Tooth Study Takes Bite Out of Evolution | The Institute for Creation Research

Tooth Study Takes Bite Out of Evolution

Secular scientists have told incredible stories for over a century about how fossil teeth supposedly support the idea that humans evolved from primates. A lack of knowledge about tooth development has provided fertile ground for wild speculations about evolving tooth sizes, skull shapes, foot shapes, and even life habits. A new report changes all that conjecture.

Countless scholars have presumed human evolution before they even looked at the paleoanthropology evidence—which are just handfuls of teeth and skull fragments. One infamous chapter saw a fossil pig tooth interpreted as coming from an extinct ape-man.1 How would actual biological knowledge of tooth growth have affected these evolutionary conjectures?

An international group publishing in Nature showed that the second and third molars develop according to the size of the first molar.2 In modern humans and extinct human varieties like Neandertals, molars tend to grow slightly smaller toward the rear of the mouth. In extinct apes called australopiths3 the molars "tend to get bigger towards the back," according to a brief Nature summary of the work.4 With this model, researchers measure a single tooth and use it to predict other molar sizes.

This research conveys at least three implications for origins. First, it erases prior attempts to fit tooth sizes into evolutionary speculations. Anthropologist Aida Gómez-Robles at the George Washington University wrote for Nature, "This complexity may make teeth less useful for inferring phylogenies than we tend to recognize."4 In other words, the newfound fact that biology explains tooth sizes undermines the century-old endeavor of constructing phylogenetic trees to illustrate speculative evolutionary relationships.

Second, teeth do not directly develop according to unknowable ancient natural factors like diet, but according to a biological program. Where did that program originate? All known programs come from real live programmers.

Lastly, this research shows another anatomical distinction between man and apes. Modern and extinct human variations exhibit a distinct tooth characteristic—molars become smaller toward the back of the mouth. Extinct ape molars had the opposite trend. This fits with other key anatomical distinctions between man and apes, like hand shapes,5 foot shapes,6 hip shapes,7 plus unique inner ear and skull orientations.

Programmed biology, not evolution, explains ape and human molars. Time will tell if those secular scientists who built careers on tooth evolution stories will accept the speculative nature of their conjectures or not.

References

  1. Parker, G. 1981. Origin of Mankind. Acts & Facts. 10 (11).
  2. Evans, A. R. et al. 2016. A simple rule governs the evolution and development of hominin tooth size. Nature. 530 (7591): 477-480.
  3. The australopith genera included in the study were Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and Paranthropus.
  4. Gómez-Robles, A. Palaeoanthropology: What teeth tell us. Nature. 530 (7591): 425-426.
  5. Guliuzza, R. 2009. Made in His Image: The Connecting Power of Hands. Acts & Facts. 38 (10): 10-11. 
  6. Thomas, B. 2009. Did Humans Evolve from "Ardi"? Acts & Facts. 38 (11): 8-9. 
  7. Thomas, B. Evolutionist Tosses out 'Ardi' As Human Ancestor. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org June 8, 2010, accessed March 3, 2016. 

*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on March 14, 2016.

The Latest
COVID-19
A Time for Firsts Amid COVID-19
All of us have experience with firsts, and today is no exception as America sails through the uncharted waters of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)....

COVID-19
Psalm 8 and COVID-19
Here in Dallas County, we are under “shelter in place” orders as part of the plan to slow the progress of the global coronavirus pandemic.1...

COVID-19
What’s the Difference Between Virus and Bacteria?
As we are embroiled in a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to know the basics of these tragic viral infections and why the medical community...

NEWS
ICR Beginning Search for a New President
As was noted in my article “Biblical Succession” in the April issue of Acts & Facts, the ICR Board of Trustees has authorized a national...

COVID-19
Potential Coronavirus Treatments Enter Large Clinical Trials
Some good news in potential treatment options for COVID-19 was reported in the American journal Science.1 Four new treatment options were being...

NEWS
Yellowstone Supervolcano Unlikely to Blow
For several years, secular scientists have been predicting a possible supervolcano eruption at Yellowstone National Park. Recently, the London Daily Mail...

NEWS
Deep Water Squid Communication Mystifies Scientists
In the deep, dark, cold waters of the Pacific Ocean—about 1,500 feet below the surface— hundreds of Humboldt squid the size of small humans...

COVID-19
Sea Otters, Dungeness Crabs, and Coronavirus Pandemic Politics
As healthcare politics dominate America’s news media services (which now includes ICR), at least one population is not bothered by coronavirus: the...

NEWS
Earthquake Causes Tsunami Fears
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck just east of Russia’s Kuril Islands, sparking fears of impending tsunamis.1 According...

COVID-19
Prison or Palace?
All over the world, the coronavirus is changing everything at a breakneck pace. Businesses are closing, millions of people are confined to their homes,...