Blue Petals Afloat

Blue Petals Afloat
Logic informs us the corollas are not afloat

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wes W.'s Critique of Philip B. Harner's Paper on John 1:1c

In an earlier post in my blog, I reviewed the illogicality--the absurdity--in one's use of a predicate's syntax (that predicate being pre-copulatively positioned) by which he would make the following argument: 'Such syntax makes a predicate that is an anarthrous, singular, concrete, non-abstract count noun nevertheless fitting for when only an adjectival meaning for the predicate is logically permissible (for merely describing/referencing some feature of a subject that is a person/being), for it will then make only qualitative description of the subject; however, in no case will the context then permit that we take that predicate nominative both for naming a class that has a person as a countable instantiation of the class, and naming as well an instantiation of the class; and neither will context show that the predicate was used with poetic or figurative/metaphorical license.' I did not, however, specifically take Harner to task for such an error. What follows below, however, is how one of Jehovah's Witnesses (Wes W.) has taken Harner to task for his error.

Wes has made  a masterful analysis of Harner’s seminal paper. Wes' analysis includes images of certain pages of Harner's paper as those pages appear in the journal that published the paper; however, those images are not reproduced here in my blog. Harner’s paper demolishes "Colwell’s rule." Wes' analysis of Harner's paper is fine review, though, of the fact that Harner himself slid into error, for he formulated the erroneous theory that singular, concrete, non-abstract count nouns that are both anarthrous and pre-copulatively positioned predicates may logically become so adjectival that they crowd out entirely the semantic of definiteness and indefiniteness. Without further ado, here is Wes' analysis, with some (very little, semantically insignificant) editing made by me (Al Kidd):

“Harner's theological context is that he needs to undermine Colwell's rule, which takes John 1:1c as definite. This is a heresy for most Trinitarians, although most did not realize the ramifications at the time, and so Harner is showing a different option. He makes this point at the top of page 76 and introduces the concept of "qualitative significance.”

“There is no problem with "qualitative significance" with a definite or indefinite noun. In other words, if I say "this man is a sinner," the noun is indefinite but to what degree is the man sinful (adjective)? If I am discussing the man's sins in context, I am stressing the sinfulness of the man more. If I am making a general statement about descending from Adam, I am stressing sinfulness less. However, in both cases the noun is indefinite. In neither case can I say that "a sinner" is converted to "sinful" without the man being a member of the class "sinner." 

“The last paragraph on page 78 is a healthy analysis of "this man is a prophet" (John 4:24). Note the subjectivity involved in the analysis that a noun can be both indefinite AND have qualitative stress. Note that he uses the term qualitative "sense" here.

“Bottom of page 79 and into page 80, Harner outlines the challenge of selecting definiteness or indefiniteness with the express "S/son of God" at Mark 15:39. On page 81 he argues that Mark may be stressing the "qualitative emphasis" and [so] just translate it as neither "a" nor "the" S/son of God," but just "God's S/son." Still no problem here, but what you need to watch carefully is that even translating the term as "God's S/son" does not mean that "son" is neither definite nor indefinite. It is one or the other. You are just leaving it up to the reader to decide. There is no problem with qualitative EMPHASIS for "S/son" but there is a problem converting it to a qualitative NOUN or "son-like." Harner does not fall into that trap here but you have to note his subjectivity in evaluating the problem.

“At the top of page 83, he frames the problem in John where about half of the grammatical constructs under question are definitely not definite. [In h]is first paragraph on page 83, he makes an uncharacteristic mistake at John 1:14 in that he is using a non-count noun "flesh" to compare with count nouns. As such, of course "flesh" can be used without a definite or indefinite article. He then uses John 1:14 as an example of "qualitative force" as evidence that you can translate the grammatical structure without the articles. The real reason is that it is a mass noun.

“At the top of page 85, he delivers his coup de gras to Colwell's rule where he discusses the convertible proposition. 

“On page 85, his comments on Clause D are correct. He then postulates that John must mean something more than just indefiniteness. Harner errs when he introduces the term "qualitative meaning" in the second paragraph on page 85. Previously he used qualitative stress and emphasis and sense, but what is "meaning" and how do you leap from qualitative "stress" and "emphasis" to "meaning"? Since the premise is incorrect, he then concludes that the Word had "the nature of theos." How did "nature" enter the discussion and what is "nature" as opposed to "qualities" (i.e. qualitative)?  Following his preceding arguments, it would only imply that the Word is definitely a god with stress on qualities, but is still indefinite.

“In the middle of page 86, he dismisses indefiniteness as polytheistic. 

