Monday, October 6, 2008

A Family Sunday

Sunday I was finally feeling up to getting out of the house (with the exception of Saturday and two soccer games, I had pretty much been in bed or just hanging around the house since Wednesday, the day of my surgery). So, first we went to church. Now, you all know hell must have frozen over for the Moore/Gordon family to show their faces at church! But we were there just the same. Jeff said it was "opening day of church season" and who would miss opening day? The kids went to Sunday school while Jeff and I attended the service (and said a few extra prayers for Hayley who put on quite a show the night before....something about "you can't make me go"). After church, we took our friend Natalie and headed to the Pacific Science Center. We have a membership and the kids love this place. It's basically the same as it's been for years, but new shows and exhibits travel through. This time, we went to see "Lucy" the oldest known ancestoral skeleton related to humans. The exhibit was great (an audio tour, so we all got to carry around these cool wands/phone things that told the story as we went along), and seeing the actual bones of a 3 million year old skeleton was amazing! Also, the recreation of what Lucy would look like really surprised the kids. Pretty much like a chimpanzee walking upright and the size of a seven-year-old girl. Before the Lucy exhibit, we saw "Mystery of the Nile" - an IMAX film about the first group of adventurers to travel the Nile from source to sea. Jeff and Arlie had never been to an IMAX film so that was cool. And it was a good show (a real nail-biter at points when the rafts flipped over and the crocodiles slithered in to try and make a snack out of the crew). Later, the kids went to the planetarium to see a show about the origins of Halloween. I stayed behind on this one (planetariums make me dizzy) and Jeff ran down the street to a store to get some snacks because everyone was starving. We headed home munching on Goldfish crackers and Capri Suns. All in all, a fun family day. Something we don't get around here too often. Enjoy the photos!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lucy--She’s No Lady! (DVD)
A Critique of One of the Supposed Ancestors of Man
Featuring Dr. David Menton
Format: DVD
Length: 59 mins.
Dimensions: 5.25 x 7.5 in.
Ages: 15 & up
Publisher: Answers in Genesis–US
Published: 2003
Confused about the discovery of Lucy, a “missing link” between monkeys and
humans? Anatomist Dr. David Menton leaves no doubt that the famous “Lucy”
fossils belong to a knuckle-walking, apelike creature … who was not a

About the speaker
David Menton earned a Ph.D. in cell biology from Brown University. He
served as a biomedical research technician at Mayo Clinic and then as an
associate professor of anatomy at Washington University School of Medicine
(St. Louis). For almost two decades he has been profiled in American Men
and Women of Science—A Biographical Directory of Today’s Leaders in
Physical, Biological and Related Sciences. Dr. Menton has lectured
throughout the United States and Canada on the creation-evolution

'Ape-woman' statue misleads public: anatomy professor

Lucy's Knee Joint Revisited

The following letter was submitted by David Menton to the St. Louis Post Dispatch on Aug. 2,1996

Letter to the Editor from David N. Menton

Aug. 2, 1996

In his July 28 letter to the editor, Henry Firsching strongly disapproved of my skeptical comments about the anatomical accuracy of the St. Louis Zoo's "Lucy" statue ("The Great Primate Debate," Everyday section, July 22).  Surely it is appropriate for both scientists and students of science to be skeptical of poorly documented claims in any field of science. Our Zoo may continue to portray Lucy as having what appears to be an ape head on essentially a human body because of the desired impression it creates, but this is inconsistent with the fossil evidence. I suspect that many visitors to our Zoo who reflect upon Lucy's shapely human-like body, her contemplative gaze, excellent posture, and distinctively human stride, will not realize that a growing number of anthropologists now believe that she slept, ate, and lived primarily in the trees!

Lucy, a well known fossilized representative of the species Australopithecus afarensis, has long been portrayed as having virtually human-like feet in an effort to support her proposed role as an upright-walking, evolutionary ancestor of man. Although the relatively complete Lucy specimen (40%) includes only two bones from the foot, several other fossilized specimens of her species have been found in the Afar basin of Ethiopia revealing a foot that more closely resembles that of the apes. In a definitive study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology -- six years before John Holmes crafted our Zoo's Lucy statue -- anthropologists Jack Stern and Randall Susman described both the hands and feet of these Ethiopian apes as being long, curved and heavily muscled. Indeed their data show that both the finger and toe bones of "Lucy" are highly curved, even compared to those of modern apes! Hardly the hands and feet that Holmes chose to graft on his Lucy statue.
Firsching ignores the anatomical evidence for the ape-like nature of "Lucy's" foot, and argues that her feet are human-like because members of her species are believed to have made the virtually human-like footprints discovered by Mary Leakey and coworkers in Laetoli, Africa, in 1978.  How can Firsching be so sure of this? Why, because both "Lucy" and the Laetoli footprints are currently believed to be somewhere between 3 and 4 million years old.  What a coincidence! Firsching failed to mention that many anthropologists, including Mary Leakey herself, are not so sure that "Lucy" could have made these prints, but rather hope that some other ape-like ancestor of man with essentially human feet may yet be found.    
The Laetoli fossil footprints comprise a trail of 20 prints identical to those of a modern 10 year old child, and a closely adjacent trail of 27 prints of a still smaller child -- both with a well developed arch and distinctively human left-right stride. During a 1982 lecture in St. Louis, Mary Leakey revealed that footprints of yet a third smaller individual were found to be placed squarely on each of the footprints in the trail of the larger individual, much as a child might step in the footprints of an elder! The problem is that evolutionists feel certain that there were no humans around when these obviously human-like footprints were made, yet efforts to force Lucy's feet into something they don't fit have been as futile as those of Cinderella's stepsisters.  Now evolutionists are faced with the daunting question: what has feet like a human and walks like a human?

Dr. David N. Menton
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Washington University School of Medicine,
St. Louis, Missouri

Teaching Origins in Public Schools

Should Evolution Be Immune From Critical Analysis?

Is there fossil evidence of 'missing links' between humans and apes?

"Evolutionists claim that no fossils of chimpanzees have ever been found.
The evidence suggests that fossils of chimpanzees have been found, but the
blinding power of a naturalistic evolutionary philosophy, and the determination of evolutionists to find evidence for it has not allowed these fossil chimpanzees to be recognized for what they are."--Marvin Lubenow, "Paleoanthropology in Review", CEN Technical Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1996), pp.10-17