Psalm 139:14-15

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.”

When I used to work for a large creationist ministry in England, I recall my manager commenting one day, “The sun is shining out there, it is summer time, there will probably be a new ape-man discovery in the news.” During the quiet summer months, when little was happening for the news agencies to report on, newspapers and TV news programs still had to be filled. So one obvious candidate for a sleepy summer news story was a good old skeleton or fossil of a supposed ancient human.

The year 2018 was no exception. I was fascinated by the headline on a popular science website: “Cranium of a four-million-year-old hominin shows similarities to that of modern humans”. Reading through the article was an interesting exercise in what I call Fuzzy Word Analysis. At no point did the article attempt to justify why it was considered to be four million years old. This dating was simply stated as a fact. The fossil was an example of australopithecine, but, unlike the most famous such “southern-ape” fossils, which were found in or near Tanzania, this was found in the Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa, in 1995.

The bone of this semi-fossilized specimen is too fragile for much scientific analysis, so researchers have carefully scanned bone fragments and then carried out a virtual investigation by computer. Their conclusion? Some of the bones are similar to human bones. We have to remind people over again that this is to be expected but that such similarities have nothing to do with “proof” for evolution.

 Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We thank You for all the care You lavished on us as You put us together in the secret place. Amen.

Ref: University of the Witwatersrand. “Cranium of a four-million-year-old hominin shows similarities to that of modern humans: The ‘virtual’ revisiting of a fossil described as ‘the oldest evidence of human evolution in South Africa’ shows surprising results.” ScienceDaily, 25 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180625130919.htm>.  Image: CC BY-SA 4.0.