In mid-1994, I realized that despite fairly wide popular interest in human origins, the talk.origins archive contained almost no information on the topic. The archive also lacked responses to creationist arguments about human evolution, a serious omission considering the importance of human evolution in the creationism/evolution debate. Although there are quite a few books on human evolution written for the general public, these generally mention only a few of the major fossils, scattered throughout the book and often incompletely described. I felt there was a need for a concise list of the most important hominid fossils.
Compiling such a list was harder than it sounds. Although there were many popular books on human evolution, none of them contained details of most of the important fossils, so it was necessary to use many sources. (The new book From Lucy to language (Johanson and Edgar, 1996) largely solves this problem, and also contains a gallery of superb photos of many important fossils.)
The first version of these pages was placed in the talk.origins archive in November 1994, and has grown steadily in size and completeness since then. It is, I believe, the most comprehensive treatment of creationism and human evolution to be found on or off the web, and I am committed to keeping it that way.
Here are some other Frequently Asked Questions I receive:
The drawing often creates a misleading impression of human evolution as a steady progression from apes to humans. It has always been known that not all the species in that series were human ancestors (for example, the robust australopithecines).
I am a student within the University of ***** and am reading a course in BA. With History of Civilisation. One of my topics is the evolution of man, the stages that he might have gone through and the evidence left thereafter.(sigh) How does someone this stupid get to university?
I would be very grateful if you could help me out and I thank you for your time and interest,
A friend of mine was interested in Hovind's offer, and found out from him exactly what would be involved in meeting the "challenge":
I talked to Hovind about his $250,000 offer late this afternoon. He made it quite clear that he would only give up the money if someone could reproduce the Big Bang in a laboratory, produce matter from nothing, or life from non-life.Presumably Hovind also thinks that astronomy isn't a science unless we can create a star in a lab!
I'd be happy to debate with Hovind on human evolution via web pages. There hardly seems much point however, since much of what he says is already refuted in my web site. I have seen Hovind talking about human evolution, and he definitely falls into the more incompetent end of the creationist spectrum. He even believes in the Paluxy footprints, which most of the "respectable" creationists abandoned over a decade ago.
But, interestingly, Hovind refuses to debate on the web, apparently claiming it's a waste of his time. (I would have though that the potential audience is so large it would be a far more effective use of his time than traipsing all over the USA is.)
The reason for his refusal is probably that Hovind's drive-by shooting style of debate, consisting of a barrage of unsubstantiated scientific nonsense, glib patter, and corny jokes, wouldn't translate well to the written word. Scientists don't decide issues by seeing who has the slickest patter.
Following are some websites about Hovind's 'offer' and his claims:
This page is part of the Fossil Hominids FAQ at the talk.origins Archive.
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