Saturday, January 16, 2016

We Evolved and We Came from Africa Originally. Get Over It

Yes, it is time for the Rational Heathen to pitch a fit at those who 1. Deny evolution and 2. Don't think humans migrated from Africa.

Theory Isn't Only a Theory

First, let get things straight: science isn't a belief system. It is a way of logically analyzing the world and proving, using the scientific method a statement as fact or theory.  The word "theory" in science used to describe an explanation of why and how things happen. For gravity, we use Einstein's Theory of General Relativity to explain why things fall. "Theory" is not synonymous with "unproven."  "Theory" means that the statement is consistent with everything we know, including facts. However, if a new fact were to arrive that changes our understanding of the world, it may change the Theory. For example, depending on how you use gravity varies the terminology. If you're using it in mathematics, it's a Law. But if you're talking about gravity and how it interacts with things, it's a Theory.

Science Isn't the Sith

I've never figured out how people could be so brainless when it comes to the term "theory." It's almost as if they start arguing semantics just to justify their ignorance. If scientists came up with another term other than "theory," we might actually have the chance at getting people to understand that proven theories are just that: proven. Until something else comes along to prove otherwise, this is really the best information we have.

Writing in books by iron age cultures doesn't constitute facts. Until things can be proven and can be repeated using the scientific method, it's belief, and not fact. Yep, that includes religions, including Christianity and Asatru.  Even though we may hold our beliefs as truth, the reality is our beliefs are simply beliefs. Our beliefs hand us absolutes which comfort us in some way. Humans hate not have a definitive answer for things. That's why religion has such power.

Science, OTOH,  isn't the Sith.  It doesn't deal in absolutes. Scientists are aware that facts change and our understanding of the world changes with new discoveries and new information. Maybe if we call it Sith and not Theory, we might get some headway.  The Sith of Gravity.  The Sith of Evolution.  Hey, that's kind of catchy.  I think I'll use that.

Out of Africa

Fossils have clearly shown that humans evolved from common ancestors with other primates. Genetics and other studies have pretty much confirmed the Out of Africa Theory.  Yes, there are constant twiddling when it comes to how exactly humans spread around the globe, but our origins are still from Africa.  Lots of different people migrated at different times. Otzi the Iceman was found to have Lyme disease -- a disease that originated in North Africa and not the central part.  Other DNA from remains put Denisovans and Homo Sapiens in Asia for a while.

This doesn't mean people originated there.  It just means people traveled there. We always think that modern day humans are the only ones who can travel vast distances, but our ancestors prove time and time again that they could and have traveled vast distances with little more than their feet or a wooden canoe.

Why are People so Quick to Debate the Out of Africa Theory?

I suspect there are two reasons for why people argue there's no way people could have evolved in Africa. The first reason has to do with the bible-thumping, evolution deniers. You know who you are. These folks believe that their god created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. They believe in a real Adam and a real Eve, although how on earth their kids would've found mates is annoying obvious. (Does anyone hear banjos?)

If you're Heathen and you believe strictly in the Norse creation myths, you're being an idiot.  There.  I've said it.  We have our own version of Adam and Eve called Ask and Embla, and we have the same damn problem with banjos and Luke and Leia kisses.

The Norse creation myths are simply metaphors and an explanation for people who just didn't have all the information handy. What's more, even if they were confronted with the facts, they had no reference on how fossils, evolution, and other bits of science worked together to come up with a rational explanation. Hel, many educated people (and not so educated) understand how evolution works.

The second reason for why people argue that there's no way people could have evolved in Africa is a bit more sinister. You're racist, pure and simple. I'm not throwing the "R" word around lightly, either. You don't like the idea that your origins are where black people reside.  Don't believe me? Then ask yourself if you'd have problems that humans evolved in Northern Europe, even though there isn't a shred of evidence to prove it.  Haters are going to hate.

Now, if you could come up with scientific proof that humans did evolve in Northern Europe, along with fossils, etc, I'd listen. I'm talking actual science--peer reviewed science. Not the crazy, space-alien, Illuminati crap that I can see on the pages of the Enquirer.

So, there you have it.  My take on evolution and the "Out of Africa" theory.  Get over it.

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