A Commentary on “In Our Time: Homo Erectus”.

As regular readers of mine will know, I like to review a BBC documentary titled “In Our Time”, when the subject is related to the claimed evolution of life on earth. I’ve found a wealth of information in these podcasts to bolster my faith in Biblical creation, and my observation that evolutionists, while being very knowledgable-far more so than I-make their career by speculating rather than dealing in hard evidence.

Homo erectus adult female – head model – Smithsonian Museum of Natural History – 2012-05-17 – Tim Evanson

I must say at the outset that this “In Our Time” episode reminded me of my time at school. Occasionally we would be given an essay assignment to write five hundred words on a subject which could have been adequately covered in fifty. Listening to this podcast, it seemed to me that the broadcast could be likened to a thin, bony turkey full of stuffing. It was also in effect a story, not unlike a childrens story, backed up with very little in the way of evidence, and certainly little evidence which would convince the faithless such as myself that we humans evolved from ape-like creatures.

I will concede that it’s an intesting story, including everything you might look for in a raging novel: sex, intrigue, struggle, violence, death, history. No, let me change the last word from “history” to “speculatiion’, because that’s what it is.

Did a frog turn into a prince? No, in the story of evolution, it was a lemur.


The story begins some sixty-six million years ago, when, we’re told, a meteorite landed in the Gulf of Mexico and selectively killed “…all the non-avian dinosaurs”. Rotten luck for the non-avian dinosaurs, I say. They’d ruled the earth for “a hundred and twenty million years”, and now they were toast, or more accurately, rock. Their demise cleared the way for mammals to evolve, and that’s why and when primates first evolved.

Ten million years later, give or take a few weeks, came “the paleocene-eocene thermal maximum”, a super global warming event. Really? Do you mean that what we’re being told is our faults in our time-the claimed warming and so destruction of the earth-may not be our faults at all, but a natural occurrance?

At that time, around fifty-five million years ago, says one of our three experts, primates suddenly became much more social. Well, it’s true that I feel more frisky and friendly when I’m warm and cozy. Then, as Spike Milligan once wrote so eloquently, “nothing happened”. It happened until ten million years ago, when something very consequential did happen: bipedalism. Bipedalism arose multiple times in several locations in East and North East Africa, in different lineages of primates and hominins, including, says our expert, the famous Lucy.

Dr. Brian Thomas, along with others, has demonstrated clearly that Lucy was a knuckle walking, chimp-like creature, a fact admitted by some evolutionists also (please see links to related articles and videos below).

Lucy: what was found.
An artist’s reconstruction of Lucy to promote the idea of human evolution, looking decidedly semi-human.

The evidence offered for this sudden effort of our ape-like ancestors to walk upright is very scant, so here I offer my own evidence, or lack of it. As Duane Gish would point out, if it were true that one animal such as a dog-like creature turned into a whale, over millions of years, there should be plenty of evidence for us all to see. We should all be able to go to a museum and view a long series of fossils demonstrating legs gradually getting shorter and fins appearing, until at the end of the line would be the whale. In the same way we should be able to see a long series of human fossils showing legs, shoulders, hands, arms and feet gradually changing from ape-like features to those of an upright human. Instead we have a story and some artists impressions, and one or two related bones.

Where can we go to see this? Such evidence was not forthcoming on this podcast about evolution.. Instead, we have a story: a long stream of imagination and speculation and “We thinks”. I could say that the imagination provides a well constructed and coherent story, but when you listen closely to such stories without accepting them hook, line and sinker, you can detect gaps and flaws.


The next chapter of the story, occurring two million years ago, concerns encephalization, or brain expansion. Suddenly, or quickly in evolutionary terms, primates were walking around with brains eighty percent larger than their ancestors! How did that happen? In a podcast involving three expert evolutionists we aren’t told: the frog turned into a prince. You can ask why, and the story will develop, but you can’t ask how. If I thought I could grow my brain by even one percent and knew how to do it, I would.

Why is that most people only use a portion of their brain’s capacity or potential? It seems to me that if there is truly a naturalistic explanation for life, then rather than brains growing first and afterwards being filled with purpose and information, an increase in information and purpose should cause the brain to grow. Information and intelligence should be pushing the boundaries of our physical brains. The brightest minds should have the biggest heads. What came first-the brain or the intelligence? It’s another chicken and egg situation.

Homo Heidelbergensis: a skull.
Homo heidelbergensis: how the artist made him look.


The story continues. Eight hundred thousand years ago Homo Heiderbregensis, “we think” became the eastern Neanderthals, and three hundred thousand years ago Homo Sapiens evolved. Sixty thousand years ago a new and modern version of Homo Sapiens evolved in East Africa, and here we are.

Homo Erectus, we’re told with conviction, originated in the Rift Valley of Africa, and our ongoing story involves a lot of detail about how the Valley formed and is believed to have changed. It’s this enormous change which, say the experts, drove the evolution of Homo Erectus and other Hominins, along with other animals in Africa. As I’ve noted before, uniformitarianism, the orthodoxy and hard evidence for evolution of my school and college days, is now gone. Enormous, monumental change drives evolution like nothing else: that’s the new orthodoxy.

The host Melvyn asks one of the experts why such evolution occurred there specifically (wasn’t he listening?). The answer given is that for us to evolve we needed two things. One: social primates had to be in Africa.

Isn’t this circular reasoning? Perhaps they had to be in Africa because it was nice and warm there, for that social interaction to occur, leading to more babies and safety in numbers.