“His conclusion in the second paragraph on page 87 reflects that qualitative "stress," "sense," and "emphasis" have now become a full-blown linguistic "category"!

“In short, he acknowledges in the article that a noun in the construction can be indefinite with qualitative stress (bottom of page 78). He rejects that for John 1:1 for theological reasons (polytheism). He does not see that the Word can be a mighty one or _theos_ as a representative of God or as an indefinite member of class _theos_.”

 Wes later added an addendum to his analysis:

“Qualitative is already a linguistic category of nouns to which abstract qualities properly belong, like love and self-control. Harner did not "invent" this category but improperly concluded that a non-quality noun can be a 100% qualitative noun without being definite or indefinite. 

“When Harner mentions  qualitative "stress," "force," "sense," and “emphasis,” I take all these as synonyms that easily apply to definite/indefinite nouns. They do not make an indefinite noun 100% "qualitative."

“However, when [Harner] uses terms towards the end of his article like qualitative "meaning," "category," and "noun," I understand [by] these [labels] that he is . . . [asserting that syntax can make] a definite/indefinite noun to be 100% qualitative, which is an assertion that he has not proven.”

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Human Mind Is Not Immaterial

The material below was posted on another web site, which I participate. 

19212Re: *********** consciousness
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Apr 19

Dear *******, 

You wrote: "
The life-force, scripturally termed spirit, is not synonymous with “the spirit of man,” or the mind of man." Ruach/pneuma ("spirit") does indeed have different senses, where, on the one hand, it can refer to what we can give focus here: "the life-force" inside a cell, unsurprisingly, inside a living cell. We use it here more or less as synonymous with the power or energy that we see is evidenced inside a cell, but we may also call it 'God's spirit in the cells' because God authored by holy spirit the very special physical system of dynamic processes we call life: all life comes from the Creator, the One Who, by agency of His holy spirit, is the Source of all life. 

Now, for what may seem at first to be a digression in my discourse here, I would often wonder why I did not ever hear it said that the driving force for life processes in a living plant cell may be called "spirit of life" in such cells, too; I do not think it is logically inadmissible for us to use such terminology inasmuch as plants have mitochondria, although it is sated that ~1000 species of eukaryotic organisms have no mitochondria. The mitochondria make ATP, which is called the ""molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer. ATP transports chemical energy within cells for metabolism." This is all by a miracle of God's holy spirit, and I personally would have no problem in labelling this driving force (transfer/movement of chemical energy for life in such plant cells) "spirit of/in a plant cell."

I once had a conversation with [brother Albert Schroeder] respecting this matter of 'spirit in plant cells.' He said that he, too, saw nothing that should logically rule out such use of the label "spirit." But all this is admissible for us per our deeper scientific understanding that was not available to ancient Hebrews for them to appreciate. But we will not have occasion to invoke specifically any Scriptural verses that say anything about "spirit of life in any and all cells." I do not think that an ancient Hebrew would find sensible any of our uses of the phrase "spirit of life in any and all living cells" should he be resurrected today and immediately he be treated to such conversation without his first having received some preparatory education. His focus, when thinking in general terms about the mysteries of creaturely life, would, in the day and age in which he lived, naturally be focused on examples he might study and meditate on, on creatures easily perceived by him. He would think about the life force that the animate creature, set before his eyes, needs to maintain (keep possession of) in order for it to stay in existence as the creature he perceives, as a creature performing work, i.e.,  performing (1) its specialized movements/locomotions; (2) gathering of food; (3) its securing/building its shelter; (4) its protecting its young offspring; and other visibly dynamic behaviors, which are behaviors he does not see in a plant. 

You also wrote: "a specified operative force that emanates from the source of life, Jehovah God." Well, holy spirit, when Jehovah wants to see performed a particularly special work at some place, does have procession from Himself and thence to the Son; holy spirit is at the command/direction of Jesus Christ for him to say someday to the dead in the Grave "Come forth."

It seems to me that the Father of all persons will no more be directly involved in the recreation of dead persons than He was in His creating the angels and in His creating Adam and Eve, which were creations that occurred through His only-begotten Son.  In the case of Adam's and Eve's creations, Jehovah's holy spirit was very specially used by the Son, because Adam and Eve were not procreated; there was no sexual reproduction involved for either of them, nor was Eve cloned. There were, for examples, very special uses of holy spirit for Adam and Eve, too, so that we can say their creations had to involve a procession of holy spirit for it to become manifested at some appropriate place(s) over there in the Middle East. Elsewhere at appropriate places on earth there had earlier occurred irruptions [sic] of divine power onto the earthly scene for the creations of irrational, physical life forms. 

