The Denisovan Mandible and Human Diversity

Two weeks ago, the world had the first news of a Denisovan fossil found outside of the Denisova Cave in Siberia.  This might not seem like big news to many, but the Xiahe Mandible (as it is known) is yet another intriguing milestone in the mysterious modern history of a human form known primarily from ancient genomics.  The first hint of the Denisovans came in 2010 with the publication of a mitochondrial genome that was by far the most different form of human mtDNA we have seen to date.  The fossils were limited to a few teeth and a portion of a finger bone.  Even though we could discern a great deal about these people from their genomes, there was literally only a handful of fossils that could tell us what they looked like.

This "new" Denisovan fossil, the Xiahe Mandible, is a damaged right portion of a jawbone with two molars that was originally uncovered in a cave on the east end of the Tibetan plateau in 1980.  Only recently did proteomics research reveal that it was ac…

New Philippine Hominin

You might have heard about the new Philippine hominin Homo luzonensis.  I have a few comments on  the discovery over on Human Genesis.  Check it out!  (Or don't.  Whatever.  It's a free country.)

Asian Diversity and the Seafaring Hominin
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Have you read my book?  You should check that out too!

My visit to BioLogos

As my regular readers know, I recently presented my work with Darrel Falk at the annual BioLogos conference.  Michael Gulker (president of the Colossian Forum) came along to moderate.  My visit was quite short.  I arrived about 10 am on Friday, gave my presentation at 1:30 pm, then hit the road around 3:00 pm.  The brevity of my visit was not due to my disdain of the conference subject.  I simply was attending another conference that weekend, and I needed to drive back to Cleveland.  (More about that in a future post.)

For those of you not familiar with this whole thing, BioLogos is an evangelical organization dedicated to promoting the compatibility of evolution with evangelical Christianity.  I am a young-age creationist, and I reject certain portions of the evolutionary story as entirely incompatible with the Christian faith and identity.  Creationists and evolutionists typically fight like cats and dogs.  At least that's the impression you get on Facebook and internet chat ro…

Origins 2019: Reclaiming Wisdom

I wanted to make sure everyone reading knew about the Origins 2019 conference coming up July 17-20 at Cedarville University.  I'll be speaking on human origins at the special "Reclaiming Wisdom" conference held in conjunction with Origins 2019.  You can find the call for abstracts at the Creation Biology Society website, and more information about the conference can be found at the Reclaim Wisdom siteAbstract submissions are due May 10, 2019.  I hope to see you there!

Call for Abstracts
Reclaim Wisdom
Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

Have you read my book?  You should check that out too!

I got some 'splainin' to do

I've got a weird, awkward announcement, so let's just rip it off like a band-aid: I'm going to speak at the BioLogos conference next week.  I'll be appearing with Darrel Falk and Michael Gulker of the Colossian Forum.  We'll be talking about the book The Fool and the Heretic.  Our session is scheduled for Friday afternoon 1:30 to 2:30 in the main plenary room (Constellation AB).

For that small minority of my readers who don't know, BioLogos is an evangelical organization dedicated to promoting evolution to other evangelicals.  I am a young-age creationist, and I have a lot of problems with mixing evolution and Christianity.

Before you ask, no, I have not gone over to the dark side.  I just had an opportunity to speak to a crowd that would normally not listen to any young-age creationists.  Not in person, anyway.  That's a tempting prospect.  Also, Darrel really wanted to go and promote our work together.  So even though I already had plans next weekend, I …

Is the fool unique?

For those following The Fool and the Heretic, there have been a smattering of updates.  Personally, I've had a few comments from other creationists, most of which tended to be confused (about Darrel and the book), cautious, and just a tiny bit confrontational.  I've also had very encouraging comments from folks who really appreciate what we're trying to do.  That's been gratifying.

In addition to our Bible Gateway interview, you can also read a more extensive interaction between Darrel and me at the Henry Center's website, Sapientia.  The exchange begins with Darrel's review of The Quest, followed by my response, and Darrel's final response to me.  Then there's an interview with the both of us conducted by Hans Madueme.

Reviews are still sparse.  Amazon currently has just four reviews posted, and they are all positive.  I think Gregg Davidson's review has an interesting claim that I will address below, namely, that I'm an oddity in creationism …

Further thoughts from Trinity Western University

I'm just back from Vancouver where I spoke at Trinity Western University with Darrel Falk and Rob Barrett of The Colossian Forum.  I had a pleasant time there, even though it was evident that few people in the various audiences we spoke to were "on my side," as it were.  The Q&A was illuminating in many ways.  I felt at times that the questions directed to me were antagonistic and confrontational.  They repeated some very standard talking points for why creationists are wrong, and I got pretty animated with some of my answers.  At one point, I even elicited gasps with my bluntness.  As Darrel, Rob, and I discussed our experiences the morning after the meeting, Rob said he interpreted the questions as more honest curiosity.  That's definitely possible, because my personal interactions were not confrontational at all.  Then again, perhaps the more confrontational people simply avoided me?  Who knows.

Some of the questions, as best as I can recall them:

How can you …