Fossils Raise Questions about Human Ancestry - Australopithecus sediba is a mosaic of modern and primitive traits.


New descriptions of Australopithecus sediba fossils have added to debates about the species' place in the human lineage. Five papers published today in Science describe the skull, pelvis, hands and feet of the ancient hominin unearthed three years ago in South Africa.

The papers reveal a curious mix of traits, some found in apes and earlier Australopithecus fossils, and others thought to be unique to Homo erectus--the tall, thin-boned hominin that emerged around 2 million years ago in eastern Africa and colonized Europe and Asia--and its descendants, including modern humans.

This mix of features has left palaeoanthropologists unsure of how A. sediba relates to other ancient human relatives. Lee Berger, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, whose team discovered A. sediba, proposes that A. sediba may have evolved into H. erectus, but many other researchers are sceptical of that claim.

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GloryBound
Joined: 08/05/2011
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More false indocrination to evolution

Yea, one of the articles was in my paper this moning. They also used Lucy (which was proven to be fake) as a precursor to the legitimatcy of this hominin. They claim this is the "Missing Link". My God calls them "Fools". I hope they come to Christ soon, or it will be too late.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

Sorry

Lucy has not been proven to be "fake". Some scientists simply doubt that Australopithecus afarensis was a direct ancestor of homo sapiens and believe that Lucy may be, instead, a close relative descended from a common Australopithecus ancestor. That really doesn't matter, though, because the homo genus split from Australopithecus long after Lucy lived.

Evolution is a dynamic process that produces many experimental iterations. Most of these hereditary lines, of course, did not survive to the present. But when a new fossil is discovered that alters scientists' understanding of the precise history of hominid evolution, it in no way casts doubt on evolution itself.

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Angel
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Posts: 29

Jesus is

Hi Skeptic and everyone else!
Jesus is the way, the truth and the light. Just look at His crucifixion, it's Biblical prophecy....and He rose again on the 3rd day. No one can deny that Jesus lived, and died the way He did (and rose after). He knew His fate and accepted it, to save us because He loves us. No one else would ever offer such a sacrifice for humanity. One of the biggest (if not THE biggest) parts about being a Chrisitan is FAITH and belief that Jesus is the glorious son of the one and only God.

God bless you all, and Skeptic, I'm saying a little prayer for you tonight buddy! God loves you too!

zukester
Joined: 11/10/2011
Posts: 2

Um, Lucy was shown to be a fake in that it was shown to be a chimp and not a human ancestor, by the examination of the actual fossil materials.
Don Johanson and Tim White claiming it along with the textbooks does not mean it is anything else. It was a chimp, plain and simple.
Evolution is a false, pagan religious system based upon air.
Nothing can cast certainty on evolutionism itself.
Everything that exists and that is discovered casts doubt on your beliefs.
As a former athreist/agnostic/skeptic/pagan/evolutionist/darwinist, I can attest that your emperor has no clothes. Just a bunch of people who claim he does. People agreeing that naturalism is science and evolutionism is true maketh a lot of noise, but does not establish truth and scientific facts. Origins is not science, it is history, and there is no such thing as "pre-history". I am a creationist because of science; you are an evolutionist despite science and because of scientists and whatever other excuse you can imagine.
Again, Lucy was a chimp......people have always been people.........the earth has zero ability to tell you how old it is (ALL radiometric "dating"), fossils attest to a worldwide hydraulic catastrophe and fixity of kinds, and chimps are always chimps and those who claim otherwise are chumps.
Learn the facts of science, not religion. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal LORD and Saviour because despite denials by mankind, He is on His way very soon. Then your clock will run out. Richard Dawkins cannot sve anyone, nor can fossils, religions, evolutionism or Charles Darwin.

Hondo
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Tel Aviv University anthropologists say they have disproven the theory that “Lucy” – the world-famous 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton found in Ethiopia 33 years ago – is the last ancestor common to humans and another branch of the great apes family known as the “Robust hominids.”

