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Author Topic:   Do creationists try to find and study fossils?
Pressie
Member
Posts: 2103
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010


Message 1 of 7 (697708)
04-29-2013 6:42 AM


I would like to start a discussion topic on a few sentences a poster called Just being real wrote in Message 101.
To me the whole post was just one big Gish Gallop, with virtually everything stated there being untrue. I’ll start with the first few sentences.
Just being real writes:
Here are some interesting facts about human fossils. Did you know that the hominid fossils are so guarded that they are virtually beyond all access by the very scientists who study human evolution and bring us most of the literature about it?
My experience is the opposite. For example, I can look at the Bernard Price Institute (BPI) of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits for short).
In case a legitimate researcher or researchers ever wanted to study a fossil in the Wits collection, all they have to do would be to fill out a questionnaire on- line. Just a few steps to it. The researchers are asked to fill in their names, the normal institutional address, the date they want to start and expect to finish the studies on the fossil, the purpose of the work/studies (which degree, for example). Apart from that, they have to undertake to abide by the rules all set out in the website and by the University (e.g. do not damage the fossil in any way). Then all they have to do is to turn up at Wits to start the study on the date specified by the BPI.
One example. To study the first original Australopithecus sediba fossil at BPI, a legitimate researcher can fill out the application form, wait for a while as lots of people have applied to study the original fossil, themselves, then start their own study of the original at Wits. The researcher will have to wait in line behind hundreds of specialists.
Here the online application form to study the fossil:
http://www.wits.ac.za/.../bpi/fossils_/6587/application.html
The alternative for creationists would be to go and find your own Australopithecus sediba fossil. That’s hard work. Would they even know where to look for it?
Creationists, when you find your own fossils, you’re welcome to do to it whatever you want to. All you have to do is to:
1. Report that you found a fossil.
2. You’re not allowed to export the fossil without permission.
You can even go and destroy the fossil if you wanted to. Just don’t think that other people will believe whatever you write when you claim to have found one without providing the empirical, verifiable evidence for it.
My argument is that Just being real did not tell the truth about the fact that those fossils are beyond all access by the very the scientists who publish paleontological articles about hominid fossils.
My questions are:
1. Why do some creationists claim that fossils are ‘guarded that they are virtually beyond all access by the very scientists who study human evolution and bring us most of the literature about it’?
2. Why don’t modern creationists ever find their own fossils? Accompanying that is: When was the last time an anti-evolutionist found a legitimate new fossil?
3. Do modern creationists do any any reseach on legitamate newly discovered fossils, they discovered themselves, at all?
I’m not too sure on the topic to place this, but the Biological Evolution Forum seems appropriate.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.
Edited by Pressie, : Changed the sentence as recommended for promotion as well as others
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 04-29-2013 10:17 AM Pressie has replied

Admin
Director
Posts: 13084
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 2 of 7 (697727)
04-29-2013 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Pressie
04-29-2013 6:42 AM


Could you look into this a bit more? There are two things that concern me.
One is that while the BPI collections might be available for study, I would frankly be surprised if it were available for study by anyone. For instance, the application asks about the nature of the proposed study and whether it is for higher degree or publication purposes. I would expect that applications from laypeople would be routinely dismissed.
The other concern is that my admittedly informal understanding is that hominid fossils, particularly skulls, are considered invaluable, and that obtaining access is very difficult.
There's another way to look at JBR's accusations. It is far easier to make stuff up than to prove it isn't true. Say you're in a conversation with a group of other people at some get together and someone asks, "Say, I heard you got arrested, what was that about?" You didn't get arrested, of course, and you deny it, laugh it off, but damage *has* been done. That's why people like JBR say these things, because they work, and there's just no sense dignifying most of it with a response.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Pressie, posted 04-29-2013 6:42 AM Pressie has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Pressie, posted 04-29-2013 2:39 PM Admin has replied
 Message 4 by Pressie, posted 04-29-2013 2:51 PM Admin has seen this message but not replied

Pressie
Member
Posts: 2103
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010


Message 3 of 7 (697749)
04-29-2013 2:39 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
04-29-2013 10:17 AM


I did look into into it a bit more.
Say, for example, for a Mechanical Engineer asking to have a look at those original fossils would be far more diificult than a paleontologist trying to have a look, studying them and publish their findings.
After all, would that engineer know more about fossils than a vertebrate paleontologist? Would an engineer even know what a foramen magnum is supposed to look like when determining whether an organism walked on all fours or not?
And, yes, humanid fossils are invaluable; that's why people so many paleontogists line up to study those that have been found.
My concern is that lay persons think that they know it all without ever seeing a fossil, ever. Some people don't know that paleontologists actually study fossils for many. many years.
Edited by Pressie, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 04-29-2013 10:17 AM Admin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Admin, posted 04-29-2013 3:40 PM Pressie has replied

Pressie
Member
Posts: 2103
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010


Message 4 of 7 (697750)
04-29-2013 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
04-29-2013 10:17 AM


Does JBR dignify a response?
Admin
I agree that JBR does not really dignify a response. He (or she) is just another one who saw a Dr Dino video and thinks that they know everything about all the sciences.
On the other side, lots of people do read this forum. If there's no response, they will think that their untruths prevail. And they will repeat it for ever and ever.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 04-29-2013 10:17 AM Admin has seen this message but not replied

Admin
Director
Posts: 13084
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 5 of 7 (697754)
04-29-2013 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Pressie
04-29-2013 2:39 PM


I guess my main concern is this sentence:
Pressie writes:
In case you ever wanted to study a fossil in the Wits collection, all you have to do to study the original fossils would be to fill out a questionnaire on- line.
I think I misinterpreted you as saying that JBR or anyone could study the fossils if he wanted to, which I don't think is true. If you can change that sentence to make it clear that the process is for legitimate researchers then I'll promote this.

--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Pressie, posted 04-29-2013 2:39 PM Pressie has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Pressie, posted 04-30-2013 12:09 AM Admin has seen this message but not replied

Pressie
Member
Posts: 2103
From: Pretoria, SA
Joined: 06-18-2010


Message 6 of 7 (697774)
04-30-2013 12:09 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Admin
04-29-2013 3:40 PM


Thanks Admin
I changed that sentence as well as a few other sentences.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Admin, posted 04-29-2013 3:40 PM Admin has seen this message but not replied

Admin
Director
Posts: 13084
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 7 of 7 (697797)
04-30-2013 8:47 AM


Thread Copied to Biological Evolution Forum
Thread copied to the Do creationists try to find and study fossils? thread in the Biological Evolution forum, this copy of the thread has been closed.

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