When it comes to evolutionary stories, reporters have a knack for propounding the silliest notions about human origins. This tendency is evident in several recent science news stories about early man propounding, with nary a blush, outlandish claims with little evidence – or no evidence whatsoever.
- Alien attack: Live Science entered the ruckus about aliens coming to punish us for global warming (see 08/18/2011) by headlining, “New Report: Aliens Will Fix Global Warming … Or Kill Us.” (This is in stark contrast to Michael Crichton’s satire, “Aliens Cause Global Warming” – see 12/27/2003.) Reporter Natalie Wolchover quoted astrobiologist Jacok Haqq-Misra (Penn State), a self-proclaimed expert in “alien sociology” [—Editor flash: no aliens have ever been detected—] saying, “The bottom line is, if there are intelligent civilizations out there, they pretty much have to have figured out how to grow in a sustainable way. We’re not doing that, and [other civilizations] might make some moral judgment on how we’re managing our resources.” But what if the aliens think it immoral to punish the poor by taking away their access to cheap energy? What if they make a moral judgment that people should employ more critical thinking about scientific claims? Misra assumes the aliens are politically leftist ideologues. How does he know they are not libertarians, who might come to punish the globalists for their elitism?
- Evolution of Julia Child: Sporting artwork of a black naked Homo erectus (appropriately shadowed), Jennifer Walsh told readers on Live Science about the evolution of cooking – based on what? a tooth. “Our ancient human ancestors may have put us on track toward meals a la Julia Child as long ago as 1.9 million years, according to new evidence that extinct hominids were cooking and processing their food,” she wrote, adding in jest, “The finding may also explain modern humans’ small teeth and guts (for some of us).” What evidence did she refer to? a claimed “dramatic shift in tooth size” in H. erectus, claimed by an anthropologist at Harvard, that must have meant our ancestors discovered the joys of barbecuing meat. But is this the whole truth about the tooth? Bless her heart, Walsh did include some contradictory opinions (by other evolutionists) wondering where the fossil kitchens are, but not whether the artwork might be considered racist and sexist….
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