The specific structure found in Lucy also appears in a species called Australopithecus robustus. Prof. Yoel Rak and colleagues at the Sackler School of Medicine’s department of anatomy and anthropology wrote, “The presence of the morphology in both the latter and Australopithecus afarensis and its absence in modern humans cast doubt on the role of [Lucy] as a common ancestor.”

The robust hominids were discovered in southern Africa 69 years ago and are believed to have lived between 2 million and 1.2 million years ago. Their jaws and jaw muscles were adapted to the dry environment in which they lived.

Rak and colleagues studied 146 mature primate bone specimens, including those from modern humans, gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans and found that the “ramus element” of the mandible connecting the lower jaw to the skull is like that of the robust forms, therefore eliminating the possibility that Lucy and her kind are Man’s direct ancestors. They should therefore, the Israeli researchers said, “be placed as the beginning of the branch that evolved in parallel to ours.”

Their research has just been published in the on-line edition of PNAS, the Proceedings of the [US] National Academy of Sciences.

Lucy, which means “you are wonderful” in Amharic, was discovered (40 percent of its skeleton) by the International Afar Research Expedition in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley. Fitting the bones together, they said it was an upright walking hominid (Homo sapiens, which comprises modern Man and extinct manlike species). They later found its jaws and additional bones.

Further analysis led the Afar researchers to believe it was of a female, and the skeleton listed as AL 288-1 was nicknamed Lucy because the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” was often played at the camp.

The specimen was only 1.1 meters tall, estimated to weigh 29 kilograms and look somewhat like a common chimpanzee. Although it had a small brain, the pelvis and leg bones were almost identical in function with those of modern humans, proving that these hominids had walked erect.

Although fossils closer to chimpanzees have been found since then, Lucy – which is housed in the national museum in Addis Ababa – is prized by anthropologists who study Man’s origin.

Rak and his colleagues also wrote that the structure of Lucy’s mandibular ramus closely matches that of gorillas, which was “unexpected” because chimpanzees are the closest living relatives of humans, and not gorillas.

http://www.jpost.com/HealthAndSci-Tech/ScienceAndEnvironment/Article.asp...

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

As I said

It doesn't matter if Lucy is not a direct ancestor of homo sapiens. What matters is that the Australopithecus genus gave rise to the Homo genus after Lucy lived. These findings do nothing to call that history into question.

Science is a self-correcting process. Inevitably, some claims made by scientists in years past will be shown upon further evidence to be erroneous, but that has no bearing on the overwhelming evidence for Evolution by Natural Selection. Scientists do not claim to be infallible, so clinging to an old mistake, since corrected, does not prove anything. It simply proves that science continues to progress. In a word, it evolves.

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fountainoflife80907
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underwhelming evidence....

http://www.creationevidence.org/

This link will take one to Dr. Carl Baugh's site. His Creation Evidence Museum is highlighted here.
Evidence is afoot , in plenteous quantities, that creation has a Creator .
Science does evolve and refine itself , thankfully. Species have been proven to change.
But evolution never has solid ground for the beginnings of anything ; nor sound explanations for the gaping
gaps in their theories versus the evidence.
True science never ignores facts or forces them into
ideological molds.

Isaiah 45:12
"It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands
stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts"

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Lyndy
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Amen to that!!!

Just sayin'! AMEN!!

MatthewJames
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to Evolution Skeptic

I was a biology major and evolutionist. I was highly influenced by my father who was a biology teacher and evolutionist. I even had two pet guinea pigs named "Chuck" and "Darwin."

