10 of the most popular myths about human evolution

The modern science of evolution important are issues of human development. Now, thanks to the success of science has become possible to study and gain knowledge that until recently seemed a fantasy. However, in each of the ointment there is a fly in the ointment own - the modern media direct proof. In the race for the next sensation, they often like to think of this, why sometimes the ears wilt. In this article you will see the rebuttal famous myths about human evolution. Once Russia's leading anthropologists sat down and dispelled the myths about human evolution.

Myth №1

Finds, on the basis of which the anthropologists base their conclusions are very few.

The "seed" of the myth in 1997 threw the book American cleric ROC Hieromonk Seraphim Rose "Orthodox view of evolution." As a result of the author's quote "All the fossil evidence of" human evolution "can fit into a box the size of a small coffin" spread around the world and is still used by opponents to plead primates. Russian anthropologists are not lazy and counted how many times, Google cites the thought. Counted 179 documents.

I must say, however, that the monk expressed this idea in 1974, and only then she got in the book. However, this idea was fundamentally wrong 40 years ago and today.

In fact, even in 1974, the finds were a lot more than it knew (or want to know) monk. In particular, and well kept. How many?

Neanderthals: for the burial of their remains even then it would take the whole cemetery.

Pithecanthropus: their bones have been found in Java, in Europe, in China, in the East, North and South America.

Heidelberg people: in Europe, Africa, Asia.

Australopithecus: South and East Africa.

"Homo habilis» (Homo habilis): Eastern and Southern Africa, and so on. D.

According to anthropologists, to present evidence, namely the remains of hominids have been found since 1974 until today, it would take postroit1 separate museum rather impressive size.

Myth №2

The lion's share of fossil evidence of human evolution - a fake.

Counterfeiting and in fact was. Only once. This is the famous skull piltdaunskom who "found" amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson in 1912. Many experts from the beginning doubted the authenticity of the findings, and the full revelation occurred in 1953. No anthropologist for 50 years does not use in their constructions skull Piltdauna.

Myth №3

Reconstruction of the appearance of our apelike ancestors - evidence of a sick imagination of scientists.

The essence of this statement is, of course, says: "I do not understand how to make reconstruction - but just do not understand, then it is nonsense».

So how can scientists reconstruct the appearance of the remains? The techniques that have been developed since the XIX century. In Russia was engaged in a famous scientist and sculptor Mikhail Gerasimov. Their findings, he built on the huge statistics, studying modern humans and primates, it has revealed regularities in the formation of soft tissues of the head, depending on the characteristics of the bone. That he made the classic renovation of our ancestors - from ancient Australopithecus to Homo sapiens. The procedure was repeatedly tested experimentally. What the scientists propose to restore the shape of the skull of a man who was unknown to him, but is known to experimentalists (the latter were pictures).

As a result of the reconstruction carried out Gerasimov, who looked very much like the original. Interestingly, the first to adopt a methodology forensic scientist. That is why Gerasimov method successfully used in forensic examination since 1939. And with great success. Here he writes about this site is the famous Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kuntskamera) in St. Petersburg: "On the territory of the Leningrad region, away from populated areas, found a human skeleton with teeth marks on the bones of predators. The study showed that it belonged to a boy of 12-13 years.

Gerasimov restored the sculptural portrait of the skull, which is photographed from different angles. For more convincing reconstruction was dressed in a coat and cap. The father immediately, unconditionally recognized in the reconstruction of his son, pointing out, however, that "such a coat he had never been».

Myth №4

Dating of ancient bone derived questionable methods through a series of "unverifiable assumptions».

Most often, "doubtful" consider a method of radiocarbon analysis. It is necessary to immediately make a reservation, that in order to determine bone age in millions of years, this method has never been used, it is suitable only for determining the date of a much younger finds.

There are other methods, developed over the last 50 years. Here is a partial list:

- Potassium-argon method (and its modification - argon-argon method)

- Uranium-thorium method

- Method of uranium series

- Method of fission tracks

- Thermoluminescent

- Method of optically stimulated luminescence ("optical»)

- The method of electro-spin resonance, and so on. D.

The reliability of the dating of fossils is always checked by different methods, and independent specialists in different laboratories.

