What Paleontologists Create About Elephant Evolution

One of the more creative stories in Darwinism is the speedy pace of “morphological” evolution which supposedly happened 60 million years ago. The fossil is called; Eritherium azzouzorum which is known to be the oldest elephant, doesn’t really look like one. The animals measures are 1.6 to two feet (50 to 60 cm) long and weighed nine to eleven pounds. Compare that to a modern elephant standing at eleven feet tall and weighing five tons!

Live Science and New Scientist agree on this point…“You wouldn’t have recognised Eritherium as an elephant when it was roaming Morocco 60 million years ago.” Indeed, not only were the measurements much different, it didn’t have a tusk like modern elephants have. To try and solve this problem Emmanuel Gheerbrant of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, France proposed the tooth of the animal enlarged by millimeters represented a primitive tusk.

It’s hard to believe this tooth was able to pull down branches or trees for that matter. The picture of the fossil pieces shows no postcranial anatomy. Their assumption was based on nothing more than one skull and a jaw and five teeth. Looking at the five teeth, it looks nothing like a primitive tusk!

Here is an example how they reach conclusions with contradictory data, and gaps in empirical data contained in PNAS

“The TNT unweighted parsimony analysis including Eritherium yields a very poorly resolved consensus tree mainly resulting from the unstable position of Khamsaconus.  Analysis without Khamsaconus shows that, besides the robust proboscidean relationships of Eritherium, basal relationships among paenungulates remain unstable, as illustrated by the basal polytomy in the consensus (Fig. 3A).”

“This polytomy is basically related to our poor fossil knowledge of the ancestral morphotype of several orders such as Embrithopoda, Desmostylia, and Anthracobunia.  Our analysis supports a Sirenia-Desmostylia clade sister group of Proboscidea within Tethytheria.  The standard TNT “implied weighting” analysis yields a topology (Fig. 3B), which is nearly identical to that of Gheerbrant et al.”

With such little evidence to go on, what they call the “ancestral morphotype” exists only in the evolutionist’s imagination. It’s not possible with all the empirical problems that exist with this particular animal that one could arrive to any evolutionary conclusion. Therefore, what they are trying to create is not scientific, rather it’s just story telling using a lot of jargon with naturalistic conclusions, but no foundation for the basis for it.

It is important for Christians and skeptics of Darwinism to learn about the methods, omissions, assumptions and philosophy used by various scientists today and in the future.


3 thoughts on “What Paleontologists Create About Elephant Evolution

  1. “It is important for Christians and skeptics of Darwinism to learn about the methods, omissions, assumptions and philosophy used by various scientists today and in the future.”

    YES! For the first time, I agree with Michael. Everyone, but especially Christians and evolution skeptics, need to shuck their preconceived fantasies about how science operates. (See my previous comment on the differences between science and theology.) They might learn that science often involves controversy, that hypotheses and theories frequently change to fit new evidence, that there is no such thing as revelation or the primacy of authorities, that the validity of a theory has nothing to do with the character, views, or ignorance of its proponents.

    For example, anyone who knows the slightest bit about the scientific method would never claim that differing viewpoints on a single incomplete fossil represents a failure of an entire theory supported by mountains of independent evidence from many different fields.

    In fact, a biology professor at a large eastern university did offer an experimental freshman course in evolution several years ago. He kept records of the students’ acceptance of evolution at the beginning and at the end. Initial acceptance was rather low, about 30%.. At the end, it had jumped to over 90%. So, in this area, knowledge does have considerable benefit.

    Creationism is at bottom a god-of-the-gaps position. God’s power is limited to that which no scientific theory yet exists. This no doubt explains why creationists avoid learning about evolution, or cling to distortions or glib denials offered to them by professional dissemblers such as Ken Ham and Roy Comfort. As an African saying states, “Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.”

    A recent longitudinal study questioned the popular canard that science leads to atheism. The study found evidence that it was the other way around. Atheists and agnostics were more often attracted to scientific careers than were believers. The authors offer the explanation that science, like disbelief, rewards skepticism, questioning authority, and independent thought. Religion, on the other hand, stresses faith, obedience, and group homogeneity.

    I have elsewhere presented an outline for an 8th-grade course in general science that would teach the principles of the scientific method and the processes that scientists use in making and confirming discoveries. The impetus for this course was a study reported in Science that, although Chinese students were far ahead of Americans in factual knowledge, both groups rated low on scientific reasoning ability.

    Science affects more and more public policy issues. Does vaccination do more good than harm? How much danger does anthropogenic global warming present? What are the pros and cons of biofuels, genetic engineering, and pharmaceutical studies? Anyone who cannot judge these for himself, who merely denies the issues, or who blindly accepts the biases of others, will have less and less influence in the world, and less power even over his own life.

  2. @Olorin:
    Good point about starting early learning the scientific method, and scientific reasoning. Students often learn the facts and theories, but not how one gets from facts to theories, or how theories can be falsified.

    Is this course outline public ?

  3. Unfortunately, the course is not public, and i can’t dig up my reference to it. I’m relying on memory here. It might have been in the Chronicle of Higher Education a year or so ago.

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