Two, because we needed change, as in the complete overhaul of the Rift Valley’s topography and vegetation.


The next question of Melvyn’s concerned appearance: what did Homo Erectus look like? It’s here that we learn something we can really get our teeth into. The answer was that “It looked very much like us”. We know this, said the expert, from a skeleton found in Kenya-the one shown below.

Skeleton and reconstruction of Turkana Boy by Mauricio Antón

If you compare it to ours it looks very similar… and much different from, for instance (?) Aferensis which was much more…ape like and smaller. And this was somebody who had the same height, the same stature, the same body proportions-also quite big brains. So yeah, I think we could say that it looked very much like us”.

The panel later named some of the contemporaries of Homo Erectus, including Neanderthals. Creationist Dr. Brian Thomas, in describing some of the claimed ancestors of humans, says that remains all fit into three categories. 1/ They are truly ape, perhaps being made to look more human. 2/ They are truly human,perhaps being made to look more ape-like. 3/ They are a mix (intentional or unintentional) of the two. Homo Erectus, that is, most of the remains, are fully human. Erectus may have had some minor differences in appearance, but they were still human and not links between us and apes at all. Even now, some of the features noted in Homo Erectus, such as a sloped brow, strong brow ridges, and shortness of stature, can still be found in some human populations and individuals around the world.


The first Homo Erectus found was discovered by Frenchman Eugene Dubois, who had intentionally set out to find the missing link between our ape-like ancestor (apes) and us. He started looking in Java, and lo and behold, discovered the famous Java Man, which consisted of a skull cap, a tooth and a femur (below). Isn’t that impressive!

Java Man


Among Dubois’ finds was discovered, much later on and in a museum, a shell with an engraving. The engraving is geometric, looking like a letter “w”. And here is a remarkable admission, unnoticed or not acknowledged by our expert. This kind of marking is “Something animals don’t produce”.

Really? The expert is making a distinction between Java Man and animals. But I thought that we humans were just another animal! Isn’t this something of a slip of the evolutionary armour? The expert continued:

“We concluded that it (the engraving) must have been made by Homo Erectus, and it must have deliberate meaning, because it was difficult to replicate”.

Here’s a very large tacet admission. They’re able to see design and intent in the engraving of a symbol on a shell, but they’re not able to see design in the DNA molecule or in the mirror! Scripture nails their motives here very clearly. Paul wrote of such people:

“…who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).


Our host asks another good question, which itself contains a glaring but unexplored admission, and which is again not really answered:

“There are so many ideas about what happened and why: can you explain why our ancestors started to walk on their back legs?”

Poor Melvyn. He sees the problems with the theory, but is doggedly determined to trust the experts anyway.

The answer isn’t really an answer, it’s a continuation of the story. It’s a theory of why-not fact. It includes such phrases as “I think”, with no real evidence. Note that there were ape-like creatures (apes) and there were human-like creatures…humans.

“I think…” begins the expert, “…walking on our back legs was so important because it does a lot of things. It frees up our hands, it allows us to move large distances. What we’re thinking now… (more thinking with no offering of evidence) the expert continues, and then takes us back to that fail-safe, the story of the Rift Valley causing it all to happen. The growing mountains fragmented our food sources and the different vegetation types, and there was a need to specialize. “And that’s why bipedalism occurred” was the short-cut conclusion of the expert witness, which evidence would not go a long way in a court of law.

I’ve observed such enormous leaps of reason without evidence in evolutionary stories before-it’s a common practise. They are telling us that entire body structures, nerve systems, organs, skin, limbs, muscles and so-on changed radically because we needed to deal with changing food sources. The frog turned into a prince.

Melvyn is getting better at asking questions, despite his determination to conform to orthodoxy:

“Why did we need to do it (walk upright) and not other species?”

The answer again resorts to that good old Rift Valley:

“So I think…” (no evidence offered)… “it’s really about the environment”.

The Rift Valley was forming high mountain ranges, he said and so “You have to adapt or die”.

Why didn’t the non-avian dinosaurs think of that?

In evolution, the motivation to stay alive is enough to produce profound changes in physiology and DNA.


In order to not make this article like that stuffed turkey, I will curtail the list of things I noticed about this podcast, and there were several more inconsistencies and speculations. Not least was the idea that Homo Erectus thrived because he was able to run for a long time and throw rocks, and so to catch his prey. Other primates didn’t have that ability. Has our expert ever seen anyone catch prey by running and throwing rocks? It would have to be a large, slow animal, which presumably wouldn’t take kindly to having rocks thrown at it. And the rocks would have to be big. It’s not easy, to say the very least.

Also inconsistent and revealing is a later confession of one of the experts that she would like to research to find out if Erectus really was a runner. What does this say about the earliler insistence of another that Erectus caught his prey by running after it? Where is the evidence? Do we have fossil projectile rocks with “This one’s for Nelly!” inscribed on them?

I may well write more on the subject of human origins on another day. I will instead close with this. Melvyn asks the panel towards the end of the podcast what they would like to know or find out, and one answers by saying that she always tells her students:

“We should always be aware that we may be wrong in what we think we know”.

It’s a shame they all don’t take her advice more seriously.


YouTube video The Truth about the Chimp Genome (Humans and Chimps Part 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efQ68uag5yA

YouTube video, They Lied To Us? (Humans and Chimps Part 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHfvfgjTLDk

YouTube video, Adam not Apes. Dr Brian Thomas, PhD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqUVhhAtxg4

Above video: Can Human Variation Fit Into 6,000 Years? with Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson | Traced: Episode 5



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