We may compare what we see at Luke 5:17; there we read  'with Jesus was Jehovah's power for him to do healing [on that particular occasion, at that place].' Well, is not that use of "power" essentially synonymous here with the phrase that we might have read for equally sensible and equal meaning, namely, 'with Jesus was Jehovah's holy spirit for him to do healing on that occasion, at that place'?  It seems to me that holy spirit can accomplish many things, but not all of them will become manifested to human perception in a power-displaying miracle. But when it is so, then focus may be put on holy spirit's power, so that we do read in the Scriptures the phrase "holy spirit and power." 

Still, we who appreciate that creaturely, earthly life is result of God's special uses of holy spirit (for existence of non-procreated -- hence specially created -- but yet physical, procreative life forms, which served as the created progenitors of their kind) also appreciate that those works of holy spirit have had abiding effect across all the generations of all cells ever since creation of the first cells. So, then, we who are rational creatures may -- should -- know that there is really a miraculous result of a work of holy spirit performed 1000s of years ago still with us -- in us and in all physical forms of life; it is "the spirit of life." If it becomes absent in us -- in enough of our cells -- we die. That may happen gradually, or more or less immediately, and always more or less immediately so when Jehovah executes someone, stops him from breathing. In that case of execution, Jehovah has very actively caused an absence in the victim of his breath, followed by absence of the life force in him; legally speaking, we can also say that Jehovah gathered back to Himself the life force and the breath in that person; He has laid legal claim against the victim for him not to have any more grant of the spirit of life, which legally belongs to Jehovah along with the very breaths the victim had been taking into his body through his nostrils for the maintenance of that spirit in himself, but will no more.

But none of this language means that the spirit has in the event travelled to some place in order to keep on existing, and nor will we say that the victim's last exhalation of breath travelled to some other place in order that the language of the Scriptures be true. No, but  Jehovah has in a legal sense gathered to Himself both the victim's spirit and his breath.

*******, it is just at this point that I want to be careful to say that in the usual way that procreated creatures (particularly here it is convenient and sufficient if we focus on just the breathers in existence as result of procreation) have come into existence, I cannot see any Scriptural warrant for us to say that procreation/conception of breathers necessitates that there be a special (literal) procession of Jehovah's holy spirit through his Son and thence on into a fertilized ovum for it to remain alive and thereby able to be the first cell to undergo a program of repeated mitosis for the eventual result of another mature breather. 
********, you wrote: "I think there has been a conflating of the spirit or mind of  man with the spirit, life-force with which he has been enlivened." Uses of "spirit" will, per the context in which it is used, communicate to us which of the several meanings we should discern. And just as you have stated, we must be careful not to conflate those meanings, that is to say, we are not going to invoke the concept of mind when we see that a use of "spirit" is for invoking the concept of a life force needed to keep even irrational creatures alive.

Your brother,

9205Re:  *********** consciousness
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Apr 18

Dear brother *******,

You wrote: " . .  . it may simply be a way of saying that the dead are as good as alive because God has promised to resurrect them and his promises never fail." A rather parsimonious explanation, no? And more to the point, what you implied as a 'maybe' in the matter of how God views the non-existent subjects whom He will resurrect is matter expressly given that very focus in Romans 4:17, where we read, "God . . . [is the one] who makes the dead alive and calls the things that are not as though they were." Interestingly, A.T. Robertson (Word Pictures) skirted the whole issue as to how this verse impacts Christendom's doctrine of anthropological dualism. Wonder why he did that? hehehe!! 


19180Re: ***********consciousness
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Apr 18

Dear brother ,

You wrote a quotation from one of our publications: "“The breath of life” must refer to more than just breath or air moving into the lungs." Brother ******, I would not have written that sentence. I believe it moves the discussion of anthropology (human nature) into a metaphysic that too easily/readily may be taken as postulation of the existence for some  immaterial essence in human nature that supposedly goes under the phrase-label "breath of life," and that for a meaning that supposedly is not true of other soulical forms of life. I have to believe that the brother or brothers responsible for the sentence did not really intend it for indication that there exists in man any part of him that is an immaterial essence in his being.