Even after I was saved I still believed evolution to be true -but soon realized that it couldn't be. It took well over a year of study to begin to see through the facade that is built up around us. The idea of evolution is so hammered into our brains and supported by so many misleading scientific "facts" and clever illustrations. Think about it this way -what is scientific must be proven via the scientific method -what about evolution can really be proven via the scientific method? When you think about an idea that is based on evolution -think to yourself "how can this be tested."
Evolution is based on a belief that is substantiated through circular reasoning. No one doubts natural selection and adaptation -these things can be tested and proven. I pray you try to open your mind and see that the evolutionary world view is a belief system and untestable. The origin of information is, in my opinion, the biggest problem for evolutionists. I would be happy to suggest some books or other sources of information on this topic if you are interested.

My advice- if you are truly seeking God then pray. Tell him you want to know him. Tell him that you doubt that he is real but if he is real that you want to know and to have a relationship with him. God rewards the diligent!

Essentially, seek God first -then concern yourself with why things are the way they are. There are probably bigger things that you need to examine first -like why bad things happen/ Evil, pain and suffering, reliability of the the Scriptures, etc... For me, it was why do little kids get cancer.

zukester
Joined: 11/10/2011
Posts: 2

Science...........self-correcting?

<>

you live in a cave or on a different planet? Evolutionism was shown 1,000,000,000 to be false and you still hold to it. EVERY discipline from Astronomy to Zoology attest to Complexity of Design, fixity of species, a young universe, fossils from the Flood and not natural processes and you dare to call the subject of origins in science "self-correcting" ROFL!
Please. Wrong place to insult people with your deadly, bloody religion.

Hondo
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Research done...

Extensive research done on various Australopithecus specimens by two world-renowned anatomists from England and the USA, namely, Lord Solly Zuckerman and Prof. Charles Oxnard, has shown that these creatures were not bipedal and had the same sort of movement as today's apes.

Having studied the bones of these fossils for a period of 15 years, with funding from the British government, Lord Zuckerman and his team of 5 specialists reached the conclusion – although Zuckerman was an evolutionist himself – that Australopithecines were only an ordinary ape species and were definitely not bipedal. Correspondingly, Oxnard, who is also an evolutionist, also likened the skeletal structure of Australopithecus to that of modern orangutans.

The detailed analyses conducted by the American anthropologist Holly Smith in 1994 on the teeth of Australopithecus indicated that Australopithecus was an ape species.

Within the same year, Fred Spoor, Bernard Wood and Frans Zonneveld, all specialists on anatomy, reached the same conclusion through a totally different method. This method was based on the comparative analysis of the semi-circular canals in the inner ear of humans and apes which provided for sustaining balance. The inner ear canals of all Australopithecus specimens analysed by Spoor, Wood and Zonneveld were the same as those of modern apes. This finding once more showed that the Australopithecus species is a species similar to modern apes.

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Lyndy
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Nicely done Hondo!

You seem to be a very bright and articulate person. I am giving you a HIGH 5!

Hondo
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I really appreciate the

I really appreciate the thought Lyndy, but credit must go to where credit belongs. My post are merely references to other sources which have researched the facts which prove to the contrary what evolutionist are attempting to assert; therefore the writers of these articles deserve the credit.

I've since amended the first post with a link to the Jerusalem Post article. And the following is a link for the second post, which has references at the bottom of the page:

http://www.harunyahya.com/tellmeaboutthecreation22.php

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Lyndy
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Yes but...

putting this all together has given many of us specific knowledge on the subject. Your time and effort is appreciated.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

The evidence is abundant

Sorry, but there really is no compelling evidence that contradicts evolution by natural selection. Despite what creationist resources might tell you, the evidence for evolution is unambiguous. It's in the fossil record, it's in the DNA. There are many independent lines of evidence that support evolution.

