You may have seen the news that yet another relative of modern humans was recently found in a cave in South Africa.
If you — as is wont to happen nowadays — caught the announcement through that paragon of clear and effective communication that is known as social media, you were most likely informed that the discovery of Homo naledi (Not sure how to pronounce that? It’s “HOE-moe.” You’re welcome.) is either the latest machination in the never-ending atheistic onslaught against God — because, obviously, the forces of darkness have learned through the eons that there is nothing that terrifies the Lord of All Creation more than scientists finding some old bones in a cave — or a ground-breaking panacea for all the world’s ills, which can and must be celebrated by a display so wild and orgiastic it would make the Bacchanalia look like an afternoon playing pinochle at Grandma’s house.
Shockingly, the truth is a bit more, well, boring and science-y than all that. A lot — and I mean, a lot, like over 1,500 individual specimens — of bones were found by a spelunker in a barely accessible chamber of a cave system near Johannesburg in 2013. The reason you’re just hearing about it now is because good science takes time, and also, because National Geographic is doing a spread on the find in its October issue.
(Or, you know, because the first thing that atheists who are desperate to disprove God with their EVIL-ution “theory” would do with a discovery like this is sit on it for over two years before telling anyone about it. Yeah, that makes sense, too.)
In all honesty, I do think this is a fascinating discovery, and at least as compelling as the scientific implications are some of the mysteries still surrounding it, like — for example — why exactly there are all these bones in a cave chamber that is almost impossible to get into, or why scientists have been unable to date the bones because — per PhysOrg — “unusual characteristics of the site.”
Of course, our primary interest in this is that it’s the type of thing that gets our friend Ken Ham worked up into a frothy, nearly incoherent rage of self-righteous indignation, which is always humorous.
On Sept. 10, when media outlets began breaking the news everywhere, I received an email from a friend with a link to one of the stories, asking how long I thought it would take Hambone to issue a response. It took less than a day, which is really not surprising considering all he had to do was copy and paste from one of his many previous rants about similar discoveries.
You can click over and read Ham’s early thoughts if you like. He promises much more later, as their “scientists” are “now reviewing the two studies published in eLife journal. (Hmm… That’s strange… I wonder why the employees that he charitably calls “scientists” can’t just get direct access to the actual specimens?) But if you’re strapped for time, or are a person who values his or her precious brain cells and sanity, I’ll sum it up for you: Homo naledi is still an ape.
That’s not exactly a revelation, either, since that is also the fate Ham meted out to Australopithecus afarensis (a.k.a., “Lucy” and all her friends), Australopithecus sediba, the Ledi-Geraru jaw, and pretty much every single other human relative that’s ever been discovered or proposed, except for Neanderthals and — bizarrely — the diminuative Homo floresiensis.
No matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of apes. Which, for me, seems to raise the (sort-of obvious) question: Why did God make so many? Was he deliberately trying to confuse us, making dozens of extremely similar — yet distinct — species of hominoid apes that he knew would never survive into modern day?
Or did he just really like apes for…some reason?
Honestly, though, I think there is another factor at play here, besides the screaming, logic-defying train wreck that Ham thinks is great science and the raging Dumpster fire that he calls “theology.”
I submit to you that there is a very specific reason Ham has denied our cousin Homo naledi the place of honor in his esteemed “still a human” pantheon with us other Homos (heh heh).
Quite simply, I think he was just plain irritated by the family resemblance.
Just like looking in a mirror, innit? Spooky.