But what does the Bible say is also true about animals? Genesis 7:22 says this: "All (in) whose [ nose/nostrils, (but "nose"/"nostrils" is proper translation for the Hebrew word that is expressly given us for the third word following the Hebrew word for "whose" in Genesis 7:22) ] (was) (the) breath-spirit (of) life (in) his nostrils/nose . . ." With a bit more deference to English syntax, we may literally translate as follows: "All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life." Now, that is said also as respects irrational animals, for they are logically involved at Genesis 7:22. And almost the same semantic is in play at Genesis 2:7. What is the difference in the crucial phrases under review here (in Genesis 2:7 and in 7:22)? The addition of the word "ruach" ("spirit") is found at Genesis 7:22, where, of all things, we see there that the word is used also for description of animals, for they, too, are logically referenced in the verse !! But we will not elevate animals above Adam merely on the basis of what is the referent or are the referents designated in the phrase "the breath of the spirit of life being in the nostrils of [all flesh on dry ground that was destroyed]." The phrase is logically inclusive of animals. Now, even though the word "spirit" is not expressly given in Genesis 2:7 for description of Adam, it is so expressly given as respects that flesh (dust) that constituted all the subjects implied in 7:22, which logically includes animals alongside the wicked humans that were destroyed. The precise difference in the semantics of the verses are inconsequential as to the nature of the soulical Adam and the nature of soulical animals. The crucial difference between men's nature  and the animals' nature (for a commonality shared naturally among all the animals whereby they are not in God's image), is a difference in natures built on different grounds than anything we may truthfully say as respects the spirit. But as respects the grounds truthfully involved here, we may say that included in those grounds are the visible structures of the organisms involved, and also included are the brains of the organisms involved. It does not include what is the spirit involved for either of the groups of souls (whether men or animals), for they all in either of the groups have the same spirit.

Your brother,
Al Kidd


19172Re: ***********consciousness
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Apr 17

Dear brother *******,

You wrote: "The "breath of life" section in Genesis is a very peculiar addition to the narrative." Well, I will not say "very peculiar addition," but I can say very particular addition in that it pays special attention to the fact that a kind of life form has come into existence, one that is in God's image even though it is soulical (physical).

You wrote: "I don't think that it was simply a reanimation akin to mouth-to-mouth resuscitation." Nor do I. It was for Adam's gaining -- not regaining -- consciousness, self-awareness. I do not see that we need to test our position against all that may or may not have been happening inside Adam's body immediately prior to his receiving his first breath. We may assume that regions in his brain responsible for sending signals to the diaphragm and heart were in need of oxygen lest their remaining inactive in such signal transmissions too long should mean the deaths of too many neurons in the brain, and eventually in the rest of the body so that God should have to recreate at least the brain or regions of the brain, if not regions elsewhere in the organs comprising Adam's body. So, unsurprisingly it was God who specially, miraculously caused Adam to take his first breath by forcing a breath (propulsive administration of air through Adam's nostrils so that we can call this material thing that entered Adam's body a spirit (breath, wind, ruach) that God gave, a gift from Him to Adam in order that Adam should gain consciousness, and have maintenance of life-imparting energy in his cells. That is all that we see in Genesis. Nothing more. The onus is on you to show us more in the Biblical record whereby we may conclude that Adam was not entirely a creature of dusty constitution.

You wrote: "The brain, although a complex structure, is still a physical structure that follows physical laws." Yes, it does. We need not, however, conclude that we know all there is to know about the processes of a human brain so that we can say there is nothing in the brain for formation (from configuration of its tissues) of free will. We may take as an illustration man's discoveries leading to production of electrical current from lodestone/magnet and copper disks/coils. No matter how men in the past ever sliced and diced those objects, no man ever said, "Aha! I now know enough about the properties of these objects -- how the properties can be made to complement each other -- so that I will now proceed on to invention of the generation of electrical current." Nothing of the sort was ever invented; it was discovered. And when the discovery was made, it was discovery made without benefit of scanning electron microscopy, or even the knowledge of what constitutes an electrical field of energy made from the motion of one of the objects in a plane relative the position of the other object, or how to make prediction as to what all can happen when a load is connected across a certain two points in the configuration of an electrical generator. Nothing in the objects gave in their constitution any hint that, should you place one of the objects in motion in a proper configuration of them, you may have a sustained electrical current, at least for a while, by way of the law of inertia whereby an object once set in motion tends to stay in motion. But there it was, the discovery men could make generation of electrical current for (eventual) prediction of how a great deal of work could be accomplished, even if not all the work that could ever become accomplishable should ever become known. Still, it was all there, awaiting discovery, and, we may add, awaiting an heuristic model that we make use of for predicting the results for when electrical current is made to flow through a certain configuration of conductors, resistors, inductors, transformers, transistors, and other semiconductor (silicon) devices. The predictions we could cause to fall upon the ears of what a once-dead person was to witness, as result(s) of a particular configuration of certain material objects in an electrical circuit or combination of circuits, would absolutely astound him, a person whom, for sake of argument, we may suppose God had resurrected back to life today after his having been dead for just a few centuries, when once his eyes had seen fulfillment of our predictions made to him.