Look at the diversity of dog breeds on Earth. Were chihuahuas and dachshunds once living in the wild? Of course not, there is no way such animals could survive. Humans bred them by selecting desirable genes and eliminating those which they did not want. In just a few hundred years, human beings have crafted dogs as different as beagles and great danes, collies and labs, all of different color, shape, size, and behavior. The diversity of dogs is the result of just a few hundred years of artificial selection. So with this in mind, imagine what nature is capable of, given billions of years! All that is required is genetic diversity, made possible by sex and mutation, which provides certain animals in a population a selective advantage over others, allowing them to pass their genetic advantages on to the next generation. Keep in mind, complex organisms arose about 500 million years ago. If we were to say (roughly) that the dog breeds of today were all differentiated in the last 500 years, nature has had 1 million times longer to create the diversity of life in the natural world. Remember, too, that we're not talking about a single animal passing genes on to the next generation. Every animal in a population is an experiment, so there is more than enough time to generate all the beautiful biodiversity we see around us today.

The origin of life on Earth is a completely separate issue from evolution. Though it still remains an open question as to how exactly life arose on Earth, this does not necessarily require a creator. But unfortunately, creationist doctrine is to treat any open question as an unanswerable question. Those are not really the same thing. Scientists are slowly closing in on and answer, and when it comes, creationists will need to look for a new gap elsewhere.

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Lyndy
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Skeptic

I believe in a young earth. IF this earth was as old as evolutionists believe it to be there would be far more people inhabiting this planet. I am talking FAR MORE HUMANS, TRILLIONS perhaps! How do you account for the human population as it stands now? Do the math. God CREATED this beautiful planet for HIS DIVINE PURPOSE! Every intricate detail was HIS doing and HIS alone. How people can't see that is beyond my understanding. Perhaps they are blind. Romans 1:22 comes to mind. Read Romans 1:20-1:21 as well. This planet can only sustain a certain amount of people and creatures. We are getting close to the point where GOD will step in. IT is all a part of HIS plan. HE knows the BEGINNING from the END and it is right there in HIS LIVING WRITTEN WORD! We are at the precipice of no return in this fallen world. Get wise and get GOD into your life. Jesus is the only way. Go in peace!

MatthewJames
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Darwins in-bread family

Im not looking for a debate. There are answers out there and people far more qualified to debate you than me.

However, I will say this:
Your references about dogs does not help explain the origin of information and represents only the loss or manipulation of preexisting information. If your example were true, Charles Darwin would still have living descendants.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

I'm not sure where you're

I'm not sure where you're going with Charles Darwin's living descendants. I'm not familiar with his genealogy, but if he has no living descendants, it's because his blood line has not survived to the present.

Genetic diversity is thanks to mutation and sexual recombination. The DNA strand is the basic blueprint for essentially all living things on Earth, the instructions for their body plan. The human genome contains about 3 billion base pairs. It's easy to see that a given species has many different hereditary lines... in human beings, for instance, we have brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes; blond, brown and black hair; various skin colors, various aptitudes, various body shapes. We are all of us a random crossing of our parents... we may have our father's eyes and ears, for instance, but our mother's mouth and musical ability. We understand this process implicitly. We look and act like our parents.

The DNA strand contains so much information that there are more possible combinations of human traits than the number of human beings that have ever lived. And remember that DNA is the blueprint for any complex organism, so this means that, were we able to do so, we could construct an organism with any traits we choose. The tremendous diversity of the biological world is all thanks to the dramatic powers of DNA. At present, all we can do is select for or against traits in animals (dogs, for example). But we are on the verge of much more profound genetic manipulation... somewhat of a disquieting prospect.

Many scientists believe that the origin of life started with a very basic, roughly self-replicating molecule that gradually grew in complexity into something like an RNA molecule. This would be on the molecular level, far less complex than even a single-celled organism. Scientists have not yet definitively solved the problem of life's origins, but great strides have been made in the last 50 years.

MatthewJames
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Thanks for the lesson

but you are only elaborating on my point. you are intelligent enough to figure out where I was going with it. Research Darwin's family history.
I think you came to this site for something other than an argument. I pray you find the answers you are looking for.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

I'm certainly capable of

I'm certainly capable of researching Darwin's family history, but it would be helpful if I knew what you are implying. At present it's a little unclear.

