. I know folks who think that everything that exists now has always existed, apparently unaware that their Shih Tzu never ran wild with the Panda bears.

            As an educator, I doubt you stand in front of the class cramming knowledge down the throats of your students. You first chew it up in bite-sized pieces, and let them take it from your mouth like baby birds. (Nasty!) But I guess sometimes it feels good just to let things loose.

  2. Paulo said

    This post is partly in response to the statements made by people like Ms. Wright (she was saying how if evolution is true, museums would be filled with such evidence). But it’s clear no matter how much evidence turns up, people like her will bury their head further in the sand and flat out deny it. Well, here is the evidence.

    • JN said

      The church kind of missed the boat dealing with this issue. At one point it wasn’t that big of a deal. Even C.S. Lewis tended towards an evolutionary perspective. Wasn’t it the Evangelical movement that shoved all that aside in favor of a literal 6 day creation?

      A major setback for Christians is the strict rigidity of belief and tradition. While Christians strive to have a childlike faith, they leave behind their childlike curiosity. The world becomes a cold, dark place. Exploring areas outside ‘the light’ becomes taboo, but if they were to go there, they might find the light there too.

      As an interesting side note, there is supposedly a Chinese myth out there that tells of the original humans coming down out of the trees, instead of being created as human. I can’t find it anywhere online, so I’m trusting my former history professor’s word on this one.

      • Paulo said

        Yes, not all Christians reject evolution. Some accept the evidence and weave in the idea of God as having a “guiding hand” in the evolutionary process. I don’t have a problem with those people. I think their ideas about the existence of God are nothing more than conjecture, but at least they don’t blatantly deny scientific evidence.

        The problem I have is with those people who just won’t let go of their stupid idea that every word in the Bible is literal truth, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. It’s hard for me to take them seriously. I know I should be nice but sometimes I’m tired of being nice. People like that do not promote real scientific understanding. In fact, they actively fight to suppress it on many levels.

        As a typical example, I will take the story of “the scientist who found a pig’s tooth” that Wendy Wright refers to. I’m sure most of you who’ve been through Christian schools will at least have heard of this example being used. It’s about some scientist in the 1920s who found a tooth which he erroneously claimed belonged to a prehistoric man. It turned out to be a pig’s tooth. Fundamentalists gloat over this story. They use it as a common example to deny the legitimacy of all missing links and completely ignore all the evidence for the gradual evolution of man.

        As incredible as it may seem, there are many, many people who readily reject evolution simply because they feel strongly that it leaves their Biblical God out of the picture. It is lunacy.

        Go to Google and type in “pig’s tooth”. The first website you come across will illustrate my point. This is just one example among thousands of websites put up by thousands of sincere believers that really, really want to believe that evolution is a lie, a conspiracy against their God. In that same website, the author flat out denies that any valid missing links have ever been found.

        Newspapers regularly report that evolutionary “missing links” have been found. If the links really had been found there would be no need to continue the search or to report that a new missing link has been discovered. What is really missing in these news reports is the part about God the Creator, and that Jesus Christ is the link between sinful humans and the righteous God.

        You see, the bottom line is he doesn’t want to believe the evidence. This is just one example of the type of willful ignorance that I am tired of and which I actively speak against on this site.

        • JN said

          (OK. Let’s give this another go…my original post was more inspired, quite a bit longer, and a whole lot more fun…)

          That’s what I meant by the church missing the boat. It’s an unwritten law that rejection of scientific evidence is an act of faith in God. We all come from a tradition that vilifies science. There is great pressure to fit the mold. There isn’t much room left to consider the different possibilities, which I think is a shame.

          • Paulo said

            (Sorry about your posting trouble, JN. Hopefully the spam settings should be fixed now. I’m still figuring out this admin stuff.)

            Why do they vilify science? One may honestly wonder why so many Christians are against evolution. I googled “literal 6 day creation”. Here is the reason from a Christian website, in their own words:

            We need to realize that the Bible is God’s Word. And as it is the inspired Word of the infinite Creator, God, then it must be self-authenticating and self-attesting. Thus, we should always start with what God’s Word says regardless of outside ideas. Only God’s Word is infallible.

            If we allow our children to accept the possibility that we can doubt the days of creation when the language speaks so plainly, then we are teaching them a particular approach to all of Scripture. Why shouldn’t they then start to doubt that Christ’s Virgin Birth really means a virgin birth? Why shouldn’t they start to doubt that the Resurrection really means resurrection?

            And they are serious.

            This may not be a reflection of what all Christians believe, but it is a huge reflection of what a lot of Christians believe.

            • Ann said

              That Christian website is so bizarre it seems like a joke website…You must believe everything in the Bible is true because it says so. Don’t question it. It just is. Ignore all evidence to the contrary. Do not doubt. Doubting and questioning are not allowed (of course lip service is given to the idea of free choice). If you doubt, then you are going to hell. Because doubting means you don’t believe. And we know from what the Bible tells us that only the Bible (God) is infallible and people (within Christian circles it’s common to substitute “man” for “people”) cannot be trusted cause they are fallen sinners.

              • What you said, about the Christian idea that you shouldn’t trust yourself, reminds me of one of my favorite songs and these lines in particular:

                “Can there really be someone up above me
                Who judges me when my time is up
                I can’t believe, I can’t believe
                That I’m not the one that I should trust”

                Think about that Christian message for a sec: don’t trust yourself, trust God instead. That’s idiocy and foolishness. If you can’t trust yourself, you’ve got nothing in this world to live for, as far as I’m concerned. You become a slave to the will of others. Baaaa!

                Here’s the song, for those who care:
                The Sound – Judgment

                • Ann said

                  Why should I trust myself, I’m just a little woolly lamb who needs a shepherd. If there’s a cliff, I’m not gonna trust my instinct to back up. I’m going right over with the rest of the flock.

          • JN said

            The “self-authenticating and self-attesting” part is a bit troubling. Just about any religious book will fit that criteria.

            Here is an interesting quote on the same site. The note at the bottom indicates that James Barr himself does not believe the Genesis account. Barr also wrote a few books against fundamentalism.

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