You wrote: "It appears to leave no room for free will or non-reductive mental states." There is in that statement a pretense to a certainty of knowledge that any of a number of various and contradictory schools of philosophy -- here as all such that go under the label of (a so-called) "science of mind" -- make for themselves. Brother *********, you do not own here the only labels that philosophers use, for they all of them keep on inventing new word games (semantics) for presenting a hypothesis that they think shows in them a keener wit and sharper argument than is so for their opponents' positions, which may be the refined position of an atheistic materialist or of a theist -- arguments that have been labelled as emergentism, supervenience, physicalistic reductionism, non-realist reductionism, mentalistic realism, any of a number of stripes of nomological idealism, etc. The one thing about which we can be absolutely certain by virtue of God's revelation to us is that the dust reclaims all that constituted what properly belonged to the dead man's keep when he was, as a free moral agent, a living subject/being. He had only his normatively functioning body for such accomplishment. Even God has a body for accomplishing storage of all that He wants to keep in His memory, which we may hope includes all our memories. Jehovah, though, has remembrance of all of any individual's own memories so that He will put them back into that man's recreated brain should he need and receive resurrection back to life on earth. Jehovah does not consult any extra-Deical storehouse (extra-Deical mind) for the recreation/resurrection of any dead person, whether it be for a resurrection to life in Heaven or it be for resurrection to life on earth.

Your brother,
Al Kidd


19159Re: ********consciousness
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Apr 17

Dear *********,

You wrote: "....also, it may be seen that some sort of dualism exists in man at Ecclesiastes 12:7:

7 Then the dust returns to the earth, just as it was, and the spirit returns to the true God who gave it."

Dear ******,

There is nothing dualistic that we can say is implied by any of the texts in the Bible as to man's nature. We will too easily run afoul of the preponderance of Scriptural witness on our subject if we try to infer from any of the Scriptures anything dualistic about man's nature. Look, for example, at Job 34:14, 15: "If [God] fixes his attention on [all men in such a way that means that] . . .  he gathers their spirit and breath to himself, All humans would [simultaneously] perish together, And mankind would return to the dust." How does God gather to himself not only the spirit, but the breath, too? Do we see anything implied that these are entities that can persist their existence for traveling to God's presence or to some other place after becoming absent from the human body following upon the death of the human? No, nothing of the sort. In the matter at hand in Job 34:14, 15, God could gather those things (spirit and breath) to himself from every man at once . . . in a legal sense in that he has the right -- but  thanks to His undeserved kindness He has chosen not to exercise that right -- to take away every man's breath and life force (life-sustaining energy); and then all mankind would, in the event, perish and return to the dust. As it is, though, God does lay claim on His right to send forth His spirit in order to create miraculously the face of the ground anew, this as result for giving a dead human soul (dead person) a new, resurrection body in the case of those who will receive an earthly resurrection; it is their return from the dust into which they had gone after death.

The thing to take away here is that we do not confuse either poetry or legal language with description as to what actually, literally constitutes human beings.  Human beings are not "dust plus X," but just very specially organized dust. God does not work inside any of our bodies' cells by His personally taking care each and every moment of all our cells' individual existence to see to it that there is: (1) a pushing around into proper places inside all our cells their enzymes, proteins, and organelles, (2) the repair or failure to repair DNA structures (genes) in our germ cells, (3) the remaining in place of a cell's ability to fight off some invasive pathogens, but then again not so as respects other pathogens, (4) the reproduction of a cell, etc., etc. That is not how God's spirit is responsible for the life of a cell, whether it belongs to a human, or even to an animal that God never intended should remain free of death-dealing diseases. By virtue of some material processes in a cell that we may collectively label biological life, we should still know that it is all owing to God's authorship by holy spirit (special creation by holy spirit) of the first such cells for the creation of the first progenitors either to own those cells, or to be those cells, each progenitor being a life form reproducible according to its kind. All this arrangement is by a miraculous work of God's holy spirit, so wonderfully evident that we may say God's spirit is, in a sense, in each and every living cell, inasmuch as all this biology, which is inclusive of prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and multicellular life forms, is the product of Jehovah's holy spirit.

Al Kidd

20085A non-DNA-Based (Immaterial) Human Mind?

A Non-DNA-Based Immaterial, Human Mind?

