Facial Recognition Study Misses the Bottom Line | The Institute for Creation Research

Facial Recognition Study Misses the Bottom Line

Human brains come specially wired to recognize faces. Where did that innate wiring come from? Two psychologists finagled a fantasy answer that shows how crazy evolution-based reasoning can get. Their conclusion, oddly enough, involves chimpanzee rear ends.

We perceive faces quite differently from how we see other objects. We process the individual features of most items to recognize what they are and what they mean, but we recognize a face all at once. That way we can quickly gather subtle communication clues from facial expressions during conversations and other interactions.

Researchers demonstrated the “face inversion effect” in the 1960s. This describes how people recognize upright faces much better than upside-down faces. In the recent study, the two researchers compared how chimpanzees viewed upright and upside-down faces—as well as each other’s behinds.

Human brains come specially wired to recognize faces. Tweet: Human brains come specially wired to recognize faces. https://www.icr.org/article/10235/ @icrscience @icrbthomas

They found that the inversion effect applies to the way chimps see their peer’s posteriors. Chimps seem to recognize one another from the appearance of their bottoms better than from the appearance of their faces. Chimpanzee and other primate bottoms reveal unique information. For example, males look different from females, and females display when their bodies are primed for pregnancy. Chimpanzee rear-end recognition goes right along with their rear-end displays.

No objections so far. But the interpretive twists these two scientists applied then turned bizarre. Publishing in PLOS ONE, they argued:

The findings of our study suggest that over human evolution the face took over important properties shared with the primate behind and largely replaced its socio-sexual signaling function, making our species attuned to faces.1

Sure, chimps recognize one another by their behinds, and humans recognize other humans by their faces. But neither observation—nor any other evidence, for that matter—so much as hints that “identity recognition ‘moved up’ from the bottom to the face in our uprightly walking species.”1 In an attempt to justify this rear-end reversal, the authors even suggested that human faces look like chimpanzee bottoms. Both have symmetry and lack hair in places, but the same already holds true for the chimp faces.

The story snags on other issues, too. What if male chimps somehow transitioned from bottom recognition to facial recognition before females lost their bottom displays? Then the males would no longer recognize the right time to reproduce. End of species. The researchers’ assertion that “recognition ‘moved up’” would require chance-based evolution to perfectly synchronize the required transition timing and to divvy up vital gender-specific traits.

We talk face to face much the same as our forefather Adam talked with his Creator. Tweet: We talk face to face much the same as our forefather Adam talked with his Creator. https://www.icr.org/article/10235/ @icrscience @icrbthomas

The study authors wrote, “The correct interpretation of the conveyed information by faces and behinds, including identity, fitness and fertility, is crucial for reproductive success.”1 Doesn’t this statement inadvertently argue against their own story? Without reproductive success, the whole species would die off. And evolutionary alterations to the “crucial” total package of brains and behinds would totally disrupt chimpanzees’ “reproductive success,” thus extinguishing further evolution.

While evolutionary speculation wrongly turns bottoms downside up, chimpanzees continue to thrive—living their divinely designed wild lives like they have from the beginning. Meanwhile, folks like you and me talk (thankfully) face to face much the same as our forefather Adam talked with his Creator in the Garden.

Reference

  1. Kret, M. E., and Tomanoga, M. 2016. Getting to the Bottom of Face Processing. Species-Specific Inversion Effects for Faces and Behinds in Humans and Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes). PLOS ONE. 11 (11): e0165357.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Cite this article: Brian Thomas, Ph.D. 2017. Facial Recognition Study Misses the Bottom Line. Acts & Facts. 46 (10).

The Latest
NEWS
Is There Evidence for a Creator?
Contrary to what some scientists claim, there is compelling philosophical and scientific evidence that a Creator of the universe exists. For example,...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Forged in Faith: The Hard Work of Making Disciples | Creation.Live...
Jesus commanded that we make disciples, but what does that mean in this modern world? Has the church gone soft?   Hosts Trey and...

NEWS
Algal Microfossils Show No Evolution
Creation scientists maintain that if something is living, then it’s automatically complex. This applies to organisms ranging from a single bacterium...

CREATION PODCAST
Rapid Erosion Devastates Deep Time! | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Erosion takes place slowly, over millions of years, right? That's what mainstream science tells us anyway. Or, does erosion happen far more...

NEWS
Flood Solves Land and Marine Mixing Near the Andes
A recent article published by Hakai Magazine claims to reveal secrets of an ancient inland sea that existed east of the Andes Mountains,1...

NEWS
T. rex Out of Nowhere
As one of the largest predators ever at 45 feet long, it’s no wonder school children are enthralled with Tyrannosaurus rex. But where did the...

NEWS
February 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11 NKJV) ICR February 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Evolutionist and ICR Research Both Attempting to Explain Fossil...
Recent evolutionary research is attempting to provide an explanation for why some animals became smaller over time. Or equivalently, it is attempting...

NEWS
Animal Features Did Not Evolve
There’s no doubt that animals in God’s creation have iconic features. The question is, did these features evolve or were they created that...

CREATION PODCAST
Taking a Closer Look at Uniquely Human Eyes | The Creation Podcast:...
While we might take them for granted, our eyes are incredibly complex organs. How do they work? Is it possible for eyes to have evolved over long...