MatthewJames
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Look at the diversity of dog

Look at the diversity of dog breeds on Earth. Were chihuahuas and dachshunds once living in the wild? Of course not, there is no way such animals could survive. Humans bred them by selecting desirable genes and eliminating those which they did not want.

As you indicated, all the information was already present for the breeders to select from. They drew out desirable traits by in-breeding ( and later cross breeding) animals. This results in a loss of genetic information -not a gain -as illustrated by my example of Darwins genetically inferior offspring.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

I guess you're talking about

I guess you're talking about deleterious genetic deletions as a result of inbreeding. While purebred dog breeds do experience health problems as a result of inbreeding (the gene pool is severely restricted by artificial means), that is not the point of the example. The point is to demonstrate that artificial selection is capable of producing a wide variety of animals in a very short amount of time. With this in mind, it becomes possible to see how nature is capable of shaping species through natural selection. Nature has had 500 million years to shape the animal world into all that we see around us today.

The elimination of traits I'm referring to is not the deletion of genes. It's simply the weeding out of undesirable traits in a population by choosing not to breed certain animals. If I wanted to create a breed of dog that was entirely brown, I would decide not to breed the dogs that had white or black fur. After a few generations all of your dogs will be brown. But they will not be missing any genes. Similarly, in the wild, the traits that are more advantageous to an organism will survive, while those that are a hindrance will not. In both cases, natural and artificial, the traits of a breed or species is shaped by external forces.

Hondo
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Romans 1:20 NKJV - "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse"

Can one truly attribute the Fibonacci sequence or the golden mean found in nature, to randomness? In my opinion, it would require a lot more faith to attribute such intelligence to randomness as opposed to an Intelligent Designer.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

Math

Lyndy, I suggest you do the math.

First of all, anatomically modern humans only arose in the last 200,000 years or so. Behavioral modernity is thought to have arisen in the vicinity of 50,000 years ago. Though, of course, these are estimates. The population of humanity has only swollen into the billions in the last 200 years or so. Before then, high rates of infant mortality and early deaths (before procreation) account for a slow population growth. With the advent of modern technology, it has become much easier for the population to swell, as more people survive and have more children that also survive.

A Young-Earth hypothesis cannot be squared with any legitimate scientific observation. Rocks on Earth have been radiometrically dated at about 4 billion years old... older rocks are not available as the Earth was molten during its early history. Dating of meteorites corroborate the age of the Solar System as about 4.56 billion years old. Our studies of Solar evolution are also consistent with this age, and studies of orbital mechanics in the Solar System also point to a Solar System about 4.5 billion years old.

The Milky Way is about 100,000 light-years across, which means light takes 100,000 years to travel from one side to the other. The Sun is located about 30,000 light years from the core of the Milky Way. The great galaxy in Andromeda, M31, is 2 million light years away. The vast majority of galaxies are much farther still.

Were the Universe to be only 6,000 - 10,000 years old, there would not be enough time in the age of the Universe for the light to reach us (unless, of course, you believe that God created the Universe with the light from these objects already in route toward the Earth. Such a hypothesis would mean that God is deliberately deceiving us into deducing an old universe. I believe that to be inconsistent with the typical Judeo-Christian perspective on God).

Lyndy's picture
Lyndy
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You seem to have all of the answers..

but only seems. How do you put into perspective of Bible Prophesy in today's world events? Everything that was written long ago is coming into fruition before our very eye's. It is because GOD knows the BEGINNING from the END and it is there in HIS written WORD! I will trust in GODS WORD and not of mans. I have no desire to go back and forth at this point with you in debates, it would be too exhausting. Your intellect is far superior to mine as I can see. I do however know what is in my heart. I have a faith that can't be shaken and am at peace. I wish you well and hope that you find the TRUTH! Keep searching for the TRUTH Skeptic. I hope you find it. God Bless.

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lostnfound
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Just remember a few hundred

Just remember a few hundred years ago the world was flat. Praise God for your faith as it is a gift that has to be received.