A non-DNA-based mind should have to be a mind free of the inheritance of Adam's sinful nature. But inheritance of original sin is a biological fact. This means that (human) sin is DNA-based, and corrupts the entire human being (personality/mind plus the body that grounds the mind). Contrary to this is the thought that each human's body (brain) is but adjunctive to the human's putatively immaterial mind, and it is doctrine that cuts against the doctrine of the biological inheritance -- the spread from the one man Adam -- of sin, and per force lays the blame for a man's sinful nature on a supposedly non-volitional (non-mental) constituent (brain tissue) of his being that, supposedly, yet has power to corrupt the putatively immaterial mind, to impede it from being sinless/perfect, although some philosophers yet declare that at death a man's mind survives the death of his body, albeit as a non-functioning, immaterial entity. Still, even with such a modification for the supposed existence of a post-mortem state of (human) mind as a non-functioning, unconscious, immaterial entity that survives the biological death of a body, it is still a doctrine that is unbiblical (see, for instance, Daniel 12:2, where it is illogical for us to make any association of an immaterial entity with those asleep in the dust of the earth, that dust having become the repository of all that normatively remains of those whom God will resurrect back to life on earth), and is as paganish as the ancient doctrine that a body of flesh is necessarily ipso facto the bane of the mind (soul).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Is Australopithecus Afarensis Evidence of Hominid Evolution?

Australopithecus afarensis. There is no consensus among paleoanthropologists as to whether or not A. afarensis had ability to do knuckle-walking, or even if A. afarensis was largely bipedal. There is still an on-going tug of war between 2 schools of thought as to how fossils alleged to be afarensis should be interpreted for whatever abilities/physical features are allegedly evidenced by any particular skeletal reconstruction involving certain fossils.

It is said that afarensis' femur angles in toward the knee from the hip, and that is said to be a strong indication of habitual bipedal locomotion; however, it is also said that along with humans, present day orangutans and spider monkeys possess this same feature.

Also questionable is whether Australopithecus foot bones indicate the Laetoli footprints were even made by Australopithecus. "Many scientists also doubt the suggestion of bipedalism, and argue that even if Australopithecus really did walk on two legs, it did not walk in the same way as humans . . . The shoulder joint is also oriented much more cranially (i.e. towards the skull) than that in modern humans but similar to that in the present day apes. Combined with the relatively long arms A. afarensis is thought to have had, this is thought by many to be reflective of a heightened ability to use the arm above the head in climbing behaviour. Furthermore, scans of the skulls reveal a canal and bony labyrinth morphology, which is not supportive to proper bipedal locomotion."

Also is this admission: "In particular the morphology of scapula appears to be ape-like and very different from modern humans. The curvature of the finger and toe bones (phalanges) approaches that of modern-day apes, and is suggestive of their ability to efficiently grasp branches and climb."

Also disputed is whether or not all the fossils labeled A. afarensis belong just to that one species, but that there is a mix in the Hadar site's fossils, representing more than one species.

Also, there is this as reviewed in Science 26 October 2012: "Scapular morphology is predictive of locomotor adaptations among primates, but this skeletal element is scarce in the hominin fossil record. Notably, both scapulae of the juvenile Australopithecus afarensis skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia, have been recovered. These scapulae display several traits characteristic of suspensory apes, as do the few known fragmentary adult australopith representatives. Many of these traits change significantly throughout modern human ontogeny, but remain stable in apes. Thus, the similarity of juvenile and adult fossil morphologies implies that A. afarensis development was apelike. Additionally, changes in other scapular traits throughout African ape development are associated with shifts in locomotor behavior. This affirms the functional relevance of those characteristics, and their presence in australopith fossils supports the hypothesis that their locomotor repertoire included a substantial amount of climbing."

Also, Susman and Stern said: "She [afarensis] probably nested in the trees and lived like other monkeys."

Also, Charles Oxnard performed a multivariate analysis on afarensis and concluded that it is truly unique: "The various australopithecines are, indeed, more different from both African apes and humans in most features than these latter are from each other."

Also, about "[an] exceptionally well-preserved skeleton of an A. afarensis child from Dikika, Ethiopia, discovered in 2000 by Dr. Alemseged . . . further preparation and extensive analyses of these rare bones showed them to be quite apelike, suggesting that this species was adapted to climbing trees in addition to walking bipedally when on the ground. "The question as to whether Australopithecus afarensis was strictly bipedal or if they also climbed trees has been intensely debated for more than thirty years," said Dr. Green. These remarkable fossils provide strong evidence that these individuals were still climbing at this stage in human evolution." The new findings are published in the October 26 issue of the journal Science.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mexican Fossilized Impressions - 20,000 Years Old; or 40,000 Years Old; or 1,300,000 Years Old?

