Obsessed With Sex: How Much Can Be Known About the Sexuality of Hominids?

first_imgBruce Bower in Science News (June 11, 167:24, p. 379) reported on the controversy about the sex life of Lucy and her mate(s).  Owen Lovejoy and Philip L. Reno (Kent State U, Ohio) have “unabashedly” put forth a hypothesis that Mr. and Mrs. Australopithecus afarensis (let’s call him Desi) had long-term relationships and stable families as they evolved along on the way to humanity.  This conclusion was based on statistical analysis of fragmentary bones which represent somewhere between 5 and 22 individuals.  They assumed that the largest femur heads were from the males and the smaller, from the females, then deduced that australopithecines displayed slightly less sexual dimorphism than gorillas do.  From there, they made presumptions about what this implied about their sex lives in the prehistoric I Love Lucy sitcom.    Bower gave good press to Lovejoy and Reno’s hypothesis, but then surveyed the reactions of other researchers:Other scientists express a mix of chagrin and disdain at the amount of energy that researchers have expended on trying to separate fossil boys from girls.  Investigators need to drop their obsession with the sex of fossils and examine how individual differences in skeletal anatomy arise, contends Maciej Henneberg of the University of Adelaide in Australia.  For body weight and many skull measurements, including braincase size and facial width, individuals within each sex usually differ far more from each other than average members of opposite sexes do, he argues.    Erik Trinkaus of Washington University in St. Louis also derides efforts to identify the sex of ancient bones.  Sex assessments always begin with the unjustified assumption that bigger bones must belong to males and smaller ones to females, he says.  And the numbers of individual specimens of A. afarensis and other ancient hominid species are too few to generate reliable estimates of male and female size ranges, in his opinion.    Louisiana State’s Tague doesn’t go that far, but he notes that even the pelvis, the body part regarded as the gold standard for telling apart primate sexes, is surprisingly tough to read.  His work shows no consistent pattern of the pelvis being larger in females than in males.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)It’s not even clear to all researchers that Lucy was a female, to say nothing of whether the Mertzes were part of the same tribe.  Bower hopes that additional specimens will help resolve this “battle of the sexes.”The nonsense that Darwinists get away with is atrocious and silly.  Bower’s article contained the obligatory artist’s conception of Lucy’s family life, all based on myth and unwarranted speculation.  Even though he tried to provide criticism of Lovejoy’s wacky idea, he only extended the debate between members of the Darwin Party.  Why do non-Darwinists never get a chance to provide their scientific critiques?    Historical anthropology is out of control.  It is an endless parody of untestable speculation masquerading as legitimate research.  Science needs creationism as a check against “rampant Darwinism” as Dr. Phillip Skell called it in a recent interview (see IDURC).  He said, “The conflation of neo-Darwinism with the historical biology, and its frequent companion materialist philosophy, should be recognized and exposed for what it is, rather than disingenuously introduced as science.” (Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

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