Coming up at the International Conference on Creationism
The International Conference on Creationism is just around the corner, July 16-19 at Cedarville University. I've got five papers coming out at the ICC, and I thought I'd share a preview here.
First up, "Testing the order of the fossil record: Preliminary observations on stratigraphic-clade congruence and its implications for models of evolution and creation," a collaborative effort to study the large-scale patterns of the fossil record. This was actually a massive project that ballooned into something much bigger than I anticipated. We used published phylogenies to measure how well these evolutionary hypotheses actually fit the order of appearance in the fossil record. The results were complicated but extremely interesting. We found lots of patterns that we didn't expect and really didn't have a good explanation for. It should make for an interesting talk.
Next, "A preliminary evaluation of ape baramins." This one is long overdue. Defining the human kind solely by looking at humans is only half the equation. A clear understanding of ape kinds will help us very precisely articulate what is human and what is not. This is my first real foray into that arena of research, and it was messy. But it's a start, and I hope there will be more to come down the line. This paper had a student collaborator.
"Essentialism and the human kind, or experiments in character weighting" grew out of ideas I had on my way home from Origins 2022. The started out as a response to critics, but transformed into something more interesting. Then after the reviews came in, I had to revise yet again, because I kept thinking more carefully about what I was trying to do. What is it? Well, it's kind of a response to the idea that we can identify humans based on a small handful of characteristics. I actually tested that out, and it didn't fare well. The implications are much bigger though, and I'll probably still be thinking about this right up until I give my presentation. This is my only solo paper at the conference.
Next is another gigantic collaboration, "Human history from Adam to Abraham: Integrating paleoanthropology with a young-age creation perspective." This one pushes the size limit for ICC papers, and I'm sort of disappointed it wasn't longer. We honestly had more to say. The paper itself tries to review creationist perspectives on hominin fossils and tries to derive a consensus or majority position. We then tried to work through implications of the human fossil record and how it might integrate with later archaeology. This one was lots of fun, and I'd love to follow up with a more complete work later on down the road.
Finally, the big one: "Human baraminology in postcranial perspective." A student and I worked on this for three years, and I'm glad to see it reach a point where we feel good about publishing our results. Almost all of my previous work on hominins used exclusively craniodental information, and my one attempt at using skeletal information had too few taxa to tell us much of anything. Still, I think it's obvious that the entire body can tell us much more than just the head, and I knew it was important to figure out a way to evaluate that entire body. This new project is original research on hominin postcranial remains. We examined casts and high resolution scans for information about the skeletons of humans and apes. This was a LOT of work, and I'm really quite pleased with the results.
Also at the conference: Core Academy will have a little table and be giving away some goodies (and a surprise or two). Look for us there, and show your support for creation mentoring and research!
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!