Ancient Human Footprints Found in Mexico | Science/AAAS. Geochronological analyses assign wildly divergent dates (20 kyr-1myr) to the fossilized impression. Why? Need there be more fossilized impressions uncovered in rocky outcrops there -- undisturbed by modern-day vehicular traffic -- before science can resolve the disputed claims? Is there an even playing field for studies of the Mexican and African fossils?

There is dispute not only as to the age of the impressions, but also as to whether or not the fossilized impressions are even human footprints. What are alleged to be human footprints occur in what appears to be a pattern for bipedal locomotion, and occur among a plethora of other animal footprints. The dates assigned the fossilized footprints range from 20,000 years old to 1,300,000 years old ! Tim White, who has used the Berkeley lab for dating African fossils, has no doubt that the Berkeley lab has given correct date of about 1.3 million years old; accordingly, he must dispute the human identification that other scientists give the maker of the fossilized impressions. See

Monday, March 17, 2014

François Sarre Asks, 'Will an Exemplar of Obligate Bipedalism in Those Hominoids That Bequeathed It Only to Hominid Species Stand Up . . . Please? Where Is Bigfoot Hiding Himself Out?'

François Sarre is no shrinking violet when it comes to his acceptance of hominid evolution; he accepts the theory. His little pictograph (see below) humorously sums up his belief about what the major fossil specimens salient to the paleoanthropologists' theories of hominid evolution -- as the fossil specimens relate to what he alleges was retention of obligate bipedalism only in the hominid species --, would teach us, if we would but view those fossils specimens as he views them. He uses a pictograph that begins with an upright, obligate bipedal (human) that seemingly descends into creatures that have lost obligate bipedalism. It is a simplistic pictograph, because it does not represent in him a belief that chimpanzees and the great apes are descended from humans, but rather that those species are our cousin descendants, descended from certain hominoids whereby 'in that descent of our cousin species from bipedal hominoids there gradually became the loss of obligate bipedalism -- though it was once present in certain hominoid ancestors (and may yet be represented by certain of those species that have survived into historical times here on earth, and maybe still do).' The theory here has it that there was an ancestor common to humans and the great apes who was an obligate bipedal creature, but that in the lines that branched off from him, 'the obligate bipedalism he owned came to be lost in some branches of his descendants, it being retained, in fact, only in the branch that became, in time, according to François de Sarre's theory, homo sapiens.'

It's a wild, wild West out there when it comes to paleoanthropologists' theories. Who among them wields the fastest spade for remarkably finding and digging out other fossil specimens just right for added support of some alternative theory he trumpets?

© François de Sarre
Published in Animals & Men, Issue Six


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Distance-responsive genes found in dancing honey bees

The link above is to an article that its authors would hardly acknowledge does the following thing in their discussion of the honey bee genome: in effect, the article shows that there is descriptive modeling of genetically programmed honey bee behaviors that are mathematically sensible/presentable, but the authors apparently do not agree that we may argue that the modeling they present shows forth God's wisdom. The concluding paragraph states, "Results indicate that the responsiveness of the genome to social information extends to inputs that require the formation of quantitative representations in the brain . . . One challenge in [deterministic] behavioral genomics is to elucidate how brain genomic responses lead to adaptive behavior. Distance measurement joins a growing number of naturally occurring and experimentally accessible traits [-- well, after all, probably all are agreed that the traits are not traits 'acquired through "dint of free will" intrinsic to honey bee Mind (self awareness-driven mentational properties in honey bees)' --] that will help us to solve this important problem." (Emphases are mine, Al Kidd's.)

Ah, Yes! "Important problem" indeed! for the evolutionists' theory that these behaviors in honey bees are result of something other than the ordaining will and creative power belonging to the owner of a Mind pre-existing the honey bee's existence itself ought to be seen by materialists as a theory fatally driven through by Karl Popper's "sword" (i.e., evolution is not a falsifiable theory), but is a theory shot through with incredible naiveté as we can see evidenced when evolutionists assert that the honey bee's behavioral genomics is not evidence of intelligent design, but that the challenge for them "is to elucidate how brain genomic responses [can blindly pursue and successfully] lead to adaptive behavior." Their naiveté is borne of their wish to resist the logical implication of the necessity of Mind (the Creator, God) reflected in creation.

The introductory and, again, the concluding paragraphs are presented below without my commentary.

"We report that regions of the honey bee brain involved in visual processing and learning and memory show a specific genomic response to distance information. These results were obtained with an established method that separates effects of perceived distance from effects of actual distance flown. Individuals forced to shift from a short to perceived long distance to reach a feeding site showed gene expression differences in the optic lobes and mushroom bodies relative to individuals that continued to perceive a short distance, even though they all flew the same distance. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that the genomic response to distance information involves learning and memory systems associated with well-known signaling pathways, synaptic remodeling, transcription factors and protein metabolism. By showing distance-sensitive brain gene expression, our findings also significantly extend the emerging paradigm of the genome as a dynamic regulator of behavior, that is particularly responsive to stimuli important in social life....

