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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Creationists Don't Have A Leg To Stand On

Creationists really do need to get a grip.

Problem is, they only have two limbs to do this with, unlike all the other modern anthropoid apes, which have four. This is because we've had to adapt one set of limbs for walking upright. For that, we need a rigid foot with an arch to transmit the force our leg muscles are applying from our ankles to our toes, and especially our big toe, so that, as our body moves forward we push on the ground with our toes and so keep the momentum going.

Australopithicus afarensis (Lucy)
(Reconstruction)
This would be hard to do for long if we had feet like hands, and running would be all but impossible. Bipedalism had certainly evolved in apes by about 4 million years ago and possibly as long ago as 7 million years, as the fossil remains of Ardipithicus ramidus and Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) shows, although A. ramidus could probably grip branches when climbing trees.

But what about those muscles which were once used to grip with the feet? Well, one of the more important ones was the plantaris muscle. It's still there but serves no purpose at all. In fact, 7-10% of us are born without them and suffer no ill effects or disadvantage at all. It is regarded as disposable and is sometimes removed by plastic surgeons to be used in reconstructive surgery elsewhere.

It is merely a vestige; yet another fossil from our past when we could get a grip with four hands instead of two. No intelligent designer would include something useless that its design can do without. The human plantaris muscle, like all the redundant structures which abound in nature, is the work of an unintelligent designer without a plan and a process which is slowly eliminating it, with no particular hurry because it doesn't do any harm either. This is one of the ways in which we know the human foot evolved and was never intelligently designed.

Further reading:
What does it mean to be human? (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History)
Evidence for Human Evolution.


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6 comments:

  1. Although I casually follow your blog and usually agree with what you've posted, I think creationists would shoot down this argument in a hurry. The Pope himself accepts evolution last I knew, and this useless muscle could be explained away as just a part of God's evolutionary plan for humans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was clear that I was refuting the notion of intelligent design, though I would love to see a creationists invoking evolution to explain away a redundant structure, especially when 'irreducible complexity' is such a central article of faith for the under-cover wing of the creationist movement.

      I would also love to see a rational explanation of why "God's evolutionary plan" included having 7-10% of us excluded from it.

      Delete
    2. When I was at catholic school they told me god used evolution to create life. That makes no sense. Evolution is a haphazard clumsy extremely painful process with unforeseeable consequences. A god who would use evolution to create life would be an imbecilic god. Evolution works without divine supervision. Another example of the catholic church baptising what is convenient to do so or what they cannot argue away. And another lie I was told as a child.

      It seems that TheRealArkayn is arguing against himself. Creationsists would shoot the argument down but the pope accepts evolution? So is TheRealArkayn arguing for or against evolution? Confused. But I expect that is what TheRealArkayn wants.

      Delete
  2. I can't believe you're using Lucy to make your case! http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/icon-of-evolution-lucy-bites-the-dust/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe you've fallen for the Discovery Institute's deceptions, if indeed you have and aren't merely deliberately promulgating them, but I'm not surprised you chose to remain anonymous; I would be ashamed and embarrassed too - Why Creationists Lie To Us.

      Delete
    2. A comparatively swift search will show that the claims against Lucy are the usual rubbish, that has been refuted many times, but still lives on on the creationist pages whose devotion to honesty is somewhat lacking.

      Delete

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