MatthewJames
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Scientific Method

Rocks on Earth have been radiometrically dated at about 4 billion years old..

Please think for a moment of how one might perform an experiment that tests the accuracy of radiometric dating. You cant test this -people are guessing. We dont know what other factors are involved in the decomposition of these materials. We dont even know what keeps it all together -its all theoretical. In relation to all there is to know -man knows virtually nothing. Next year they will uncover something new that throws off all they thought before that -then back to the drawing board. Man is so arrogant to think he can understand this incredible universe and life itself.
I love science and new discoveries, but the mythology that is enmeshed in science today annoys me.

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

Actually

It's not theoretical. Radiometric dating is performed by measuring the radionuclide composition of a sample and deriving the age from known radioactive decay rates. The ratio of parent to daughter nuclides in a sample will give you the age of the sample. These decay rates have been well established over the last 100 years. See a list of them here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_isotopes_by_half-life

And by the way, there are several different types of radiometric dating that can be used in tandem to cross-check the results.

But this is perhaps the crux of the problem. Contrary to what you're suggesting, science is not simply made up out of thin air. Any hypothesis must be checked with experimental data, again and again and again, before it can be counted as fact. Any scientific assertion must go through the most rigorous analysis before other scientists are willing to accept it as fact. Scientists have a built-in skepticism that requires extremely compelling evidence to support any hypothesis.

Nuclear physics is very dense subject matter, and I'm not an expert. But just because you haven't read the evidence for a particular scientific process or finding, that doesn't mean the evidence isn't there. It probably just means you're not reading science journals. Most of us don't concern ourselves with the arcane details and equations of a highly technical field, but you can be sure the nuclear physicists spend their whole lives doing it. They couldn't do their job with sloppy, made up numbers.

If you don't believe in radioactive decay, then I would have to ask, what's going on inside nuclear reactors?

skeptic
Joined: 09/11/2011
Posts: 11

Final Thoughts

I would suggest to you that the events you perceive as fulfillment of Biblical prophesy are really just the culmination of complicated historical narratives, and natural events on Earth. You are experiencing what is known as "confirmation bias." It means that your mind is keeping track of events and plugging them into a pre-existing narrative, ignoring the evidence that contradicts your perspective and cataloging only that which supports your belief system. We all do it, it's very difficult to avoid.

We humans are also very good at deriving explanations for things. Human beings are uniquely capable of stringing together events in their minds to draw conclusions. This is an advantageous adaptation, evolution-wise, because it allows for forethought, and investigation. In the formative years of humanity, we had to draw basic cause-and-effect conclusions, for instance, lightning makes fire, fire makes us warm, fire cooks food. Those animals that were better at deducing such cause-and-effect relationships were more likely to survive, and of course that trait is with us still today. But of course that also means we are susceptible to deriving causes where they may not actually exist. In other words, perhaps God is not signaling the End Times with an earthquake. Perhaps the earthquake happened because the Earth is a dynamic system with a churning core and plate tectonics. Indeed, earthquakes happen every day, all over the world.

My point here is not to tear down Christianity. Many Christian theologians have no trouble accepting the idea that humans evolved from other creatures, that the Earth and the Universe are far older than Moses believed them to be. Many theologians feel that the remarkable revelations of science are to the greater glory of God... where once we believed God lived on a mountain, now the entire cosmos is his domain. The point is, denying science is ultimately detrimental to the faith. Hardly anyone would now challenge the idea that the Earth goes around the Sun. But only a few centuries ago, the Catholic Church stood up, in the face of compelling evidence for the Copernican system, and denied reality. It remains a blemish on the history of Christianity.

And ultimately, it does the faith a disservice to prop it up with evidence that isn't really evidence at all. There are questions that are yet unanswered, and there are questions that may never be answered. God still has plenty of places to dwell. But attacking science, the fruits of the brain bestowed on you by God, is not the answer.

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