Friday, October 02, 2009

ARDI: Ancestor?

I perked up when I heard about the new discovery (actually just the release into mainstream news of a 1992 discovery) of Ms. Ardipithecus ramidus (aka Ardi). She's older than (4.4 million years ago) Lucy (3.2 million years ago), and her scattered bones all over Ethiopia may help us fill in the Monkey Evolution Chart we see on shirts and bumper stickers.

What I hope this doesn't do is bring out the Evolution vs Creation debate for the upteen time. Why? Quite frankly I'm tired of hearing it.

Let's let the scientists do their job, and those teachers of the faith do their job. Let's let the people of faith believe whatever they want, and the scientists discover whatever they want. Let's stop trying so hard to harmonize a pre-scientific text with a 19th to 21st century scientific world.

Now, after we have let the scientists report their findings, and after we have allowed our theologians the chance to agree or disagree, let's try to find out really what both are saying.

Well...for those who think this really matters.

I've talked about evolution before but rarely. I imagine I'll stay pretty apathatic even after my interest in Ardi dies. At this point Ardi and Lucy are interesting but not foundational to my faith. If you start going into too much detail, don't be insulted if I fall asleep. And it's OK if prehistorical biology is not my thing. I know for some it is. But for those who feel threathened in their faith because of Ardi, don't be, and remember that when the first 11 chapters of Genesis (or Psalms) were written the writer (or maybe writers/editors/compilers) had a very limited understanding of the world around him. If you will notice he was more interested in the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, than he was with Adam and Eve. The author was concerned about "origins," but only enough to get us to what he really wanted to talk about, (which was not Creation) which was the origin of the Jewish nation and Father of many nations.


Jeff Walters said...

I don't know man. That thing looks alot like an Alabama fan...

pecheur said...

I feel like that is sort of a racist comment. It's like saying we Alabama fans are REALLYYYYY back woods, like way far back, not even into the civilized world kind of back. hmmmmm. =)

Are we that barbaric? ;)

drlobojo said...

The two things about ARDI that I find most mavelous is that:

1. It took 13 years and dozens of ecologist, biologist, artist, atrisans, scientist, etc. working in concert and conflict to understand what she was.

2. She walked upright for none of the reasons previously theorized as to why we walk upright on a form of a foot that has no current model in existance today.

In other words she blew away a lot of cherished speculation and hypothesis while revealing some of what has really been going on.


pecheur said...

I watched the Discovery Channel on ARDI and that helped me understand better.

I was disappointed that the scientists are now making guesses further back without any evidence. It's like they are saying that they got it wrong before Ardi and now they go even further back and guess haphazardly. Careful,please.

But it is neat that this thing walked upright but had this grasping toe

drlobojo said...

I kind of wonder if ARDI's behavior might not open up the old theory of a "Water Ape" heritage that was "floating" around in the 70's? After all, we have now accepted that there wasn't just one single line of homo, but several parallel lines. Maybe the Water Ape was in our version.

(that might explain the universal concept of baptism:))