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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pygmies used to illustrate link between man and ape

Mustafa Akyol, a thoughtful Muslim active in the ID controversy, sends this note about a French film called Man to Man, described as "An epic about anthropologists who hunt and capture pygmies for study back in Europe, in an attempt to illustrate the link between man and ape."

Mustafa writes,

The film is really interesting: The pygmies are brought to England and some "scientists" examine them. Based on skull size and other features, they soon decide that this is a "sub-species" and a "missing link" between ape and man. They put these people in cages and a kind of zoo and present to the public by using the same "missing link" concept. At some point one of the pygmies become pregnant and one "scientist" decides to operate on her to reach take embryo while it is in its 3 or 4 months, in order to see the unborn stage of this "species". There are many interesting scenes like that.

Speaking as a small person, I am always intrigued by the assumption that small people might be a different species somehow. This came out in the controversy surrounding the recent find of Flores man (homo Florensiensis) of Indonesia 18 000 years ago, who was only a metre (39 inches) tall. Some insisted that Flores must be a different species, on account of small size. But I have seen perfectly formed women on the streets of Toronto who are less than 45 inches tall. Heaven knows, those ladies must get all their clothes made to order but, perhaps for that very reason, they almost always seem very well dressed .....
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove ?

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being denied tenure at Baylor.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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