DISCUSSIONS ON BUSHES AND PRIMANDA'S CONTRADICTION Primanda bases his views on imaginary evidence, and he presents contradictory criticism against us. One of his criticisms is that Bernard Wood's view of the evolution of man looks like a bush rather than a ladder. Primanda writes: HY failed on two counts: 1) As shown before, Sahelanthropus does not show more humanlike characteristics than australopithecines; 2) 'The evolutionist scheme', 'the ladder from ape to man' is a strawman. The prevailing scientific view is currently shifting to another perspective. HY quotes Bernard Wood, which said that '...human evolutionary history was a ladder in the 1960s...but it looks like a bush now'. As a matter of fact, this change of evolutionary thought was due to the ever-expanding human fossil record, with new and unexpected discoveries pouring in every few years. So what? In the midst of criticizing us, Primanda repeats exactly the facts that we had already stated. Yes, the evolutionary account no longer looks like a "tree" but rather a "bush," and this is because the evidence unearthed fits neither the 150-year-old Darwinist tree of life nor any evolutionary arrangement. Primanda and others are still trying to cobble together an "evolutionary hypothesis" from this bush, but in the end we have this concrete truth: The fossils do not support Darwinism. The evolutionist community thought that the more fossils they found, the stronger evolutionary theory would become, but in fact it was the other way around. Niles Eldredge from Harvard University, one of the United States' leading paleontologists, and Ian Tattersall from the American Museum of Natural History once wrote: It is a myth that the evolutionary histories of living things are essentially a matter of discovery. If this were true, one could confidently expect that as more hominid fossils were found the story of human evolution would become clearer. Whereas if anything, the opposite has occured. 5 One point here especially deserves underlining: replacing the "tree" with a "bush" is not the result of evidence, but rather of a lack of evidence. Yes, many fossils have been found but these constitute evidence against the theory of evolution. The only way out for the evolutionists was to come up with a "bush" model to replace the tree so as to be able to depict this chaos. The bush model is nothing but an excuse conjured up to explain away the body of fossil evidence which contradicts Darwinism. If you believe blindly in evolutionary theory, you would try to interpret every new finding so as to support this theory. Marxists who believe blindly in Marxism sought refuge in excuses such as Leninism when the promised revolution failed to take place. Prejudiced people can always come up with an artificial explanation to every problem. An unprejudiced person, however, can easily see the real situation: the concrete data do not fit this theory. ALLEGATIONS OF A DISTORTION OF GEE One of Primanda's criticisms was that Nature magazine's editor Henry Gee had been misquoted by us: HY also misquoted Henry Gee, which said that 'The idea of the missing link … is now completely untenable.' This allegation is completely unfounded. Below we reproduce one of Gee's lengthier explanations in order to dispel any doubts on this matter: A seven-million-year-old skull found in a central African desert is probably the most important discovery in the search for human origins in living memory - since Raymond Dart announced the "ape man" Australopithecus africanus in 1925. Yet its initial effect may be to confuse rather than enlighten. Whatever the outcome, the skull shows, once and for all, that the old idea of a "missing link" is bunk... Why is Toumaï so important? First, it is the earliest known credible vestige of a hominid - a member of the group of creatures more closely related to human beings than to any other animals. It also doubles the antiquity of the earliest known skull: the previous recordholder, from Kenya, is around 3.3m years old. Second, it has dropped straight into the most crucial, but least known, part of the story of human evolution. It is suspected that the last common ancestor of humans and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, lived around 7m years ago. We know this not from direct fossil evidence, but from studying the small differences in the otherwise similar genes of humans and chimps, and estimating the time needed for these differences to accrue. Looking at the fossil evidence itself, we see a huge and frustrating gap. Ten million years ago, the world was full of apes, but there is no agreement about which of these stand closest to the evolution of humans. In any case, a distinct lineage leading to humans, as distinct from chimps, would not have existed back then... So what does Toumaï look like? It is a mixture of primitive and disconcertingly advanced traits. The braincase has the same size and shape as a chimpanzee. The face, though, is where the interest lies. Rather than having a projecting snout with large canine teeth, the face is flat and the teeth are very small and human-like. Strangest of all are the enormous brow-ridges. These are usually associated with our own genus Homo, and are not otherwise seen in anything older than about 2m years... People and advertising copywriters tend to see human evolution as a line stretching from apes to man, into which one can fit new-found fossils as easily as links in a chain. Even modern anthropologists fall into this trap, accepting a certain bushiness in the human family tree between 3m and 2m years ago - when the genus Homo first emerged - but thinking of human evolution before then as, essentially, linear. Wood thinks it was bushiness all the way down. Recent research to put tabs on how much we really know of the past supports this view, suggesting that we have direct evidence of only 7% of all the primate species that ever lived. This means three things. First, that we tend to look at those few tips of the bush we know about, connect them with lines, and make them into a linear sequence of ancestors and descendants that never was. But it should now be quite plain that the very idea of the missing link, always shaky, is now completely untenable. 6 Briefly, Gee is saying that the model for human evolution comes "not from direct fossil evidence," that there is "a huge and frustrating gap" in the fossil record, and that therefore the view of the "missing link" is also "completely untenable." This is what we have been saying from the beginning. Therefore Primanda's allegation that Gee was misquoted is entirely unfair.