"Our results indicate that the responsiveness of the genome to social information extends to inputs that require the formation of quantitative representations in the brain . . . One challenge in behavioral genomics is to elucidate how brain genomic responses lead to adaptive behavior. Distance measurement joins a growing number of naturally occurring and experimentally accessible behavioral traits that will help us solve this important problem."

Monday, December 2, 2013

The “Place” Called Sheol in the Hebrew Scriptures, and Called Hades in the Greek Scriptures

Is Sheol a place of immateriality, a place for departed souls where soul is, contrary to the Bible, thought by many religionists to be defined as the immaterial essence of personhood that allegedly survives the death of a person’s body? No, it is not a spiritual realm. It is actually mankind’s common, earthen grave; it is gravedom, or we may write it as “the Grave.” It has no particular geography or literal boundaries, though it may be distinguished from the sea that has received beneath its waves countless dead persons. So, when we read Revelation 20:13, we are no more to think of the dead in Hades (Sheol) as being alive than would we as respects those dead in the sea; the condition of the dead in Hades is no different than it is for the dead in the sea. We must not allow ourselves to be duped by certain religionists whose arguments they unwittingly let devolve to the point where we can only say that they would make the Bible to contradict itself. They do, in fact, themselves contradict the Bible’s statement in Ecclesiastes 9:10 that ‘the dead are unconscious; the dead do not think.’ Moreover, even though those religionists do not appreciate their error, it amounts to the doctrine that planet Earth has two immaterial realms, one somewhere below the surface of the ground, and another one somewhere beneath the waves of the sea. They should agree that such a doctrine is part and parcel of their errors, or they should admit that they are using two different definitions for the two uses of the phrase “the dead” at Revelation 20:13.

What things are in Sheol (Hades)? Dead bodies are, generally speaking, though there was an occasion (see Numbers 16:26-35) where living persons – not dead persons – went down into Sheol; yes, they went down alive into Sheol, they and all their possessions when the ground opened up beneath them and their tents. Men, women, children and all that was theirs went down into Sheol; they had not become dead persons before going down into Sheol, but they soon enough became the kind of persons we normally associate with Sheol; they became dead persons in Sheol when the earth closed back over the top of them. How far down need they to have fallen in order that we may say that they were in Sheol? Did they have to fall miles and miles deep below the surface of the ground? No! They needed to have fallen no more deeply than what should allow the fissure to become shut back over the top of them, so that they should not be seen by others, and that they should be either crushed or suffocated to death. When it happened, then that shut fissure had become a grave for the rebels, and had become part of that wider collection of graves that we normally, by abstraction, present to our mind’s eye when we say “Sheol,” or "the land down below" (Ezekiel 31:14, 18, 32:18, 24). We have here no picture of an immaterial realm under the label “Sheol.” Nor do we have it anywhere else in the Bible as respects actual persons who have died.

True, Sheol was, in the book of Ezekiel, spoken about in a context involving a figurative reference to slain, uncircumcised warriors whose corpses had, unsurprisingly, come to be buried in the earth; hence, we may also say that they had come to share a “place” in Sheol with their weapons of war alongside them, with swords under the heads of the many slain ones who were buried in the earth with their weaponry. We read nothing unusual in just those words that discuss Sheol; Sheol is not presented as the abode of departed, immaterial souls. (See Ezekiel 32:27.) What is unusual, however, is that Sheol is figuratively presented as the scene where the slain, uncircumcised corpses of warriors ‘are speaking from the depths of Sheol (see Ezekiel 32:21). It is macabre theater; it is not description of any event that has ever literally (actually) taken place in a grave, no, nor between two graves, nor among any number of the graves that we see collectively referenced in the Bible as Sheol. Accordingly, then, we see Ezekiel's convenient employment of a figurative (fictitious, non-literal) geography for Sheol such that it was pictured as having also a certain collection or arrangement of the graves of the nations' slain, uncircumcised warrior-rulers, where such graves were conveniently pictured as being in such close proximity to one another that the corpses of the slain, warrior-rulers could, from their graves, figuratively "speak to [Pharaoh] and his helpers"; see Ezekiel 32:21ff.). Hades is, in the New Testament, the Greek language word that is equivalent to Sheol; both words refer to mankind's common earthen grave. We may translate Sheol and Hades into English with the phrase “the Grave.”