For example, the famous Australopithecus skeleton named Lucy has been tested on two different dating experts. The first determined its age potassium-argon method, the second - by fission tracks. The result was the first figure - 2, 63 million years old, and the second - 2, 58 million years (Donald Johanson, Maitland Go. Lucy: origins of the human race. M., 1984). That is the result of almost coincided. So Lucy, though a woman, but to deceive the issue of his age she did not able to, it is not under the age of 2, 5 million years.

Myth №5

One or other fossil human ancestor is described by a single discovery of questionable.

The first are always remembered better than the third, tenth and twenty-fifth. This is what anthropologists explain the nature of this myth. Simple layman is rarely interested in the sciences, including anthropology. Therefore, in his mind all the baggage of scientific knowledge about the australopithecines reduced to the aforementioned "little monkey Lucy," of which he "had somewhere heard something».

And all because Lucy - is one of the first discoveries of the remains of Australopithecus afarensis, made in 1974. But in addition to the total number of finds Lucy Australopithecus hundreds.

Myth №6

Charles Darwin at the end of the life renounced his theory.

This legend is very smacks a story about repentance heretic. Of course, not escaped this fate in the minds of ordinary people, and one of the greatest heretics of all time - Charles Darwin.

The myth of the "abdication of Darwin's" first appeared many years after the scientist's death, in 1915. This salutary story of "spiritual transfiguration of the great skeptic" published in the American edition of the Baptist preacher Elizabeth Hope. In particular, the woman reported that she told error lifetime allegedly Darwin himself - just before his death.

However, moralizing history absolutely nothing is confirmed. About her we hear, nor in Darwin's autobiography, written shortly before his death, there is no hint of "renunciation" of the scientist and in the memories of his loved ones. In addition, the children of the great naturalist (son Francis Darwin's daughter Henrietta Litchfield) said that no Elizabeth Hope never met their father.

Myth №7

The theory of the origin of man from apes is based on the resemblance of man and ape.

In such dubious methods - resemblance classification of living things - its findings were building specialists, who lived many centuries ago. In those days, a mammal, like a whale, for example, has been attributed to the fish. Today, numerous evidence of human kinship with apes are divided into:

- Anatomical

- Embryological

- Biochemical

- Genetic

- Behavioral

- Paleontological

Myth №8

The genetically much closer to man a pig, not a monkey. Therefore, a person is transplanted pig organs.

This myth is completely refuted these genetic studies. Both in terms of genetics, and in terms of anatomy, the man was and remains a primate, but not artiodactyl. If we draw conclusions based on what a person is transplanted organs, it is also possible to say that a person is genetically much closer to the mouse than a pig. Incidentally, the stem cells of mice and pigs not used today to create an artificial human skin.

Why, then, the most frequent contributor to us is the pig?

Firstly, on transplantation of porcine heart valve is not yet stepped medicine. Although transplantation of whole organs - the question is probably the near future.

Secondly, it is not only the genetic proximity. For a foreign organ is necessary that the donor animal has the following characteristics:

- It would have been well studied (preferably long and widely captive, with no unexpected diseases);

- It is easy to breed in captivity (deficiency in the bodies should not be);

- The right size;

- "Raw materials" should be cheap;

- Experiments on animals that should not cause violent protests of the international community.

It is understood that the monkey loses pig on most of these items.

Every year, the world's hundreds of millions of slaughtered pigs. At the same time, the total number of gorillas on the planet does not exceed 15 thousand. Birds, chimpanzees - several tens of thousands.

Myth №9

Found fossils of human ancestors issued - it's just old monkey or just "old people».

Formally it right here. Once our ancestors really were "still not human beings" but ancient apes. But the line "people - monkey" erases all the stronger as the anthropologists found the remains new.
Myth №10

Most scientists around the world have long rejected the theory that man evolved from apes.

The fact that the talk about the evolution of man loved by many. But if you look, the scientists really versed in the topic and working in this direction, our country can literally be counted on one hand.

And these scientists (anthropologists, geneticists, archaeologists, primatologists) may disagree on many specific issues, but the main provisions: the reality of evolution, the origin of man from ancient apes, is that Africa is the cradle of humanity - no one doubts.

Source: naked-science.ru


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